This past weekend was the opening of the winter Trout fishing season. The majority of our guests were here to give it a go. Reports are that there’s a good 16-20 inches of ice on Gunflint Lake. There are the some pockets of slush, but nothing out of the ordinary.
Many of the smaller lakes that froze over before the early December snows however have more slush. Fishing parties report that Duncan has about 3 inches of slush everywhere, but they got Trout. Birch lake has about 12 inches of ice but is slushy too and they didn’t have luck there. One party spent the better part of a day trying to get into Portage lake. Being the first to break through the rather deep snow was difficult enough but they spent a couple hours trying to free a snowmobile they had burried in the slush and ended up retreating.
The most challenging part is being the first to break trail in these conditions. Once the trail is broken and the slush exposed, there’s a greater chance for it to freeze over. Another fisherman passing through said he had tried to reach rose lake and encountered slush, broke through, (what he broke through – ice or slush I was not clear) blew out his snowmobile and hurt his shoulder. Not a fun start to the season, but at least he’s alive.
Remember to use caution, travel in at least pairs, and far enough apart that if someone runs into a problem, you don’t follow suit, but close enough to each other you don’t loose line of sight. – Stay safe!