The Rivers Are Slow, The Lake is Good

After spending a solid week fishing a couple of rivers and out in the lake, the lake was the way to go. There were only a couple rivers that were running low and cold with very few fish. Most of the rivers and smaller streams were still locked in with ice or not even flowing into the lake. Fishing was so slow in the rivers that we caught the same fish twice.

fly fishing rainbow trout lake superior tributary

Drew was the first to hook into this kamloop rainbow trout and released it.

fly fishing rainbow trout lake superior tributary

After a while of fishing the same stretch of water, I caught the same fish. A bit of a letdown.

fly fishing steelhead lake superior tributary

We did find one smaller steelhead in there.

Drew had one good day shore fishing in the lake catching 3 or 4 rainbows on his fly rod.

fly fishing rainbow trout in lake superior

But the best fishing took place out in the boat jigging over deep water. There were a couple of very calm, warm and sunny days so we hopped in a boat with our jigging gear and had some really good success lake trout fishing.

Jigging Lake Trout on Lake Superior

Jigging Lake Trout on Lake Superior

Mitch watches the depth finder for fish marks coming off the bottom as Drew and Joe wait anxiously to drop their lines down onto the fish.

Jigging Lake Trout on Lake Superior

Boat Dog

Odin had a good day in the boat too.

Fish Dog

At nine months old, Odin has been doing very well accompanying me on fishing outings. He loves just being outside let alone interacting with other dogs and people. A little young yet last fall, he never really fully experienced deeper water and swimming in it. But now he appears to be quite ready – it’s just that the water is really cold and I don’t want him dumping in quite yet.

Odin looking into the water

Odin really wanted to explore deeper, but I reined him back before he went for it.

Other dogs walking a ways off, and ducks landing nearby seemed to really get his attention. But when reeling in a fish and landing it, he didn’t seem too enthused. Odin is going to make a great bird dog.

Fly fishing Lake Superior Rainbow Trout

Fly fishing Lake Superior Rainbow Trout

A fat healthy hen full of eggs. Odin looks on.

I would let him explore some, as long as he stayed close. From the other dock he appeared quite poised for a picture.

Chocolate lab on dock

The fishing was pretty good too. Drew and I were having some decent action on the fly rods fishing flies under an indicator.

fly fishing rainbow trout on Lake Superior

Drew holding a bright buck.

fly fishing rainbow trout on Lake Superior

Another male rainbow (released).

fly fishing rainbow trout on Lake Superior

A very fat, beautiful hen loaded with eggs.

Chocolate lab on dock

Odin wasn’t the only one looking to take a nap.

Chocolate Lab in Car

It was a good day, once in the car – Odin crashed and was out like a light.

Spring Slow

Spring has been slow. Waking up this morning it was ten degrees outside. I was going fishing. I grabbed a spinning rod, a fly rod, and my net. Coho salmon seem to be the only consistent species this year. I was able to pick up a couple early in the morning bobber fishing with the spinning rod.

fishing coho salmon lake superior

The numbers of rainbow trout are dwindling along the North Shore of Lake Superior due to the stocking changes the Minnesota DNR has made in the past few years. This year has been the worst yet. As you may have noted, my posts have been lacking of rainbow trout action compared to the last couple of years. Just have a look at the archives from February-June of 2014 and 2013. And it’s not because I have not been going out. I have, and I get skunked. What fish are left have been pressured and are more difficult to catch. You may see them sulking around almost as if they are in a dormant state of mind, like in this video.

I broke out the fly rod and put on one of my favorite flies under an indicator, cast it out, and waited. Optimism was low which is weird, because usually to catch these fish you need to have confidence in what you are doing and what you are using. If I were to give anyone advice on fishing these rainbows, it would be to have confidence in your ability to catch these fish and anticipate your bobber going down.

And the indicator did go down, a slow sink as I whipped back in surprise attempting to set the hook. I felt something on the other end but only momentarily before the hook popped out. Whitefish is what I was thinking just because it did not feel very big, but it was only momentary so I really couldn’t say. Casting back out, the indicator sank almost right away again and this time I connected. There was a pretty good fight and it took a few attempts to get it in the net. There is always a lot of finesse and nerves involved fishing with 4lb test line.

Fly Fishing Lake Superior Rainbow Trout

Swinging my fly line back out there, it was only moments before my indicator sank again. Surprised, I set into another. It was shorter, but it was fatter.

Fly Fishing Lake Superior Rainbow Trout

The day turned out pretty good. I missed a few and caught a few. Hopefully more fish will show up yet and this season won’t be a total bust. It is only March after all, the best part has yet to come.