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Milkdud

Fishing the Rainy River near I-Falls

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Milkdud

Most of the posts talk about fishing the Rainy near Birchdale, Clementson, etc. but when the river opens up first near I-Falls why doesn't more people fish the river up there more often? Is the fishing bad in that area? Just curious because I will be in the I-Falls area the end of March and was just wondering if I could get into the walleyes in the river by I-Falls? Or do I need to drive to Birchdale etc. to find the fish?

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LocalGuide

Once the River gets muddy the fish hault travel up the river. So thats why the "big group" never makes it up to I-Falls. The fish you normally catch are the ones native to the river itself.

Now sturgeon on the other hand get a head start and go right up to the falls and once the river gets muddy they travel back down again.

Of course not all the fish in the whole system do this, just a good percent of them!

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tearin' lips

The fishing is fantastic up the I-Falls just not at that time of the year. The whole "muddying' up theory is not really feasible in my opinion, but it is true that most of the fish upstream from the Manitou Rapids are mostly native to the river.

It more has to do with the biological time clock. There is only so far those walleye can travel before mother nature tells them it is time to dump the eggs. It is 80 miles long from Baudette to I-Falls, which is a long ways to travel when they are looking to "get it on."

You best bets upstream of the Manitou Rapids will be the mouth of the Bigfork and Littlefork Rivers. Fish the same presentations that they have been saying in the other forums and don't expect to catch as many fish. If you want some fabulous walleye fishing visit the I-Falls area of the river after opener, you won't be disappointed.

If it were me spending the money to make the decision you are going to get more "bang for your buck" if you fight the crowds and fish Birchdale. That would be my number one choice.

Take Care and Good Luck Fishing!!

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Milkdud

Hey guys thanks for the info. I really want to get into the eyes so I will drive down towards the birchdale area. Hope the ice is gone by March 31st!

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deerwoody

It will be!

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CaptJohnWI

Went once last year on a Wednesday in early season. Got to landing around 8:00 a.m. Could have launched quickly but there were already at least 100 rigs parked at landing. Didn't want to walk a mile but especially didn't want to be at the landing around sunset so packed up and went back to the I. Falls without wetting a line. If it is that bad on a Wednesday, I can only imagine the weekend crowds.

We fished below the dam here but caught only 7 whitefish! Biggest of those was 7 pounds so better than nothing. Obviously the long swim up from the lake didn't deter the whitefish as I doubt they live in river all year. Not one walleye, so they just don't make it up here until later. Not very astheitc fishing next to the papermill but I'll take that over fighting the crowds downriver.

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tearin' lips

Capt John,

The whitefish are in the River year round, the suspend over that deep hole under the power lines as well as the tulibees.

The walleyes are also in the river at that point and time, it is just a matter of finding them and I haven't found where they hide yet. Due to natural barriers and the fact that it is 80+ miles to get to the dam. Those fish that frequent the waters upstream of manitou rapids are native non-migrating walleyes. It is nice fishing the big fork, littlefork, and up by the dam though, as you don't have to put up with the circus. You know the saying..."a bad day of fishing is better than a good day working."

Take Care and Good Luck Fishing!!

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