Getting By Until The Streams Open

Gary Baker of Duluth fishes at the mouth of the Sucker River Tuesday morning with his yellow Lab, Scaup, at his side. Baker, 66, said he prefers drift fishing for steelhead and Kamloops rainbow trout in streams, but the Sucker, like most North Shore streams remains mostly locked in ice. So Baker was fishing a spawn bag suspended from a bobber in Lake Superior. He hadn’t caught any fish by late morning, but Scaup was having a good time exploring the river mouth. (Sam Cook photo)

A few anglers were fishing Lake Superior near the French River Tuesday morning, and a handful were fishing for Kamloops rainbow trout at the McQuade Small Craft Harbor. Most of the harbor was covered in ice that had formed overnight.

At the Sucker, as at the French and the Lester, gravel bars have formed at the rivers’ mouths. Water from the streams is seeping through the gravel bar, but fish won’t be able to enter streams on their spawning migrations until runoff flows have carved new channels in the gravel bars.

It’s hard to know when that might occur. With temperatures in the 60s forecast for the weekend, rivers should begin to open up. The Duluth area has received record snowfall in the month of April, so there’s a lot of runoff coming when it finally happens. Last year, with an early ice-out, many steelhead anglers were through steelhead fishing by now.