Maple syrup making:  For making maple syrup from sap, the ideal the weather should be around 25 F at night and 40 to 45 F during the day.  That typically happens around between mid-March to mid-April with the best chances the last week in March.    For more information:

Whitewater Canoeing: They call it the Big Melt.  The highest water levels and the best whitewater canoeing comes with the melting of all the snow and frozen moisture in the soil that typical occurs during the last week in April thru the first three weeks in May.  Other times of the summer after heavy rains these rivers can have good runnable white water conditions.  Check these gauges for much higher than average river levels for that date for whitewater canoeing:

Brule River Water Gauge.       White River Water Gauge     Namekagon River Gauge

Whitewater canoeing is not for the inexperienced canoeists. The best whitewater rivers are the Namekagon River from Lake Namekagon Dam down to U.S. 63 with some stretches of class I and a few Class II rapids and the White River from County Highway E just east of Mason to the Ashland Dam by Highways 112 & 118 with long stretches of continuous class I and Class II water. Experienced canoeist can handle the white water section from below Mason to the Ashland Dam which is a rollercoaster of mostly continuous grade 1, 2 and some 3’s with water flows between 170 and about 700 cubic feet per second.  During the Big Melt and every year after thunderstorms, the White River below Mason will have days where the water flow is between 700 and nearly 3,000 cubic feet per second.  At those higher levels, only expert canoeist should try this with impact resistant life preservers, helmets, compass and map to walk out if canoe is destroyed.

White River from Mason to the Ashland DamIf you don’t mind seeing other canoes, the popular Brule River sees a lot of whitewater canoeing up to Class III rapids outfitted by the Brule River Canoe Rental

Trout Fishing:   World class trout fishing exists on the Namekagon and White Rivers and plentiful trout fishing on the stocked lakes around Drummond starts on the first Saturday in May and is best until the mosquitos hatch around May 13th to 16th.  The Federal Fish Hatchery in Iron River, Wisconsin will drop off hundreds of their older brood stock which go up to 5 pounds per fish in local lakes like Perch Lake.  The best trout fishing can be found on the Namekagon River from Seeley upstream to the Lake Namekagon Dam, the White River from Delta down to Sutherland (made the cover story of Field and Stream and Sports Afield in the 1980’s), and 18 Mile Creek upstream from Deer Lick Lake Road to the beaver dams.

Use 4 lb. test line on an ultralight spinning rod with a #6 hook, two or three BB split shots 6 inches up from the hook, baited with a half of a nightcrawler, cast upstream above holes and retrieved with the drift.  After a big rain that washes worms into the water, trout go on a feeding binge.  World class fly fishing occurs during the Hexagenia mayfly hatch that occurs a few days a year right after sunset between the last few days either side of July 1. It is an amazing sight of nature to shine a flashlight up into the air, unfocus your eyes, and see huge Hexagenia mayflies in every direction 3 feet apart.  The trout go on a feeding binge biting anything that resembles the silhouette of a large mayfly and can also be caught on nightcrawlers.

Fly Fisherman