2019 Redux ?

2019 Redux ?

Back in ’19 the River went to flood stage and didn’t recede til have past November. Ultra low River levels we have experienced the past two years are history. But in reality, this MORNING is history!

The River has been running belly full since late May. We have not seen ‘minor flood’ on Pool 9 since 2021 when the high water was driven by snowmelt up north. this Spring there was essentially no snowmelt coming from upstream.

All these notes are truly water under the bridge. All that matters is what’s headed downstream now. Currently (no pun intended) River levels are near perfect on the upper Pool. Several west side boat ramps are inaccessible. Wet foot policy on several others.

Bluegills, crappies and Bass are done with spawning. We are now officially in summer pattern for all species. There is a fair amount of emergent vegetation in backwaters and running sloughs. There has been a good topwater and buzzbait bite for the past 10 days.

With USACE predicting River rise of about two feet over the next week, emergent vegetation will once again become submergent, opening things up for more shallow-running presentations. This is a good thing.

Water is now in the trees bordering many islands in the flood plain. It is not yet running THROUGH the trees, so we still have ‘edges’ which will pin fish movement.

There are still a number of backwater sloughs which load from downstream, pushing clear water to the upstream end of these backwaters, creating very productive edges.

When water starts runnng through the trees it can reach the point where the only edges are River banks on both sides, winnowing easily productive water to the max. We’re not there yet. If the River crests at projected levels the bite will continue to be good all summer. If the River level starts going down after that the bite will be great.

The only constant in river fishing is perpetual change. Accepting this natural truth and adjusting accordingly will make your fishing exploits on the immortal River more consistently productive.

I take no credit for this epiphany. This natural wisdom dates back to the days of ancient Greeks (like my pal Spence Petros) lounging in togas, sampling fermented grapes.

From the quotable Tony Soprano ‘it is what it is’. Even though i’m on the River pretty much every day, it still takes me at least an hour to find fish and a productive presentation for catching them..

A shiny object full of waypoints is of little value on the dynamic environment which is the Upper Mississippi River. Finding consistent success is all about time on the water.

Gotta rig for tomorrow’s trip. Hope the Admiral can get all the pike slime off of my summer toga. Tomorrow’s targets : walleyes and bass. Starting with #7 jointed ShadRaps and chatterbaits with jigs & Yamamoto senkos ready to go

If you’re fishing here the fish are over the next couple weeks, there likely won’t be anybody close to help you in a bind. Be prepared for self-rescue. The only difference between a miniature gherkin and a giant dill pickle usually is a matter of MPH.

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