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Showing posts from 2009

North Shore Conditions

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In one word, "Ugly"

I did make it out briefly on Sunday, September 20th after completing some work-related training in the area. The short version of the story is that the tribs are too low, too warm, and too many mouths are nearly blocked.

There are a few pinks in certain tribs now however, I did manage to at least hook several. Until we get some significant precipitation things are not going to improve any.

The one upside to this is that, as I've said before, the low water provides the ideal opportunity to get out and scout. Low water reveals details about the streams that can be invaluable during the spring steelhead runs when the tribs are high and dirty; so I count even a hot, sweaty, nearly fishless trip as a success.

Here's to some decent rain and cooler weather, the sooner the better!
NMF

2009 trout stamp selected

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Richard Goodkind of St. Louis Park has won the 2010 Minnesota Trout and Salmon Stamp design contest, the first time Goodkind has won the Minnesota contest. He had entered the contest many times before and was a previous finalist.
His winning entry features an autumn scene depicting a brook trout feeding on a mayfly within the waters of a beaver pond in northeastern Minnesota. Goodkind, who used oil paints for his design, is an avid angler and especially enjoys fishing for brook trout.
The design was selected from among 29 entries in this year’s trout and salmon stamp contest, held Aug. 6 at the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) headquarters in St. Paul. Other finalists were Stephen Hamrick, Lakeville; and Steven Trofka, Maple Grove. The contest, which is conducted annually by the DNR, offers no prizes. The winner, however, retains reprint reproduction rights to the work, which is usually reproduced as a limited edition wildlife print.
A Minnesota trout and salmon stamp is required fo…

Sucker River Flow Resource - NEW

Good News- The money from the Clean Water portion of the Legacy act must be flowing (ugh, another bad pun...)

I was attempting to clean up a program I wrote to extrapolate flows for the various NS tribs and it blew up on me yesterday. After I got done crying (I lost almost 10 years worth of grinding, dull work), I started recapturing data.

I went to the MPCA/DNR archives for some Sucker River data and lo and behold, the sonde was once again transmitting real-time data. This will be yet another very useful tool for Minnesota Steelheaders. The new sonde displays discharge as well as rainfall amounts, just use your pointer. If you hover over the green spikes at the top it will tell you how much rain they got.

So I guess it was one of those serendipitous things. I wouldn't have gone to the archives until early next year sometime and wouldn't have noticed the new live data until then.

I already had some tools developed for the old Sucker station, so it won't take very long to devel…

2009 Spring Wrapup - Updated

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Greetings Minnesota Steelheaders-

I finally had the (delayed) opportunity to run some numbers from the 2009 Lower North Shore Spring Run and there are a few items of note. One important item illustrated here is the strong temperature-return correlation for Steelhead as well as Kamloops. While fish were undoubtedly in the streams as soon as they opened up (I saw a number of them in early April when there was still ice), once again we see that average stream temperatures which hit 40 degrees play a strong role in the start of upstream migrations of North Shore fish. You can use this information to your advantage when trying to locate active fish early in the run no matter what part of the North Shore you prefer. The following are plots of 2008-2009 Knife River Steelhead captures by date against both temperature and flow:

(Click images for larger version)















Note that while the temperatures listed are for a couple different streams (real-time data is hard to come by), the overall temps were tr…

MN Steelheader on Kent Hrbek Outdoors

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This past April we did a little TV shoot with Kent Hrbek Outdoors - see earlier post. Below is a link on show times.

http://www.khotv.com/show-times.php

Check out out and feel free to post your comments here.

Fishing Report 5-18-09

Water temperatures ranged from 46-55 degrees on the Lower Shore, 44-52 on the Middle Shore, and 42-49 on the Upper Shore. Interviewed anglers caught 2 Steelhead and 2 Kamloops on the Lower Shore, 3 Steelhead on the Middle Shore, and 9 Steelhead, 2 Kamloops, and 2 brook trout on the Upper Shore from Friday through Sunday.

Flows have decreased on Lower Shore streams, and streams are fairly low, clear, and warm. A few fresh fish have continued to move into Lower Shore streams each day this past week. Middle Shore streams are holding their water and fish and will likely do so for the next couple of weeks. Runs of fish are occurring on Upper Shore streams, which should have fish through the end of the month.

