Thursday, June 28, 2012

Waist Deep to Beat the Heat

When Northern Minnesota guide Billy Rosner floats the Vermilion River,  he likes to get out and wade gravel bars and rapids to work those areas more thoroughly. Wading is also a nice way to cool down a bit on a hot summer afternoon.

Only a week ago I reported that summer had found its way to Georgia, mentioning that an outlook for days in the upper 80s represented pretty hot weather around here. Well, the temps have gone up another notch or two since then. We're supposed to hit the mid 90s today and then climb into triple digits for the weekend! And looking at the national weather map, it doesn't look like we're alone. Big numbers thoughout the South and the Midwest.

What that says to me is that it's time to abandon boats and step in a creek or a river somewhere. Little is more refreshing on mid-summer day than to stand waist deep in cool stream and fish. Adding even greater virtue, stream fish don't seem to be as bothered by the heat as lake fish, and often  you can find excellent action from smalmouth bass, trout, channel catfish or some other kind of fish by wading up a stream this time of year.

My favroite type of area for really hot days is the head of a big hole, where current from an upstream shoal meets notably deeper water. The fish hold behind boulders in the deeper water and watch the current for dinner. A Rebel Wee-Crawfish will poduce everything that swims in these types of areas and a Zell Pop worked overhead will bring fish crashing to the surface. A good alternative to the artificial approach is to dead drift night crawlers or freshly caught hellgrammites, creek minnows or crawfish into the same types of holes wiht a simple split shot rig.

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