Monday, September 16, 2013
Check out a new window decal design we came up with. What do you think? we will be test driving these with our volunteers at this Saturday's Adopt-A-River clean up along the banks of the Sucker river, the parking lot and, of course, along HWY 61.
For more info on our clean up project please visit our facebook events page, give us a like while you are at it too!
DB | MS
Saturday, September 07, 2013
The guys group of the clinic is full, though feel free to register and we will list you as an alternate should someone cancel.
The gals group still has angler availability for women and any youth they wish to have join them.
If you know you will be on the shore the weekend of the 21st please stop by the Sucker River for our annual river clean up. It usually does not take more than an hour or so with a good group of volunteers. This is a great way to give back. Here is a little secret too, you can tap into our staff for current fishing reports, tips, and regions to focus on for fishing success.
We are also looking at an after (angling) hours meet and greet to catch up on the days catches, share stories, and help direct Sunday anglers to fish.
DB | MS
Friday, September 06, 2013
Visit our donations page to learn how to support us!
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
The painting was selected from 13 submissions for the annual contest.
Nelson won the 1999 trout stamp contest with a painting of a brook trout but hadn’t submitted an entry since, instead choosing to paint other subjects. Asked why he chose to enter this year after the hiatus, Nelson said fans of his previous work wanted to see him paint another trout, and he decided to oblige.
Four entries advanced to the final stage of judging during the contest. Other finalists were Stephen Hamrik of Lakeville, second place; Nicholas Markell of Hugo, third place; and Timothy Turenne of Richfield, fourth place.
The five member panel of judges this year were Amy Beyer, DNR creative services graphic designer; Ron Anderson, Outdoor News graphic designer; Bruce Vondracek, University of Minnesota professor; Mark Johnson, Twin Cities Trout Unlimited Chapter president; and Davin Brandt, director of Minnesota Steelheader.
Trout stamp validations are printed on fishing licenses. This is the only verification needed to prove purchase of the trout stamp for angling purposes. Purchasers may request the actual pictorial stamp for an additional 75 cents.
The DNR offers no prizes for the stamp contest winner. The winning artist retains the right to reproduce the work.
The following species are eligible for the 2015 stamp: brook, brown, splake and lake trout, coho, pink, Chinook and Atlantic salmon. Rainbow trout designs are not eligible for the 2015 stamp.
Minnesota DNR Home Page
Friday, August 09, 2013
Now moose vs. car doesn’t usually turn out well for the car and I watched, in slow motion, as the beard of the moose literally blew up and sideways in the wind from my passenger-side mirror. ½ mile later after I had stopped zig-zagging from one lane to the other and my heart rate was back down to a reasonable thrum from its previous jack-hammer rhythm, my partner snorted once, opened his eyes and did the, “Hnuh, hmm, wuzzup?”. Go back to sleep man, I’ll explain later….
So why do we do it? Is it for the brief moment of glory with a steelhead on the end of the line? Or is it the sunrises, sunsets, full moons, bright stars, roar of the stream, scents of the cedar and balsam fir, conversations with friends during long rides in the dark, sitting around the campfire recounting stories, the chance encounter with a lone wolf on a dark road, or the smile on a kid’s face as they tie on for the first time. Perhaps it’s because any one of a million special experiences and memories live on within each of us long after the moment has faded, only to be born again and again each time we slip into a stream. Maybe that's why we return.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
But there’s a good reason to get active and start doing some prep and prevention. Again, you can head off a number of issues before they come back to haunt you the next time you tie into some silver freight-train. Best of all, a number of migratory species in different locations are gearing up for Fall returns, some of them quietly returning already; and there’s probably no better motivation to prepare than that.
The question then becomes "Where do I start?" If you’re like me, there’s probably some big pile of gear still in your trunk or corner of your garage. Systematically going through it all seems like a big job, but it’s not that bad. ‘Course a little barley pop or snakebite remedy helps to speeds things along, especially if you get together with a fishing pal or two.
