A buddy and I headed up to Grand Marais for a timber framers gathering– a work-related conference that we turned into adventure. When considering lodging for a weekend in early spring, only one option came to mind: camp.
Sure, there was still over 24″ of ice on the lake and the morning temperatures were hovering in the 20’s as well, but spring is spring. I’m usually not one for ‘campground camping’, but on a crispy April weekend we expected it to be a bit less congested than usual. With ice and snow on the ground and the lake, it was no wonder that we ended up having the entire campground to ourselves.
Circling the wild grounds in truck, we saw at least three grouse. The gravel drive was still covered in ice and snow. We found a nice site on Devil’s Track Lake, crowned by tall spruce and pines.
The next day we scouted out the area for creeks and tried a couple. Most were still lined with ice and snow. We fished wet flies and nymphs, looking for brookies and rainbows.
We ran into a few other fisherman. It seemed from our experience and theirs that the trout weren’t running biting yet. Early season with a late start to spring may have been keeping them sluggish.
Nonetheless, we had a great time seeing some great scenery, casting some flies, and enjoying the crisp air. Our canvas lodging, with a wood stove burning, was comfortable enough. Though a nearby grouse, who insisting on drumming all through the night all three nights, made sure we didn’t get too much rest.