Showing posts from 2010

Effective PT Nymph Variant Pattern

While we're on the subject, here is a very productive Pheasant Tail variant: The PM Stone.

A buddy of mine showed me this pattern as he demolished pink salmon after pink salmon at the Baptism one afternoon while I was resigned to playing tiddly-winks for lack of better things to do.

I've subsequently caught everything from panfish to inland trout, to steelhead & chinook/coho salmon on this pattern. Just size the hook/fly appropriately to species. Where legal such as on the Brule, this fly makes an absolutely deadly dropper.

Pattern illustrated was tied for salmon on a #10 TMC 2457 with 0.025 lead wire under the thorax & no bead.

Hook: TMC 2457
Thread: Black 70-140 Denier based on fly sizing
Bead: Gold or Copper optional
Weight: 6-8 turns of 0.010-0.030 lead wire (optional & to size)
Tail: 8-10 Rooster Pheasant barbs from the bottom 1/2 of the tail
Abdomen: 2-4 long Peacock Herl barbs
Thorax: 2-4 long Peacock Herl barbs
Shellback/Wing Pad: 8-10 Rooster Pheasant barbs
Gills: 8-1…

What are you doing in the "Off Season"

As NMF stated in the previous post, the off season is a great time to go through your gear and review your notes. The mapping info he has provided is also a terrific plan and I strongly recommend following his lead.  Having a good grasp on the water you will fish is essential for increasing your likelihood of  an excursion with fish on the end of your line.

This time of year is also a great time to start tying flies or if you do not, maybe start giving it some serious thought.  If you are like several of us here at MS, you not only fish, you also do a bit of hunting.  Personally, I enjoy a few weekends each year out in the prairies of South Dakota pursuing the clever Ringnecks that have been in wonderful abundance over the past decade.  This passion is mostly due to my inherent love of the outdoors and the joy of upland hunting that started in my youth,  though the camaraderie with buddies, enjoying great table fair and the collection of an endless supply of tying materials is not wi…

Map Magic

Now that everything is locked up in ice until spring, all we can do is dream about the tribs opening up again. But there are some important things you can do to get ready for next spring's runs. There are all the usual tasks: Wiping down rods, cleaning ferrule joints, swabbing guides, cleaning reels and backing down drags, cleaning line, repairing waders etc. All important tasks because North Shore tribs and the sediment they carry are heck on equipment.

Then there are things like restocking the fly-boxes, making leaders or slinkies, tying spawn... If you're like me, the vest finally gets pulled out of the trunk and gets a once-over. My vest is usually an atrocious collection of debris and junk come November that takes hours to sort out, having been piled into the car in late March and staying there until freeze-up. Even simple things like waxing a stubborn zipper can save you from big headaches later on.

I also like to go back over notes I've made so that I can do some wint…

Lake Superior Coasters and Sulfide Mining

This is not a video about the coaster brook trout of our waters, but with mining interests and exploration around the entire Lake Superior region, it is a great refresher course as to what the byproduct of a Sulfide Mine is.  Watch all the way to the end.

DNR seeks comments on Grand Marais area lake and stream management plans

(Released November 15, 2010)

 Citizens interested in learning about or commenting on Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) strategies for managing Grand Marais area lakes and streams have until Dec. 31, to ask questions or submit comments.

“Management plans describe the past, present and desired future conditions of the waters,” said Steve Persons, Grand Marais Area Fisheries supervisor. “The plans identify specific management activities planned for that lake or stream in the next five to 20 years.”
Every year DNR fisheries staff prepares or revises individual lake and stream management plans for several waters in each management area.

The Rivers that have special interest to us here at Minnesota Steelheader are the two rivers that are habitable to migratory and young Steelhead.  The rivers are:

Flute Reed River - managed for steelhead, plan will focus on acquisition, habitat protection and restoration, and monitoring. Onion River - managed for brook trout and steelhead, plan w…

Tom Helgeson 1939 - 2010

"On Friday, November 12, the world of fly fishing lost one of its most passionate practitioners; those concerned about the stewardship of natural resources lost an eloquent advocate; those who fished with him lost a mentor; and those who knew him as a friend lost a priceless companion."

