Spring Rainbows and Steel Part I

Two thousand sixteen was a decent year for Lake Superior’s rainbow trout and steelhead along Minnesota’s North shore. With the social media monster growing ever larger and creating exponentially greater fishing pressure, I have decided to hold off on posting regular updates and create more of an end-of-season summary instead. We had some great days on the water this year so I will be doing this in several installments.

As of the end of April, 1,395 rainbow trout had been captured at the French River trap. This is really good news since the long-term average is 884. But fishing success has not followed with the high numbers of fish captured which has been a bit of a mystery to the locals who fish the shore regularly. Before much of the fish rearing migrated to the Spire Valley hatchery, fishing was quite good in the fall and all winter. For the past several years, this has not been the case – but the numbers of fish are still out there which has been baffling.

Lake Superior Rainbow Trout

Joe caught this nice female rainbow trout on one of his very own hand-tied jigs.

My friend Joe was putting in his time early on trying to catch a rainbow trout from shore this year and when he finally did, he texted me a picture I will not soon forget. The fish did not grab my attention but the fact that he put it on the front seat of his truck! I think he was pretty excited to get that first fish of the year.

Great Lakes Rainbow Trout

This trout received special treatment and even got to ride shotgun in Joe’s truck!

Once in a while, things really came together for us…

Great Lakes Rainbow Trout

A banner day catching rainbow trout along Lake Superior’s North shore.

Great Lakes Steelhead

One of the nicer looking steelhead from this spring.

Great Lakes Steelhead

Great Lakes Rainbow Trout

Some of the rainbows get a fungus that grows on them. No one is really sure what causes it, but apparently it is harmless… yet I have seen fish that appear blind in one eye if the fungus covers much of their face. I don’t care much for catching these fungus-faced trout but they still put up a good fight.

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