MN North Shore

The Minnesota North Shore

The North Shore of Lake Superior hosts dozens of rivers between Duluth and Canada and offers diverse fishing nearly year-round. Staggering waterfalls and canyons make the North Shore a destination for not only fishing, but recreation of all kinds. The steelhead run is impressive, with nearly every river up and down the shore with its own run. Prime time is between April and mid-May, with near-Duluth streams opening up early than those near Canada. The run can be followed up along Canada’s south shore into June.

Native, wild brook trout can be found on the North Shore throughout the summer. Fluffy dry flies with a bit of foam or small streamers can be the ticket for fast fishing for voracious fish. You won’t need to be matching a hatch here, the productivity of these streams is low enough where the fish are not picky. Pay attention to temperature, however, some summer days combined with low flows can stress fish.

Flies and Gear

You will need 7 or 8wts for steelhead on the North Shore, and 4 or 5wts for resident trout. Eggs, nymphs and swinging flies work well for steelhead, and dry flies and small streamers will catch wild brook trout. Locally tied, locally-specific patterns can be found at the shop. Stop in and we can point you towards the hot flies of the moment and set you up with the gear you need.

River Levels

The MN DNR and the MN PCA work cooperatively to provide stream gauges on a variety of rivers on the North Shore. Check out their current levels below, and plan your trip.

State Parks and Easy Access

There are eight state parks on the MN North Shore and each has an accompanying river running through it. Hiking trails along these rivers provide great access, and camping is available in stunning locations. Check out a few maps below of North Shore state parks and plan your visit.