Trap totals after running the traps today are 245 unclipped steelhead, 215 clipped steelhead, and 46 Kamloops at the Knife River, and 382 Kamloops, 76 unclipped steelhead, and 8 clipped steelhead at the French River.

Fishing Report 5-15-09

Water temperatures ranged from 57-61 degrees on the Lower Shore, 46-50 on the Middle Shore, and 47-52 on the Upper Shore. Interviewed anglers caught 1 Steelhead and 1 Kamloops on the Lower Shore, 5 Steelhead on the Middle Shore, and 2 Steelhead and 2 brook trout on the Upper Shore from Monday through Thursday.

Flows have decreased on Lower Shore streams, and streams are fairly low, clear, and warm. A few fresh fish have continued to move into Lower Shore streams each day this past week. Middle Shore streams are holding their water and fish and will likely do so for the next couple of weeks. Runs of fish are occurring on Upper Shore streams, which should have fish through the end of the month. Angling pressure has been light since walleye opener, despite catch rates being good for those fishing.

Trap totals after running the traps today are 236 unclipped steelhead, 209 clipped steelhead, and 44 Kamloops at the Knife River, and 361 Kamloops, 74 unclipped steelhead, and 8 clipped ste…

Fishing Report 5-11-09

Water temperatures ranged from 48-55 degrees on the Lower Shore, 46-56 on the Middle Shore, and 47-49 on the Upper Shore. Interviewed anglers caught 7 Steelhead and 12 Kamloops on the Lower Shore, 44 Steelhead and 3 Kamloops on the Middle Shore, and 9 Steelhead on the Upper Shore from Friday through Sunday.

Flows have decreased a lot on Lower Shore streams since flows peaked last Wednesday, and streams are getting fairly low, clear, and warm. Just a few fresh fish are moving into Lower Shore streams each day at this point in time. Middle Shore streams are holding their water and fish and will likely do so for the next couple of weeks. Early runs of fish are just starting on Upper Shore streams, which should have fish through the end of the month.

Trap totals after running the traps today are 214 unclipped steelhead, 199 clipped steelhead, and 42 Kamloops at the Knife River, and 348 Kamloops, 70 unclipped steelhead, and 8 clipped steelhead at the French River.


report provided by the MN DN…

Fishing report 5-8-09

Water temperatures ranged from 50-60 degrees on the Lower Shore, 48-55 on the Middle Shore, and 43-47 on the Upper Shore. Interviewed anglers caught 14 Steelhead and 14 Kamloops on the Lower Shore, 41 Steelhead and 6 Kamloops on the Middle Shore, and 6 Steelhead on the Upper Shore from Monday through Thursday.

Flows increased shorewide, due to thunderstorms on May 5th and 6th that produced approximately ½ inch of rain shorewide. Lower Shore streams have peaked; however, as long as the streams hold their water fish will be present. The Middle Shore streams are peaking and fish will also remain in the streams as long as they hold their water. Upper Shore streams will be peaking over the next week or so, based on stream temps and flows.

Trap totals after running the traps today are 201 unclipped steelhead, 190 clipped steelhead, and 38 Kamloops at the Knife River, and 316 Kamloops, 62 unclipped steelhead, and 8 clipped steelhead at the French River.

Steelhead Buddies

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I want to thank a few great steelheaders for helping make the the KHO filming last week a success.

First off, thanks to Dr. Jef Somrock. I have know Jeff for about 17 years. He has been an integral part of the Lake Superior Steelhead Association (LSSA) over the years, acting as President for the past 14 years, and a heck of a local steelheader.

Jeff and I meet at a lower shore river Wednesday morning and exchanged stories, tips and flies. Jeff even gave K. Hrbek some "go to" flies that were ideal for the conditions we were about to fish. Thanks Jeff!

Next I wish to thanks Andy Burda. Andy has been with Minnesota Steelheader from the start as a field staffer. Andy shares his techniques, tips, reports and photos for all to enjoy. In fact, he shared some great tips upon our meeting at our first filming location. We meet up with Andy stream side for a filming segment on fly selections. You just might get a glimpse of his secret weapons on the final edit. Thanks again Buddy!

