Fox River Deadfall
Fish the Fox
A PERSONAL JOURNAL CHRONICLING FISHING ADVENTURES AT THE FOX RIVER AND BEYOND.
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November 28, 2009

DuPage River Fishing Report: Shore and wade fished at the Du Page River with my friend Kevin. He got there early and had waded into the spot I wanted to fish. I have a feeling he spooked 'em but I managed a little 12" smallmouth on the olive and chartreuse float-n-fly. We hiked a long way to a bend which was a complete bust in the high water. Kevin tripped during the hike and fell on his arm. He was beat from the walk back through the tall grass and called it a day early. I stayed until dark and wade fished another stretch and managed four smallmouth on the hula grub slow along the bottom. The biggest was around 14". Was odd, fished the same area with the float-n-fly, but nothing. They wanted that grub! I had my sights on the Fox River for Sunday but ended up staying home and watching the Bears get spanked. USGS 5.64' / 196 CFS. www.fishthedupe.com redirects to this page.

A shotgun shell among shells in clear water Kevin Duffy hiking in the tall grass A deep, slow bend on the DuPage River

topCreek Chub Pikie
November 22, 2009

Fox River Fishing Report: Wade fished at the Fox River with Jonn Graham from Warrior Jigs. Jonn fished a spot on the lower Fox River solo on the way and landed four smallmouth bass. We met around 12:30 PM and fished my spots. Despite the nice weather, fishing was relatively slow. I ended up with seven smallmouth and five carp. Jonn got about the same. I mostly fished the hula grub but switched to the float-n-fly late afternoon. All of my smallies were small. Not sure if I ever even broke 12"! Jonn caught a nice one, probably in the 15"-16" range, but he thinks it was smaller. It looked nice to me! Neat how the carp hit that float-n-fly. It's nice to just get some action. Really surprised that we didn't run into any big smallmouth bass, considering we were fishing some slower, deeper water. They were definitely around there, but we couldn't get 'em to bite. Maybe I pressured 'em to much a few days earlier! We got a beer and a burger afterwards. It was nice to see Jonn and fish for a while. USGS 11.65' / 1,410 CFS

topCreek Chub Pikie
November 20, 2009

Fox River Fishing Report:Wade fished solo at the Fox River in the late afternoon. Had a banner outing! I landed three nice smallmouth bass on the hula grub...18", 17-7/8", 17.5". Towards dusk I picked up a 16" and 14.5" smallmouth bass on the float-n-fly, then two carp, one went 17" and didn't measure the second one, but it was a little bigger, probably in the 18"-19" range. Was an amazing late November wade trip! USGS 11.65' / 1,410 CFS

Fox River smallmouth bass Fox River smallmouth bass Fox River smallmouth bass Fox River smallmouth bass Fox River smallmouth bass

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Creek Chub Pikie
November 16, 2009

Fox River Fishing Report: Wade fished solo at the Fox River for an hour before sundown. Didn't have much time so skipped right to a long, slow stretch with deep water. Started out with a 3" G-finish gold bass Zara Spook. Tried my best despite the leaves on the surface from the gusty northeast winds (was dressed much better for the weather today!). No interest in topwater so switched to a shallow-running crankbait. My position at the time was more/less towards the top end of the stretch, and I wasn't bringing the crank downstream, mostly cross-stream and somewhat upriver. Just didn't have the vibe at that angle so switched to a float-n-fly so I could target specific areas and fish slow. I tied on a chartreuse and green fly (hair jig) tied by Jonn Graham of Warrior Jigs. I suspended it around 30" beneath a small float and cast out to the current seam and let the fly drift as I twitched it subtly. After multiple casts and few light bites I was starting to second-guess my depth setting and my color choice. Seemed like as soon as those thoughts ran through my mind the float disappeared and I set the hook! Solid fish and great fight. Was pleased to see a thick bronzeback on the end of the line. Taped it at 18-3/8". Was the only fish I caught. Ran out of light but I was pumped on the wade back. The float-n-fly is a great cold water presentation as it allows you to put a morsel in front of finicky fish. It can be tedious to find 'em but once you do, watching that little float disappear can be addicting. USGS 11.77' / 1,640 CFS

Fox River smallmouth bass Jonn Graham's float-n-fly, Warrior Jigs

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Creek Chub Pikie
November 15, 2009

