03.18.2011 Update

All right, I know I said I was going to lay off for a bit, but the General stopped by this evening and dropped off a present for me in the form of freshly tied, small and medium sized spawn-bags; needless to say I got a little jazzed up... I fish a trib or two which never seem to clear up, consequently you better have a highly pungent offering on the end of your line or it just isn't happening.

Anyway, the recent warm weather has changed the game somewhat. I've noticed a few things which have me watching conditions on the ground closer than ever.

First, I walked outside Thursday morning to a veritable spring cacophany: The chickadee males were duking it out over territory, the cardinal males were singing to beat the band, and seemingly overnight the robins had come back in force, and the snow in my yard was blood-red with the destroyed remains of sumac seed cones. With the nearly full moon, I think the returning hordes took advantage of the easy food-source and fed all night - piggies... The local tom was in full strut tending his harem for the first time, and the eagles were engaged in their spring courtship. If you've never seen it, it's a seeming dogfight between males and females which would put the Duluth fighter wing to shame - No offense Bird Dog, I've just never seen two F16's lock gear belly to belly, tumble for hundreds of feet only to release, climb to altitude, and do it again and again...

At any rate there are a number of other signs of note: I noticed in the latest satellite photos a distinct "brown-up" occurring in the St. Louis estuary. There's still quite a bit of snow in the highlands yet, but this might change if the weather remains sunny. I also noted that flows on lower shore tribs have jumped. This isn't unusual on it's own, however stream temps have tanked at the same time, which tells me the melt is on. The infusion of cold meltwater to the systems are the only thing which causes this during such a rapid rise in flows. I think the big question now is how long is it going to take the snow in the uplands to decrease before the stream temps are able to start edging up? That's the million dollar question at this point. The lake ice has also retreated from the lower arm and out towards the Bayfield Penninsula based on the latest imagery.

Either way, fishing off the mouths has been quite good for kamloops and the steelhead can't be too far behind. Methinks 'tis time to strap on the modified bearpaws for a little tour...


Anonymous said…
Was up this weekend, fished McQuade but with no luck. A buddy fished Saturday from 6am-7pm & pulled 3 from the Stewart & 3 from the French. Today he was at the French from 6-noon & had 1. DNR is in full force as he mentioned he was checked 3 times in 4 days.

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