Tag Archives: dupage river

My 2013 Fishing Resolution

In 2012 I got out fishing roughly 75 times. That’s a very rough estimate and most likely on the low side, but for the sake of argument, I’ll say 75. I don’t keep records like I used to.

When you live a two minute walk to a river and a ten minute drive will get you another 20 miles of river and access to five creeks, getting out fishing is relatively easy. I recall going out seven days a week a few times in 2012, sometimes for no more than an hour, but it was enough to lower my blood pressure and help me forget the world around me, even briefly.

Of all those times out fishing, I recall fishing with another human being five times.

So for 2013 I resolve to try to get out fishing with another human being six times, fishing with my daughters doesn’t count.

Anything more than that would be intolerable.

The reasoning is simple, at the last minute I may change my mind and choose to watch the squirrels running around in front of my house. Or my back hurts and I can’t be bothered. Or it’s hot out, or cold out.

Or I simply just don’t feel like it.

If I had made plans with others, now I have to call them and make up some lame excuse why I can’t go. Or if I choose to go, now I have to wander around making small talk, giving up the best fishing spots because I do get out all the time and I’m sure whoever I’m with doesn’t get the opportunity to go fishing much and the gentleman in me says, of course, go ahead, you fish it first, I get to do this all the time…

I hate being a gentleman.

Fishing with others also interferes with my fishing plans for the day. Which is, I have none. Sure, I go to a spot, but as my wife likes to say, great, I’ll know where you’re car is, after that finding you would be impossible.

I make decisions as I walk. I have no real interest in having a discussion about that as I walk. I feel like going that way. I don’t want to hear, no, I don’t want to go that way, or, why are we going that way. I feel like going that way, that’s pretty much it.

While on the water, I want to go fish over there, not have a discussion on why I want to go fish over there. When I get over there I may not even want to fish. Something on an island may have caught my eye and I might want to go wander around the island for awhile. Maybe I just want to sit on that boulder over there along the shore and… watch the river flow. I don’t want to talk about watching the river flow, watching it is enough.

So that means for 2013 I should make an effort to get out fishing with another human being once a month.

I might be able to accomplish that.

But if at the last minute I call and make some excuse as to why I can’t go, I’m probably lying to you.

There’s a good chance I’ve decided that sitting out in front of my house hand feeding peanuts to the squirrels is time better spent.

Or, if you want to catch me in my lie, you can call my wife.

She always knows where my car is…

I Tend not to Travel Very Much

And yet I feel like I travel all the time to go fishing or simply out wandering with my wife.

I had to look it up on a map. It looks like 90 percent of the fishing and wandering I do all happens within 15 miles of my house. I’ve also covered very little of what I’ve wanted to cover within that 15 miles. There are still miles of a few creeks I’ve never visited. Still more many miles of the Fox River, so many that it seems like I’ll never get around to fishing them all.

There are so many parks and forest preserves within those 15 miles I imagine it will take a few years yet to get to all of them.

So why travel further.

In a good week I’m out fishing 4 times. In a bad week I get out once. There’s never a week, at least during the warmer months, where I don’t go at all. Then there’s the wandering with the wife, another time or two each week.

The furthest point I travel to is one of my favorites. A mile long stretch of a little creek I like to wade and fish. I never run into anyone out there and I always catch fish.

There are about 10 more miles of this creek that I want to visit. I think I’ve only covered three.

Five miles west of my house is a big state park where my wife and I wander. Over the past 5 years we’ve covered a fair amount of it, but there’s still a fair amount to wander. We’re not sure if we’ll ever get it all covered.

Two miles west of my house is a big forest preserve. There’s a big half we have yet to even get near.

If I take the two minute walk to the river from my house, drop down into the river and turn left, I see virtually nothing and no one for the next 5 miles.

Around every bend is more nothing. I’ve canoed this stretch, but I’ve only covered about 2 miles of it wading, maybe a mile and a half. It’s that stretch I feel I’ll never fully cover. It’s a bit of a hike back to the house and I can’t convince anyone to come look for me with a car. Not that you can get a car that close to the river for most of it.

If I head east from my house there’s a 5 mile stretch I like to fish. The fishing has been outstanding. Problem is, I’ve only covered about two and a half miles of it this year. I’ve fished the rest in years past, but can’t seem to get to the remaining miles. Did I mention the fishing has been outstanding? That’s been the problem, there has to be more fish further upstream, you would think.

A little further up, about 8 or 9 miles from my house, is another stretch I like. I keep combing one area, but there’s a mile and a half long stretch I haven’t fished in over 5 years. Not sure when I’m going to get to it.

I guess I have done some traveling. My wife and I made it out to Morrison Rockwood State Park to do some camping over the summer. That’s about 70 miles away I think.

I recently went down to U. of I. to visit my daughter. While down there we went to Kickapoo State Park and did some fishing in the Middle Fork of the Vermillion River.

That’s about a 150 mile trip, a hike for me. If you’ve never gone, you should. The place is beautiful.

I did get down to the DuPage River with a friend over the summer. That’s about a 30 mile trip, was well worth it.

The ride to the Dupe wasn’t bad either.

