Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Latest Data from Minnesota Steelheader

Well, surprise surprise... Steelhead are still active on the Lower Shore. This last bit of precipitation brought yet another push of fish into Lower Shore tributaries. Fish were reported in nearly all tribs from Split Rock South. Better yet, Upper Shore fish are still active with a mix of bright, spawning and darker fish all being reported from the Arrowhead Brule South to the Cross.

Add to that a smattering of Coasters and even Coho being taken in the outflows and it makes for some interesting days. I've also received a report of two confirmed Loopers being taken from the outflow of one Upper Shore trib. This however is not good news. Limiting genetic introgression (the introduction of Looper DNA) into naturalized steelhead stocks is the reason the DNR only stocks Loopers from Two Harbors South. When they wander and interbreed, it causes problems.

There should also be Lakers starting to show up near tributary outflows adding to the mixed bag possibilities for late North Shore Fishing.

Regards and Good Fishing!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

More Lower Shore Data from Minnesota Steelheader

The Lower North Shore is winding down but there are a few items to note. First, the Lower Shore steelhead run has been a bit more prolonged than usual so far in that we are usually seeing diminishing returns at this point. Currently, returns are at a higher level of returns in the latter weeks compared to an average year.

Secondly, we should start seeing the first of the dropbacks from the upper reaches of larger systems like the Knife. These fish tend to stay in the system for 20-30 days, then return to the lake according to DNR data. And while it's not fast and furious fishing as during the run peaks, it means that you can extend your season a bit if you're willing to be patient and work for fish.

Lastly, Upper Shore returns should be near or at their peaks although with the low flows, much of the fish movement will be in low-light periods or at night. Often, fishing those first and last few minutes of the day for fresh-run fish can pay dividends and make or break a day. Particularly in the types of conditions we are experiencing right now. Lets all hope for a bit of rain.


Sunday, May 06, 2007


Fishing pressure is down...

Fishing pressure is dropped at just about every location we visited this week. Water levels continued to drop over the last weekend in April and are expected to stay low in clear through most of the week. Hopefully we should get some rain over the up in coming weekend.

The anglers out fishing are reporting average success rates on both Kamloops and steelhead at the Lester, French, Sucker and Knife rivers with yarn being the go to method. Seems as though not a lot of anglers are using flies these days on the lower rivers. As the temperatures rise we recommend digging a little deeper into your fly box. You can check out our "fly box" for some ideas if you are uncertain on what flies to use. As a rule of thumb, dull down the fly color as the rivers clear up. By the way, River temperatures are ranging from the upper 40s to the mid 50s and running clear.

We saw minimal fishing pressure on several middle shore rivers this week. The overcast conditions early in the week helped increase hook-ups with several anglers. Water levels continue to drop with temperatures peaking in the 50s.

Not to much action spotted in the Grand Marais area early in the week tough, Steelhead were reported caught from the Temperance, up to the Brule. Water levels are low and continue to drop...we need some rain! The smaller tributaries are really low with only a few fish visible if you are lucky. Water temperatures were in the mid 50s on the larger rivers.

As of Thursday, the DNR reports trap operations at the French River have counted a total of 64 unclipped steelhead, 13 clipped steelhead, and 581 Kamloops. The totals for the Knife River are 143 unclipped steelhead, 154 clipped steelhead and 21 Kamloops. The DNR also stated, "Anglers should be aware that there is a research study going on with archival tags recording temperature and depth implanted in Kamloops and steelhead. These fish will possess a tag printed with $50 reward for return, MNDNR Duluth, call 218-525-0853 x223. Anglers should return the whole fish, without freezing, so that we can obtain growth and diet information along with the tags".

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