fly fishing
   Scott Thomas Thorpe





The Season

Steelhead fishing is all about timing.In the spring, we follow the runs from south to north around Lake Superior, as the fish enter tributary rivers to spawn. The headwaters of the Brule, which flows from south to north into Lake Superior's south shore, is nearly 350 miles from the headwaters of the Steel, which flows from north to south into the north shore. As result, suitable water temperatures and levels to draw fish arrive nearly two months apart in these two watersheds. Add to that the vagaries of snow melt, and rainfall, one must be prepared to seek suitable conditions and keep moving to find fish. Opening day, the last Saturday in March, finds me on the Brule. The next two or three weeks are spent on the south shore, fishing the Brule, Sioux, Siskowet, Cranberry, and Blackhoof. Then we work our way up Minnesota's north shore as the rivers open up. The Knife fishes well immediately following a spate in the first two weeks of April, while runs in the Grand Marais area continue into mid May.Fall fishing for lake-run browns and steelhead is now marginal in Minnesota streams.Lake run browns start to arrive the Wisconsin Brule by mid-August and steelhead arrive after significant rainfall events in mid-September, peaking in October. The Brule is justifiably famed for its fall fishing. On average,about 8,000 steelhead enter the river. More than three quarters of the steelhead run enters in the fall, when the weather can be glorious and the scenery is spectacular, with the foliage in its autumnal finery.Best of all, early in the fall run, the fish are chrome bright and these Brule fish will take a swung fly.



  
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