Fox River Deadfall
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January 11, 2012

Fox River Fishing Report: So spoiled by the mild weather. I'm ready to ride this wave until April! Got out today for a last hurrah before Old Man Winter returns. Enjoyed the bright sunshine and 54°F air temp in only a t-shirt and fleece upper, jeans and wool socks beneath 3mm neoprenes. No gloves. Certainly didn't need 'em. Went from toasty to actually hot at times. Waded for about an hour. Only brought the float-n-fly. Saw lots of rough fish bunched in slackwater areas. Didn't connect with any smallmouth. Ended up getting bit while drifting the fly alongside a woodpile. Beautiful river largemouth. Went airborne on the hookset, couldn't believe it didn't throw the hair jig. Taped at 18-1/8" before darting off. Great way to say goodbye to the taste of spring. USGS 11.57' / 1,200 CFS

Fox River largemouth bass
January 10, 2012

Fox River Fishing Report: Since the air temp climbed to 51.1° F today I made sure I hit the river for a few hours to take advantage of the January gem. It's amazing to see barely any ice along the edges of the river. It really felt more like late November. I tossed a silver and white swim jig and worked around bridge pilings, rock walls, and a good shoreline eddy with only a foul-hooked common carp to show for my efforts. Ironically, I spied a lure on the river bottom with aide of the bright sun and clear water. I carefully retrieved it with my rod tip and it turned out to be on of Jonn's swim jigs that I lost last autumn to a break-off on a behemoth smallie! For having been in the river for the last few months, the jig and the Big Hammer Tail were in surprisingly good shape.

I switched areas and ended up at a slow, deep eddy -- float-n-fly at the ready. About twenty minutes into it, I caught a quillback carpsucker on the little blue and white hair jig. At least it was a start! After bumping a few more rough fish with the fly, I waded out and launched a far cast near the main current. I knew the bottom was a transition area of where mud meets gravel, then eventually chunk rock even further out. I had the fly set around four feet deep and the little foam float drifted about fifteen feet or so before it shot under. I knew I was over fairly 'deep' water could not have snagged bottom. The float disappearing only meant one thing. I quickly recovered the slack line and tightened down on the fish. It felt like a good one and after a brief fight a 20" walleye came to hand. First 'eye for me on the float-n-fly so far. Released. USGS 11.51' / 1,090 CFS

Fox River walleye
January 8, 2012

DuPage River Fishing Report: Shore- and wade-fished solo for a few hours late afternoon. No luck on the float-n-fly but found some fish with a pearl jig-n-twister fluttered in the current. Picked up five rock bass and four smallmouth. Saw a few big redtail hawks out hunting. Peaceful afternoon. USGS 5.06' / 81 CFS

Redtail hawk
January 7, 2012

Fox River Fishing Report: Wade-fished solo from 3:00 - 4:30 PM. Tossed a blue and white hair jig set around 24" beneath a float and worked through a slow eddy. The smallmouth eluded me today but I did enjoy some tugs on the line. Ended up catching two quillback carp suckers and two common carp. Fish were in the 18"-24" range. Saw a juvenile bald eagle, a belted kingfisher, and several great blue herons. A few insects flying around. Bright moonrise in the east at sunset. Was glad I got out to enjoy a few hours outdoors on a mild January day. Fox in wonderful shape. Ice-free and fairly clear. USGS 11.52' / 1,110 CFS. Photos below: The splash from my boot while wading upstream over a shallow gravel bar, bright sun at my back. Eagle fly-by.

Water splash over gravel bar at the Fox River Eagle sighting at the Fox River
January 6, 2012

Along with the mild weather, we've been getting treated to some beautiful skies lately. Friday, January 6 was special -- two spectacular color shows in the same day. Was out and about and pulled over to captures these.

Sunrise over Sugar Grove, Illinois Sunset over Sugar Grove, Illinois

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