It's been cool enough on the Gunflint Trail that most of us are starting to think that global warming is a rumor. No matter what the weather conditions, there are still lots of people catching fish. Mike Berg from Seagull Creek Fishing Camp reports that Sally Noll (St. Paul, MN) got a nice 31" walleye on Saganaga Lake. Most of Mike's parties have been bringing in enough walleyes for some great meals. Forrest Parsons at Hungry Jack Lodge contributed the picture above. He says that leeches and slip bobbers have done the best on Hungry Jack Lake. Dan Baumann at Golden Eagle Lodge says that his guests have been catching walleyes on perch, vampire and blaze orange rapalas. He also says that northerns continue to be good on adjacent lakes. Shari Baker at Gunflint Pines Resort agreed with everyone else that the lake trout are still in shallow water. Sue Ahrendt from Tuscarora Lodge had a party of six people come in from a four-day canoe trip. They caught 89 lake trout. The guests said they caught them on anything, in shallow or deep waters, from a canoe or from the shore. Lin Sherfy of Rockwood Lodge also had a canoe party come in who had good luck with walleyes. This party of four limited out as they paddled in from their trip. A picture of their fish can be found on Rockwood's blog at rockwoodlodgeoutfitters.blogspot.com. Mike Prom from Voyageur Canoe Outfitters even got out fishing himself the other night. He caught eight walleyes on floating rapalas. Mike says they are using leeches for walleyes during the day.
Many guests and residents on the Gunflint Trail explore the area on day canoe trips. One of the most popular is into Johnson Falls. You start out on East Bearskin Lake and portage to Alder Lake and then portage to Canoe Lake. From there it is a matter of walking the portage trail into Pine Lake. Almost at the end of this long portage, a well-beaten path leads off to the left (west) and Johnson Falls. The falls are a fairly narrow gorge with a surprisingly long drop. What many do not know is that there is a pool at the base of the falls with trout in it. You must fish the pool from the shore as it is some distance from the lake. Sue McCouglin from Bearskin Lodge told me that often times guests don't allow enough time for this day trip. The guests ae pretty good figuring out how long the travel time back and forth is. What they don't realize is that most everyone ends up spending a fair amount of time exploring around the falls.
Shari Baker reminded me that this is a special time of year for moose since the bull's antlers are still "in velvet." It is an annual growth stage for the antlers and it passes quite quickly. The antlers look very soft and velvety as they are growing to full size.