Heat, humidity and rain: The three seemingly constants as we pass the midpoint of June. The first two, heat and humidity, settled over the north like a heavy blanket in the past week and brought conditions more like August than June. And rain? We can’t seem to get free of that. We are now into the third consecutive month in which rainfall totals exceed the average. Rainfall so far this month, halfway through, is already over the average for the entire month.
What does all this mean in terms of outdoor activities? Start with the rain. High water on lakes and streams remains the norm. Fishing and boating enthusiasts are finding water levels high enough to change some of their normal patterns and some landings are near unusable. Rivers are high and full and near flood stage in many areas making current stronger than normal for June. And when you get standing water in low areas (and we have that) mixed with heat (and we have that!) expect a mosquito crop that can make life outdoors miserable. Simply put, do not leave home without good mosquito repellent! Period!
As far as impact of the heat goes we need to prepare as if we were in late summer versus early summer. Hydration, lots of water, is a given. Sun protection in clothing (long-sleeve shirts, hats with large brims) and sun screen (choose carefully as studies now question the effectiveness of many) are a given. And exertion in the heat can bring over heating issues. So be cautious.
After all this we turn to fishing and for the first time in a while reports are very good in that area. Bluegills have come on strong as they move to the shallows. Walleyes have been taking leeches on many lakes and have really gotten more aggressive in the past seven days. Muskies remain strong with some large fish showing. And bass fishing has been good. Smallmouth catch-and-keep season begins this weekend should that be a factor in a species that does not have a good reputation as table fare.
This week will mark the summer solstice and the longest period of daylight for the entire year. Long days, hot temperatures, some more rain, that is the story as we move through mid June with July less than two weeks out.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander, where a variety of outdoor products is available.