Showing posts from April, 2013

We Need a Cool-Down!

No, I'm not cabin-fevered out, nor a stark-raving mental lunatic. If you haven't caught it, the Knife gauge went live here finally. And while that is great news since it means the ice is finally going out of North Shore tribs, take a look at the latest flow - OY! 4000cfs is about 9X higher than the fishable flow range. What we need is a bit of a cool down to slow runoff from snowmelt. There's still a fair amount of snow up in the highlands yet, so if we get some moderated temps, it would reduce the mad runoff dash to the lake, and bring flow rates back down towards fishable ranges as opposed to the Class V whitewater we have now. The other thing it will do is to help raise water temps. This might seem counter-intuitive, but even when stream temps are approaching that magic 40F mark, a big dump of snowmelt runoff tanks temps since it's dumping cold water into the streams. This in turn slows down fishing even though the fish are there. Steelhead are creatures of

Fishing Report: 4-25-13

Our North Shore tributaries have some flow, but still are mostly ice - crazy!  Anglers continue to target Kamloops and steelhead from shore neer river mouths.  There are some reports that a few river mouths are open and fish have started to entered.  The weekend warming should get this much delayed season moving along.

Buggin' Out!

    Holy cow, we are all beyond stir-crazy at this point. Reading about steelheading is a poor substitute when we all feel like fishing, but with Boreas doing his happy dance up in steelhead country, what's a steelheader to do? Time to get a little learnin' in by buggin' out - bad pun intended....     Kamloops are primarily bug-eaters and tend to spend a lot of time in the upper portion of the water-column over deep basins, or in shallow water areas while out in the big lake. Both steelhead and kamloops will gorge on loose spawn while in the streams, but there's another part of the equation you should not overlook; hence the term "Eggs and Legs".     Getting familiar with resident bugs is a good idea. Steelhead will key on them as a food-source, particularly when the water is either very cold - below 38-40F, and once again when stream temps hit 45 and up. In between they'll be dining on free-drifting eggs, but as female steelhead create their redds, t

Flows are Picking Up!

Despite the heavy snow and cold gripping the North Shore, the first major change has begun. Note the gigantic sediment plume spinning out into the lake along with the discoloration along the South Shore. Hard to tell the source but it's a good bet that this is combined Nemadji, Lester and Knife activity with regards to the clay hurricane visible in the image. Feels like steelheading will never happen at this point in a seemingly endless winter; but mother nature appears to be putting the hammer down despite Boreas's attempt at one last hurrah before retreating to the arctic. Keep your fingers, and toes, and eyes, and boot-laces and whatever else you can find crossed... Regards- NMF 

North Shore infested with snow!

The National Weather Service has extended the winter storm warning for Duluth, Superior, Cloquet and Two Harbors until 5 p.m. today. Snow is forecast to continue across the area today. While the intensity of the snow will diminish this afternoon in the Twin Ports, another 1 to 3 inches is expected from late morning through the afternoon. Winds will continue to gust to 40 mph out of the northeast, especially near Lake Superior. Check out this link for more of the gory details:

Shore Casting for Winter Kamloops & Steelhead

For many a Steelheader, spring can NEVER come soon enough. Waiting for the rivers to open and flow can be incredibly frustrating and almost intolerable at times. However for those ambitious, thick-skinned fishermen (and women), there IS another option. An option that can produce some great fish, both trout and salmon, and give us the rush we all chase as Steelheaders as well. Shore casting. Shore casting is a simple, basic fishing technique that is proven to work. Some gear needed to get into shore casting you likely already have though you may be “forced” to invest in some new equipment. Equipment for basic shore casting on the Minnesota North Shore:  • Slow to medium action casting rod with spinning reel (many outdoor outfitters do carry nice rod/reel setups specifically for shore casting.) • 6lb. to 8lb. monofilament, low-visibility line • Size 6 or 8 hooks (some of us prefer red hooks) • Small swivels • Slide sinkers or snap-loc casting sinkers • Worm blow

Annual Minnesota Steelheader Creel Project

What's my Name?!? If you are new to Minnesota Steelheader, or simply missed it last year, we need your help! The Minnesota Steelheader Creel Project is a non-scientific poll of catch information similar to what is provided in the Official MNDNR creel reports. Your part is very simple- When you fish in 2013, simply record the following information:  Species & Number Caught : Kamloops, Steelhead or Brook Trout The Region Where You Caught the Fish : Lower, Mid or Upper Shore. It is critical that you get the location correct. MS is not interested in the specific streams, simply the region, so please use this format:   Lower Shore Region - All Tributaries from Mission Creek to Knife River M id Shore Region - All Tributaries from Stewart River to Baptism River Upper Shore Region - All Tributaries from Little Marais River to Pigeon River including those on the Reservation. The Date the Fish Were Caught : Well, the date.... That's it! Species, Region and Dat

