The week of July 4 looms, improbably it seems given that June provided little in the way of setup for summer. A month of seemingly endless rain, June provided little relief for cloud cover and dreary days, hardly the lead-in to July that one hoped for. We were left with little save for higher water levels than we’ve had in ages and memories of soggy days and sullen nights.
That, in the manner of good news, is behind us now and the forecast for the weekend and week ahead holds promise of more days of dry weather and sun than of wet and gloom. Hopefully we are now in the early days of true summer with sunshine the norm.
We stand now on the doorway to summer. Daylight hours are near their peak in terms of hours of light, temperatures are on the rise, outdoor recreation, summer-time style, looks promising. Summer, as we know it in the Northwoods, can be a wonderful season.
Boating and water sport activities will be very good. Lake temperatures lag behind what might be average but are still fine for all. Water levels on lakes are high but that is not a big deal for boaters and skiers and the like. A large part of summers in the north is focused on lakes and conditions are very good.
Bikers and campers should find very nice conditions (though mosquitoes can be a problem that must be dealt with). Both are perfect ways to spend July days.
Fishing will move into a summer pattern as lakes warm. The past week was dampened by rain and cold fronts and fishing lagged as a result. The week ahead looks better. Fishing to date has been fair to good, certainly not exceptional but steady. Walleyes remain in deeper water but the bite has been good. Panfish have moved out of the shallows now and have been decent as well. Bass fishing has been very good and they can provide the mainstay for summer fishing, both largemouth and smallmouth.
Musky fishing has been fair at best. The bigger fish just have not seemed to be real active, at least not on a consistent basis. Surface lures always work well in July but we’ve also seen mid-sized lures doing some good. Larger offerings have not been as productive this season.
Overall we are hoping for a more stable, more summer-like weather pattern this week. Rain looks possible for the weekend but the week ahead looks very good.
The outdoor report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander, where a variety of outdoor products is available.