We’ve had enough rain to last us for a while. That, and some cool temperatures, dominated this past week and set the stage for the short-term outdoor scene. The average rainfall for the entire month of May is three-and-a-half inches; as of the 17th we’re at about five inches! April? The monthly average is two-and-a-half inches or so; we ended up with nearly seven! The entire region is, basically, inundated.
Any low spots today hold water; swamps are topped off; lakes are higher than they’ve been in ages; flowages are high and rivers and streams are busting over their banks and running fast and full. Anglers deal with high water every time they go out; mountain bike trails are soft; kayakers on rivers deal with high volume and lurking in every low spot is the threat of huge mosquito crop. This is where we are in late May, 2017.
Fishing showed signs of life earlier in the week as walleyes were active before the storms of mid-week and crappies were coming on. Bass were in shallow, warmer water and there was some signs of hope across the angling world. That all got stalled as huge storms on Wednesday and Thursday put fish off and a drop in temperatures Thursday nailed the door shut. We expect some slow fishing to lead into the weekend with easterly winds and cool temps through Saturday.
On Sunday things look to be turning around some and we expect a gradual improvement into the upcoming week. We’ll look for walleyes to be back on pace (look for them along the edge of shallower water) and crappies should (repeat: Should) be moving back in. Bass fishing will improve with the warmer weather and largemouth bass will be more active by late week, assuming the weather comes as predicted.
All in all the big storms of this past week combined with a drop in temperatures will have set us back. Warmer weather and, hopefully, less rain will work to improve conditions and angling success both.
We have seen an increase in the number of boaters on the waters as well as bicyclists on the roads and trails. Both will see improvements in conditions if for no other reason than the weather will be better.
We had the first reports of mosquitoes over the past few days and conditions are right for a bumper crop, given the heavy rains we’ve had that have created ideal conditions. Use whatever repellent you choose (there are a multitude to pick from) but make certain you have something in your gear when you leave home for time outside.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander, where a variety of outdoor products is available.