Sunday, September 16, 2007

North Shore Coasters

Last fall, I caught a number of nice brook trout that may have been my first North Shore "coasters." I wasn't sure if these were the fabled lake run fish or just robust specimens of their stream dwelling cousins. I have no doubt in my mind that I caught multiple bona fide coasters last weekend. I landed twenty brook trout ranging from 10 inches to over 20 inches on multiple rivers all within 200 hundred of Lake Superior. I find it hard to believe that the fish I caught are the same as the "brookies" that inhabit the upper reaches of these streams. I don't doubt that a large "brookie" or two inhabit the lower streches of these rivers, but I find it hard to believe that I would be lucky enough to catch five fish pushing the magical 20" mark in less than 24 hours on 3 separate rivers if there wasn't a lake run going on.

I was thrilled to find these fish in such abundance in these streams. These fish could represent the beginning of comeback in coasters. I have fallen in love with these fish, whose colors match the colors of the leaves and sky that surround the rivers they call home each September.
The possibility that their numbers are increasing erases any concern that Minnesota has stopped stocking chinooks. Who wants to catch ugly kings when you can catch beautiful native fish like these? Of course I am kidding a little, because I myself love a good old tug of war with a king, but one has to remember that the SE Wisconsin tribs are just as close to the Twin Cities as some of the upper North Shore rivers. Fishing the North Shore is about so much more than reel screeming fights.

I used typical pink salmon tackle to target these fish: a five weight fly rod, floating line, a 4 lbs. tippet, and either egg paterns, beadhead nymphs, or streamers. The coasters respond to a more active retrieve than pinks who seem to prefer a dead drift or occaisonaly, a subtle twitch.
Because of the extreme delicacy of this fishery, I can't stress proper Catch 'N Release practices enough. Please photograph and release your fish as quickly as possible.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Council honors past members

News Release From The MN DNR

The Governor’s Council on Minnesota’s Coastal Program recently honored its past members who have served on the advisory board.

At the annual meeting, seven past serving members were acknowledged including:
- Arnold Overby, served eight years as an at-large member
- Robert Pokela, served three years representing Carlton County
- Helena Jackson, served eight years representing St. Louis County
- Louise Thureen, served four years representing Lake County
- Joanne Fay, served eight years representing St. Louis County
- James Hall, served eight years representing Cook County
- Thomas Spence, served seven years representing Cook County

The 15-member board, known as the Coastal Council, is made up of 12 members from the coastal counties of Cook, Lake, St. Louis, and Carlton along with three at-large members. The group is charged with recommending program priorities and grant projects for funding, annually reviewing the program’s administrative budget and reviewing the entire program every two years. The Coastal Council makes recommendations to the commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources.

Click here for more information.

News release has been provided by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. For more info please visit: