High Water Dabbling

Years ago I used to do high water dabbling all the time. Now it seems to have lost some of it’s charm. The best place to do it is urban areas, but urban areas mean people which means I can’t relax.

People make me tense.

If I wanted to fish this weekend, I had no choice. The creeks, besides being barren, were all blown out.

The river was just high enough that I didn’t feel like wandering around in 3200 CFS current. I can do it, but why?

So I walked an old familiar wall with 8-10 feet of line out and dabbled a lure vertically along the wall.

There is something to be said for this. Tying into a 16 inch smallie with so little line out gives you one option, lift it out of the water and lip it. This is really why even when casting I keep the casts short. It’s also why I switched to braid years ago.

I don’t play fish to exhaustion and then bring the poor defeated creature to hand.

I get them up next to me as quickly as possible, lip them and let them show all their fury.

These are extremely muscular creatures after all and I want to feel that muscle. Plus, they are pissed and want you to know it.

There’s something about looking a pissed off smallie in the eye. They give it right back. If fish could talk I imagine… okay you sonuvabitch, you won this one, NOW PUT ME BACK IN THE WATER!!!

And I oblige, quickly and efficiently. Kind of. I keep them lipped and put them in the water. What little strength they lost comes back quickly and I release their lip when they’ve had enough of this game.

I usually get a going away bath for my troubles. Which I deserve.


The edge of a wall, amongst all the garbage, if you have eggs in you that have to come out, I guess that will do. I gave her the distance she deserved.


I thought this was funny.


Then, of course, under clear blue skies, the play of light on moving water. This made the wall walking a little precarious. I almost walked off the wall twice after staring at the water too long.






What the hell happened to you mommy?


I knew this was going to happen some day.

You always hung around on those sleazy rivers like the Fox and the Des Plaines.

Then there were your favorite little hang outs, Salt and Kress Creeks.

And don’t even get me started on the canals.

On all of those you always picked the roughest sand and gravel bars to hang out on.

Those bastard mallards would harass you and beat you, do what they want with you and now they’ve thrown you on the side of the river like a piece of trash.

What happened to that advice you gave me mommy?

Choose your friends wisely…

Do as I say, not as I do, eh mommy?


Well, I guess it was nice to run into you mommy. Nice to know you’re still alive.

You need to get yourself some help, I can’t help you.

You’re too far gone.

You have taught me a lesson here though mommy.

There’s no way in hell I’m going to turn out like you.



I was Going to go Fishing

I was going to go fishing, but I knew the creeks were running crystal clear and would be devoid of fish.

I was going to go fish the Fox River, but the wind was howling with gusts up to 40 and where I wanted to go would have me standing out in the open facing this head on. With the bite still virtually non-existent, hardly worth the effort.

I was going to go for a walk, but after 100 yards I couldn’t get out of that relentless wind.

I thought of sticking around for the sunset, but the wind had blown all the clouds away. As beautiful as a sunset with sky blue skies and gold on the horizon can be, I’ve seen enough of those. I wanted more.


I wandered over to the abandoned bridge over a creek and stared down into the water.


I looked behind every rock for life, for a fish holding out of the current. Not a thing.

Then my mind went blank.

I know I’m thinking, of something, at that point, but it’s undefined.

My dad, my ma, the wife, the kids, the job, the car, or am I just thinking about the creek.

The play of light over running water over rock.


Maybe it was muslims, Iran, Israel, Indiana, LGBT, Jesus, Easter, bunnies, employment counts, bank accounts, terrorists, methodists, baptists and the KKK.

Or maybe it was just the play of light over running water over rock.


I was going to go fishing. In a way, I guess I did.