April 9, 2009

It's gonna get worse before it gets better

I'm not gonna lie to you, fishing conditions are tough right now. The Otter Tail is blown out; I mean blown out. Record flows, flows almost four times that of normal, are choking the banks with silt laden water. If I can't see more than a foot through the water column, how in the hell is a fish supposed to find my fly? Barbels will help, but only slightly. I found a few bottom dwellers looking for some action and picked them up to party.

channel cat
mini carp
That little carp needed to go back to mommy. Caught a bunch of small buffalo too. After catching them, I changed their diapers and sent them back down to their crib. I wonder if their parents knew they were having contact with strangers.

Fishing spring flows is a double edged sword: it can be incredibly frustrating fishing high turbid water, especially when you have trouble getting a tungsten laced lead pipe fished on a extra super fast sink tip to reach bottom, with extra lead. Now that's fast water. You might end up with some low fish count days on the water. But on the flip side, spring spawn is just around the corner. Fish are about to go incredibly nuts soon, putting the feedbag on and stuffing everything they can see in their mouth. The influx of redhorse is a sure sign that the water is beginning to warm and the start of the spawn is only a few weeks away. The spring spawning period is the most prolific time of the year on the river, resulting in some high fish counts. I marked a 50+ fish day last spring.

golden redhorse
shorthead redhorse
Shorthead redhorse have got be some of the most beautiful fish to swim these waters. Their blood red tails and fins are unreal. Tough to capture on film, they really jump out at you in real life, pulsing. Perfectly complimented to their golden scales, shortheads are truly magnificent.

shorthead redhorse
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  1. Tell us about that rig from pics #1 and #2. Fish don't spook on the tonnage so close to the fly?

  2. I like putting shot just above the nonslip loop knot that I attach my fly. I haven't found any problems with not catching fish on it. I think If you are fishing the bottom it doesn't really matter much; they probably perceive the shot as gravel. When the lead is closer to your fly, I don't have problems with my line getting tangled. It also gets my fly deeper faster. This placement has proven more effective to me in the long term than placing it 12-18"+ above the fly.

  3. learn something new every day.

  4. "I wonder if their parents knew they were having contact with strangers."

    What sorta "contact" you talkin' about Willis?