The easiest place to start
-Take EVERYTHING out and turn the pockets inside out. It’s amazing how much loose junk and terminal tackle you’ll find which needs to be put back in it’s proper home. Turning out the pockets helps to find hooks and flies, which may have become lodged in the seams and loose fabric. Inspect for tears or rubs. Pockets in particular take a lot of abuse from the amount and weight of the junk we cram into them, especially since they get wet a lot. It’s a bummer having your favorite box of yarn, flies or tackle drop out the bottom as you walk a trail or as you fish. By the time you realize it’s gone, it’s often too late.
-Once it’s empty and inspected, wash it thoroughly. Leaking scent, spawn juice and line dressings all break down material quicker than a clean vest. After it’s clean, check the zippers and lubricate. There are lots of zipper products out there, but good old paraffin works great.
Tackle and Miscellaneous Gear
-Now that you have a big pile after removing it all from your vest, get it organized. Return loose junk to where it belongs. Go through each box and re-sort it. Replace anything you’re low on, then check the box body, hinges and clasps for damage. Check things like swivel-sleeves on floats and replace if necessary; and check hook compartments for moisture. There’s nothing worse than opening up a box of hooks and finding a big rusty mess.
-Check all your tools: Hemostats, yarn scissors, thermometers, nippers, nets and their clips, retractors and lines all need attention. Replace any frayed attachment lines. Polish off any rust or dirt from your tools with some steel wool and put a drop of oil or some WD40 on moving parts like hinges and swivels. Check your retractors and the like for bent pins and straighten them out. Bent pins have a funny habit of popping off your vest when you tug a little too hard on whatever tool it’s supposed to be holding.
Waders and Boots
-Wash down waders and boots with a hose and carefully scrub off any dirt or dried mud, especially from breathable waders. Check the fabric, boots/footies, seams, belts and suspenders for damage. Carefully look over the seam welds, knees and seat areas, especially on breathables.
-If you use wading boots, inspect the stitching, laces, grommets, clips and soles for damage or de-lamination in the case of felt soles. Pull the inner soles out if not attached and flush with a hose to clean out any gravel or sand. All kinds of repairs to waders and boots can be accomplished with Shoo Goo or similar products.
-Inspect the reel mounts, guides, and windings for damage or wear. Touch up any spots where the finish is chipped or thin, especially if thread windings are starting to come through at the guides. Pay particular attention to the top 1/3rd of the rod. With the prevalence of chuck and duck, it’s easy to bounce shot off the rod. Look for chips or signs of crushing on the blank. Touch up chips in the finish. Unfortunately if you have some graphite crushing, breakage is inevitable. Just make sure you have a backup rod the next time you use the one with the ding.
-Take all the line off and take apart what you can. Remove any grease or lubrication from parts first, and then scrub everything. Old toothbrushes, paper towels and Q-Tips make great reel cleaning tools. Inspect parts for wear. Check bail springs and replace if necessary. When you reassemble moving parts, remember that too much lubrication is a bad thing. Go by the manufacturer’s recommendation; if you don’t have that, use tiny amounts of grease or lube. Lubrication of any kind attracts dirt like crazy so you want to find that happy medium between enough and too much.
-Replace any old mono with new. If you use fat line, inspect for nicks, abrasion and cuts. Carefully place the entire length into an old ice cream pail filled with hot water. If you want to use a cleaner/de-greaser, use a quality surfactant like Dawn dishwashing liquid. You will however have to do a second thorough rinse in clean water. Take a clean cloth (old wash cloths work great), get it damp, then start pulling the line out of the pail while running it through the cloth and applying some pressure. If you cut open a garbage-bag and place it on the ground, it makes a nice clean spot to drop your line onto. Repeat this process until you no longer see dirt on the wash cloth. North Shore streams have very fine suspended sediments that eventually coat the line and you’ll be surprised at how much dirt comes off during cleaning. Once it’s clean, let it dry, then apply a line cleaner/dressing. If you’ve never done this process before, you’ll be amazed at how much better your line performs.
