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Guest

Is there open water at Orwell dam and/or the dam above it (can't remember the name). Has anyone fished it in the winter? if so, what seems to work?

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Gissert

I would bet the water below the dam is open, as the current is quite strong there.

About half of the reservoir behind the dam is off limits to fishing/hunting, as this is part of the wildlife refuge. In open water periods, this line is marked with bouys.

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Guest

I was also wondering about the hydro-electric dam upstream from Orwell, just can't remember the name of it

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Guest

yeah, I've been there a few times, I was just hoping there'd be open water there now, think I'd have any luck catching anything?

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Gissert

Maybe, I have never fished there this time of year.

Not much in the way of perch or panfish there this time of year, I would think.

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Guest

I've heard of people catching crappies down there, If the water is open far enough from the ****, to create some slack water, I'm thinking the bass might be a possibility. Those nasty dogfish gotta still be in there, too. Man I caught one of them last summer, didn't know what the hell it was, thought it was a half northern half catfish, scary little ****s, actually this one ran 30+ inches so it wasn't exactly little.

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Gissert

When I was a kid, I remember catching crappies under the highway bridge at Orwell in the spring. There is a new flood control structure just below the dam now that I caught some smallies and catfish on last fall. Hopefully, the mandatory catch and release on those smallies is going to make for some nice sized fish soon.

Dayton was always fun for carp. I would take an ultra light rig and catch them on the concrete apron below the spillway and then hang on. The skeeters can really be a pain at both places.

Post how you do if you go there soon, I am curious at to how the fishing is this time of year.

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Gissert

That is Dayton Hollow. Water will be open downstream of that one too. The land to the west side of the dam is private, IIRC.

From the south, you may be able to walk in. There is a gate across what used to be an entrance to an old park. I think that land is owned by Otter Tail Power. It is about a 1/4 mile hike in from the gate.

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Biggestfish

Just a couple of updates. The Dayton Hollow Dam above Orwell is owned by Otter Tail Power comany and it is not open to the public. At one time there was a park down there, but it was closed due to vandalism.

------------------
Just having Fun.
Love to Fish.

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Scoot

I've hear about the Orwell dam many times on this forum and from my cousin, but never been there. Where exactly is it?
Scoot

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rhski

Scoot... I live only a few miles south of Orwell Dam, I used to fish it a lot as a kid 'cause it was close. It is about 8 miles southwest of Fergus on the Ottertail river. From below the dam you could float it all the way to Breck. thru the flatlands of nowhwhere. WE used to shorecast daredevils for northerns and catch a few, mostly we bow hunted for carp, redhorse and suckers, wading in the slack pools below the dam. I hear now that there are a good number of smallmouth in there also some walleye etc. I haven't fished it in years so can't vouch for what is going on now. I just have too many good lakes within 30 mins. east of me to try. By the way I caught your post on Devils Lake and also wonderwhat is going on up there. My last four trips up there have been mostly a bust. What are your thoughts on that ? We used to really get into the perch but I wonder if they just pig out on the shrimp. We fished all the same areas you mentioned and more but can't seem to find biters....just lookers mostly. We do need to meet up sometime am going to LOW Sun. The 24th thru Wed. Staying at Morris Point resort as usual and fishing out from there. Is your Dad close By? Be good ...Fish Hard!

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Guest

Gissert mentioned that "about half of the reservoir behind the dam is off limits to fishing/hunting...the line is marked with bouys". Which half is open to the public? Is there an access? Boat ramp? Would float tubes be an option?

Also, there must be a stretch of river below Dayton Hollow dam that could be fished (with access?) in waders. If so, does this stretch contain smallmouth also?

Thanks & Happy Saint Patrick's day!
FLB

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Gissert

There is an access on the north and south sides. The sanctuary portion is the western part of the reservoir.

Apart from the old channel, the basin is pretty featureless.

The north access is probably the better of the two. I have only launched duck boats from them, but the north one had concrete bunks and a dock the last time I used it. You should be able to get a boat upstream towards Dayton Hollow, just jook out for rocks.

I imagine there will be smallies in this stretch, since they are in the river east of Fergus, too.

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Scoot

Bob (aka Rhski),

I don't know what to say about Devil's Lake- my guess is that we've been in the right places at the wrong times. Typically, when I hear of people doing poorly at Devil's Lake it's been because they've set up their house and sat in one spot for a long time. I definitely didn't do that- we punched a bunch of holes and moved a lot. We did hear that the bite the night before we got there was great for walleye- "Shoulda been here yesterday"...
As for LOW I wanted to get up there this coming weekend, but it doensn't look good. If the river is open my did will be up there somewhere. Stop in at Ballards Resort and ask for him- they all know him up there.
I visited with Esther this past weekend and mentioned that I'd bumped into you here. She says your a nice guy and told lots of stories of you and many of the rele's.
I hope to bump into you sometime soon.
Scoot

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MJCatfish

Scoot,
I know someone with a canoe and a couple of cold ones that you can fish with at Orwell and on the river. Give me a call and WE WILL go. It's a lot of fun. Can be tough if the water is high and fast, but a great float on a nice day.
MJ

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Scoot

If you provide the canoe I'll provide the cold-ones (seems like a raw deal for me given that you only need one canoe, but I'll need Lord knows how many beers to keep you happy!)
You're on. I told Slevy about the spot and he's hot to trot about it too. Of course he's heavy on ideas and short on time in the summer.
I can't wait for April- it should be a fun trip.
Scoot

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Borch
      Looking forward to it.  Here are some more prizes.
    • Wanderer
      Yep.
    • IceHawk
      Nice gill Rick 
    • IceHawk
      HunterFisher Don't rule out trying that lake again. If theres a lot of wood in the water those schools could, be pinned down on other trees than you were fishing. Trust me I have a lake near Glenwood i fish that has a bunch of tress scattered throughout the lake. It took me numerous times fishing it to figure out patterns on that lake. But once i found them well worth it!  I have found lakes with a lot of submerged trees or wood usally hold some real good panfish, . They have plenty of places to hide from predators and anglers through out the seasons. 
    • IceHawk
      See you tomorrow Jeff we'll dial them in 
    • Borch
      Keep checking in here for any updates.  There's a very good chance that the location may change a bit as there have not been a lot of catfish at the methhole area.  Prefishing in the next day or so will help us pin down a location.  I will post any changes here.
    • Borch
      A lake like that with no real hole or structure lends itself to roaming fish.  If there is a defined weededge that will be your structure.  Electronics are not going to show you much until the fish is on your bait.  Drill a lot of holes and move around until you catch fish. 
    • HunterFisher11
      Hay thanks for your input.... Just got home and got skunked!!!!! But that is ok at least now I know to take it off my list of lakes to fish in the winter, but will be back on it come spring and early summer...
    • JerkinLips
      Caught 17 walleyes on Friday, but all were dinks except for two 15".  Caught 6 more Saturday, all small again except for one 16".  Also caught a 12 inch perch, 3 eelpout, and 2 tulibee. Considering the snowstorm prediction for Sunday, I pulled my house off the lake and parked it back in the garage for the season.  LOW next week, then onto lakers the following weekend.
    • JerkinLips
      I think that the 4 I caught this winter were tulibees, including this one yesterday. I think that the 4 I caught this winter were tulibees, including this one yesterday.
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