The ice is looking pretty sketchy out there for our ice anglers, but luckily we live in one of the most resource rich areas in terms of fishing variety in the entire country in my opinion. Below, you'll find my list of what to do in this "in-between" as the ice isn't very safe and there's too much for a boat.
1. Learn to fly fish: The common misconception about the sport of fly fishing is that it's expensive and hard to learn. For starters, we can set you up with a great Redington Outfit for right around $200 bucks. The Redington Classic Trout rods retail for around $150 bucks and are a great rod to pick up and get out and fish right now. All of Wisconsin's inland trout rivers are open to catch and release fishing right now and this is one of the best times of year to fish them. Streamers work great and you'll catch a bunch of fish with small stonefly imitations dropped under an indicator. I won't name names, but you can drive about 45 minutes south of Ashland and be into some of the best trout water you'll find anywhere.
2. Fish Steelhead: Some of our Lake Superior tributaries open up on the 26th of March and we should be set for some great fishing right off the bat. The Brule should be fishing very well for the opener if the river conditions are good. We had over 5,000 Steelhead come up the river last fall so there should be plenty of opportunities for those hold over fish. The Brule is usually very crowded on opening weekend, but the crowds thin out after that and the fishing only gets better.
3. Fish the Rivermouths: We had a window last weekend when the slushy pack ice was gone and we got out in a small boat to fish all the areas north of Washburn. Fishing was great for Splake and Whitefish. There's a great mudline off the rivers right now with all the run off and if you can position the boat for a drift on the edge of that line, you can cast or jig for a variety of fish. As of yesterday, the wind switched back onshore and blew the ice back in, but it was still possible to wade out and cast. Shore fishing is seriously under utilized around here and can be a very easy and effective way to get your fishing fix. Keep an eye on the wind direction and what that ice pack is doing and when the window opens up, get out there.
Don't let the early spring get you bummed out about ice fishing. The fish don't care if there's ice or not and they're still out there swimming around and there's always a way to catch them.
Don't forget about the Great Water Fly Fishing Expo in the Twin Cities this weekend. If you're in the area, stop by and visit with Capt. Luke or see one of his seminars about our great Lake Superior light tackle fishery.
WE'VE HAD A CANCELLATION FOR PRIME SMALLMOUTH DATES IN MID-MAY: 23,24,25,26TH OF MAY ARE OPEN RIGHT NOW AND WON'T LAST LONG. CONTACT CAPT. LUKE LUKE@FRESHCOASTANGLING IF YOU'RE INTERESTED IN BOOKING THESE DAYS.