Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Mayflies Rise

Warm weather has brought the inevitable to the Opasquia Provincial Park....mayflies.  Fisherman hate them but ecosystems love them. The adult Mayfly (with wings) will live for about two days - some species only last a few hours. The job of the adult is simply to mate and get the eggs deposited back in the water.  Adults don't even stop to eat.  Because of its short lifespan, the mayfly is often called one-day or one-day fly in several languages. Mayflies play an important role in the ecosystem, a lake with a large mayfly hatch shows that body of water is extremely healthy.  We certainly have some healthy lakes! Especially the last two days.  

The onset of a mayfly hatch can kick off a walleye feeding frenzy.  The fish become extremely active striking everything.  However, several hours after the hatch begins their bellies become full and the walleye become lethargic.  Smaller presentations often help encouraging walleye to strike.  I prefer scaling all the way down to 1/8 oz jigs and two inch tales.  The bite is often super light, to where the fish just holds the jig in their mouth.  Half the time you raise your rod tip and experience dead weight.  Walleye's digest mayflies rather quickly which is good news for fisherman. Within two to three days walleyes are back to their typical patterns.  

As noted before the weather has been warm the past several days.  Surface temperatures are finally reaching the high 60's and even low 70's in some locations.  Weed growth is strong as the lake levels are beginning to subside to normal levels.  

Hot Lures over the past week:

Walleye: Jig pink head, white twister tail 3", fire tiger rattle trap,  Hot N Tot Flouro Orange. 

Pike: Johnson Silver Minnow, Red and White Daredevil, Rapala F18 Firetiger 

 Burnt keeps rolling with big fish.  A 44" pike was boated and released just down the shore from the cabin. Another fish, 39.99999" (just couldn't stretch it to 40") inches was boated by the youngest in the Guyette party.  Fish are starting to move out of the narrows into the larger areas of the lake.  Weed beds are growing strong along the beach on the north end.  Fish are still holding in the current below the narrows pouring into the north end of Burnt. 
The rapids on every end of the lake continue their production.  The narrows on the north end has been surprisingly quiet so far this year, usually it is the go to spot in the lake for big pike.  I expect this area to explode with production over the next couple of days.  Many of the reefs and wind blown points are beginning to hold fish.  Dump Island has been a great spot for eyes.   
The rapids continue to gush and guests are still unable to run into the Sagawitchewan river.  I expect that to change over the next several days.  Water levels are dropping at all the lakes flowing into Cocos, which means the waterways will be navigable soon.  Weed beds very close to camp have been productive for large pike.  The outgoing rapids on the north end of the lake held more walleye than the guests could count. 
A Favourable Monster
Lemonade is still chugging out the numbers of fish this season.  I have been amazed with the numbers of nice perch and sauger caught.  I was chatting with the guests one day and we witnessed a mink struggling to pull an eel pout from the lake.  I never knew eel pout existed in Lemonade.  Favourable weed beds are beginning to hold some nice pike.  Attached right is a beautiful 40" fish caught and released by the Hurt party last week.   Johnson's Island has been holding some large fish. 
The week kicked off with a beautiful 28" walleye.  The fish have been holding in 12-16 feet of water. With the mayflies hatching in full tilt, the bite has been lethargic.  Bigger fish have been caught trolling Hot N Tot's along the deeper sections of mud flats.  The guests noted good luck in deep sections of weed beds for walleye.  The rock points have been hit or miss. 
South West
Even mayflies can't slow down the juggernaut of southwest lake.  Guests still reported great fishing despite a lake covered with winged insects.  A pair of lynx were spotted last week gazing upon the fisherman.  I saw the pictures and can't wait to post them to the blog.  
The biggest fish of the year so far was boated and released last week.  In the bottom of the ninth with two outs, a just one more fish, one more cast monster was boated on a Rapala F18.  The 45.5" was caught in the narrows just south of camp.  Guests noted that fishing was great in the Horseshoe and on several of the reefs in the fish bowl basin.  

Good luck on the water everyone!


  1. Where is Dump Island on Central?

  2. Dump Island is the big island on the north end of the lake. It is where the old dump used to exist. The Northeast corner of the island has been hot for walleye the past several days.