Yes, there have been reports from people getting out to fish Rainy Lake at the end of October, and yes, they are catching fish. They also report that when they catch fish they are stuffed full of various bait fish. In the late fall, there are lots of minnows and other smaller fish hanging in anywhere from 10 to 30 feet of water, so they are relying on electronics more than any known structures. The fish are feeding on minnows, so the best bet to catch fish is going to be minnows. Try jigging if it’s relitvely calm and slow trolling if there’s a bit of wind. Anglers report they have pulled in quite a few walleye, smallmouth bass and northern pike and sometimes from the same general areas.
Those that aren’t fishing are paying attention to the hunting seasons. Some are trying to flush a bird or two and some are preparing for the firearms deer season. Bird hunters are providing quite different reports, some are flushing a lot of birds, others claim there are no grouse left in the woods. That’s probably due to the feeding situation, right now, more grouse are picking buds from tree branches rather than foraging the forest floor for food. If you’re not looking in the generally right place, you won’t see any birds.
If you want to stay toasty warm and have something fun to do, head for the Backus Community Center for the Borealis Bards performance of “The Wizard of Oz” a fun musical production presented Friday and Saturday evening with a Sunday afternoon matinee. The information is posted on our events page, along with many other fun events throughout the year. Just scroll to the top of the page and click on the events tab on the top tool bar.
We did have a fairly decent weekend and both anglers and bird hunters were out to chase fins and feathers respectively. Word from those hitting Rainy Lake was that they could find smallmouth bass, walleye and crappie around structure in anywhere from 15 to 25 feet of water. Jigging with live bait has been working best. The bird hunters reported flushing fair numbers of birds during the almost summer like weather on Saturday, but that the birds were hunkering down on Sunday when the more seasonal cool and we weather swept in.
If you’re not part of the hook and bullet crowd, there are still some nice trails to hike where the possibility of spotting wildlife is very good. Fall colors are fading fast so that may not be a bonus. There are also options to visit historic sites or scenic vistas touring Rainy Lake by boat. Those same options exist by touring Koochiching County scenic drives.
Coming up, there will be some fun events for the whole family. The Borealis Bards will present the Wizard of Oz at the Backus Community Center Auditorium at the end of October and there will be an indoor treat street at Backus on Halloween. The Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a parade and hot chocolate and cookies social the day after Thanksgiving. The parade kicks off the holiday season with a visit from Santa and plenty of kid oriented events. You can check for details on our calendar by clicking the events tab at the top of the page.
We are going to have another great weekend in Borderland with fairly moderate temperatures and little or now precipitation. That should be enough to get people out enjoying everything our area has to offer. For instance, the anglers say fish are schooling up and feeding aggressively with the decreasing daylight. If you find a school of fish, you will do well. Jigging with a minnow has been the favored method. ATV riders are all getting out to enjoy the last of the fall colors clinging to the trees. It’s a great time to ride and trails are being identified and marked with regularity throughout the northland. Maybe you just want to hike, or maybe you want to hike with a shotgun and look for some ruffed grouse. Those are all possibilities.
As the colder weather settles in, fewer anglers will get out and whitetail deer hunting will become the center of attention. Then, as a skim of ice forms over Rainy Lake, anglers will start getting the ice fishing gear lined up and ready. Snowmobile clubs has been out to clear their trails as have the cross country ski groups. There will be no shortage of recreational opportunities as we head into winter.
The Christmas season kicks off with the Chamber of Commerce’s “Twas the Lights Before Christmas” Parade the day after Thanksgiving. This event mixes hot chocolate and cookies at Smokey Bear Park with Santa and dog sleds in the parade and other family fun. If you’re in the area, be sure to head downtown in International Falls on November 25th For all the Fun.