Tag Archives: summer

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I Went Fishing

You would think that the simple statement of I went fishing would be a given for me and up until this year, it was.

I went fishing for the past 18 years 3 to 4 times a week, sometimes more, sometimes year round.

The astute reader that also happens to follow along my WDJ Facebook page would have seen this back on August 1st, the last time I went fishing:

Rather than fishing the Fox River this early evening, time better spent would have been sitting on the toilet and picking my nose for two and a half hours.

I’ll probably hit a few creeks that feed the Fox the first week of September to see if the smallies are making their annual fall run.

No doubt come April and May I’ll be fishing those same creeks.

I still enjoy living two blocks from it and walk down to it’s shore every night. I still enjoy my walks along the river and the spots I’ve found where I photograph sunsets over the river.

I’m sure I’ll continue to explore other stretches of the river, but with a camera in hand.

As for fishing the Fox, I’m done. 19 years, over 10,000 smallies, who knows how much bycatch, waded over 20 miles of it over and over again, easily adding up to hundreds of miles, possibly well over a thousand.

There’s nothing more for me to accomplish on that river when it comes to fishing.

Since waking up on Saturday morning I considered going fishing. The final decision to go never happens till the hour arrives when I should leave if I’m going to go. I had a need for solitude, some quiet, to get some exercise, to get out of my head.

The Fox River has been at normal or below normal flow for the whole month. A recent spike from some recent rains had it still below normal, but new water tends to turn on fish. The creeks were low and I don’t like fishing them then. Like fishing in a barrel and I feel like I’m torturing the few fish that will be in the relatively deeper spots.

I got to the river around 4 PM. Weather was absolutely perfect. Temps just right, the right amount of clouds around to cut the glare of the sun off the river, a nice breeze. I did wind up seeing three other anglers out there. One was a shore angler, they’re trapped by their decision to fish from shore so I don’t pay them much attention and the other two came hiking downstream, got to within a couple of hundred yards of me, turned around and went back the way they came.

Had the whole place to myself, like usual.

I went into this expecting nothing but the serenity of being out on the river. I expected no fish, so to catch 10 and and have 7 others self release was a nice bonus. Having two of the 10 being a solid 17 inches was even nicer.

One of the things I wanted to test was my boredom level. It’s been crushing this year while out fishing.

Didn’t get bored for a second.

Maybe I’m on the road to some kind of recovery, but from what?

The first 17 inch smallie.

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Finding things along the river.

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Almost forgot about the drunken flotilla.

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Not quite right. I was about 5 miles downstream from one dam and about the same distance to the next.

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The second 17 inch smallie.

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This is where the second 17 inch smallie was caught. If you can find this spot and duplicate the catch, and here’s a hint, I’ve caught bigger ones here, then more power to you.

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AHOY the River

Where’d everybody go?

That’s right, it’s after September 1st, the time of year when 90 percent of anglers give up for the year.

Summer is over, the fish won’t be biting.

So they think.

Since I’ve only run into three or four other anglers out on the river and another three on the creeks in well over 60 trips, I guess it will be getting even more empty.

Not sure that’s possible, unless all the wildlife goes away too.

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Where da hell ya been man?

Well, according to my camera, which I haven’t bothered plugging into the computer since August 18th, I’ve been out and about and took 166 photos of lame stuff while out and about.

Basically I’ve tried to spend as little time indoors as possible. Seems such a shame to waste a single minute sitting inside when soon enough winter will be here and that’s all I’ll be doing. Except for work.

Plus it doesn’t help that I can’t think of anything worth saying anymore.

So, here’s some pictures.

Time to go sit outside and stare off into space.

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A Weekend of Fishing and Other Stuff

It seems that my routine is to spend my weekends fishing. I’m up at sunrise or sooner, everyone else in the house won’t be up for a few hours, what’s the point of laying there or rattling around the house thinking of and doing things I don’t really care about.

