15th Apr 2020

Day trip to fly fish the Northshore

My wife and I and the dogs decided last minute that we needed to hit the north shore on Sunday and see the sights. She had not been up there since her teenage years and I had never been up there. We have been talking about going up there since we moved here and with only Sundays to get out and about we had to make it a daycation. I began scrambling for campground sites calling every campground north of Duluth. Everything was full except one last spot, #70 at Lambs Resort and Campground. I had no idea what I signed up for but it was $35 bucks to pitch a tent and all we needed was a place to sleep. I locked the fly shop up Saturday evening and we immediately headed up 35 towards Duluth.


Just as dusk settled in we came across a wolf slowly meandering down highway 61 headed south. He didn’t seem to concerned with us so I whipped the car around to get a better look, he was gone. Just a few miles up from where we saw Mr. wolf was our campground, yeah, the thought crossed my mind, but wolves probably tend to steer clear of heavily populated campgrounds. Tent pitched with the headlights of the car and into bed we went, sleepless sleep, crying babies all night and light at 4:30am. When I am tenting, as soon as it gets light I am wide awake, it was light at 4:30. It’s painful to lay there for two more hours waiting for normal people time to get up.


The next day we went 15 more miles up to Grand Marias and began our sightseeing journey back towards Duluth. A quick stop at the local bait and tackle shop, and coffee and a donut from the worlds best donut shop and we were on our way back towards Duluth.


One of my goals was to fish the mouth of the Cascade River where it dumps into the big lake. As we pulled up a very local looking gentleman was walking up with two large lake trout, maybe 5 pounds a piece or so. I said “nice fish” and he replied, “every day” and we went about our business. I was hoping to hook up on one of those monsters and practically ran down to the river. 10 casts later I hooked into a really nice brookie on a rainbow colored clouser minnow. I think the 10 weight fly rod was a little overkill, whoops, grabbed the wrong rod as I quickly packed for the daycation.



We continued on down the trail towards Duluth, crossed the Temperance River, the Baptism, ate some pie at Bettie’s Pies, famous on the north shore apparently. Back through Duluth to watch a few giant ships go through the lift bridge and on to Saint Paul. It was an amazing whirlwind tour of the north shore and we had a blast. One day is all you need to get out, do some fly fishing, see some sights and have a good time in beautiful Minnesota.