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Just returned last night from our "home away from home", the Turtle Flambeau Flowage located between Park Falls and Mercer Wisconsin. Weather reports looked good but ended up with some high sunny skies and calm water all week. Another problem we had to overcome was a major mayfly hatch which basically lasted all week. Mayfly hatches can really slow the fishing down as just about every specie will feed on them before they can reach the surface. That proved to be true the first day on the water with only two walleye caught, A few smallies, crappie, perch and northern but the eye's were playing hard to get. When I say a major hatch, I mean major.



Lines like the one above were all over and stretched for hundreds of yards at a time. The picture below shows just how thick the the flies were.



The bugs were even worse in the evenings. You didn't talk or run without glasses if your head was above the windshield or you would literally eat some bugs or worse, get whack in the eye's. Below is the spinner boat after the usual trip home in the evening.



Most people will avoid the hatch if they can but if your patient and persistent, you'll still do OK. Here's a pic of a smallie caught on Sunday.



Crappies were around but the sizes were smaller than usual.



It took a day to figure out what would bring walleye into the boat. We spent the first two days jigging with small minnows and crawlers but changed over to spinner baits Monday afternoon which started to produce some fish.





If you put your time in, even with the hatch, you can still pick up some nice fish. Water temps were right at 70 when we arrived but were nearly 80 by the time we left with several days reaching close to 90 with little wind.

Biggest walleye was about 18 inches with one lost that might have hit the low 20's if I wouldn't have lost it at the boat, just a fish story now. Water levels are already low. The flowage never reached full this spring and remains about a foot and a half low now. No rain will make the next trip in August and September tougher to navigate. We could see water levels down 3-4 maybe even 5 foot by then. Here's a few more fish for the week.







The flowage was never known for Northerns but every year we seem to pick up a couple fair size fish. If you can beat off a bunch of 15-18 inch fish, you'll eventually pick up a bigger one. This guy chased a spinner/minnow combination in about 8 foot of water. It measured just over 28 inches.



Didn't get as many scenery shots as usual and most of my pic's come with a dirty camera lens. That's what happens when you don't check it.















For many years now I've said I was going to hit the Tahoe Linx Golf course in Mercer but have never taken the time. Always too busy on the water. Not this year, played 18 holes and shot a 99. Not bad for a guy who hasn't played in three years.



Nature pictures were scarce this trip too. Many deer were seen, some with fawns but just couldn't get the camera on them quick enough.



.... and did manage to get a picture of the snapper laying eggs on the side of the road.



Bottom line, another great week on the water with nice weather, good friends and some nice fish caught even with the mayfly hatch. The Spinner Boat will return to the flowage in August and September of 07. Anyone interested in booking a trip for a day, feel free to contact me. Cabins are getting scarce but there are always good campsites.
 

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Nice! Looks like you had a decent trip despite the mayfies! I've never witnessed the hatch time but it looks a bit overwhelming. Too bad about water levels. They were down in May when we went up. If I remember correct, last year they were low too. Hope that turns around soon. I may have to check out the TFF for our next trip, which will hopefully be still this year but we'll see. Anyway, thanks for the informative post from the Northwoods!
 

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Nice report! When I was in Canada last week there was also a mayfly hatch. It wasn't nearly as bad as what you witnessed though. Many of the fish that we caught had a ton of mayflies that they spit up.
 

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Great report. Seems like you had a great time. I've been wanting to go to the TFF for years. I'll have to get up there soon!
 

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Hey JD, nice trip, nice fish. My Dad used to have a cabin up there. Where do you stay? My Dads place was on the sothern end of the flowage, near Donner's Bay. I don't know if you are fimiliar with that part of the flowage or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks guy's, it was a tough couple of days to figure out the bite but finally got to 'em. :wink:

Big Al said:
My Dad used to have a cabin up there. Where do you stay? My Dads place was on the sothern end of the flowage, near Donner's Bay. I don't know if you are fimiliar with that part of the flowage or not.
We stay at Donners. They are great people and are about the only full service resort left with bait and gas on the water. Years ago, we stayed at Hiawatha Resort but they closed down in the late 90's. I still miss that place. Jack is still around and works behind the bar at Midway a couple days a week.
 
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