Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
River Classes Turn Into Lake Classes!
Midwest Region, May 2, 2009
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Since water levels on the “Big Muddy” came up 13 feet in one night a few days before the WOW school, the planned river fishing courses were out of the question. Fortunately, last minute planning and quick preparation by all involved parties led to a “river techniques” demonstration at Rocky Forks Lake, near the Finger Lakes State Park. Following the demonstration on the first day of the event, Columbia NFWCO’s Wyatt Doyle, Clayton Ridenour, Adam McDaniel and Andy Plauck coached the group on some basic to advanced fishing techniques. Since this group had originally signed up for a large river class, there were several levels of skill involved. The experienced anglers were given instructions on how to use some new techniques while the group of beginners learned how to tie a fishing knot, cast and retrieve a lure. The most amusing part of the whole class was when a woman, learning how to cast, caught two fish standing in the same spot on shore.


We later split up into two groups and took the students on the water. While on the lake, we showed them different features of the lake and how to fish these areas based on the depth, structure and cover. Unfortunately, heavy rains in the area had turned Rocky Fork Lake into what looked like a bowl of chocolate milk. The only fish caught that day were by the beginners casting from the shoreline demonstration area. While the group didn’t get a chance to land any of the lake’s rumored big bass, everyone was very appreciative of the information gained.


The second morning was a smaller group of Boy Scouts that McDaniel and Plauck were able to corral onto one boat after demonstrating a few basic things on shore. They had all fished before and were very eager to get on our 24 foot boat and get on the water. The muddy water and poor fishing conditions helped the Boy Scouts learn that in order to be a great fisherman, you need to be able to make good excuses when you’re not catching anything. After a few hours of not catching anything, the Scouts were ready to get to their next class. The troop leaders were grateful for the use of the boat and instruction.  All of the instructors were excited to share their knowledge and love of fishing.

Contact Info: Andrew Plauck, 573-234-2132 ext 175, Andrew_Plauck@fws.gov
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