We needed one more fishing trip up to Lake Francis Case before calling it quits, and this day was day two. The month of June was a beautiful month and the severe heat was coming that we all experience during July and up into August. The fish keep feeding, it is just that they go deep and seem to be more spread out. Anyway this is the feeling of the guide we have fished with for several years. He was born, raised, and worked in the area all his life. He is no stranger to Lake Francis Case.
This was day one of the trip.
We go through Sioux City, Iowa on the way up and have driven this road for the last 35 years as we made our way up I-29 to fish in the many outstanding lakes of South Dakota. This is the first time, that my wife and I both remember, there was no construction on the Interstate through Sioux City. The second thing about the trip is the city or the state posts a video camera along the shoulder to trap speeders. You have to be aware as you drive up or down the interstate though the city as there is only one warning sign, and then bang you are on it. We learned the hard way as I sent the community a couple of times some money.
Along I-29 is a monument to Sgt Charles Floyd. Charles Floyd died on August 20, 1804, after becoming violently ill the previous day (likely peritonitis caused by a ruptured appendix). Clark wrote, “we Came to make a warm bath for Sergt. Floyd hopeing it would brace him a little, before we could get him in to this bath he expired, with a great deel of composure, haveing Said to me before his death that he was going away and wished me to write a letter— we took Buried him to the top of a high round hill over looking the river & Countrey for a great distance Situated just below a Small river without a name to which we name & call Floyds river, the Bluffs Sergts. Floyds Bluff— we buried him with all the honors of War, and fixed a Ceeder post at his head with his name title & Day of the month and year Capt Lewis read the funeral Service over him after paying everry respect to the Body of this desceased man (who had at All times given us proofs of his impatiality Sincurity to ourselves and good will to Serve his Countrey) we returned to the Boat & proceeded to the Mouth of the little river 30 yd. wide & Camped a butifull evening.” Floyd would be the only member of the Corps of Discovery to die during the expedition.
Today, part of a 23-acre park, a 100-foot obelisk of heavy Kettle River sandstone marks the final resting place of Sergeant Charles Floyd Jr.
After all the years of driving by this monument, we stopped and visited the park and the monument.
This was day two of a great fishing trip and after yesterday, we were ready to hit it hard for another day. We requested that we stay at the pheasant lodge Tom and Nova had recently purchased. We were the only people staying there this second night and had the run of the lodge all to ourselves. Next morning was absolutely outstanding. A light breeze from the southwest and a high overcast.
Meeting the guide at 7 AM we were on the lake by 07:30. The lake was really starting to fill up as there was a holiday coming on the weekend. Straight out from the landing the guide found the submerged river bank on the west side of the lake. Again, we fished in 50 feet of water, letting out lead core line and trolling at a speed of about 1-2 mph. My favorite is the Berkley Slicker Shad and that is what the guide was using again today.
Studies have shown that walleye will single out small shad even when they have other forage available to them. That partly explains why, since its introduction just a few years ago, the Berkley\u00ae Flicker Shad Crankbait has become one of the most popular.
It did not take long. We started to pick up walleye. Again we were catching a lot of shorts. Shorts are fish less that 15 inch in length, the minimum set for Francis Case. That is a good thing as this is a really fertile lake. Then wham, you catch a keeper, with most of the keepers in about the 17 to 19 inch range. These filet out really well and fit in the pan nicely.
We never measured the fish, but it was the biggest one caught for the day. The focus is not on big, but being over the 15 inch slot requirement. I throw big walleye back because they are hard to cook. A picture of a big fish is all I want, and big females lay more eggs.
We kept moving south along the submerged river bank and in 90 minutes of fishing we were limited out for the day with eight fish and a possession limit of 16 fish for the trip for the two of us.
The second day All this in 90 minutes.
The guide wants me to come back in October and fish some spots he favors for the fall. It get a little chilly during October and windy, but that is what fishing is all about. The other month he wants me to come up is in February. Below one of the dams the fish are plentiful as they continue to feed on the shad so prevalent in the reservoir. I have the cold weather clothes, but now to develop the will.
Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck Hank
For your hunting and fishing friends. Makes a great gift. Click on the book to buy from Amazon.