And las…

Fishing Report 5-4-09

Water temperatures ranged from 46-54 degrees on the Lower Shore, 40-49 on the Middle Shore, and 36-40 on the Upper Shore.

Interviewed anglers caught 29 Steelhead and 36 Kamloops on the Lower Shore, 34 Steelhead and 5 Kamloops on the Middle Shore, and 4 Steelhead on the Upper Shore on Friday through Sunday. Flows are decreasing and streams are running cleaner and clearer shorewide. Lower Shore streams have peaked; however, as long as the streams hold their water fish will be present. The Middle Shore streams are peaking and will so for the next week. Interviewed anglers caught fish in Upper Shore streams for the first time this weekend, and the run is just starting.

Knife River trap totals are 177 unclipped steelhead, 165 clipped steelhead, and 28 Kamloops. French River trap totals are 264 Kamloops, 51 unclipped steelhead, and 6 clipped steelhead.Water temperatures have exceeded 45 degrees overnight on the Lester every night since last Thursday, which is when the smelt spawn.

Fishing Report 5-1-09

Water temperatures ranged from 38-46 degrees on both the Lower and Middle Shore, and were 35-37 on the Upper Shore.

Interviewed anglers caught 26 Steelhead, 20 Kamloops, and 1 Coho on the Lower Shore, 3 Steelhead and 2 Kamloops on the Middle Shore, and nothing on the Upper Shore on Monday through Thursday.

Water temperatures entered the optimal 42-45 degree range for a day here and there on the Lower and Middle Shore this past week, but cold fronts and cold nights have dropped water temps back to the 38-40 degree range every other day. As a result, fishing has been inconsistent for anglers that fish every day. The Middle Shore streams will peak in the next week, so anglers should now focus their attention on those. Up to two feet of snow is still present in the woods north of Grand Marais, so wait until after walleye opener to head up there. Flows are decreasing and streams are running cleaner and clearer on the Lower and Middle shore; however, upper shore streams continue to run high, …

Fishing Report 4-29-09

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This past week we were invited by Hrbek Outdoors Television to be the "celeberty" guest for a north Shore Steelheading adventure episode... we naturally said yes! We fished and filmed all day Wednesday along the Middle shore streams. Water temps varied from 39f to 45 in the afternoon, perfect conditions. After talking with anglers, the morning fishing was pretty slow for everyone, including us. The afternoon however was a different story. We managed to get a few Steelies on film, a moose, bald eagle, and deer for what should be a great show. Check back later in May,we will post the date the Show will air - sometime in June. If you have not been out to fish, get out. This is a great time. Most the rivers are fishable and have fish. We are waiting for one of our field staffers to report in for the upper shore rivers. Our Guess at this point is that the upper shore is still a few days from a good run, but as most of you know, that could change before you are done reading th…

Fishing Report 4-27-09

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Water temperatures ranged from 39-46 degrees on the Lower Shore, 37-46 on the Middle Shore, and 33-36 on the Upper Shore.

Interviewed anglers caught 27 Steelhead, 27 Kamloops, and 2 Coho on the Lower Shore, 8 Steelhead and 2 Kamloops on the Middle Shore, and nothing on the Upper Shore on Saturday and Sunday. The run peaked last Wednesday through Friday on the Lower Shore, and will likely peak on the Middle Shore sometime late this week or early into next week. Rain totals from Sunday averaged around one inch in Two Harbors, Finland, and Grand Marais, resulting in flows increasing shorewide.

Streams on the entire shore are now high and turbid due to the rains; however, Lower Shore streams are carrying very little debris. The amount of debris in the water increases as one progresses up the shore. Upper shore streams are currently very high, turbid, carry a lot of debris, and have some shelf ice remaining.

The Knife River trap had 17 steelhead and 2 Kamloops on Saturday, 11 steelhead and 4…

Fishing Report 4-24-09

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The rivers are open on the entire shore. Water temperatures ranged from 36-37 degrees in the morning and 41-45 degrees in the afternoon on the Lower Shore. Water temperatures throughout the day range from 34-40 on the Middle Shore and 33-36 on the Upper Shore.