The plan was to get down to the Kankakee and Mazon Rivers, within a 50 mile drive, but I never got around to it. I travel that far one way to work every day, you would think I would make the effort to go fish those rivers.

But then, there’s about 10 miles of another creek I want to fish. I’ve only covered about 3 miles of that one too.

It’s a 15 minute drive from my house. I have the routes all planned out, the put in and take out points.

Only problem is, one of the put in points is about 16 miles from my house.

I don’t know, that’s kind of far to be driving just to go fishing.

Seems Like a Perfect Weekend for Paddling Down a River

Instead of sitting around bemoaning the fact that summer is almost over, rejoice in the fact that there could still be over two months of decent weather left. Time to get in a canoe and go for a drift.

Of course I’m partial to the Fox River.

The lower reaches of the Fox can be stunningly beautiful. The further down stream you get from Aurora the fewer people you see. And as I like to say, at that point You Could be Anywhere.

Start making plans now, or don’t make plans and just give the following shops a call on a whim. They may have canoes or kayaks available. However you do it, you should go.

Paddle and Trail of Aurora

Geneva Kayak Center/Yorkville Outdoor Center

Freeman Sports

Ayers Landing

These are the ones I know and like. I’m sure there are others if you’re partial to the northern reaches of the Fox. You’ll have to do your own research though.

If you’re interested in other rivers, the Des Plaines, DuPage, Kankakee, Kishwaukee… that’s why God made Google. Plug in a name and see what comes up.

A trip down a river via canoe is always worth it. If timed right, a fall color trip will have you making up your own stories.

Get out, get out, get out.

It’s Lunch Time my Friend 8.18.11

You’ll have to excuse my own lack of posts lately, I’ve been busy.

This week it’s time to quit reading the stories of others and start making plans for your own.

Instead of sitting around bemoaning the fact that summer is almost over, rejoice in the fact that there could still be over two months of decent weather left. Time to get in a canoe and go for a drift.

Of course I’m partial to the Fox River.

The lower reaches of the Fox can be stunningly beautiful. The further down stream you get from Aurora the fewer people you see. And as I like to say, at that point You Could be Anywhere.

Start making plans now, or don’t make plans and just give the following shops a call on a whim. They may have canoes or kayaks available. However you do it, you should go.

Paddle and Trail of Aurora

Geneva Kayak Center/Yorkville Outdoor Center

Freeman Sports

Ayers Landing

These are the ones I know and like. I’m sure there are others if you’re partial to the northern reaches of the Fox. You’ll have to do your own research though.

If you’re interested in other rivers, the Des Plaines, DuPage, Kankakee, Kishwaukee… that’s why God made Google. Plug in a name and see what comes up.

A trip down a river via canoe is always worth it. If timed right, a fall color trip will have you making up your own stories.

Get out, get out, get out.

And if you really do need a dose of good writing, the bloggers have been busy. The ones I read are all in the column to the right. You know the routine.

Many Rivers to Cross

As I write this, massive violent looking storms have been tracking north to south over Lake Michigan for at least the last 18 hours. I hear they’ve been raking the western shore causing some problems.

Inland a few miles, nothing but clouds.

For the first time this year, practically every river in the area is perfect for wading and fishing. As long as the storms stay out to the east, that’s good for those of us that need to be in the water.

From the Mazon to the south, the DuPage and the Fox to the west, there’s no real reason to be cautious about stepping into the water. The only river I would be hesitant about is the Kankakee. The first time I checked it was flowing at about 4600 cubic feet per second. I’ve gone wading in the Kank when its been around the 4000 mark and it was not a fun experience. Not dangerous, just not fun. These storms have been spreading out over northern Indiana. That’s the headwaters of the Kankakee. All that water has to head down stream, so if you’re heading down to the Kank, you may want to check the river gauges before you go.

Kankakee River Real Time River Gauge.

As a matter of fact, the Kank is already on it’s way back up and just went over 5000 cfs. I’d think of somewhere else to go.

At the top of this page you’ll see a button called “Chicago Area Fishing.” There is plenty of information listed that will get you into the rivers around here.

You’ll notice I never mention the Des Plaines River. We have a history and it’s a hard one to forget. Forty years ago I used to play along its banks. It was not much better than an open sewer back then. Though I know better and I know things have improved dramatically, I have a tough time going there.

One of these days I’ll fix that issue, one day. In the mean time I rely on others. In the blog roll to the right you’ll see a link to the blog The Accidental Angler. He’s out fishing the Des Plaines River. If you’re used to the Des Plaines where I grew up, where I-55 crosses it, you’d think this is some kind of joke. You’d think that these are photos of anything but the Des Plaines. When you see the photos of the fish being pulled out of this river, you really start to feel like the joke is played out.

No joke, he’s doing well on that river and he makes it look appealing.

I knew that. Memories of the past just won’t die. I’ll have to get out there to see things for myself. One of these days.

Looks like I’ll be getting out every day this holiday weekend. The Fox one day, a venture to the DuPage on another. Those days are both days out with friends. The last day is for me, for a wander off into the woods to get lost a few miles up a creek somewhere. I like to go where I see no other foot prints, by myself.