High Water & Seasonal Change
River level in pool 9 has been in the ‘action stage’ for over a week with forecast calling for it to remain at this level for AT LEAST another week.
meanwhile, we are going through seasonal change, Last week at this time I headed Up Nort for a few days. Almost zero fall color, all the way to Lake Superior. Actually, more color in the River bottoms here than there, even though the north should be real close to seasonal peak. Why? Because perpetual high water this summer has stressed trees in the River bottoms–even maples and cottonwoods which are usually quite content with ‘wet feet’
I fear this wet years will kill a bunch of these trees, resulting in potential calamity at some point in the early future. But I go along with what Jesus said in Matthew about having enough worries to deal with today. Jesus also said not to worry. So I don’t.
The fish don’t worry. The River is high–but stable. They have found the food and are feeding like big dogs with water temps now hovering pretty close to 59 degrees and falling steadily.
Species like pike, bass and panfish are easy to find. Walleyes are a little more challenging. But if you think like a walleye and FOLLOW THE FOOD ol’ marble-eyes is pretty easy to find.
Let’s look at a wingdam scenario. At normal pool the ‘eyes should be feeding like gangbusters above the wingdams from the middle of a good dam out to the end. But at action stage, you won’t find’ em there, BECAUSE THE FOOD ISN’T THERE! Check the shore end of the dam…or maybe behind it. You just might be surprised!
Finding walleyes back in the running sloughs tke a little more effort. But one constant remains: find the food and you’ll find the fish. Running sloughs are still pretty stained, but weeds don’t seem to be as much of a problem as they are around Oct. 1st most years. Once temps fall into the mid-40’s (in a couple of weeks) this bite should be really, really easy as the fish ‘stair step’ progressively deeper as winter approaches.
Consistent success is all about time on the water.I’m out there just about every day, but it still takes me at least an hour EVERY DAY to get a handle on where the fish are and assess their attitude. Sometimes this attitude–at least with walleyes–is ‘not interested’. When the River tells you to go for another species, its wise to listen. At least if you wanna CATCH FISH.
Not about to parrot “that’s why they call it fishin’, not catchin'”.
Fish don’t have the time or inclination to philosophize. They have one mission: survival. you’ll catch more fish if you get in the mindset of ” if I was a fish, what do I need to do now to survive”. Sometimes the answer is EAT. sometimes it’s HUNKER DOWN. Once you understand your success is based on a personal skill set plus deciphering fish motivation you won’t even feel compelled to blurt out dumb stuff like ” a bad day fishin’ is better than a good day at work” if you EVER see a fishing guide say this, ask to see his credentials.