A pile of rain has hit the upper Mississippi River basin over the past 48 hours, raising river levels a couple of feet and turning a major portion of the fishery into chocolate milk.
This inundation has pushed fish away from the flow in pursuit of cleaner, quieter water. there are still a number of areas which load from downstream and are far enough from shoreline runoff with adequate habitat parameters. It takes fish a couple of days to acclimatize to new haunts. This process is well underway, exacerbated by warm water temperatures.
River levels in the main flow have pretty much crested–one advantage of being a broad shouldered flow–in a couple of days River levels should drop sharply, making chokepoints hot as a reverse migration begins by this weekend.
These conditions can be challenging to the average angler, but the rapid rise/fall scenario when water temps are in the 70s create conditions which simply make me giddy!
Experience has revealed a number of choke points which fish must pass in their return to summer status quo. It may take a fair amount of run-and-gun to land on the mother lode, but when you find ’em a reaction bait like my beloved Rat-L-Trap can produce a fish on every cast.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. This process is easier if you don’t use chocolate water. Water with 2’+ visibility is still out there if you know where to look.