I’m not a purist. I never claimed to be. So when the going gets tough, the tough tie on a worm harness or Lindy Rig. At least that was the theory I was working while fishing the lower, lower, Missouri River in North Dakota last week—a section of river known more for walleye, catfish, and carp than the trout-laden upper river near Craig, Montana.

Somewhere along the journey, I discovered a correlation between dunking bait and waving a stick that had me saying, “Hell, this ain’t so bad.” I still had to tie a clinch knot to my snap swivel. I still applied unbelievable amounts of split shot twelve inches above my rig. And, fixing a worm on three successive bait hooks? Well, that’s just like palmering hackle. Stick it, wrap around the mono; stick it, wrap around the mono; then stick it a final time so a small alluring portion quivers off the stern like a rabbit strip flickering off a streamer’s posterior.

While we didn’t net any walleyes, I nonetheless thoroughly enjoyed my journey to the other side. It’s something I don’t do enough. While certainly not as graceful or refined as our precious, pompous sport (blah, blah, blah), it’s altogether enjoyable. If you just can’t see yourself trying it, consider this—it’s not as much work as flyfishing. A huge consideration if you’re stuck in a boat consuming liberal rations of barley water on a hot, summer afternoon.


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