Muddy Water Fly Rodding
The spring in Minnesota has been early and a bit on the wet side. We started on small tributaries to the Mississippi with mixed results and this condition has carried through into the last three weeks on the big river. The water color and visibility on the upper Mississippi has remained limited and murky due to repeated rain.
Early fishing in late June on the big river was pretty good, even though the visibility was limited to about 3 feet, which isn’t bad on the Ole Miss. Also interestingly enough nearly all the action was on top. Underwater streamers and the like did not produce nearly as well as surface poppers, divers and gurglers.
This is no surprise since the sound and vibration of poppers help fish key in on the fly or lure when visibility is limited.
We went two days ago on a stretch we’d fished four days previous. The earlier trip saw mainly smallmouth 17″ and up. Very nice fish although the numbers we’re mediocre. They hit hopper patterns and hardware, such as Chug Bugs and Buzzbaits.
Last Wednesday, July 6 was a gorgeous day with no wind and mild temps in the upper 70’s. Normally the fish should be going nuts under these conditions, but they were largely shut down for nearly the entire day. We managed a few “sympathy” fish on Murdich’s late in the day. Very weird.
Generally with high or muddy water, your best bet is top water for any number of reasons. The color of the poppers or sliders can sometimes make a difference, as does the cadence with which your work the flies. So experiment with fast and slow, or sporadic retrieves until you find what the fish like.
I hope your fishing is not as up and down as ours, but alas, that’s fishing!