So take some time now to go through your gear. Head off those problems now and you’ll have thoroughly enjoyable steelheading later.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Today we still have those regulation booklets and honestly they have come a long way in clarifying the dos and don'ts regarding our north shore fishery. We also have dozens of signs along our rivers explaining the dos and don't as well as specifically stating the use of treble hooks.
If that was not enough, anglers can simply search the internet. Heck, these days, you can search stream side right from your phone. In fact this post will be available streamside to anyone willing to take the time to search the web or scan the UR code from our report cards that went out this spring.
Pictured above is a photo of a a crankbait that is in many o' bass anglers tackle arsenal. Heck, I have a few myself. The problem here is this was pulled out of a north shore river this spring. This vary river has a sign program at a main path entrance point, but still an angler did not take the time to read the sign, the regulations, ask an angler, or search the internet.
So what to do. As an angler you have options. You can do nothing. You can approach the angler. You can take a photo, get a license plate number and call the tip hotline (800.652.9093). Doing nothing is cowarding. Do something.
I would be willing to bet most anglers would probably appreciate you giving them the tip that they could be slapped with a fine if caught using a lure with a treble hook. Refer them to their regulation booklet, reading will explain the area they can use a treble hook. You can also suggest that almost every tackle shop along the north shore is sure to have single hooks that can be used to change out a treble hook. A teaching moment is usually much appreciated. For the cranky pants out there, well, you always have the tip hotline option. Do what is within your comfort zone. No super hero's needed.
Fishing treble hooks within our posted north shore waters is a punishable offence. The regulation is there for a reason, please respect it and help teach it. Those of you who are the good stewards of our beloved north shore we thank you and ask that you keep an eye out your next time on a north shore river. If you see something fishy on the end of one's line, do something.
Tight lines (on a single hook), DB
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Things have pretty well wound down on the Lower and Mid Shores although there are still probably a few fish around. You're really going to have to work for any remaining fish there.
Upper Shore, hard to say. It has undoubtedly turned the corner, problem is there are very few folks out fishing, and even less reporting so the numbers are likely lower than reality. MS got our last report a couple days ago, but that person hooked four, landed three and one bonus coaster fishing only two tribs. One of the hens was dropping eggs so you be the judge.
At any rate, here it is. Dailies from the Mid and Upper coming soon:
Monday, June 03, 2013
Unfortunately we don't have any temp data available for any of the Lower Shore stations. We also lost the Baptism right smack in the middle of things. Fortunately we were able to catch the front-end of the Mid so to speak, so we have some good data there.
Note that the Mid Shore creel numbers didn't increase until we hit the threshold despite flows being there; and again the trend depicted in magenta just helps to visualize a bit better since there are gaps in the daily catch data.
Still fish around for sure. Things are winding down on the lower and Mid Shores, looks like Upper Shore has just turned the corner; but again, there are still fish to be had. Look for flow bumps on the Lower/Mid for your best shot at remaining fish in those regions.
Thursday, May 30, 2013
One of the things that took me a long time to get my head wrapped around was that in my early steelhead formative years, I operated exclusively under the idea that flow was it; like flow was THE THING baby! Flow goes up, go fishing was my mantra.
Now that is a fine rule to live by, except there were these years where I'd be out early in the season, the flow would be killer, and I couldn't buy a fish to save my life. And then there were years where, again early in the run, I'd be fishing out of necessity. Given a choice based on flows, I never would have been out there, but you fish when you can when it is your only opportunity. So given the absolutely dismal flow, and I'm talking like in the 50cfs range on the Knife, steelheading was gangbusters. So what gives?
Being the data-junkie/techno-geek I am, I started spinning all of the data and literature I could get my hands on. Those were the early years before I got my act together and built the front-end analysis tools I use now, but.... sorry, I'm probably boring you to tears already. GET ON WITH IT CLAVIN!
Anyway, long story short, that was the point where I started paying very close attention to the MN DNR's trap data and literature.
The result was that it explained the whole reason why you would get those odd years which just could not be explained by the "Flow is the Thing" school of thought.
