This time of year I begin to sound like a broken record. Over the past few seasons the first week of July has become the Mayfly ritual. The past several days I have begun to see several stationed on the airplane as I complete my morning pre-flight checks at Central Lake. After flying to the outpost camps this afternoon I have been informed from several guests that the hatch is growing by the day.
These short lived flies are like caviar to walleye. The fish will absolutely gorge themselves on mayflies. For three or four days mayflies will begin their transition from the mudflats in larvae form up through the water column only to transform into winged flies fluttering dozens of feet in the air. During this transition period when mayflies are in their larval stage fish are active and relentless feeders. However, as the hatch progresses walleyes fill their bellies and become lethargic.
To truly combat the mayflies fisherman can arm themselves with several weapons. First, you can learn to fly fish. Fly fisherman have reported many many successful weeks of fishing to me during the mayfly hatch. A dry fly mimicking a mayfly on the surface will boat you many fish. Second, go small! The mayfly larvae are small, between 1" and 2" long. So why use big 4" twister tails on 1/2 oz jigs? Employ 1/4 to 1/8 jigs and small small small tails. Finally, if the above doesn't work; go pike fishing. You just have to let the walleyes digest for a day or two; they will get back to their old feeding habits before you know it.
The Outposts Report
Burnt Lake- Guests last week found fish just about everywhere throughout the lake. 8 feet seemed to be the magical depth. I have guided there the past two days and have great success despite the mayflies. The Ridge was holding numerous big pike and lots of walleye. Big Boy Bay also held several large pike. Be careful traversing through the narrows to the upper half of Burnt, the water is low and you need to tilt the motor up!
Central- The north narrows and husker rock have heated up for both species. Walleye are holding on a number of reefs throughout the lake. The West portage has been great for sizable pike.
Cocos- Huge numbers were boated, over 2200 for four fisherman in seven days. Lots of fish around the rapids. The huge weed bed in front of the Sagawitchewan was holding big pike.
Favourable/Lemonade- Once again Lemonade is...well, Lemonade. Fish are hitting everywhere throughout the lake. Favourable was a bit on the slow side for walleye and pike. As the weed beds mature I foresee Favourable getting hotter and hotter. I like walleye point and pike alley this time of year.
South Lake- Lots of nice walleye have been boated and released. Several 28" fish, a monster 31", and many many over 22". Jigs were the weapons of choice. Fish in 12-16" for the bigger trophy walleye.
SW- Lots of fish were boated everywhere. Guests claimed it was some of the best numbers they had ever. Guests today found a giant school of perch and enjoyed a delicious perch lunch. The perch were found up near an incoming creek towards the outflow of rapids.
West- The Horse Shoe and the narrows have been the hot spots. Top water in the Horseshoe in the evenings have produced numerous trophies. The reef east of camp towards the incoming falls has started to hold many 24" walleye.
Walleye- Chartruese Shad Rap #5, Pumkinseed tail on a 1/4 oz jig, Rattle Trap.
Pike- Perch colored Rapala Giant Shad, Orange and black bucktail, Dancing Raider, Buzz Bait, Johnson Silver minnow.
Good luck on the water everyone.