Fox River Deadfall
Fish the Fox
A PERSONAL JOURNAL CHRONICLING FISHING ADVENTURES AT THE FOX RIVER AND BEYOND.
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February 26, 2011

DuPage River Fishing Report: Shore fished solo for about an hour mid-afternoon. Air temp was 30.6°F, winds SSW at 9 MPH and occasional light snow. Worked a blue and white hair jig around 18" beneath a foam float (float-n-fly) and let the rig swirl through a knee- to waist-deep eddy along shore. No takers for the first 20 minutes or so, but as I was reeling in, I noticed a fish slash at the fly as it neared the shallows. I tossed the rig out to where I saw the fish and a few minutes later the float went under. The culprit was a feisty smallmouth bass in the 13"-14" range. It was the only bite I had in the short outing but it was nice to feel a tug on the line and hear a few songbirds outdoors. Glad to be saying goodbye to February 2011 and looking forward to bigger, better, and warmer.

Winter smallmouth bass on the float-n-fly

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Creek Chub Pikie
February 16, 2011

DuPage River Fishing Report: Got out for a solo wade in the afternoon. The air temp made it up to 50.2° F, which was a nice reprieve from last week's bone-chilling cold. Lots of melting going on. The water was up slightly and a bit muddy. I was the least dressed I've ever been for a "winter" wade. Didn't even layer long underwear, just went with jeans and a long-sleeved shirt, thick wool socks, a light jacket, and my 3mm neoprene waders. Typically, I'm so bundled up I feel like I could step onto the moon. No gloves today either. Felt more like spring -- traveling light and runnin' & gunnin'!

I ended up with eleven smallmouth and six rock bass. Caught all but six fish on a chartreuse hair jig (tied by Jonn Graham of Warrior Jigs) fished around 18" under a small foam float. The rest were fooled by a 1/8-ounce lead-head jig tipped with a 3" pearl Producto Spring Grub crawled slow. Everything in eddies but a few of the float-n-fly takers hit right on the current seam. The smallmouth bass were in the 14"-17" range. All the rock bass were runts and I almost sent them airborne as I was expecting to set the hook into a smallmouth bass with some resistance. Still, always a thrill to see that float disappear. Brought my D-SLR with the stock 18-55mm lens and messed around with some pictures of my catches. Fun outing! For this date in The Old Farmer's Almanac it reads, "Winter's back breaks." Amen!

Quite a variation to the colors and patterns of the smallies. Nature has been hard on the last one!

February river smallmouth February river smallmouth February river smallmouth February river smallmouth February river smallmouth February river smallmouth February river smallmouth February river smallmouth February river smallmouth February river smallmouth

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