Some hard cold weather dominated mid-week but gives way to warming temperatures for this weekend, setting the stage for some good outdoor conditions. We could use some more snow but what we do have is enough to give a good base for both skiers and snowmobilers as we head into the mid week of February.
A nasty rain last week did not damage the snow that we have but did add to a crust for off trail conditions. Snowshoers will see this if they venture from the packed trails. But the good news is that ski and snowmobile trails were not damaged and should be in very good shape this week.
Skiers will find all trails groomed and running very good. We continue to receive rave reviews of the ski trails at Washburn/Perch Lake. Groomers were touching things up on Thursday and weekend ski conditions will be very good. Add to that good reports from the state trails. Notable there for the proximity to Rhinelander is the McNaughton trail, a long-established ski trail that continues to get good use and good reviews from skiers.
All in all with good snow conditions and mild temperatures this weekend should be a great one to ski.
Snowmobilers also will find good to very good trail conditions this week. Groomers are, as usual, keeping on top of things and the base is solid and trails running in the good to very good range. With longer hours of daylight coming in we are into a very good time of the season for snowmobilers.
Ice fishing is gradually getting back on track as the widespread slush the dominated the area has subsided on most lake. We still do not have the ice thickness or quality we’d hope for at this late date in the ice fishing season but conditions are decent on most lakes.
We’ve seen slow fishing to date and that has continued this week. Northern pike are still steady but maybe not quite as aggressive as they were two weeks ago. Panfish and walleyes are hit-or-miss. That is often the case in mid-February as walleyes often taper off and panfish have yet started to come on. That does not mean you will not take fish, only that action is sporadic and often in a fairly narrow window of a given day.
We are, by any measure, past the midpoint of the winter recreation season. But with more daylight hours each day and temperatures gradually rising we still have some very good time on snow and outside ahead. But it can go fast and each weekend needs to be taken for what it is; a great opportunity that will not last forever.
The Outdoor Report is prepared by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander, where a variety of outdoor products is available.