Fox River Fishing Report: Wade fished solo at the Fox River. Started around 11:30 AM with the pearl ayu Sammy 100. Worked my way to the 'sweet spot' of a long, deep, slow stretch where I missed some big bronze on top yesterday. Déjà vu as I had another sizable bust immediately upon splash down. They were waiting for me. I fancast the Sammy and combed through the area for the next hour. My efforts produced three more explosive hits, but unfortunately no solid hookups. I got a good look at the brute that made the closest strike and it was a heart-breaker! I actually had it on for a few seconds and as it got into the drag on its initial run, it simply came off. Nothing makes a cold day feel colder than losing a big one. During cold water fishing, encounters with a fish let alone a big fish can be few and far between. If you don't capitalize on every opportunity, it can make for a grueling outing. I probably fished the Sammy for longer than I should have. I finally took a break and sat on the bank to warm up and regroup -- all the while witnessing mild surface action on the current seam of the stretch. I decided to go with a float-n-fly and chose a blue and white fly from Jonn Graham. I suspended it around 20" below a small florescent float and I was in business. I fancast the hole and made slight twitches of the float to give the suspended hair jig some action. After around 10 minutes I got my first "float down!" Of course I excitedly set the hook way too hard and almost put the whole rig in the trees behind me. LOL. I recast in the same area and danced the fly for a few more minutes. Float down again! A solid hookup and a decent fight. Turned out to be a smallmouth, taped at 15.5". I was finally on the board! I stuck with the float-n-fly for the next hour and worked the area. I landed another little smallmouth and four crappie. Those crappie are beautiful fish ... it has been a while. I was getting bored of the float-in-fly and needed a change. I tied on a 3.5" (silver flash / red head) Bomber Pro Long A suspending jerk bait. I cast the current seam and twitched my way into the eddy. I left long pauses and watched the line. I got a few decent thumps that I assume were fish -- either nicking carp or actual strikes from something. Finally I hooked up with a brute and the drag started peeling. The erratic fight led me to believe I had foul-hooked a carp. It came off, but at least the brief action broke the monotony. Fishing a suspending jerk bait takes a lot of patience. It is painstaking! But it can have rewards ... about ten minutes later I hooked up again and there was the familiar feeling of a strong run of a heavy smallmouth on the line. No jumps, just head-down bulldogging. I happily lipped it with my gloves still on. Taped it at 18.25". Success at last! I continued to work the stretch 'till around 3:45 PM. Normally I would have stayed until dark, but I felt like I had already played out topwater to no avail and my body was starting to get chilled. The wade back was long. I took it slow and thought about how good the heat and seat heater in my car were going to feel. USGS 11.78' / 1,660 CFS

Fox River wading

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Creek Chub Pikie
November 14, 2009

Fox River Fishing Report: Wade fished at the Fox River solo late afternoon. 65° and overcast. What a mid-November gift! Topwater still on. Only fished the Sammy 100. Experienced a stronger bite today. Spent less time, covered less water, and had more action. Was pretty hot right around sundown. I went three for seven, landing smallies at 10.25", 13.5" and 14.5" (pictured). The big bite was there today. Had some chances, but did not connect. Had a behemoth tail-slap the lure twice, as well as a big bass make a last-minute surge at the bait about a rod's length from me. USGS 11.79' / 1,690 CFS

Fox River smallmouth bass

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Creek Chub Pikie
November 13, 2009

Fox River Fishing Report: Wade fished the Fox River solo late afternoon. River has come down quite a bit and is clearing. Worked a Sammy 100 topwater and walked the dog down river along rocky banks with slow to slack water. Landed three smallmouth, biggest measured 13.25" -- which surprisingly, hit aggressively and on my fifth cast. The other two were in the 10"-11" range. Couldn't find a big bite today. Sure looked good. Had a big fish vibe. Didn't pan out. River was a little scary to cross. Is about a foot higher than what I'm used to. The added height and speed made the neoprenes feel that much more buoyant. Found a nice thick stick and used it as a wading staff. Made crossing / coming down river a lot easier as I had some leverage. Nice to hit a few on top late in the year. USGS 11.83' / 1,770 CFS

Team Daiwa baitcasting reel G Loomis baitcasting rod Lucky Craft Sammy in pearl ayu

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Creek Chub Pikie
November 11, 2009

DuPage River Fishing Report: Wade fished solo at the Du Page River late afternoon. River is low and clear. Fished a 5" double-tail Yamamoto Hula Grub on a 1/8-ounce Slider Head. Worked slow along the bottom in 'deeper' eddies and slack water areas. Hit a 16" (pictured) early on, then only light taps. Couldn't hook 'em. Figured they were rock bass grabbing one of the legs of the grub. Had some float-n-flies with me so rigged up. Got hits, but very light. Float would just barely go down and they'd let go. Took the float off and adjusted my baitcasting reel for the little hair jig. Had to cast hard and to the right to get it to go 15 feet in front of me. Not easy with 12 lb mono. Fluttering that little jig in the mild current was the ticket. Little smallies in the cut along the bank. Picked off eight and one rock bass. Action died so switched back to the grub and worked a few more areas. Landed a 13" before calling it an evening. USGS 5.08' / 73 CFS

