Introducing our Rivers

Lake Superior’s North Shore has nearly 60 rivers and streams accessible to steelhead and salmon.  Most of these tributaries have relatively steep gradients, with swift waters and short reaches below barrier falls that are accessible to migratory fish.  Approximately 20 of these rivers and streams can support a quality run of steelhead annually, but don’t rule out the remaining 40, they can and do take fish under the right conditions.

The flows and water levels in rivers nearest Duluth fluctuate the most, and are largely classified as “spate streams”.  With few or no lakes, bogs and marshes in the headwaters to provide stable base flows, water levels may become a trickle in low rain periods, or rise and flow with great fury during rapid snow melt or after abundant rains.

Rivers further to the northeast have more stable base flows throughout the year. With a greater number of lakes, bogs and marshes in the headwaters, these provide more consistent water sources to feed the rivers between rainfall events and during times of drought.  They also help filter and regulate increased water volume from heavy summer rains.

The best way to find your “favorite hole” is to utilize every resource available. To be a great Steelheader, one should plan on logging countless hours exploring the rivers and streams, visiting with other anglers as chance allows, studying maps, and talking with knowledgeable fly and bait shop staff. There are numerous great fishing rivers and 100’s of fishing holes along Minnesota’s North Shore; and however you choose to fish be it with spinning gear, drift or fly rods, discovery awaits…. What are you waiting for?

The map below is an embedded PDF. Use the arrows to navigate pages. Works best in desktop.

Your waters are waiting, explore the links & maps above!