Regional Reports-Midwest

French River

As late-winter days grow longer, rainbow trout begin to gather near Lake Superior river mouths in preparation for the spring spawning run. North Shore anglers gather at the rivers, too. The hot spot is the French River, just a few miles north of Duluth, where Kamloops-strain rainbows return to the place where they were stocked by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Shore-anglers have an excellent chance to catch trout weighing five pounds or more. Because the ice pack shifts with the winds, savvy anglers carry both icefishing and open-water gear. Rainbows are line-shy in Superior's clear waters, so 4-pound-test is a good choice. Many shore-anglers use long, limber spinning rods for distance casting. Hang a locally made "looper jig" tipped with a wax worm or piece of night crawler beneath a float. Flyfishers cast small, dark nymphs with floating lines. The limit for stocked rainbows, which are marked with clipped adipose fins, is three; the minimum length is 16 inches. All wild rainbows must be released. The Minnesota DNR has an up-to-date Lake Superior fishing report. Contact: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (218-723-4785).