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Wipers in Waders

If you are a subscriber to NEBRASKAland magazine you have already seen this, but in case you have not I want to call attention to a photo essay in the May 2017 issue.  You can see that issue HERE.

Turn to page 36 and you will see Wipers on the Fly by Doug Steinke.


The photography is excellent!  Doug is a professional photographer who’s work has been featured in NEBRASKAland many times; been featured in a lot of other places too.  Take a couple of minutes and check out his website.

The story is short and sweet, but includes everything you need to know to catch wipers from Nebraska reservoirs right now.  Doug refers specifically to fly-fishing and Lake McConaughy, but what he shows and tells will work on every Nebraska reservoir where wipers swim.  Where is that?  This will tell you, 2017 Fishing Forecast.

Wipers are large, open-water predator fish, and I believe they spend a lot of time swimming, covering water, following schools of open-water baitfish like gizzard shad and alewives.  That can be frustrating, especially for a shore-bound angler because sometimes the fish just ain’t there.  However, by being patient and learning to target high percentage areas, for example places where there is an abundance of baitfish or wind-blown shorelines, even an angler in waders can catch up with a school of wipers.  When that happens the fishing can be unforgettable.  See the story and pictures, you will get the idea.

Now I know some of you are going to say you do not fly-fish.

So?  Don’t mean nothing.

That photo essay tells you everything you need to know, and spinning tackle can easily be adapted to work.  Instead of fly-casting streamers, bucktail jigs, a variety of jigs with plastic bodies, flukes, swimbaits, crankbaits, and even spoons and spinners can be adapted to the same fishing situations.  Or, get the recommended fly equipment and learn to catch ’em that way!  Oh, one thing I need to recommend, if you are throwing jigs of any kind, buy jigheads with heavy duty hooks.  The light wire hooks on the typical walleye jigs sold by the ton in most tackle shops?  A good-sized wiper will straighten those hooks faster than you can shout “Fish On”!  I tackle up to small, saltwater jigs or jigs with high quality hooks for serious wiper fishing.

Likewise, as I mentioned, this does not work ONLY at McConaughy.  Besides that reservoir I have waded and caught wipers from several Nebraska reservoirs, Minatare, Ogallala, Red Willow, Sutherland, Maloney, Calamus, Elwood, Stagecoach, and Branched Oak.  Anywhere wipers swim, it will work.


About daryl bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.

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