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Old 02-08-2014, 05:50 PM
softhackle softhackle is offline
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Default Wet Wading Last July

Looking out my window this morning I was seeing this.

We've had a lot of snow lately up here and though I have been catching a few white bass through the ice like these guys. I can't wait for open water.

Anyway i've noticed that there have no fishing reports in the warmwater section for a long time and rather than dwell on the this bitterly cold winter I thought it might be nice to remember summer again and how nice it was to wet wade.
Since much of northern Illinois is heavily agriculturalized most of the streams are channelized and the fishing as a result isn't very good. However, if you take the time to explore, and go through your topographical maps or gazetteer there are untouched streams to be found.
This trip took place back in July of 2013 on a hot 88 degree day on a northeastern Illinois warmwater stream. This stream is less than an hours drive from my house and after the spring trout stocking I pretty much have it all to myself.
Anyway this was a perfect day for wet wading and for using my 7'6" Cabelas LST 2 wt along with the old faithful on this stream a size 8 wooly bugger with a purple body and a pink tail.
I pulled into the parking lot by the bridge and strung up my rod and decided to head downstream where my favorite spots are. My primary quarry would be rock bass and smallmouth bass which both live in this stream in good numbers. As I went downstream the riffle below the big pool would be my first spot to hit.

The water willows were becoming abundant this year. I swung my wooly bugger through the riffle where after a few casts I had my first fish of the the day, an average size common shiner.

Followed shortly by this typical rock bass.


and this one.

A few more rock bass came to hand before the riffle was played out. I headed downstream to this run which is always good for a few fish.

The rock bass were stacked up under this tree.

Casting the wooly bugger under the tree I could see a rock bass follow it out. To to get him to strike I sped up the retrieve and watched this monster rock bass pounce on the wooly bugger.

Needless to say this guy a nice bend in my 2 wt and unlike the normal one run and done rock bass this guy kept scrapping until he was brought to hand.
As it turns out there were quite few rock bass under the tree and the technique was always the same. Cast the the wooly bugger under the tree, watch the fish follow it out, speed up the retrieve so the fish thinks it's trying to get away and watch the fish pounce on it. All the strikes were very aggressive. Here are some more rockies that came from the run.



If you think this sounds like fun well, you are certainly right. Even though the smallmouths didn't make an appearance that day I thought to myself this is what fishing is all about. Keeping it simple, wet wading, and watch the fish strike your fly. Who could ask for anything more.
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:09 PM
bmadd bmadd is offline
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Those last pictures look a lot better than your first two. Cool looking little stream!
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:54 PM
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Troutman Troutman is offline
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Great reflections! reminded me of some of my own memories of the past year.
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:26 AM
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buzzmcmanus buzzmcmanus is online now
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That had to be a blast on a 2 weight.

I'm soooo ready for some warm weather.
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:32 AM
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MadisonBoats MadisonBoats is online now
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Softhackle,
That amount of snow is insane. I guess you guys are getting a little tired of it by now.

Great pictures of the bass and your fishing adventure! I guess I am going to have to start free-stoning during the winter months in TN as the tailwaters are not cooperating.
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Old 03-07-2014, 03:36 PM
softhackle softhackle is offline
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Shawn, that's putting it mildly. We had 5" last Wednesday also. I grew up in central New York so I'm used to a lot of snow but, this is getting old. I've been tying flies, going through my gear, patching up my waders and reading LRO forums to keep me going until we get some open water. The next ten days are calling for temperatures above freezing, all the way into the 40's for the next 10 days. That should start melting some of the snow. Having over 12" of snow on the ground in March is ridiculous.
Hopefully the generation schedules on the Clinch are more conducive to fishing.
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