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 ordinarily be able to see during high, dirty spring conditions. This can pay off big time when you are actually targeting steelhead. Plus fall is a beautiful time to be out fishing.
One item that's not so rosy is the drought status in the Arrowhead.
One of the chronic problems young steelhead face on the North Shore are low flows & near lethal to lethal summertime temperatures. It's a wonder that steelhead are able to survive at all considering the sheer number of limiting factors steelhead deal with, but they do. It's nice when flows come up at the right time in the fall, but I'd certainly trade some of that for more stable summertime stream levels; primarily for the sake of young-of-year, naturally produced fish.
At any rate, start watching flows come the last week in August, it just might be an early start to the fall runs.