Tom was most recently noted as the owner of Midwest Fly Fishing Magazine and the founder and producer of the annual Great Water Fly Fishing Shows.

Our good buddy Paul Hanson with Sporting Life Outfitters said:  "When I started guiding in 1991 it was Tom who gave me the advice and encouragement to do so. I will miss his humor and wisdom. See you on the next river Tom. God Bless."

A memorial service for Tom will be held on Saturday, November 20th, at 2 pm at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 700 Snelling Ave, So, St. Paul MN.  You can also visit his website for future information: Midwest Fly Fishing
I hope you found time in your busy day to reflect on the importance of this honorable day. We sure did and we are thankful for all who have served this blessed country of ours.

Over the years I have meet many who have not known anyone who has served this country through one of our military branches. I have also meet many who have never walked up to thank a solder or veteran for the service they gave or our giving.

With so many great heroes out there I thought it would be appropriate to share with you one Metal of Honor recipients citation, this one from a not so popular war. His name is Ed Freeman.

Not only has Captain Freeman received a Metal of Honor for his valiant acts of heroism in Vietnam but he also lived to receive it. Captain Freeman also fought in WWII and in Korea, most notably at the horrific battle of Porkchop Hill where he was 1 of the 14 of 256 soldiers who survived the first stage of that battle.

Here is how Captain Ed Freeman's official metal of Honor Citation re…

What a Beauty

Do you have any great shots of steelhead from 2010 or past seasons?  We would love to post them!

You can email pictures by submit through our website or through facebook.

Thanks to our friend Dale Eggen for posting this picture of a bright steelie on our Facebook page.

Sucker River Restoration Project

In May 2009 the Minnesota Legislature appropriated $2,050,000 to enable Minnesota Trout Unlimited to undertaken trout stream habitat improvement projects in 10 counties around the state.  In March 2009 the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council had recommended full funding of MNTU’s proposal to improve coldwater habitat in eleven streams. By June 2011 over 14 miles of streams will be restored and enhanced by MNTU’s seven chapters with the assistance of the Minnesota DNR and other conservation groups. The projects will stabilize stream banks, improve water quality, and increase habitat for trout and non-game species.
How does this impact steelhead on the North Shore? Well, it really doesn't directly, but it does help improve fish and fishing quality on a section of accessible trout water on a great North Shore watershed - The Sucker River. 
The Sucker River project will restore and enhance year-round adult trout cover and habitat to provide a stable brook trout fishery.  Work includes…

A Fall Day with Dad

For those of you outside  the Twin Cities, Chris Niskanen is the long-time Outdoors Editor for the St. Paul Pioneer Press.  He covers just about everything that has to do with the outdoors across the Midwest.  He also runs the Outdoors Now blog - a great blog too I might add!  Today he featured a story on his blog that pertains to the previous post here on Minnesota Steelheader.
You can click here to read this story about a fall day fishing....enjoy.

Coho Salmon Time

A couple of us were up on the upper shore the past couple days for a somewhat impromptu pursuit of fish and birds. In short success all around.  The Grouse we plentiful and so were the fish.

The Pink Salmon we saw were all well into the fall run.  we saw several fish spawning and nearly all fish observed showed the signs that their end was soon to arrive.  Even with the fish in the condition they were in they still were spunky little buggers.  Speaking of buggers...used 'em almost exclusively and just today witnessed several pinks swim out of their comfort zone to whack my tasty looking treat.

Coho were far and few but check out the picture.  This was caught yesterday evening at a terminal hole on an upper shore river.  This fish hit with a BAM and was dime bright to boot!  This coho measured 20" on the rodrule.  Average on the North Shore is in the 17-18" with some in the 22" class but that is about it.

A few small coaster were taking the fly as well but it is stil…

Fishing Report update

Reminder to those of you who are also inland trout fishermen or fisherwomen.  The season officially closes on Thursday, September 30th.