Rather than explain, I'll let the data do the talking. Here's the day-by-day breakdown of the Upper Shore creel project:
There's a slight lag between initiation and catch numbers simply because the sample stream is small and tends to warm more quickly than the Upper Shore region in general.
At any rate, with respect to fishing in the tribs themselves, temperatures reaching the initiation threshold trigger the primary upstream migration of adult steelhead. Once temps maintain above this point, subsequent bumps in flow will bring in succeeding runs. You can see this to a degree with the bump on the 18th and 19th of May.
The working theory now is: "Temps are the thing, until they're not, and when they're not, it's flow baby" or something like that...
What does that mean to the average steelheader? Probably not much if you can get out there every day. There certainly are fish around prior to that point, it's just that numbers are much lower than after the point where temps hit. For the steelheader with limited time on their hands? Makes a huge difference knowing when your best shot at fish is, particularly if you have a short window and have to both plan as well as travel.
More to come as soon as I get some more data, but I thought that you might be interested to see why I continue to post these charts and blather on about this topic from year to year. What I'd really like to know is whether this same phenomenon applies to say, WI tribs and steelhead as well as the North Shore fish.
Professor Frink signing off for now-
Friday, May 24, 2013
The point being that, as has been demonstrated by many years of MN DNR trap data, primary upstream migration of adult steelhead in numbers seems to be strongly correlated to average daily stream temperatures reaching approximately 38 degrees F, and that this is mostly independant of flow. So initially it appears that it is temperature which dictates upstream migration regardless of what the flow is. Once temps maintain above this initial threshold, subsequent pushes of fish are then dictated by bumps in flow.
That's not to say we don't get early steelhead moving in and out of the tribs, we are really talking about initial numbers. Note too that kamloops have a slightly lower threshold which is a big reason why we see a lot of loopers being caught earlier, with steelhead making up the bulk of the catch slightly later.
At any rate, here are the updated Mid and upper Shore graphics:
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Friday, May 17, 2013
I think the most important rule to remember is to respect the other angler's space. As to how much space that is, a good rule of thumb is twice as far as you think. On a small stream it might be as far as a mile or more. On a big river 100 feet is good. Unreasonable you say? Bull! Move to the next pool, or down to the riffle leading out of the pool. Distance can be your greatest ally on a stream. That big famous pool with thirty guys beating the water chasing the 10 rising fish, pales when compared to the empty pool with only one or two risers.
If after that long drive, and longer hike you find someone fishing the pool you came all this way to fish, feel free to be disappointed, but do not feel free to wade in. If you are determined to work that favorite stretch, sit on shore and wait till the other guy is done. Better yet go elsewhere.
If some ignorant clod comes into the pool you're working; Explain to him, politely the error of his ways. If that fails and he (or she) decides their fishing is more important than yours. Do not stoop to their level. Hard as it seems, I recommend you move on. First you're less likely to catch anything with a bozo (or bozette) like that in the pool. Second the stress of having to be around this kind of clod is not worth the trouble.
If you're working your way downstream and come across someone working upstream, yield to the angler working upstream. This is an old rule from the time of Hewitt and Gordon.
If you are working your way upstream, and come across someone working upstream only slower than you, get out of the water before entering their pool. Walk at least as far as you could fish in half an hour upstream. Give them plenty of undisturbed water to work. If you know, tell them how far up you expect to go. "I'll leave the water up to the old fence row to you." That way they cannot blame you for not having caught anything. They might also let you know if twenty other guys just traipsed through. They might be on their way out and tell you to go ahead and put in.
In the event you find yourself sharing a pool with one or more anglers, give yield to anyone fighting a fish.
Do not laugh at casting flubs, unless they are your own.
Never second guess another angler's selection of fly.
Avoid using the stream as a path. Walk from pool to pool on the bank. Leave a pool as quietly as you entered it. This means the pool needs less rest for the next angler that comes to it, if you are lucky it may be you.
If you see someone working a fish, or waiting one out, give them a wide berth, preferably by going to the next pool.
Talking to another angler is acceptable, and quite proper.
Not talking to another angler is acceptable, and quite proper.
