Spring Run Guided Fly Fishing Trips for Steelhead on Minnesota's North Shore

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North Shore Steelhead

The north and south shores of Lake Superior converge on us here in Duluth, and each offers its own unique charms when it comes to steelheading.  While south shore streams tend to be more slow and meandering with a good mixture of gravel, silt and mud bottoms, north shore tributaries are cut from the stone of an ancient mountain range and depend primarily upon runoff to maintain good flows.  Between Duluth and the Canadian border there are over twenty fishable tributaries offering spawning opportunities to the open water wanderers living in the lake.  Each river has its own subtleties, and conditions may vary along the trip up the shore, so covering water often means putting some miles on along Scenic Highway 61.  Because weather and water conditions dictate the tempo of the spring steelhead run, timing can be a crucial element to success.  On average it seems that the run hits its high point on the lower and middle shore pretty close to Easter, but fish will begin moving into the rivers as soon as the ice blows out, and will stick around as long as water levels allow.

  Steelhead navigating the north shore to spawn are joined in their travels by another rainbow trout, the Kamloops.  Although Kamloops, or 'loopers' as they're called locally, aren't quite as crazy as a steelhead on the end of a fly line, they are managed as a put, grow and take fishery and can make a tasty dinner.   



By far the best way to effectively target steelhead on the north shore is to be on the water as much as possible, and our guides do just that.  It's not uncommon to fish three or four rivers in a one or two-day trip if that's what it takes to track down fresh fish.  On a two-day excursion we may literally drive to the Canadian border and back, which can give newcomers to the area a very nice overview of the region, and a good chance at connecting with one of its most amazing fish. 


 Trip Packages and Rates 

Anyone who's put in their dues on the shore can tell you that driving home after a long day of steelheading can be a serious drag- especially if it's a long drive.  We are proud to offer our anglers top of the line accomodations at a very reasonable price.  Located about 10 miles north of Two Harbors, Grand Superior Lodge offers deluxe lodging in an ideal location for the traveling angler.  We typically reserve two-bedroom lodge units for our packaged trips, but arrangements can be made for any of Grand Superior's numerous offerings. 

Our lodging option also offers the opportunity for anglers to combine a fishing trip with a family vacation or just a quick getaway.  The north shore has a variety of activities that will keep the non-anglers happy while you're on the rivers, and Grand Superior has numerous amenities such as a full-service gourmet restaurant and bar, indoor pool, whirlpool, and sauna to make the night (or nights) of your stay as pleasant as possible.

For more information on the fine accomodations at Grand Superior, please visit their website, www.grandsuperior.com 


Rates for the 2008 season are $250 for the first rod and $125 for a second.  Groups of more than two will typically require a second guide at the same rates.  Please contact the shop to discuss special circumstances or any other questions.  A minimum 50% deposit is required to reserve your date(s).  Deposits are refundable for cancellations made at least 15 days prior to the trip.  In the event that a trip cannot be made due to adverse weather or water conditions we will do our best to reschedule, but a full refund will be issued if this is not possible. 


What you need:

  • A comfortable set of waders that don't leak.  Breathables are more comfortable for walking and making crossings, but neoprene will work as well.  Felt soled boots are strongly suggested as well- they provide much better footing than lug soles which leads to safer (and drier) crossings.  Check out our online store for our selection of wading gear. 
  • An outer shell (ideally waterproof) and enough layers to be comfortable in a wide range of conditions.  Always bring more than you think you need- you will fish much more effectively if the weather is not an issue.
  • A comfortable hat and a good pair of polarized sunglasses. 
  • A willingness and desire to learn the techniques neccessary to be successful.  Our guides are there to teach, but the more you can prepare beforehand, the better off you will be.  Contact the shop or your guide for more information on the specifics of your trip.

We provide:

  • All flies and terminal tackle, such as tippet/ leader material and weight. 
  • Upon request, a rod and reel outfit- typically a 9' or 9' 6" 8wt with a floating line.
  • Transportation from an arranged meeting location.
         note: if you are fishing with more than two anglers, or you would prefer to use your own vehicle please let us know so that we can plan accordingly.


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