River levels in pool 9 right now are are low as they got last summer–and it’s ot even July! The lowest pool levels usually happen in mid to late August. A River stage of 620.1 @ Genoa now, projected to remain stable for the next week or so has the potential for going even lower.
There is only one positive in this equation–and it’s a good one. Extreme low water provides the opportunity to mark rock piles and other strucutre which will hold fish when the Immortal River rises again.
The largest obvious negative is hazards to navigation at essentially ANYWHERE beyond the channel markers.
Yesterday I eased in to a natural rocky structure which holds nice SMB at low pool, just as i have done 100 times before. This time the rocks redefined my prop a little bit. It still looks good for a river prop after 2 years of service, but will need some file work before today’s trip.
There are many, many MANY places in running sloughs where trailing ends of islands and mud flats upstream from backwater channels have gone from at least a couple feet to maybe 4″, creating serious potential for going from 30 mph to 0 in about 20 feet.
Low water also means clear water. Floro leaders are part of the matrix in finesse presentations. Directional change and pulsation are part of the retrieve when burning in a bait looking for a reflex strike.
Canadian wildfires have created a haze frequently on otherwise bright, sunny days which extends to active bite window at least another 30 minutes early and late in the day.
The active bite window is a real deal. Extreme low water has concentrated the gamefish BUT it has also concentrated the forage base. With so many young-of-year baitfish to choose from, why would a predator actively pursue dinner?
Essentially, all they have to do is open their mouths and eat. If you’re in the right orientation with a desirable lure when they decide to do so, you’ll hook up.
Case in point: A couple days ago walleyes weren’t even interested in willocats,despite optimum boat location on the ends of wingdams and steep structural breaks.
It was ‘one more cast’ time at mid-day at the end of a morning trip. The guys boated 4 eyes and lost 4 more in just 15 minutes. One was throwing a Rat-L-Trap, the other A Bill Lewis Echo 1.75 that only runs about TWO FEET deep, max!
A few years ago I wrote a story entitled “September bass and menopausal Women”…a subject which I have considerable personal knowledge about. When the non-male gender (there are just TWO options) goes through ” the change” , hormonal imbalance causes unpredictable mood swings which make absolutely no sense to the OTHER gender.
Just like a perfect September day when all habitat and environmental parameters seem perfect, but the fish don’t want to cooperate.
After 52 years of happy marriage I can also testify that when XX and XY chromosomal units get thru with “the change” most remaining , healthy days for the remainder of this union are happy, happy, happy!
Stay safe out there! Be prepared for self-rescue with a come-along, navy anchor and plenty of rope.