Interviewed anglers caught 12 Steelhead and 20 Kamloops on the Lower Shore, 14 Steelhead and 5 Kamloops on the Middle Shore, and nothing on the Upper Shore this past week. The run is peaking from the Lester to the Stewart right now and will be peaking on most Middle Shore streams within the next week. Flows on the Lower Shore streams have been declining and clearing up for the past week; however predicted weekend rains might add some more color to the water and increase flows. Middle Shore streams have decreasing flows and are starting to clear up and carry less debris, while and Upper shore streams are still turbid, have some shelf ice remaining, and carry some debris.
The Knife River trap had 1 steelhead on Monday, 9 on Tuesday…

Fishing Report 4-20-09

The rivers go from being open on the Lower Shore and Middle Shore, to semi-open on the Upper Shore. Water temperatures ranged from 35-36 degrees in the morning and 38-42 degrees in the afternoon on the Lower Shore. Water temperatures throughout the day range from 34-37 on the Middle Shore and 33-35 on the Upper Shore.

Interviewed anglers caught 18 Kamloops, 11 Steelhead, and 1 Coho on the Lower Shore, 1 Steelhead on the Middle Shore, and nothing on the Upper Shore this past weekend. The run will likely peak on the Lower Shore this week (Thursday and Friday) if afternoon air temperatures are in the 50’s and 60’s with sunshine, as predicted. Flows on the Lower Shore crested on Saturday and are now declining. Lower shore streams are also clearing up and carrying less debris, while Middle and Upper shore streams are still very turbid and carry ice chunks and debris.

The Knife River trap had 14 steelhead in it on Saturday after a warm sunny day on Friday (72 degrees), but a cold front …

Fishing report: 4-17-09

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The rivers go from being open on the Lower Shore and Middle Shore, to semi-open on the Upper Shore. The MN DNR spring creel survey has been going for one week on the Lower Shore, while it started yesterday on the Middle Shore, and today on the Upper Shore.

Water temperatures ranged from 34-35 degrees in the morning and 38-41 degrees in the afternoon on the Lower Shore. Water temperatures throughout the day range from 33-36 on the Middle Shore and 33-34 on the Upper Shore. Interviewed anglers caught 9 Kamloops and 9 Steelhead on the Lower Shore, and 3 Steelhead on the Middle Shore the past four days. It is still early in the run on the Lower Shore.

In general, water temperatures must exceed 40 degrees for Steelhead and Kamloops to migrate upstream. Flows on the Lower Shore are peaking, continue to be turbid, and are still carrying some debris in the afternoons.

The Knife River trap was opened on 4/12/09 and has sampled 6 Steelhead this past week. Flows at the French River continue to be …

Fishing report: 4-13-09

The rivers on the Lower Shore (Lester, French, Sucker, and Knife) are open. Further up, semi-open on the Middle Shore (Stewart, Silver, Gooseberry, Split Rock, Beaver, and Baptism), and frozen on the Upper Shore (Cross, Temperance, Poplar, Cascade, Devil Track, Kadunce, and Brule).

The MN DNR started their spring creel survey on the Lower Shore this past Friday (4/10/09). Water temperatures ranged from 34 degrees in the morning to 38 degrees in the afternoon on all four rivers. The DNR reports that interviewed anglers caught 11 Kamloops, 8 Steelhead, and 4 Coho Salmon. The creel survey on the Middle Shore will start on Thursday, (4/16/09) and on Friday (4/17/09) on the Upper Shore.

It is still very early in the run on the Lower Shore. In general, water temperatures must exceed 40 degrees for steelhead and Kamloops to migrate upstream. Flows on the Lower Shore continue to increase and are currently high and turbid.

The Knife River trap was opened for the first time on Sunday. The French a…

Fishing Report 4-9-09

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Slow going but the steelhead have started their run!

One of our Duluth contacts fished last night and this morning. Water was 38 in the Lester and 37 in the Stewart. Dropped to 33 on both as of this morning.

One wild steelie (unclipped/untagged) and two loopers caught on the 7th, no fish this morning. Still a fair amount of shelf/anchor ice around in certain places but some rivers almost 100% fishable (Lester/Sucker)

The South Duluth creeks and Nemadji loop from Tischer south to the St. Louis, and over to State Line weres fishable as of the 3/28. The snow did a number on them for a few days, but as of last Friday the conditions were good... no steelhead caught in this area as of 3/28. Also, as of 3:21 today it is 52f in Silver Bay...

