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Aquaman01

Charles Lindbergh to the Little Falls Dam?

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Aquaman01

Hi. Going up there this weekend and could use some navigating conditions for that 2 mile stretch and fishing tips, please. I'll have a 14' aluminum with a 5.5 hp on it. Bringing gear for smallies, walleyes, northerns and channel cats. Night fishing from shore, too. Thanks -

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Aquaman
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Peace and Fishes

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Mille Lacs Guy

I would be very very careful in that stretch of river, I have seen a lot of lower units get torn off in that area, even on short shaft motors. There are some huge boulders once you get up towards the end of the golf course. Be very very careful if you do go up there, make sure you wear your lifejacket. If I were you I wouldn't go much past the end of the golf course unless you have been up there before.

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Aquaman01

Thanks for the heads up!
Is there a launch above the hazard area? That island & backwater on the map above the Haven Road bridge looks tempting. I surely don't want to ruin my lower unit quite yet, though. I plan on tooling upriver at a crawl. How 'bout downriver to the larger island at 125th st.?

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Peace and Fishes

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Mille Lacs Guy

There is not a ramp above the hazard area. There used to be an access by the waste water treatment plant. That access is now closed. The hazard area you are referring to pretty much goes from the end of the golf course almost all the way up stream to the dam. Down river is much much easier to navigate. I have actually had my best luck down river from the big island.

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Aquaman01

Thanks a bunch! Maybe I'll save the Dam for a shore stop on the way out. Not worth killing my motor for the weekend. Thanks for the reply.

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Aquaman
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Peace and Fishes

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Aquaman01

Day one - Rained all day. Spent the first 3 hours under a small bridge hoping it would let up - not 'cause I'm scared to get wet, but it was raining enough that a bilge pump (don't have) may have been required to stay afloat. While sitting under that bridge giving crawlers to bait-robbing fish (did catch a turtle, though) I came up with a good gear tip (See Equipment).

Fishing was marginal, but the navigation adventure went well. It is very possible to launch at the Pike Creek public access and make it as far as the Little Falls Dam spillways. I was in a 14' aluminum boat, stripped down to bare essentials, with the same model 5.5 hp Johnson that Washington used to cross the Delaware. When I sat at the tiller, I drafted about 18" from waterline to skeg, and about 15" if I stood amidships and steered with an oar stuck in the carry handle.

Pike Creek access up to the big manicured lawns and the island is a breeze - no problems. Once you get to the manicured lawns STAY TO THE EAST! There's a big visible boulder in the center, and a smaller visible boulder east of that. Let's call these lane markers for lanes 1, 2 & 3. The channel is lane #3 - the East side. Lane two is rocky and shallow - 1.5'+'ducer to waterline. Lane #1 is worse. (I should mention that while marking this area was when I discovered I had air getting into my fuel line and the mototr cut out at slow speeds.)This gets ya past the nice lawns, and in sight of the train bridge at the old Hennepin Paper Mill.

The Channel is still on the East side at this point. I saw scary looking areas that looked like shallow riffles on the surface, but my sonar wasn't sloping up, so I forged ahead, and sure enough - those riffley looking reas were instead DEEP turbulant eddys (marked fish, but didn't care). The River takes a sharper bend before the train bridge, and the channel is still on the east side - tracking the outside of the bend. Now, as I looked at the bridge I was wondering - "Monty Hall - is it door #1,2,3,4,5 or 6? Left to right, it's door #2, or #3. My motor kept quitting while I was trying to find the channel again, so I picked the first one that showed a deeper reading and went for it. Got past the bridge. Shallowest read was 2.5'+'ducer to waterline.

I then saw the tip of the peninsula that is created by the diverted flows from the dam. Where these two flows come together, there is a hole - no, a crater - max. 30' deep. Marked MANY fish in there, but without the ability to hold slow and slip stream in the increased current speed, I wasn't gonna fish it. West side around the peninsula gets 1.5'+ at the sand/muck beach, east side around the peninsula doesn't get too shallow until almost to the big slate & concrete culvert.

At this point I beached, threw back my head in maniacal self-satisfied laughter and had a drink.

I explored the peninsula, ate lunch, and sat beached in my boat fishing in the rain. (It was Friday). I caught a small smallie, and an 18" channel cat (real pretty - silver) both on light tackle in back-current on a drifted crawler.

On the way back I re-traced my steps, except this time I drifted & slip-streamed various crankbaits on 3-ways with my electric motor, and jig/drifted ringworms as well. Zero. The cupboards were bare. I found a nasty timber-snarl with current and found a kitty under it - not one that I could catch, though. A very wily and hookwise cat that would tighten my line, chew on whatever (crawler or cut sucker) until it got to the hook, and then spit it out. Begin obsession. I want that catfish.

I was soaked to the bone through my cheap, ripped up rainsuit, and rather than go back to my tent I went & warmed up with the locals at The Westside Bar. The band was good, the pizza wasn't half bad, and best of all it was dry.

Day two (Sat) - I went straight back to that timber snarl, like Ahab to the sea. He again toyed with me. I picked up two northerns, though, and ate one (see Recipes). Explored a little bit of river (downstream). Sat at that timbersnarl for four hours - fake-run...spit the bait. Fake run...spit the bait. I had bait in that kitty's mouth no less than 1/2 a dozen times - no hook-up. Evening saw a novel being read by lanternlight at the campfire, well fed. Ahhhhh.

Day three (Sun) - Fished the dam at Little Falls - inflow side. Took a family from the campgrounds with me. Taught a kid to fish on his way to SCSU hockey camp from Iowa. One 28" carp, one 30" carp. Very nice drag-ripping rod benders. Satisfying - but not as satisfying as that Kitty under that timbersnarl is gonna be. I'll be back, Mr. Whiskers - oh yes - I'll be back.

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Aquaman
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Peace and Fishes

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mistermom

Hey Man!
Sounds like you had fun sir! So people from Iowa will just let there kids run off and fish with wet, crazed, drunken guys on the river? How different! Later sir!

mm

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