Water, water and more water

After being away from Northwest Ontario for much of September I returned home last week to different conditions both in the woods and on area waters than we’ve seen in quite some time.
I always pay attention to the weather around home when I’m gone so I was aware that we were receiving significant rainfall throughout much of September but I didn’t expect such a drastic change in the few weeks that I was away.
In doing a little bit of research I learned that it rained 21 out of 30 days in September, which is not exactly the fall weather we all want to see.
On the small lake that we live on, the water level came up about two feet from the level it’s been at the past couple of years.
I have never seen it as high as it is now in the eight years that I’ve lived here.
Lake of the Woods is up a few feet and only about a foot from the high water level you can see on the shore.
The Winnipeg River is even worse off, with water levels six to seven feet higher than they were for most of the summer.
In the woods, it’s like a rain forest right now.
I was grouse hunting earlier this week and got my ATV stuck in a water hole that is usually totally dry.
The water was about three and a half feet deep, thankfully I have a winch on the ATV and was able to get it hooked up on a tree to pull me out. There were small rivers flowing on many of the trails that I like and pooled up water everywhere, like nothing I have ever seen.
It seems like all the water is helping the leaves hold on as well because it seems like barely any have fallen and that is making the grouse hunting tougher than it should be at this point in the season.
What does the high water mean for anglers?
It will certainly change up the fishing for some fish species because there will be a lot more current than normal in many places.
This can make the fishing really good in some areas and it can hurt the fishing in others.
Musky anglers who like to fish late into the fall are likely going to find good fishing around some of the narrow, neck down areas where there will be more current than normal.
This current attracts ciscos and whitefish, the primary forage of muskies in the fall, to these areas where they will spawn.
Walleye anglers will probably find good fishing in these same areas as the current attracts shiners and other baitfish late into the fall.
Hopefully we get some relief from the rain in the coming weeks because this high water will likely wreak havoc with docks over the winter if our lakes freeze over with these high levels.
The ice conditions may be less stable and predictable as well because the high water means there is more flow through the bigger lakes so it will be important to be cautious around some of the neck-down areas.
Take advantage of the nice days we have left this fall and get out on the water or into the woods because another long winter is just around the corner.