More Signs of Life

Driving back from town today, I saw a sure sign that Spring is here. The neighbors had about 20 turkeys in their back yard with three big strutters being silly and showing off for the ladies. Hmmmm... wonder what the picture looks like for some other bucks I've been thinking about lately? Information sources for steelheaders come in many forms, and MODIS imagery is just one. While there's still pack ice out there floating around, there are definate areas of brownup occurring in the St. Louis River estuary. We should soon be seeing the telltale plumes of brown blooming out into the lake which signal the steelhead that it is time to come home. You can check the imagery yourself HERE . In the meantime, all we can do is watch and wait. There is one disappointing thing about 2013 that is going to drive me nuts. While I have lots of data sources available for the Mid and Upper Shore, the Lower Shore is going to be a bit of an enigma. If you're not aware, the floods in 20

Steelhead Fishing Report: 4-6-13

Steelhead Fishing Report: 4-6-13 A couple of our scouts have reported that some tributaries have just started to flow but are still mainly ice and not ready to fish.  Anglers are still out around river mouths fishing the big lake for Kamloops and occasionally catching steelhead. Stay tuned as the reports here will be more detailed in the future.  We never give up fishing holes but will will tell you what regions are hot and which are not.  We will also let you know how many fish are being reported to the DNR creel survey staff.  These guys work hard to gather valuable data that helps you catch fish.  Be nice to them. The river regions we specify in reports are divided into 3 areas: Lower, Middle and Upper shore, all regions are illustrated on our website, take a look to get familiar.  We even have links to maps you can print out or pick up from the DNR.  We invite all of you to give back a bit and share your own reports in our "comment" section of each of the posts.  

Dating Profile of a Steelhead River:

Tag Line: Let’s Hook Up Hi, I’m Stella Headriver. I was born and raised in a small town along the shores of Lake Superior in Minnesota. I consider myself down to earth. I like to stay active and love the outdoors and nature. Like, I can’t imagine living in a place without 4 seasons. Winters are long and hard for me (especially this one) but I love Spring. I’m shy at first but when things get warmed up I’m ready to flow. I’m outgoing and love traveling down to my favorite watering hole with friends. The Spring makes me feel so alive and full of life. Do you like Spring? I think my perfect match is someone who can appreciate my beauty on the inside and out. If you can weather through my ups and downs and tell me I did it gracefully that would get you lots of brownie points. A perfect date for me would be to spend the morning together and end the night around the campfire with a few drinks. Don’t tell anyone I told you this, but I tend to get dirty after a few drinks, which you mig


Don’t you just hate this time of the year? It’s Steelhead purgatory. We’re caught in between our real lives and Heaven. The pearly gates are jammed up with chunks of ice and rock. "God" is waiting out there in the calm cold pure waters of Lake Superior to forgive us all. We’re ready to bow down. Yet here we wait, impatiently, because we have to. We’re not in control, we have no choice. Luckily, we’ve been here before and know that this is how it goes. We give and we take, and we know when the take is good, and when it's good, it's so good, and we take it hard. You know what I’m talking about. Right? That tap, tap..tap, line pause…rod rise,..tug, tug, “FISH ON”…back …back…back…arms high, line screaming craziness? Let’s be honest, no matter how many times we happen to out play the Tigers, this sport is better than baseball season. Let’s go sun, burn one down; for us. We're dying here. Thankfully, we know Steelheading is a struggle, but when our time comes, we

How's the fishing?

It's hard to know if you don't know, you know? Thankfully, it’s easy to know. Go and ask the fly shop. Ask the bait shop. Ask the gas station. Ask the fisherman on the river. Ask the fisherman who used to be on the river 20 years ago. Ask the fisherman who's been on the river 20 years. Ask the fisherman who has kids. Ask the fisherman who’s with their Dad. Ask the fisherman who lost their Dad. Ask the fisherman with her daughter. Ask the fisherman with her nephew. Ask the fisherman with her niece. Ask the fisherman with her mother. Ask the fisherman who lost her Mother. Ask the fisherman that doesn’t know they’re a fisherman yet. Just ask. If there is a story to be told, there will be a story to be told. Get out there, hang on and ask. ap