Tips on Fishing the Flowages by Mike Mladenik
In the Twin Bridge area, High Falls and Caldron Falls Flowages offer excellent angling opportunities, along with wilderness aesthetics. Caldron Falls, the upper flowage, covers 1,200 acres with a maximum depth of 32 feet. High Falls and the lower flowage covers 1,600 acres and has a maximum depth of 54 feet. It is common to see deer, eagles, beaver, otter and even the occasional black bear. Whether you choose to fish from a bass boat or a canoe, you will find a home on the flowages. With a variety of fish present in both flowages, something is always biting.
High Falls Flowage covers 1, 800 acres with countless islands and wilderness shorelines resembling Canadian Shield Lakes. Structure seems to be everywhere and can overwhelm a first-time angler. After a few trips to the flowage, most fishermen will have success. In recent years, 50 pound muskie, 7 pound largemouth, 6 pound smallmouth and 12 pound walleye have all been taken. There is also a fine crappie and bluegill fishery to pass the time if fishing is slow for other species.
High Falls Flowage has always had a reputation for producing big walleyes. Presently, there is a stocking program underway to help enhance this trophy fishery and add to overall numbers. Each year, 6 50 8 inch fingerling are stocked in the flowage. Walleyes are becoming more abundant each year and presently there a many walleyes right at and above the 15-inch size limit. Often you can encounter walleyes between 13 and 16 inches and suddenly catch a big walleye.
Quality smallmouth bass are also found in High Falls Flowage, with fish up to 6 pounds caught each year. The best time to fish smallmouth on High Falls flowage is from late May through June. At this time, smallmouth are shallow and cooperate even for the novice angler. Cast the rocks using either a plastic grub or crank bait. Work the bait as tight tot the rocks as possible. If fishing is tough, try a leech on a #4 hook. In fall, vertical jig along the rocks.
Muskie hunters are also drawn to High Falls Flowage pursing a wall hanger. If you put in your time, you have a chance at catching a 40 pound muskie. In June, muskies relate to the fresh weeds on the edge of the bays. Work the weeds with chartreuse bucktails or shallow running crank baits. The week lines continue to hold muskies most of the summer. In September and early October, concentrate on the rocks with crank baits. In lake October and early November, try soaking a sucker along the steep rock shorelines and narrows.
Caldron Falls is the premier muskie lake in northeast Wisconsin. Caldron is known as an action lake, but there have been 40-pounders caught. The first few weeks of June see action with 30 to 36 inch fish. On occasion, a few over 40 inches roam the shallows. Throughout June, concentrate on the fresh cabbage in the back bays. By summer, work the weed lines with bucktails and twitch baits. Weed lines continue to produce in Fall, but the big fish relate to deep shoreline wood. But mid-October, bring a few suckers along when fishing the weedlines. In November, try working a sucker in the deep water adjacent to the dam.
Caldron Falls Flowage is a sleeper for walleyes. Recent stocking has increased numbers and trophy walleyes are caught each year. Fish a 1/8 oz. orange or chartreuse jig and a fathead minnow tight to the wood cover. By early June, walleye will relate to the fresh cabbage weed. Both slip-bobbers and jigs tipped with leeches or crawlers are effective on these cabbage weed walleyes. In Fall, work the deep water adjacent to the weed lines with a jig and minnow.
Caldron Falls Flowage is also known for hot crappie action and., by late May, crappies move into the wooded bays as they prepare to spawn. Carefully move from tree to tree until you find a school. Use a small float with either a 1/32 oz. jig or small minnow, or a minnow on a plain hook.
Highs Falls Flowage and Caldron Falls Flowage are two unique fisheries. Anglers can choose to concentrate on one flowage, or choose to fish them both. The only problem you might have is deciding which on to fish first.