Inland waters on the North Shore are those waters above each of the posted boundaries.  You can check out our website for a printable list of these locations.  Note that not all rivers use HWY 61 as the upstream boundary so be sure to read the regulations.  A link to the regulations is posted on our home page. Having said that, the water below the posted boundaries is open year round, Though not all species can be harvested year round.  Please observe the signs posted and read up on the regulations.

A couple of us will be heading out in the morning for a two day trip in search for some great fall fishing. Our buddies with the DNR just informed us that fish are in the rivers and plenty of them: Brookies, Browns, Pinks & Coho.  We will try to get a post up before the weekend to bring you all up to date on conditions and fish.  If you can, get out an…

Fishing Report 9-24-10

North Shore Pink Salmon Report

The pink salmon run on the lower North Shore Rivers has peaked and the number of fish entering is on the decline. On Monday, 15 pink salmon were caught at the Knife River trap and by Wednesday, only 5 were in the trap. Anglers report they can still see them in the river; however, it appears the peak of the run on the Lower Shore has passed. Lake surface water temperatures were in the mid 50s.

The upper shore rivers are still showing some decent numbers of Pink salmon in several of the rivers.  Good numbers of Pink salmon were visible in the Temperance, Cascade and Brule rivers.

Some info provided by the MN DNR

FDA to consider approval of modified salmon

No, this is not a "News of the Weird" or some sort of spoof article.  Some people actually think it is better for us if we also have a salmon that has been genetically altered.  Not sure about you, but I think God did just fine on the mighty salmon the first time around.

September 20, 2010
By Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press Writer

Washington (AP) - Federal food regulators pondered Monday whether to say, for the first time, that it's OK to market a genetically engineered animal as safe for people to eat.

The Food and Drug Administration is holding two days of hearings on a request to market genetically modified salmon. Ron Stotish, CEO of AquaBounty, the Massachusetts company that made the marketing request, said at the meeting Monday that his company's fish product is safe and environmentally sustainable.

Critics, however, call the modified salmon "frankenfish" that could cause allergies in humans and the eventual decimation of the wild salmon popul…

A nice '09 Pink

Hers is a shot of D. Allen with a nice fall run North Shore Pink Salmon. This was caught mid-September and he went 22"! This is a biggie by Minnesota Standards.

Thanks for sharing your photo!

Fishing Report 9-16-10

Wednesday brought with it gray skies and drizzle rain all day.  It was enough rain to keep you in rain gear all day but not quite enough to bring up water levels.

I fished the middle shore area with great success - coasters and Pinks.  Key is to find a river with a decent flow.  This ruled out all the lower shore rivers for me.  The First river remotely worthy to stop at was the Split Rock.  Problem here is the wayside is closed - getting a new face lift.

 All fish caught were aggressive and had no problem snapping up my dysfunctional woolly bugger.  The best success was actually casting into the lake right at the river mouth.  The low water kept most of the visible river fish a bit uneasy and skittish, though with some stealth in fly delivery, and good water depth, fish are very catchable.


Saturdays catch

Our buddy John sent us some picks and info from a Saturday outing.  He had no problem catching plenty of fresh run Pinks.  Pictured here is a nice bright Pink fresh in from the big Lake.  

All the fish John reported were fresh, bright and aggressive.  He used a #10 streamer and stripped near the bottom with fish aggressively chasing his fly. 

As of Saturday all fish spotted were fresh,  no big humpies yet.  Fish like you see here are great for the table, but you better get out soon as it does not take long for the Pink salmon of the North Shore to start their eventual spawning deterioration.

Tight lines.

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia has been detected in fish in Lake Superior

If you are not aware of what Viral Hemorrahagic Septicemia (VHSV) is please watch the videos and help spread awareness of this nasty disease.

Two separate discoveries announced in 2010 documented the arrival of viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) in Lake Superior.   Read more VHSV.

The Pinks have started

The Pink salmon have begun their annual fall spawning migration.  Reports came in on Friday with fish spotted in a few of the Northern Rivers.

