Conditions are good but we our levels are dropping fast. I would now consider us below normal for water level.
Another good stretch of fishing in the rearview mirror. Our bite continues to be good even as our water drops quickly. Another reminder of how high water ultimately effects our bite even after it goes away. This has held true over the many years that I have been on this stretch of river. The longer we have high water in the spring on into summer the longer our bite stays good even through the summer. This year is a prime example as our bite has been steady from March and is still going strong.
Three main presentations carry me through the summer months every year: Pulling crankbaits both up and downstream covers water quickly and triggers fish that sometimes won't hit a slower moving bait. The last two fish below are a great example of this. Kevin Albertson is shown with a pair of 25" fish that were caught while pulling cranks.
Pulling bait (leeches or crawlers) up and down stream in shallow higher current areas. This is done with a 1.5 to 3 oz. bottom bouncer or three-way rig, a leader of about 36 inches and a #1 or #2 hook. Most of the fish below, other than the last two, were caught using this method. This allows us to keep the bait in front of the fish longer and is a smaller bait in general which I believe is effective when fish are feeding on smaller forage. Small shad, minnows and insects start showing up in the stomachs of walleyes as we get into mid to late summer. A good alternative when fish won't hit a bait that goes by them a lot quicker such as a crankbait.
Last is small weedless jigs/bait (crawlers and leeches) dragged downstream at or slightly quicker that the speed of the current. The most natural presentation of the three and can really be a killer when others are getting snubbed.
At any rate it pays to have at least a couple of these at the ready if not all three when you're trying to figure out just what it takes to make these river fish snap from day to day.
In pics below are Gavin, Matt and Collin Fahey; Joel Westicott; Gary Blinkinsop; Jack and Ben Helgeson; Jim Watson and his daughter Katie; Paul Wright and Kevin Albertson.