Fising Report - 4-7-09

Conditions? Not there yet.

We are waiting for our staff and volunteers to report in for the weekly stream report. As of last Friday the rivers were still in rough shape, though we had a report that some die-hard fishermen were out fishing some rivers with openings amongst the ice. If you venture out be prepared for cold, dirty water and ice... bright egg flies are to the go to pattern in such conditions.

Today we received a report from the Finland area. Now I know what you are thinking, what does Finland, MN have to do with the North shore conditions? Everything, if you are a mid-shore steelheader. For those unaware, a great number of the mid shore rivers have headwaters several miles inland. These headwaters are still ice covered and packed in with snow. The daytime temperatures have hardly been above freezing and the night temps have been averaging in the 20's. What this means? It is still winter 12 miles inland for the mid & upper shore rivers. This morning we were i…

03.28.2009 Fishing Report Update

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As of March 28th, tribs from Castle Danger south to Duluth were well on their way to opening up. Still lots of anchor/shelf ice here and there, but we're very close. I would not be surprised to hear of kamloops already in certain streams. The mouth of the French (shown at right), was open enough that fish could certainly run it. The ice you see was Lake ice blown in against shore due to a strong northeasterly wind.

Tribs from Duluth south and over to just beyond Iron River are open and fishable with some of the smaller ones climbing into the mid to upper 30's already.
Regards-
NMF

Fishing Report - 3-23-09

Spring is here and the steelhead run is just around the corner...literally!

We will be posting weekly reports on General fishing conditions up the shore throughout the spring run. We also encourage all of our readers to either post or email us your reports. You will see at the bottom of each post there is a "comments" link. Simply click here to add your additional information to the current post. You can also email us any fishing reports or pertinent info and we will be glad to post it here on our blog.

As of today the rivers still have ice. The heavy rains are making conditions a bit nasty with water flowing over the ice. We are thinking that the conditions should improve some time next week, unless more rain is to come.

Tight lines to all this spring!

Healthy Rivers: A Water Course

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Healthy Rivers: A Water Course is a captivating online (new!) or CD-ROM program to understand the ecology, management, and stewardship of river and stream systems.
A user-friendly multimedia tool, Healthy Rivers features:
~ 220+ screens of information exploring the complexity and diversity of river systems.

~ 540+ color photos and 70+ maps, illustrations, and graphic animations.

~ Over 100 audio interviews, video clips, and music segments.

~ More than 100 links within the program, 100+ links to external web sites, and a complete bibliography of over 100 references.

The Healthy Rivers program explains natural structure and function of river systems using a five-component framework of flow, shape, connections, quality, and life. Six case studies examine the history of river use and provide a basis for a future vision of water resource management. A section explores the true value of river system goods and services, which leads to inspiring examples of local leaders and practical, action-ori…

Good Shades are a must

Do not leave home without them!

Each year we visit this issue and by now we hope you all understand the basic reasons why proper eye protection with great UV blocking is needed. We won't spend time on that but rather give you some info on new glasses we have been testing - WileyX.

Serious fishing enthusiasts know how crucial it is to protect their gear and themselves from the outside elements — from waterproof/windproof and moisture wicking garments to tackle and gear covers, savvy anglers utilize every opportunity for protection against extreme conditions. Wiley X, Inc.®, a leading provider of protective eyewear for American combat troops in action around the world, knows a thing or two about protection in rugged conditions — hence the introduction of the newest addition to its extremely popular Climate Control Series™ line of eyewear, the Wiley X Jake™ with Polarized Emerald Mirror lenses and Gloss Black frame.

Like every piece of eyewear in the Wiley X Climate Control Series, the…

Signs of Spring

North Shore Steelheaders-

If you live in the Northland, you probably think I'm nuts given some parts of the Shore just got upwards of 14" of new snow and it is about minus 2 out; but there are signs that steelheading is just around the corner.

Near my home, the Chickadees and Cardinals are beginning to sing their spring songs on warmer mornings, and tom turkeys are beginning to show more than a passing interest in hens.