DuPage River smallmouth bass DuPage River smallmouth bass DuPage River smallmouth bass

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Creek Chub Pikie
November 9, 2009

Fox River Fishing Report: Shore fished solo at the Fox River for an hour mid-afternoon. Tried three areas and three different lures: Berkley PowerBait Realistix 3" 1/8-ounce smelt on a 1/8-ounce jig, 3/8-ounce 'white thumper' spinnerbait, and a pearl ayu Sammy 100 topwater. Targeted slack water and/or tight to structure. Ended up landing six smallmouth on the plastic. Most were in the 11"-13" range but I did get one decent bite that taped at 17.25" (pictured). Tried the new camera on auto-timer for the first time and almost managed to get it in focus! USGS 11.98' / 2,080 CFS

Fox River smallmouth bass

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Creek Chub Pikie
November 8, 2009

I had the privilege of walking along on a bird hunt this past Sunday. It was on private land in northern Illinois. The invitation came from a good friend that is as into hunting as I am into fishing. He's got three well-trained German short-haired pointers, two of which have won all sorts of training awards. They are amazing dogs. Very smart, very fast, and extremely obedient. Just watching him interact with his dogs was like watching a maestro conduct a symphony orchestra. I met my friend and his father at 8:30 AM. The hunt was from 9 AM to noon. The day was sunny and warm. The birds were plentiful. I took around 175 photos, of which, I pared down to 29 that I really liked. Here are three that I thought I'd share here. All in all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable morning and time well spent in the outdoors. Although my only shooting was done with a camera, I felt lucky to be a part of it.

Pheasant hunting at Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation Stephen Lynch's German Shorthaired Pointer Ultra Violet SKB Royal shotgun

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Creek Chub Pikie
November 6, 2009

DuPage River Fishing Report: Wade fished solo for a few hours late afternoon. Tried a white spinnerbait, hula grub, and float-n-fly. Ended up landing five smallmouth, one on the spinnerbait and four on the hula grub. Fish were mostly small. Biggest measured 16-7/8" (pictured). Slow through deeper slack water. When I set the hook on the fish below, thought I had "the one!" Heck of a fight! USGS 5.36' / 130 CFS

DuPage River smallmouth bass

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Creek Chub Pikie
November 5, 2009

DuPage River Fishing Report: Wade fished solo at the Du Page River late afternoon. Car-hopped to three different locations. Started off slow, but caught something at each spot. Worked the hula grub slowly through pools of slack water. Ended up landing eight smallmouth, one largemouth, and one rock bass. Notable sizes were 15.5" (largemouth), 16", 16.25", 17" (pictured). Got off the water at 5:15 PM in 54°. A few of the smallies went airborne. That was cool. USGS 5.43' / 146 CFS

DuPage River smallmouth bass

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Creek Chub Pikie
November 3, 2009

Fox River Fishing Report: Shore fished solo at the Fox River for an hour late afternoon. Slightly cooler than November 2, but bright sun. Used a small minnow imitation plastic and worked it tight to structure. Ended up landing four smallmouth, with the fifth shaking off right as I plucked it out of the water. Surprisingly, the biggest measured 16.25". Was thrilled to have caught a 'decent' one amidst all the runts lately. USGS 12.40' / 3,070 CFS

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Creek Chub Pikie
November 2, 2009

Fox River Fishing Report: Shore fished the Fox River in the late afternoon. Had my wife along for company and to enjoy the mild (54° and sunny) weather together. The wind was chilly at first, but the sun was nice and warm. Tried two areas and picked up six smallmouth, biggest 14.5". Used a small minnow imitation plastic (Berkley PowerBait Realistix 3" 1/8-ounce smelt) on a 1/8-ounce jig and worked very tight to structure in slack water. USGS 12.46' / 3,220 CFS

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Creek Chub Pikie
November 1, 2009

Fox River Fishing Report: Cleaned the garage thoroughly, washed the kayaks, and took off the roof racks. Done 'yaking for 2009. Shore fished at the Fox River solo for about two hours before dark. Tried four different areas and only squeaked out four smallmouth, all on a 3" pearl Producto Spring Grub on a 1/8-ounce jig tight to shore. I figure the weekend anglers beat me to 'em. The bite should have been much better with the high water. Got dark shortly after 5 PM. Stayed up until about 1 AM sorting through all of my fishing tackle, organizing a 'winter' backpack, getting ready for ice fishing, and putting everything neatly away for 2010. USGS 12.54' / 3,500 CFS

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