Showing posts from April, 2016

Lisa's Journey to Becoming a Woman on the Fly:

As we prepare to share stories and experiences of steelheading ladies, I figure it's time to provide a glimpse into my own journey.

Many folks envision a successful steelhead angler as someone with a particular grace with a fly rod.  An example of intense focus and patience.  A person at ease on the rugged terrain that must be traversed through dense forest and swift, flowing rivers.  An individual who exudes that special sense of peace when in nature...

There I stood one April morning on a North Shore stream for the first time.  The cute guy I had convinced to take me fishing had provided a couple lessons in casting, drifting, knot tying and yarn cutting but that was the limit of my training. As gentle rays of the new day's early light peered delicately through the trees, we began to fish.  After a few unfruitful drifts we trudged further upstream and again I presented that little snippet of yarn, while in the back of my mind wrestling with the rationale of expecting a fish t…

Mid and Upper Shore Updates

Couple updates for you-

Mid Shore: This Region is just hitting the initiation temps. Stream temp increases are being inhibited by remaining snow-pack and melt along the Mid Shore, but flows are increasing for the same reason. Ignore the catch trend for anything after the 8th, we are waiting for the latest creel reports which are not reflected in the data below:

Upper Shore: Looks good right? Not so fast my steelheading friends.... Our only Index Stream with a temperature package is really small, consequently it usually hits initiation temps 7-10 days prior to the bulk of the Upper Shore steelhead streams. Basically you can't use it to gauge wider conditions, but it still is a great resource. Here too, stream temp increases are being inhibited by remaining snow-pack and melt along the Upper Shore, but flows are increasing for the same reason. Ignore the catch trend for anything after the 10th, we are waiting for the latest creel reports which are not reflected in the data below:


Lower Shore Update

It appears based on everything we are seeing in the data that we have finally hit the initiation temps on the Lower North Shore. We should be seeing significant numbers of adult steelhead beginning their upstream migration in earnest. Look for a large increase in both trap numbers as well as fish reported in the creel. We've included max daily temps in this graphic as well, just so you get a feel for what they are doing.

The creel trend below flat-lines after the 10th simply because we don't have any fresher reports yet, so don't let that fool you. It's magic time for the Lower Shore

2016 Creel Project Running Totals

DATE: 05/27/2016Lower Shore SpeciesBrook Trout SteelheadKamloopsNumber Reported001Total Reported13338214DATE: 05/17/2016Mid Shore SpeciesBrook Trout SteelheadKamloopsNumber Reported2100Total Reported5632112DATE: 05/27/2016Upper Shore SpeciesBrook Trout SteelheadKamloopsNumber Reported1190Total Reported22954DATE: 05/27/2016Shore-Wide Totals SpeciesBrook Trout SteelheadKamloopsNumber Reported13191Total Reported91754230

Updated 2016 Creel Trend - All Three North Shore Regions

Wow, we just cannot seem to get a jump-start from stream temps. Fish are active and sneaking in when stream temps peak in the afternoons, but we just have not gotten that first major up-bound migration yet:

Lower Shore Creel Trend as of 04.08.2016

Mid Shore Creel Trend as of 04.08.2016

Upper Shore Creel Trend as of 04.08.2016

2016 Running Trap Summary

DATE: 04/15/2016 Knife River Flow: 349 CFS French RiverSteelheadKamloopsTotal Number Captured19204223Total Captured10311081211DATE: 04/15/2016 Index River Avg Temp: 41.36°F Knife RiverSteelheadKamloopsTotal Number Captured3861387Total Captured5312533DATE: 04/11/2016 Knife River Flow: 166 CFS French RiverSteelheadKamloopsTotal Number Captured84231315Total Captured84904988DATE: 04/11/2016 Index River Avg Temp: 33.43°F Knife RiverSteelheadKamloopsTotal Number Captured202Total Captured1451146DATE: 04/06/2016 Knife River Flow: 130 CFS French RiverSteelheadKamloopsTotal Number Captured0673673Total Captured0673673DATE: 04/06/2016 Index River Avg Temp: 31.81°F Knife RiverSteelheadKamloopsTotal Number Captured00144Total Captured1431144DATE: 04/05/2016 Knife River Flow: 142 CFS French RiverSteelheadKamloopsTotal Number Captured000Total Captured000DATE: 04/05/2016 Index River Avg Temp: 31.02°F Knife RiverSteelheadKamloopsTotal Number Captured1431144Total Captured1431144DATE: 03/31/2016 Knife River Flow: 447…


A fisherwomen's checklist - Part one:
Being equipped properly on the water is not just a matter of comfort.It is a matter of safety.All anglers will find themselves in a risky scenario at some point and that is when you need to be confident that you can trust your gear with your life.
Let’s review the basics: Polarized sunglasses, stocking foot waders, wading boots, base layers, hat and hip pack

Polarized Sunglasses: Whether you are whipping fly line around or dislodging a snag, you want your eyeballs to be protected from flying hooks and sinkers.Shades are essential.The functionality of the polarized lenses will become apparent as you learn to look through the water versus at the water.Not only will you be able to spot your target fish in some instances but the ability to see through the water will also give you a boost of confidence as you begin crossing rivers. Polarized shades are pretty easy to find.Just be sure they fit your melon well because you’ll sweat and be moving around so…


Steelheaders are a unique breed.Not many who try it will stick with it and of those who do, very few are women.It is a tough sport for anyone regardless of their gender, and organizations such as Minnesota Steelheader play a pivotal role in the success of many novice anglers who are just starting out.
Rainbow trout anglers encounter unique challenges in their quest for Steelhead and Kamloops on Minnesota’s North Shore and while the general issues are addressed very well by Minnesota Steelheader and like groups, support networks available  specifically to women are virtually nonexistent.
Minnesota Steelheader’s new women’s program Women on the Fly, is on a mission to change that.As an avid female North Shore angler myself, I’m familiar with the issues women face on the water.From the comical scenarios such as trying to piddle in the woods while outfitted in waders and full rain gear, to the aggravating circumstance of being the target of an inappropriate comment by another fisherman, it’…

MS Creel Update as of 4.03.16

WOW, talk about getting the rug yanked out from underneath...

Just when things were starting to get really interesting, mother nature played one hell of an April Fools joke on us.

Temperatures which had been doing a steady climb suddenly retreated to the cellar along with much of the fish activity.

To be sure, there are fish around, but they have developed a case of lock-jaw with average stream temps now hovering in the 31-32F range. Can you still catch them? Yes. Will you have to work your tail off to do so? You bet your sweet bippy!

Our latest creel update which includes numbers through April 3rd illustrates it pretty well:
Note the catch trend from the 29th - April 1st. The biggest player here were the daily average temps at just over 34 combined with high temps approaching 40F. If you were out at the right time of day, you were catching fish. The storm dropped both average and high temps into the 31-32 range which brought most activity to a virtual stand-still. If the water wasn&…