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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 05:06am - Jun 23,09
Posts: 992

Post Posted: 09:57am - Oct 6,17 
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Yesterday evening, I took one hour to fish the west branch with the fly rod. I think it is more painful for me to walk from the parking lot to the pool than to fish it (wading boots are not ergonomically made for walking). Anyway, after loaning my neighbor 2 folding tables, I headed to the river and started fishing exactly at 5pm and fished one pool until 6. It's getting dark earlier and earlier and I don't need to stumble over boulders in the river in the dark.
So, I used what was tied from the last time; a black Booglebug. With the river's current being so slow, I have been casting almost directly upstream and stripping as the bug floats lazily downstream. The first 3 or 4 fish were moderately sized bluegills. Casting upstream and into a current, a big one hit the bug and immediately started downstream which helped me. The fish gave me 3 good leaps in the air trying to throw the hook and there I was thinking "I've got to start bringing a net". But I'm getting pretty good at leading the bass to hand and grabbing the lower lip. The Booglebug was lodged in its bony upper palate.
Holding the fish against my TFO, it surpassed the Signature II label by about an inch which later proved to put the smallmouth in the 17"+ category.
Then, that was it for any other big fish i that pool. A few more bluegill and it was time to go while the knees were not hurting (wading in the pool was waist high so the knees felt good). Walking back out of the pool, I cast again and as soon as the popper hit the water, a fish actually jumped out of the water over it. Not a bite and I think, by the color, that it was a largemouth. So, I had to cast twice more but no bites.
I did learn one important factor regarding my casting. While trying for maximum distance, I have been letting the rod tip dip too low on the forward motion. This causes the popper (wooly, whatever) to slap the water too hard. Getting the same distance but halting the tip at 10am, the bug hit the water more gently and I got instant bites.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 05:06am - Jun 23,09
Posts: 992

Post Posted: 10:11am - Oct 6,17 
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I wanted to add how adept the fish are at making an instant judgement regarding what hits the water. During that last big cicada emergence, I was at the arboretum and throwing dead cicadas into the waterfall area of Lake Marmo. A big bass shooed out the bluegill and took up the spot. Everytime I threw a dead bug in, the bass would immediately hit it. Then, I ran out of bugs and found an equally sized piece of mulch and threw it in. As soon as it hit the water.....nothing! That fish made a decision in a fraction of a second, when the mulch hit, that it was not the same as the bug. Now, that shows one the level of sensitivity existing in the fish.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 10:24am - Aug 28,14
Posts: 74
Location: Hyde Park, Chicago

Post Posted: 02:25pm - Oct 6,17 
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nice outing and nice fish! I hit the fox yesterday afternoon as planned... was counting on today's weather, because there was no shade and little cover to find fish at high noon. Didn't even see any carp. Oh well, the fox is going to be my regular late fall/winter, early spring water, so I think my narrow 12 to 3 window will start to produce more once it cools down.

I did encounter two of the "flying bass" you mentioned, though. Slider goes into the pocket eddy, small bass jump OVER the fly... and repeat!

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 05:06am - Jun 23,09
Posts: 992

Post Posted: 03:45pm - Oct 6,17 
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At 6 and the sun set, a moth type of bug is hatching or mating or whatever and flying only inches off the surface. I am wondering if that fish was going after one of the bugs and not my bug. I tried gogling insects and the DuPage river but found no information. Maybe, that is why the fish missed my bug; he was after another.

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 02:10pm - Mar 2,17
Posts: 22
Location: winfield, IL

Post Posted: 07:48am - Oct 11,17 
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It's incredible how fish react differently by the sort of things we throw at them. It's color, smell, shape, season....they're smart creatures. I fished with bubble gum on a fishing trip once and it worked like a charm but got skunked using the same gum a week later.

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 02:26pm - May 16,05
Posts: 156
Location: South Elgin

Post Posted: 02:11pm - Oct 12,17 
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chuckt wrote:
At 6 and the sun set, a moth type of bug is hatching or mating or whatever and flying only inches off the surface. I am wondering if that fish was going after one of the bugs and not my bug. I tried gogling insects and the DuPage river but found no information. Maybe, that is why the fish missed my bug; he was after another.


That moth was more than likely a Caddis - they are all over the river. I've been fishing on the Fox and got caught up in a major hatch - it was like a blanket of bugs 1 foot thick as far as you could see.

Nice story & fish, BTW!

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 05:06am - Jun 23,09
Posts: 992

Post Posted: 03:45pm - Oct 12,17 
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Then I can tie on a caddis fly and see what I get. I hit the river, one Sunday morning, and what looked like blue winged olives (they looked like the tiny fly) were hatching and the surface was just littered with bodies. A few bluegill that I caught were so loaded with them that I could see the flies in their gullets as they were crammed in there. With so many flies on the water, my fly went unnoticed.

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