September 26, 2009
For the first time since I don't when, flows on the Otter Tail dropped below the 80th percentile. Even with a dry fall, flows are still above average for the period, though I'll take anything at this point. Water levels have dropped within preferable range for picking out fish. Though it may be a bit much to ask at this point, a few weeks of steady flows and little precip should reduce the turbidity in the river, making sightfishing an easier task to undertake. It's been a long summer of chasing the ghost.
Temps have still been well above average this past week; highs in the upper 70s and low 80s are ranging 10 to 15 degrees above normal. Overnight lows are still hanging in the 50s, though that is about to change after this weekend. A strong cold front will charge through bringing temps down into the 50s on Sunday afternoon and the upper 30s overnight. We may even get our first frost Monday night, a month overdue. That should start bringing water temps down and appetites up.
Still no takers on the clam as of yet. I did see a bunch of drums flashing so I know they're up looking for food right now. A Hot Donna took a carp and a Megaworm picked up a runt silver redhorse. Like my previous outing, catching that one carp spoiled the entire reach of river. After two hours of nothingness, I packed up and took a rare lunch break to regroup and recharge.
After putting back a few wings and breasts, I whipped out the Pre and hit up Google Maps. It's almost like cheating, having satellite imagery at the touch of your fingertips. I can't tell you how valuable this app has been for me on my phone. It's already put me on to a few spots that I haven't been able to find otherwise with my Gazetteer.
I came up to my location for some recon. I scouted and was about to head out when I spotted a small silhouette underneath a bunch of pondweed. I wondered to myself, if it was even worth the effort gearing up and fishing to a solitary fish in a pool. I looked at the shadow again; it turned out it was the tail of a fucking carpzilla. Money. I suited up and got the hell down to the water looking for that fish. I dapped a Sea Donkey into the pool and scanned the water. I saw a splash at the surface and jigged my fly. On the second tug there was tension on the line and a feisty black bass took the business of the fly and headed for cover. I horsed it up to the surface and landed that badboy like Bill Dance. Son! I managed to dredge up a smallmouth and a couple of small carp before spotting the beast again. I dropped my fly in that mofo's face. The beast moved for it and I set the hook only to swing and miss. I attempted a few more shots before the fish moved on, victorious. I never did see that fish again, though I did hook up with it's shorter uglier cousin. What a lush.
Irony: the Sea Donkey fell for the Sea Donkey.