Virtually overnight the plowed and planted farm fields around me had perfectly spaced ribbons of green running through them for as far as you could see. The corn had sprouted one to two inches in the past 24 hours. There were now very few farm fields that didn’t have these ribbons of green. A little rain and a little sun works wonders.
I decided to try to repeat the success I had on a creek the day before. This time I would start a few miles further up. There’s a stretch of this creek I probably haven’t waded in over 5 years. It was time to see if I had been missing anything. Another nearby creek already had smallies 9 miles inland. I don’t think I was that far up this creek. They should be there.
My put in point was no longer a put in point, unless I felt like swimming. This was always a sharp bend in the creek, but the whole thing had been scoured out. I used to be able to hug one shore to get through, but no longer.
Since this looked just like a stretch from 24 hours earlier, I thought for sure it would be loaded with smallies, not a bite. I had to do a bit of bush whacking to find a place to hop in the water. I don’t remember things being this way. Luckily the forest floor is still mainly wild flowers. A few more weeks it will all be tall grass, brambles and poison ivy, just like the stretch I know further up stream.
A lot changes in over 5 years. Gravel bars I remember walking were gone. There were considerably less trees in the water and many more deep sections that I could no longer walk through. There was a flood a few years ago that completely altered another section of this creek. Apparently it tore the hell out of this one section too.
I thought all this new deeper water would be a good thing, but the fish weren’t cooperating. They simply weren’t there. I covered the pools from top to bottom and one side to the other. Not even a tap. I wound up having to walk the shore for a long stretch that I could no longer wade.
Again I covered the water with nothing to show for my efforts. Odd how one creek can have smallies and lots of creek chubs 9 miles up stream already and a very similar creek can be devoid of fish. I decided to cut my losses and go try a section miles down stream from where I was the day before.
At the next spot, after 10 minutes of casting, I had landed 8 smallies. They were annihilating the lure. One came over a boulder, hit it, chased it over another boulder that brought the fish up out of the water, hit it, flipped the lure up into the air and when the lure hit the water, attacked it again right at my feet. I hooked it.
All of the smallies caught were the red eye variety. Supposedly the smallie is supposed to have red eyes, but I’ve caught probably more that aren’t this bright. If you could even call them red eyes.
Then I caught one that had markings I had never seen before. It looked like it had stuck it’s head in a can of black paint.
Even it’s eyes were black, you couldn’t see the pupils.
By the time I was done, 11 of the 12 smallies caught all came out of this one area. I fished down stream for a couple of hundred yards to pick up the last one.
Odd part is that this pool where all the fish were is about a quarter mile long. All of the fish came out of the last 100 feet of the pool before it narrowed down and went over a set of riffles. I walked up stream in this pool for a hundred yards and never got a hit. They liked that lift before the riffles.
For the next 2 days I’ll be fishing the Fox River. I have a couple of guys that want to get out for guided trips. Based on what I’ve been running into on the creek, I’ll be sizing up a bit on the lure, tossing it into some of the fastest water I could find and getting it down into the indents in the bottom of the river.
Hopefully the fish will cooperate and hit now and then.