Remember that the fall is a great time of year to do some exploring for your next spring steelhead trip.  The water is usually substantially lower than in the spring, offering great opportunities to explore some usually unseen river structure.  With the Salmon starting their run the timing is right - get on the water.

Stay tuned as we bring you some staff and visitor pictures.

Proposed Federal Ban on Lead in Fishing Tackle

The Situation

On August 23, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was petitioned by the Center for Biological Diversity and four other organizations to ban all lead in fishing tackle under the Toxic Substances Control Act. This includes sinkers, jigs, weighted fly line, and components that contain lead such as brass and ballast in a wide variety of lures, including spinners, stick baits and more.

The petition was presented with the aim of reducing bird deaths caused by the ingestion of lead sinkers and jig heads; however, a study conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that less than one percent of all waterfowl and other birds such as eagles are killed by lead sinker ingestion.  Remember too that the petition wants to also ban your sink tip fly line and weighted flies.

Minnesota Steelheader will watch this closely and do our best to keep you up to date.  In the mean time you can find out more information on what you can do at:

Visitor's Note

Dear Minnesota Steelheaders,

I'd like to thank you for your time today! I called to book a guide, and ended up talking with Davin, and got a whole lot more. One of the things about fly fishing is the elitist attitude some fishermen and guides have. I've never had a conversation where the guide helped me to understand that I might not even need him, and if I did, a different season would be a better bang for my buck. I also appreciate you sharing some tips with me on where and how to get started.

The Tying Bench - PM Stone (PT Nymph Variant)

My buddy Dan who is an Alaska State Wildlife Trooper is the one that showed me this pattern, but only after I threatened to push him in the river. He was demolishing pink salmon at the Baptism on this fly one afternoon while I, inept and ham-fisted as I am, was resigned to playing tiddly-winks for lack of better things to do. (I certainly wasn't catching fish...)

Since then I've caught quite a bit of everything on this pattern from inland trout, to steelhead & salmon. The only adjustment needed is to size the hook/fly appropriately to species. This is a killer skinny-water fly on steelhead and where legal, makes an absolutely deadly dropper.

Pattern illustrated tied on a #10 TMC 2457 with 0.025 lead wire under the thorax & no bead.

Hook: TMC 2457
Thread: Black 70-140 Denier based on fly sizing
Bead: Gold or Copper optional
Weight: 6-8 turns of 0.010-0.030 wire (optional & to size)
Tail: 8-10 Rooster Pheasant barbs from the bottom 1/2 of the tail
Abdomen: 2-4 long Peacock H…

Fall Fishing is Coming

If you haven't been paying attention, or maybe your brain is about melted from all this heat & humidity like mine is, but fall fishing is just around the corner. Browns have been coming in on select tribs & pinks have been staging in numbers off of North Shore tributaries.

What's interesting is that in a typical year, the first reports of pinks show up in the DNR summer lake creel just about a month to the day before they show up in the streams. Usually this takes place in the Grand Marais/Hovland area & around the middle of August. This year, reports of near-shore pinks started showing up around the 20th of July which is really early. That & very good numbers are being caught as far south as Two Harbors.

You'll probably get tired of hearing me say it, but fall pink fishing is a great way to get out and learn streams for spring steelheading. The fish utilize similar areas, & you're better able to spot things about individual streams you wouldn't o…

2009 Fall Bois Brule Numbers

I finally got time to run the 2009 Fall numbers and this is how it looked-
(Click Thumbnails for Larger Image)




Couple items to note:

The first is that once again, actual returns (which were decent) didn't match up with reports (which were generally poor) although some hard-working folks reported outstanding fishing. We did have quite low water for parts of the fall, but that just means you have to adjust your tactics because the fish typically are there provided you are fishing the prime return window. Finding deeper holding water (read anywhere the bottom can't be seen) off the beaten path along with fishing early and late low-light periods will go a long way towards making you more successful under tough conditions. Fish will shift quite a bit of movement to night time periods and hunker down during the day. That and in the skinny, clear water, downsizing is often not just a good idea, it's almost required. Don't be afraid to throw patterns in the 14-…

Steelhead of th North Shore

For those that have not read the article yet, here is a link to a great article written by a noted North Shore Steelhead veteran angler and author, Michael Furtman. The article appeared in the March/April issue of the Minnesota Conservation Volunteer.

