River levels have dropped a bunch over the past 10 days. We’re fast approaching summer pool levels. As a rule of thumb, a large part of the fishy biomass moves into nether reaches of backwaters on a rising or belly-full River, then slides back into more significant running sloughs and the main channel as the River level drops.
Some places which held fish a couple weeks ago are now dry land. Others where the River was running too angry and dirty are now good places to find ’em. If not today, maybe tomorrow.
Yesterday we were chasing walleyes. Finally found ’em stacked close to–but not relating to-rocks–drawn by the subtle influence of a spring, which attracts the forage walleyes like to chow on. A 1/16 oz. Weed Weasel jig and half-crawler was what they wanted.
The spring had to be the main reason they were hanging where they were hanging, offering suitable habitat parameters and food. Conventional wisdom says walleyes shouldn’t be hanging in 4-5 f.o.w. near noon on a sunny day with ambient surface temperature of 77 degrees. But they were.
A pea sized brain coupled with a powerful tail can take a walleye anywhere in the River. They don’t think about where they are going and why. They just swim until it feels right and cruise around awhile. When it no longer feels right, they move on. Sometimes in a day, sometimes in an hour.
Consistent success on the River is a study in fluid thinking. More gut instinct than deeper thought processes. Being a deep thinker can be counterproductive–especially when time on the water has revealed a refreshing spring which holds fish under certain conditions.