One could not have written a script for July 4 that would have been any better. Warm weather turning hot; clear skies and plenty of sun; warming lake water that now, finally, is inviting. That day hopefully set the stage for summertime in the north. After a mostly dreary June it was a welcome turn.
The good news is that the weather of Independence Day looks to be continuing for the most part and the weekend upcoming looks to be a good one; the week following will be the same. All this is good news for anyone who lives or vacations in this area. As it stands now, a week into July, we are still finding lake water levels far above what we are used to but finally warming up enough for water sports as well as summer fishing.
We will offer up a gentle reminder: Hot summer weather does bring the need for some common sense measures. Sun protection in the form of long-sleeved shirts and wide-brimmed hats makes sense. Sun screen certainly needs to be considered. And proper hydration is a must, especially for strenuous activities. Carry water and drink frequently. And be aware that a hot summer afternoon can bring heavy storms late in the day. Always watch the western sky for cloud buildup.
July in the north is the realm of summer recreation and right now all things look good to excellent. Bike trails are more and more popular in this region and boating, under power or self-propelled, is excellent. Add that evening cookouts and simply lounging in the sun and we’re where we want to be in July.
Fishing reports are mixed. The good news is that rising water temperatures have finally put lakes close to where they should be for this time of the season. Up til now they’ve been running cooler and that has thrown fishing off. Now things look to have stabilized and that’s good for angling.
Muskies remain slower that we’d expect. June was not a good month for them and early July has continued with a hit-or-miss pattern. Surface lures are always a good summertime option and mid-sized lures fished off weed beds should work well. A consistent weather pattern such as we are looking at will also help out.
We have seen some walleyes in the past week. There is still a fair mayfly hatch happening on some lakes and on those lakes walleyes are feeding heavily on mayflies and anglers are having less success. The mayflies are late this year and that hatch should be done soon. Then we’ll be back to seeing productive days with leeches and crawlers still the best summer option.
Bass have been OK and panfish the same. Again, warmer, consistent weather should help bring more action.
Outside of some mosquitoes (and in some areas a lot of mosquitoes!) life in the Northwoods is looking pretty good as we head into the heart of summer.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander, where a variety of outdoor products is available.