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The Flowage Advantage

Flowages, a.k.a. reservoirs, have beautiful shorelines and, usually, lots of big muskies. What’s not to like?

Bryan Schaeffer
We are surrounded by flowages in northern Wisconsin and these are the waters where I spend the majority of my time with great success. While they are called “flowages” here, elsewhere in the country they’re known as reservoirs, formed by a dam on a river or a stream. Typically they have low fishing pressure and endless fishing opportunities.

First, A Word of Caution

Most flowages are shallow and undeveloped with unlimited structure, which means their shorelines are very wild with pristine beauty. Some have great mapping and navigation charts to help you safely maneuver, but be sure to use extreme caution in areas off the marked channels, around stumpfields, rockbars and sandbars. I have seen boats being towed back to the boat launch because of reckless boating or their owners not taking time to learn the area.

In spring, after heavy winters and rainy springs, heavier-than-normal currents are the norm. Such water movement shifts stumps, blowdowns and docks that were all locked down in the prior season. The powerful current may move them all the way to other parts of the flowage. Sandbars move and grow and can become dangerous for boating. So, generally, my first outing of the year is spent scouting, checking my channels and looking for objects that have moved from the previous year. Do not let that sway you from planning a trip to a flowage. As long as you use common sense and boat with caution in hazardous areas, you will be grateful you planned your trip.

Fast & Stable Fishing

Though I guide on many waters, my first outings usually are to dark water flowages because the currents and the dark water progress quicker in the spring. Dark water warms faster with generally better weed growth, which can produce better action and larger muskies.

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June/July 2019

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