Steelhead of the North Shore
"As North Shore streams swell with snowmelt, anglers can once again fish for supersized rainbow trout. How have these native fish of the Pacific Northwest made themselves at home in Lake Superior and its tributaries?”

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Picture courtesy of the MN DNR

Post Season Analysis

Well, I shouldn't say, "Post Season" quite yet. There are fish around if you know where and when to look. I do have some intesting graphics assembled now that the DNR creel and fishing reports are done for the spring. MANY thanks to the hard-working folks at DNR fisheries, they rarely get enough public credit; usually they are just getting an earfull....

One of the most useful ways I've found of looking at all the numbers has been to use a weekly format as it does a few things:
1. It smoothes out any wild fluctuations in the numbers
2. It allows comparisons between different years along with different State's data
3. It's a bit more intuitive and easy to grasp
Without boring you further with a whole bunch of mental gymnastics used to produce the charts, here's how the Lower Shore combined trap numbers looked through May 20th (Click Thumbnail for larger image):

The blue/green lines are the total returns by week, the yellow is the average Knife River discharge in…

Fishing Report 5-17-10

The Minnesota DNR creel survey was only run on the Upper Shore this past weekend, and now is over shorewide for the year.

From 5/14 through 5/16, water temperatures ranged from 45-55 on the Upper Shore, and interviewed anglers caught 1 Steelhead and 1 Brook Trout. Flows from the May 13th rain are now decreasing and streams have moderate water clarity. The forecast calls for sunny skies all week, which should push late spawning fish to move in and out of Grand Marais area streams within the next week. Angling pressure continues to be light.

Totals for the Knife Trap are so far are 382 unclipped steelhead, 297 maxillary clipped steelhead, and 26 Kamloops. Totals for the French River are 89 unclipped steelhead, 8 maxillary clipped steelhead and 395 Kamloops.

This is the last fishing report for the spring creel. We thank our friends at the Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources for their hard work this spring.

I was also on the shore from Friday to Sunday - not fishing. The water conditions …

Fishing Report 5-14-10

The MN DNR creel survey concluded on the Lower and Middle shores on 5/9/10, and will conclude on the Upper Shore on 5/16/10.

From 5/10 through 5/13, water temperatures ranged from 42-49, and interviewed anglers caught 5 Steelhead on the Upper Shore. As a result of nearly an inch of rain shorewide on Thursday the 13th, flows have increased substantially in all tributaries. The forecast calls for sunny skies both Saturday and Sunday, and angling conditions should be good. Prior to this rain, spawning fish were still being observed on upper shore rivers up to the Flute Reed. Angling pressure has remained light on the Upper Shore, so anglers should be able to select where they want to fish.

Totals for the Knife Trap are so far are 373 unclipped steelhead, 293 maxillary clipped steelhead, and 25 Kamloops. Totals for the French River are 89 unclipped steelhead, 6 maxillary clipped steelhead and 395 Kamloops.

Fishing Report 5- 10-10

From 5/7 through 5/9, water temperatures ranged from 46-54 on the Lower Shore, 43-51 on the Middle Shore, and 42-49 on the Upper Shore.

From 5/7 through 5/9, interviewed anglers caught 4 Steelhead, 2 Kamloops, and 2 Coho on the Lower Shore, 7 Steelhead and 1 Brook Trout on the Middle Shore, and 4 Steelhead and 4 Brook Trout on the Upper Shore.

Only the largest of streams from the Baptism to Canada continue to have good water levels with slight color, making good angling conditions. Most moderate to small tributaries are now low and clear. There is a good chance of rain from Tuesday through Friday in the Grand Marais area, which should raise water level and add color to the water.

There are currently, and will be more fish to catch from the Baptism to Canada if the forecast is accurate.