Do not litter, and do not tolerate litter around you. Pick it up.
If you smoke, take your matches and your butts out with you. Forest fires should happen on their own not with your help, so pay attention.
Respect fences, leave gates the way you found them, close the ones you opened and leave the open ones open.
Show the same respect to spin fishers as you do to fly fishers. Elitism has no place on our rivers. If you really think fly fishers are better, prove it by living up to a higher standard not by expecting less of others
Offer advice only if asked, ask only if willing to listen.
No trespassing means no trespassing. If you really want to fish there, ask permission. You will be surprised how many folks say yes. But NO means NO.
Cellular phones, beepers, radios and television have no place on the river.
Be especially mindful of your manners and language around youngsters. They learn best by example.
Swearing, farting and burping are at the discretion of the angler, and quite acceptable. (Note previous rule.)
Lying is still acceptable, even expected, if asked how you did, or where you were. Lying about the hatch is not as decorous, but tolerated. Lying about your residency is illegal when purchasing a license. Lying in the grass and taking a nap is one of life's great joys.
Never interrupt a lying fisherman.
Enjoy yourself, but not at the expense of someone else's enjoyment.
Catch and Release.
This fantastic article is from our website and written by friend, Agust Gudmundsson
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Friday, May 10, 2013
|DATE: 05/13/2013||Knife River Flow: 188cfs||Sucker River Temp: ??°F|
|DATE: 05/09/2013||Knife River Flow: 827cfs||Sucker River Temp: ??°F|
|DATE: 05/06/2013||Knife River Flow: 724cfs||Sucker River Temp: ??°F|
|DATE: 04/29/2013||Knife River Flow: 1560cfs||Sucker River Temp: ??°F|
|Number Captured||Trap Closed 2013||Trap Closed 2013||Trap Opened||French River|
|DATE: 04/29/2013||Knife River Flow: 1560cfs||Sucker River Temp: ??°F|
|Number Captured||0||0||Sucker Gage|
|Total Captured||0||0||Not Operable 2013|
Trap Numbers are rolling in for 2013. Unfortunately we are still seeing residual fallout from the massive floods of 2012.
The floods in June of 2012 did a number on everything from the streams themselves, to knocking the Sucker Gage and Knife Trap out of commission. This makes our job at MS that much more difficult to provide you with the best information possible. It represents, more even more critically, a significant loss of fisheries data to the hard-working folks at the DNR. This impacts us at MS because the DNR is one of our most important and heavily relied upon information sources for raw data.
At any rate we'll do what we can. We'll just have to get up, dust off and keep on movin' on. I'm still working on the DNR and MS creel data. I hope to have something for you soon.
Saturday, May 04, 2013
As time went on this area gathered snow and ice, and more snow and ice. The massive power of the great gitche gumee further increased the size of the sandbar by bulldozing more and more sand and gravel to the blockade. The combination of ice and gravel over the winter months was nothing short of impressive work by mother nature.
In the weeks and months that followed the original post of the sandbar picture back in October of 2012, there were many of you that expressed concerns about how this would affect the 2013 spring run. As we expected Mother nature took care of herself just fine.
Thursday, May 02, 2013
Our North Shore rivers from Duluth up the shore are flowing hard and strong. Most of them are ice free. Cool air temperatures the past few days have reduced runoff and river levels are dropping, but
are high and very turbid. There is still a substantial amount of snow in the woods which will cause rivers
to rise when the weather warms up and the snow melts. Water temperatures are very cold at 32-34
The lower shore DNR clerk interviewed shore anglers the past few days and anglers caught 16 Kamloops, 3 steelhead, and one coho salmon. All three of the MNDNR creel clerks will be out interviewing anglers starting May 3rd, so a more detailed report will be posted on Monday. Please be respectful of the clerks. providing them with your catch information provides extremely valuable information for the fishery.
Reminder to that we are conducting our own Creel Report (MSCR) along the North Shore this year. The information we gather will provide MS with some valuable data for our not so scientific, but pretty awesome study. Visit our website for more information.
some report info provided with the help of the MNDNR