The big one for me though is that just before we got hit with this latest round of snow, some of the streams on the South Shore were beginning to show signs of the daily freeze-thaw cycle that starts the process of opening up the rivers; and the North Shore won't be too far behind. I won't rehash old posts, but you'll get the idea by clicking Here

Historically, steelhead runs have begun on Lower Shore streams by just under a month from now! If you haven't started already, time to start going over the gear, patching holes in the waders, replacing ol…

Cool opportunity with your kids

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Don't Miss FishFair on Saturday, February 28th from 9 am to 4 pm at the New Hope Church (formerly known as Crystal Evangelical Free, the church is located at the northeast intersection of Hwy 169 and Rockford Road at 4225 Gettysburg Ave. N. in New Hope, MN).
Activities include a live trout pond, minnow races, fishing games, adventure activities, camp displays, information booths, hands-on demonstrations, and seminars by local fishing personalities. The MN DNR MinnAqua Program will provide a variety of activities that teach kids fishing skills including: knot tying, how to identify Minnesota fish and creating your own fish print! Concessions will be available to help you "feed" just like that other fair in Minnesota.
Admission is only $3 or $10 for families of 4 or more. Every family will receive a free gift bag loaded with great gifts, and sponsor discounts. Scouts in uniform will receive $1 off the price of admission.

New Flow Resource Available

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I don't know how long this is going to last, but the Baptism River Gauge is back up and running! Having access to this information gives you critical insight as to what steelhead may be doing on any given day, and this gauge adds a sorely needed Mid-Shore flow resource to your tool-kit.

Thanks to the Cooperative DNR/MPCA Stream Gaging program, you now have a window into not only what the Baptism is doing, but also what conditions on other streams in the immediate area are probably like. Hopefully with the additional dollars from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, this gauge will continue to be funded.

I'll be monitoring the data-stream from this gauge, and hope to have some useful tools developed for understanding what the gauge is telling you soon. Until then, here's the link:

Baptism River Gauge

Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo

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Passing on some info from our friend, Tom Helgeson who is once again bringing us the Great Waters Fly fishing expo... THANKS TOM!

Experience the best in fly fishing at the 2009 Great Waters Fly Fishing Expos in Chicago and Minneapolis.

Emphasizing education, adventure and conservation. Led by international fly fisher and acclaimed photographer Brian O’Keefe and Madison River outfitter and author Kelly Galloup, both expos will feature regional and national fly anglers and tiers who will help you take your fly fishing to a new level.

Regional presenters and fly tiers will include Tim Holschlag, Pat Ehlers, Tim Landwehr, Kevin Feenstra, Wendy Williamson and Larry Mann, Indiana writer Brandon Butler, Ohio's Great Lakes guide Jerry Darkes, Midwest Fly Fishing magazine fly tying columnist Dennis Potter, artist and guide Bob White, muskie hunters Robert Tomes and Brad Bohen, Michigan tier Jeff “Bear” Andrews and others to be named in the weeks to come.

Check out the link for more details - …

Got the bug for trout?

The 2009 winter season for lake and stream trout in all Minnesota lakes will open Jan. 15, and close March 31, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

In past years, winter trout season dates were different for Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) lakes, trout lakes outside the BWCAW and those on the Canadian border. Legislation enacted after the 2008 Fishing Regulations booklet was printed changed the winter trout season dates for all lakes, making the information printed on pages 14, 15 and 45 incorrect.
The only exception to the statewide winter season is that lakes in Becker, Beltrami, Cass, Crow Wing and Hubbard counties are closed to winter stream trout fishing. Blue Lake in Hubbard County is the only lake within those counties where stream trout can be caught during the winter season.

Winter season dates for lake trout and stream trout in lakes, as well as other corrections and changes that have occurred since the 2008 Fishing Regulations booklet…

Rod and Reel Swap Shop Event

Upgrade your gear with Great Lakes Fly Company's Rod and Reel Swap Shop Event.

From January through February 2009. Finally a chance for you you to take your old rod and reel or gear and get that new high performance rod and reel or anything in the store. The sale of products is applied as store credit or direct sale only and not redemeble as cash! Just bring your product down to the store or send it to us and include you name, address, phone number and prices. We will display the products and let you know when it sells.


Conact info:
Great LakesFly Company
313 W Superior St.Duluth, MN 55802
218-740-3040