Totals for the Knife Trap are so far are 371 unclipped steelhead, 286 maxillary clipped steelhead, and 25 Kamloops. Totals for the French River are 89 unclipped steelhead, 6 maxillary clipped steelhead and…

Fishing Report - Field Staff

Fished the middle to upper shore Wednesday (4/28) thru Saturday AM.

The water conditions on many of the rivers were low and clear. Water temps ranged from 42-54.

Wednesday was slow with my Dad hooking 2 fish, landing 1 on a Chartreuse Sucker Spawn and I landed one, also on the Chart. SS.
Thursday and Friday were quite a different story.
On many smaller rivers fish were visible and podded up but were not interested in any offerings. Paired fish on redds were left alone.

Due to warmer water temps I needed to change it up a bit so I tied on a #6 Woolly Bugger and my third swing was met with a vicious strike. A mean and ugly 26” male was soon in hand. I stuck with bugs and the big brown and black buggers really produced. In those 2 days I went 15 for 22 with only 3 fish not taken on buggers. Those fish were taken on a Freight Train and a unnamed bright colored wet fly.

The majority of the fish were fooled on the dead drift with rest coming via the swing. I used Type 3 and 6 sink tips in deeper…

Fishing Report - 5-7-10

From 5/3 through 5/6, water temperatures ranged from 49-57 on the Lower Shore, 42-51 on the Middle Shore, and 42-50 on the Upper Shore.
From 5/3 through 5/6, interviewed anglers caught 1 steelhead and 2 Kamloops on the Lower Shore, 8 Steelhead, 2 Kamloops, and 2 Brook Trout on the Middle Shore, and 2 Steelhead and 2 Brook Trout on the Upper Shore.
Most streams from the Baptism to the Flute Reed have good water levels with slight color, making good angling conditions. There are still lots of fish to catch in this section of the shore. Angler pressure remained light this past week, despite favorable conditions??? Anglers should continue to select natural presentations due to water clarity. We expect a cold afternoon and evening tonight with rain and snow, but predicted weekend weather will be 50 and sunny. Last call before walleye opener, go fishing.
Totals for the Knife Trap are so far are 364 unclipped steelhead, 285 maxillary clipped steelhead, and 25 Kamloops. Totals for the French R…

Fishing Report - 5-3-10

Go Fishing! There are still fish on the Upper Shore Rivers.

From 4/30 through 5/2, water temperatures ranged from 49-50 in the morning on the Lower Shore, 45-47 on the Middle Shore, and 44-46 on the Upper Shore. In the afternoon water temperatures ranged from 53-54 on the Lower Shore, 49-51 degrees on the Middle Shore, and 49-54 degrees on the Upper Shore.

From 4/30 through 5/2, interviewed anglers caught nothing on the Lower Shore, 1 Steelhead, 1 Kamloops, and 1 Brook Trout on the Middle Shore, and 6 Steelhead and 1 Brook Trout on the Upper Shore.

Rain accumulation in most watersheds from the Baptism to the Flute Reed was greater than 1 inch over the past four days. Most stream water levels rose and became slightly turbid. The run is still on in this section of the shore, and there are fish to catch. Slightly higher and more turbid conditions should be good for angling. Angler pressure remained light in the Grand Marias area over the weekend, despite favorable conditions?

Totals for th…

Fishing Report - 4-29-10

If you are still thinking of heading up the shore for steelhead this spring - GO!

By now you probably have all heard that the shore needs rain. You may have also heard that there is "no water". Well it is true that the shore could use some rain and it is true that some of the rivers are very low but that does not mean fish are not there.
After speaking with some people on Friday there are still a lot of fish in the rivers considering the conditions. We have had reports of fish being caught from the Knife all the way past the Brule. The key is that you need to find the bigger water or use some stealth on the rivers with lower water.

