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Bart Durham

DuPage River Float, Saturday, August 16

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4 guys showed up and we did a 5.5 mile float. You guys who couldn't make it....didn't miss anything. It is just unbelievable that between 4 guys over 7 hours we could come up with only 9 fish. I wish I knew why the DuPage has been so tough this year.

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Wow. Only 9 fish? The promising conditions never occurred; so much for it being cloudy today. The Dupe has been really challenging, but it's been a strange year, Scott. It's either been storming or it's been sunny. Very few cloudy days that always seem to be most productive. It's been really hard locating the fish. I've had sporadic luck at best in the areas that usually hold fish at this time of year. A few fish at best, never any size. That hasn't been the case on the Fox.

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regardless of the outcome, it was a nice float and great compny of folks.

I would make the observation that my experience on the Dup has been that for summer top water action, sun is your friend. My experience has been that the sunnier the better for smallmouth topwater. I don't understand the contrarian deal on this river, buit we noticed this same effect on the Mazon earlier in the year. i am certian this view will cause constoversy, but it's just my opinion.

 

Thanks Bart for setting up the event, and nice spending time with Scott, Kip and Bart

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Scott's rosy summary may have been correct about the fishing but not a complete picture of our float on Saturday. We arrived at the 135th takeout to set up shuttle at 6 am got on the water by 7 am to start out float:

 

2mmde6u.jpg

 

The conditions were great, clear water, good flow, 70 degree temps, low wind and overcast skies:

 

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I threw top water with my spin tackle and subsurface crayfish streamers with the fly rod. For some inexplicable reason the bite was not on. What fish we did catch were on the smaller size but still feisty.

 

2qi2pmg.jpg

 

We really had to work for the fish that we caught. I think Mark's theory regarding sunny skies my be right. Kip and I both lost large fish on topwater strikes after the sun came out toward the end of the float. It would have been nice to have landed them but it wasn't meant to be. I know other local rivers are not producing smallmouth in numbers like previous years and am chalking this summer up as a poor fishing summer for smallmouth.

 

The lack of fishing success given the conditions in yesterday's float left us scratching our heads but the near perfect weather conditions made the poor fishing much more bearable. The calmness and serenity of being on the river in a kayak is always great for the soul whether you catch fish or not. Catching smallmouth while dong it is an added bonus.

 

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After the float and securing our floating devices on our vehicles we all got together at Nevins Brewery for some much needed nourishment and to share our days stories. Thanks Scott, Kip and Mark for joining in the float. Look forward to doing it again soon.

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You can't catch 'em if there not there.And as i've maintained before in the last 4 or 5 yrs they simply haven't been there like before from the upper stretch of the Main Branch all the way to Channahon which with the exception of the short stretch from Channahon is virtually the entire river.Last year just about the only good action came in that short stretch which is best floated due to deeper water & private property.Until a few yrs ago the river produced good #s of 16-19+ smallies thruout its length and was the best big smallie river in Ill.But every year the algae growth and the intense weed growth became worse.Silt also got much worse in the slower near shore water where spawning would take place. Like the song says "...more people more scars upon the land". For most of the year the streambed couldn't even be seen covered as it was by algae,weed or silt. I believe these factors combined with excessive rainfall every year during spawning time resulted in multi year poor spawns.When those big old bass died off they left little behind.That's the long & short of it as far as I can see.For the better part of 10 yrs I had pretty consistent good fishing in the Dupe.These days after early spring I don't much bother with it anymore.

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For me, any time is a good time to throw topwater. I don't buy any theories about less numbers, less size, etc. and just chalk up crummy outings as just that. They won't all be winners.

And then BAM!!!! Joz posts pics of a few big ones from the same water...

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After reading all the post trip reports, my first thought was that if I lost some weight that fish might look much bigger? My second thought was how grateful I was, that Nevin's hires really good looking help to help ease the pain of a long float with little success. Thanks to Bart for putting this together, learned some new water, and had fun sharing head shaking blank stares with Scott, Mark. I have fished the Duper dozens of times the last two years & like we were discussing with a few cold ones (ok Scott, semi cold), the river has serious issues right now. I know rivers & streams have many cycles, but I'm jumping on ronk's bandwagon, you better believe "less numbers, less size, etc" are real problems. Until someone proves otherwise, I'm going back to Nevin's.

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Guys, it's not just the dup that's struggling this season. The kkk is off as well, guides that I've talked to across the midwest are all struggling this year. Just enjoy what fishing is really about and be happy being on the water.

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Guest rich mc

my take is the severe freezing this past winter has hurt the rivers .I still havnt caught or seen any smallies in the headwaters of the kish this year. even the carp are way down in numbers rich mc

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my take is the severe freezing this past winter has hurt the rivers .I still havnt caught or seen any smallies in the headwaters of the kish this year. even the carp are way down in numbers rich mc

 

Sorry Rich, but I think not. I had a pretty awesome Spring, it's the Summer months that are killing me.

Brad Miller at FlyBass.com has been reporting of the same in Minnesota, and I've been reading the same coming out of Indiana.

I think it's a sign of what's in store for us this Winter.

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Every time there is some major natural event, i.e., drought, hard freeze, hot spell, big flood ... the sky is falling. Nature is resilient and adapts.

 

Last night at the Dupe, I had to keep nudging my son to "concentrate on the bigger ones" as he was giddy and watching the schools of 20+ 2"-4" smallmouth following his lure all the way up to the kayak.

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Every time there is some major natural event, i.e., drought, hard freeze, hot spell, big flood ... the sky is falling. Nature is resilient and adapts.

 

Last night at the Dupe, I had to keep nudging my son to "concentrate on the bigger ones" as he was giddy and watching the schools of 20+ 2"-4" smallmouth following his lure all the way up to the kayak.

 

 

What Eric said. I was out Sunday afternoon (only 5th time out this year) and blanked but I saw plenty of fish.

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Same thing I witnessed on my last couple outings, I was happy to see large schools of small fingerlings swimming about.

 

Every time there is some major natural event, i.e., drought, hard freeze, hot spell, big flood ... the sky is falling. Nature is resilient and adapts.Last night at the Dupe, I had to keep nudging my son to "concentrate on the bigger ones" as he was giddy and watching the schools of 20+ 2"-4" smallmouth following his lure all the way up to the kayak.

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