Tuesday, July 31, 2012

East Branch Dupage Smallmouth

When I was 12 I would ride my bike a long way across town with a handful of fishing gear to meet my grade school friends at a mud hole called Lenzes Lake. It was tiny and we would play in and around it as we sometimes caught carp and bullhead. The east branch of the DuPage River was right there as well and the filthy water would sometimes produce some bullheads if we were lucky. 

Today at 42 I went back, back to a river I had written off. I heard it was cleaning up and that some fish were being caught. But there was not the effort or the buzz I had heard about the other branch. Ted or Soonerbass was nice enough to be my guide today as we searched the depths of the East in the summer heat. It took a good 15 minutes to walk to our first spot. But what aggravated my chubby ass about walking and sweating was matched by the beauty of the woods that surrounded us.

Ted wanted to try drifting this stretch and of course I was more then happy to go with that plan! However drifting just was not the solution here. The drift was very slow because there was not a lot of current and the holes here where very deep for such a narrow river. Some holes were at least 7 feet deep and even in this drought. Sooner managed to pick up a few gills but no bass. We switched gears to artificial baits. Ted tossed a senko, fluke, and top water bait and I a craw pappi and the grub of life. Mr Ted soon had one large-mouth and two smallies!!

Then all of the sudden right at the far bank a bronze train slammed my grub the second it hit the water. This was my FIRST EAST BRANCH SMALL MOUTH!! I was sooo freaking excited to catch this fish out of what use to be in my mind, a watery garbage dump.
A few casts later another both beautiful fish!!

The East Branch has come a long way as well and I am delighted to of had the honor of catching two of its treasures. I also want to thank Ted in sharing his passion for this branch and getting out there to renew my vision of what the East Branch of the DuPage River can be.

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