The myth that low water will not produce a quality run is just that - a myth. It's similar to telling a mother-to-be that she can't give birth because it is a blizzard outside, it simply has no effect. She may not drive as far or deliver where she wants to but she will have her baby. Same holds true with a hen Steelhead. She may n…

Fishing Report 4-26-10

From 4/23 through 4/26, water temperatures ranged from 51-52 in the morning on the Lower Shore, 45-47 on the Middle Shore, and 44-46 on the Upper Shore. In the afternoon water temperatures ranged from 53-55 on the Lower Shore, 48-52 degrees on the Middle Shore, and 49-51 degrees on the Upper Shore.

From 4/23 through 4/26, interviewed anglers caught 2 Steelhead and 2 Kamloops on the Lower Shore, 9 Steelhead, 2 Kamloops, and 2 Brook Trout on the Middle Shore, and 12 Steelhead, 1 Kamloops, and 2 Brook Trout on the Upper Shore.

It has still not rained more than 1/10th of an inch anywhere on the shore since the snow melted in mid-March. All streams are low and clear. The run is peaking in the section of the shore from the Baptism to the Brule. Successful anglers fished early and late, used flies, spotted fish, snuck up on them, and made accurate casts.

Totals for the Knife Trap are thus far are 346 unclipped steelhead, 271 maxillary clipped steelhead, and 24 Kamloops. Totals for the French R…

Fishing Report 4-24-10

From 4/19 through 4/12, water temperatures ranged from 47-52 in the morning on the Lower Shore, 37-46 on the Middle Shore, and 36-46 on the Upper Shore. In the afternoon water temperatures ranged from 47-57 on the Lower Shore, 42-48 degrees on the Middle Shore, and 42-49 degrees on the Upper Shore.

From 4/19 through 4/22, interviewed anglers caught 11 Steelhead and 8 Kamloops on the Lower Shore, 4 Steelhead, 1 Kamloops, and 1 Brook Trout on the Middle Shore, and 2 Steelhead on the Upper Shore. The three creel clerks reported observing steelhead in every stream on the creel. Successful anglers fished early and late, used flies, spotted fish, snuck up on them, and made a good cast.

Totals for the Knife Trap are thus far are 344 unclipped steelhead, 268 maxillary clipped steelhead, and 23 Kamloops. Totals for the French River are 86 unclipped steelhead, 4 maxillary clipped steelhead and 373 Kamloops.

provided by the MN DNR

Steelhead Movement Information

Here's an interesting bit of information on steelhead movement from an contributor.

Jesse made the trip up & fished April 16th-18th. After working the Lower Shore, he continued North looking for fresher fish. Around 5 p.m. on the 16th, he landed this super buck on a Mid Shore tributary. Note the "Rod Rule" on Jesse's Flyrod, great tool for keeping the fish in the water yet still getting a quick but accurate measurement:
After landing the fish & examining it for clips etc., he noticed that this fish had a Floy Tag; so he duly recorded the information & forwarded it to the DNR. You can use the new Tagged Fish Reporting Tool Here:
On the 20th the DNR contacted him regarding his fish & here's what Jesse said: "I heard back from the DNR today on my tagged fish. It was originally tagged in 2008 at the Knife. It was recaptured this year at the Knife on April 1st. They passed it along up stream. Between the 1st and the 16th it left the Knife, sw…

Father and son: First Steelhead!

Spring of 2009 we corresponded with Dan, a visitor. He was planing a first steelhead adventure with his son, Davis (13 years old). Though they were new to steelheading, Davis had been doing his homework and spent the winter tying up fly patterns. After several emails with Dan regarding technique, gear, destination possibilities, etc. they were ready for there adventure.
On a nice bluebird morning in April of '09 Myself and a couple other MN Steelheader staffers ran into Dan and Davis at a river parking area near two Harbors. It was great to bump into these two after corresponding much of the winter via email.
We visited for a while, sharing what we new from the river we were fishing and about the conditions. After looking over Davis' wonderfully tied flies and their gear we were confident that they were set up well. It was now up to their skills and some luck to get a hook up or two.
I received an email a week or two after their adventure with news that …

Some nice steelhead!

Pictured here are MN steelheaders, Adam and Jay with a couple of nice Upper shore Steelies. These were caught over this past weekend. Despite the low water there are still big fish up and down the shore.