The cool nights, it’s been 50 in my neck of the woods, have started to cool down the river. I no longer take temperatures, just put my hand in the water. It’s cooler now than it has been the last few weeks.

The massive bug hatches of the past two weekends have died down and probably weren’t half what they were. The huge schools of carp feeding on the bug hatches in the eddies have started to disappear. I could see their torpedo forms back out in the shallow areas of the river.

Hardly a bug to be seen. They didn’t show up till a little later and it was nothing like it has been.

This is close to on schedule compared to years past.

Saturday morning I decided to hit a stretch that I never got around to fishing in the past 18 years. I’ve walked up to it numerous times and stood looking down stream. I could tell the first couple of hundred yards was going to suck, which is why I never did it.

It looks like no big deal until you get out into it. Then it sucked as much as I thought it would.

In that two hundred yards I had three “I’m getting to old for this shit” moments. One of them came as I crossed and another as I approached the opposite shore.

You don’t see too many limestone ledges along the Fox, but since summer clarity on the river is barely a foot you never really know what you’ll be walking on. Or floating over…

This was another one of those moments. You don’t see riffle like this on the Fox and to my left in this shot I already tried taking a step or two. At five foot nine, that didn’t go well. No soaking, but it was bit unpleasant.

At least the ledge produced a fish, even if it was a dink.

On the little island to my left it was time for a old guy piss break. You drink 20 ounces of coffee, some gulps of water, then walk across a cool water river in waist deep water and see how long you last. Sometimes just looking up finds you interesting things.

On the opposite edge of the island was a boat dock. It got here during the flood of 2008. I know where it used to be and I know the guy that owns it, or used to. The water dragged it a couple of miles down stream.

The fishing was what I expected for this time of year, but a few dinks were had along with a couple of nicer fish.

I’ll have to give this stretch another try. A lot of potential here and better yet, I figured out how to avoid that first couple of hundred yards.

Back at home I entertained myself around the house. Can’t have too may pictures of giant sunflowers. The seed pod on this one measures a foot in diameter. My wife was looking over my shoulder and said I didn’t get the whole sunflower in the shot. Then it’s just a sunflower, I told her. I’m more interested in the yellow, the green and the blue.

That evening called for a walk around Silver Springs State Park. I think it’s five miles away, maybe seven. Stuff catches my eye, I take a picture. It’s interesting to me.

The next morning I was out at sunrise again. Out in the middle of the river taking pictures of the sunrise from a down stream view point.

Then turning around and facing the sun.

That sun image was burned into my retina for a good five minutes.

Few bugs and fewer carp. I could get used to this.

First cast near a tangle of trees in the water I thought I snagged the tree, till it moved. Then I thought I snagged a carp. Was glad to see this at the end of the line.

The bite had definitely improved with a few other fish that size caught or hooked and pissed off enough to jump and throw the hook.

If you’re going to own a home along the river with a sprawling, massive yard leading down to the river, it should be done like this guy does it. You want less flooding, this is what you do.

I’ve read about this guy in a couple of articles. Impressive.

If you look at the two panoramic river shots above and the two below, you’ll see the hundreds of fishermen that are destroying the river.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA….. HA, no you won’t.

The last riffle before the pool of a dam. I think the dam is around two miles further down. No point fishing what looks like do-nothing water.

Damn people every where.

Off in the woods on the way back I was reminded of what this area used to be. There are easily 50 year old trees growing around this thing and it’s hard to imagine how it got here.

Why you would be walking along, shed your waders and walk away is anyone’s guess.

I had no interest in going to find the owner.

I have no clue who this is, but someone cared enough to leave it in a pretty nice place.

Did get to see the bald eagle on Sunday. I had heard rumors that he hangs out along this one stretch even this time of year. The tip off that the eagle was around was a very unhappy hawk that would not stop screeching. I was glad when the eagle finally floated off down stream. He was probably as annoyed with all that screeching as I was.