Went up the North Shore again last Tuesday. Met up with my brother Ed on Tuesday for a full day of fishing for steelhead and loopers [kamloops rainbow]. Was a bit on the chilly side with temps in the 30’s. The fish are in the streams now. I lost a very nice looper that would have gone an easy 8 pounds. Tried to bank the fish and two feet from shore it said good by to me.
I seen fish swirling and rolling in the pools, and almost stepped on one crossing a stream as it was trying to make it’s way up to the next pool. My brother did catch a nice one that he gave to me for smoking. We had fish on during the day, but only catching that one nice rainbow. So if your planning to go after these fine fish now is the time. Should be good next week as well. Here are some pictures of the day.
My bad on the picture. Should have had Ed face the sun but you can make out the nice trout Ed is holding.
You can see the well beaten path next to this stream that has been used for years by anglers for this spring spawning run. According to my phone I walked 3 miles that day and it was no walk in the park with the many hills, rocks, logs, and more. But I love it.
Tail end of pools are often great places to fish for steelhead and loopers.
Rivers were flowing well and the fish were in. Great time of the year.
Yes they are and there’s some good news from the catch. Last Wednesday morning the Minnesota DNR was in the pool below the hatchery netting Kamloops [or loopers]. The big fish ranging from 5 to perhaps 8 pounds or more, were corralled in a seine net by the DNR fisheries officials. As it turned out, the exact Kamloops total from the netting was 673. Last year, a total of 888 Kamloops rainbow trout were captured at the French during the entire spring run, on par with the long-term [1992-2015] average of 884, according to the DNR.
This was the first step in the process to stock another year class of Kamloops rainbow trout along the North Shore about a year from now. Unlike steelhead, Lake Superior’s other variety of rainbow trout that reproduce and sustain themselves with only limited stocking, the Kamloops population is dependent entirely upon stocking.
The first eggs for next years’s batch of Kamloops rainbows will come from the adult females that were swimming inside the seine net on Wednesday morning. DNR employees used dip nets to scoop rainbows out of the seine net and load them into the waiting bucket of a small front-end loader. The loader hauled the fish up the hill to the French River fisheries building, where eggs will be stripped from the fish and fertilized.
About twice a week from now until June, DNR fisheries workers will seine this pool near the mouth of the French River and collect eggs from adult rainbows. Later , the young fish that emerge from eggs will be transferred to one of two DNR hatcheries. After eggs have been collected from the adult Kamloops rainbows captured on Wednesday, those adult rainbows will be returned to Lake Superior. Kamloops rainbow trout provide a unique fishery for anglers who fish from shore along Lake Superior, mainly from the Lester River to the French River.
After being raised in either, or in some cases both, the Spire Valley Hatchery near Remer and the French River Coldwater Hatchery near Duluth, the yearling Kamloops rainbows will be stocked in either the Lester River or at the mouth of the French River, fisheries officials said. The fish then typically spend three or four more years in Lake Superior before returning to the French or other rivers. Little to no successful spawning occurs naturally among Kamloops rainbows. I’ll be up next week to give it another try.
t4.6.16 — cookKAMLOOPS0410c1 — Josh Blankenheim, (right) large-lake specialist for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources at French River, helps hold a seine net filled with Kamloops rainbow trout Wednesday morning at the French River. DNR employees will take eggs from the fish to be raised for next year’s stocking of Kamloops rainbows on the North Shore. Sam Cook / firstname.lastname@example.org
I went up to the North Shore last Friday to try for steelhead and Loopers [Kamloops strain of rainbow trout]. I knew it was early, yet just like at this time of the year these trout have the urge to go on the spawning run, I have the urge to go to try to catch some of them. My brother Ed met me up there. Few days before he caught a steelhead but that was it for the day. Yes it is early. The rivers are still a little low but did have good flow. Most rivers were a little stained except the Sucker which was running on the clear side.
I did see some anglers at the new McQuade boat landing fishing within the boat landing area and also folks were out trolling from there near shore. The French river was packed with shore anglers as usual. However the rest of the rivers had moderate fishing pressure. Fishing pressure will increase in the coming weeks. Warmer weather and some rain will push the majority of the tout in the rivers to spawn. I’ll be going up again soon. I’ll give it a week, and by then I would think we will have more trout and a better chance to land one. Remember to release all steelhead. If they have all their fins then it’s a steelhead. One clipped, and it’s a looper and you can keep them.
Even the smaller streams have a trout run. You can see a few guys trolling in the background. They troll stickbaits and spoons near the surface this time of the year.
There were still ice banks near shore in some of the shady areas of some streams. Best not to stand on them this time of the year. Ed was standing on solid ground.
Got a nice pic of a full arc of a rainbow formed by the spray from the falls.
Gooseberry Falls had many tourists the day we were there. We were the only two anglers there.