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Big river or small stream after the rains?


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Trying to add to my general Smallmouth techniques and knowledge.


I live close to the DuPage west branch and to the Fox. There are going to be some days I will be able to choose to go to one or the other.


After it rains and water levels are higher than average, in general, would you expect to have better luck in a small river like the Dup or a bigger river like the Fox?


Also, would it matter if the river was really low and the rains took it back to average?


My instinct would say fish the dup when the rains took it from low to average, as that might trigger a feed, but I am not sure. What has your experience shown?


Thanks for your help!!!




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I would agree whith Scott's assessment. On smaller rivers you can cast to pretty much any part of the river during low water. High water just gives them more places to hide and causes them to spread out. I prefer low clear water also where I can use my river reading skills and cast to high percentage locations. For a bigger river, high water pushes them off of mid-river structure. This puts them tighter to shoreline structure which give the shoreline angler easier access to the fish. A run and gun approach fishing a bunch of shoreline eddies will produce. That works for me on the Rock River in the fall. High water on the Kish is skunk but I can always catch a few on the Rock.

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I've had good results on the Dupe when the levels are up. Bass tend to be less wary and in predictable areas. A spinnerbait is a good presentation to fish as it covers water quickly and provides flash and sound when the water has some color.


I think the same can be said for the Fox.


Just be careful wading on any river when levels are up. Best to stick close to shore on on the bank.

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Both are so low right now, I'd love to see even average flow, let alone higher than average.


Dupe is good low or average. Higher can make the surface veg washing down river unbearable. If you can hack it, Dupe can produce some monsters. Short casts with search baits. Cover a lot of water.


Fox is good any time. Read Paul's post about fall feedbag. Apply to the Fox. Walk-the-dog downstream by outside edges, lifts, etc. Swim jig is better for areas of heavier current. I like downstream burns, but don't discount any angles. Cover water. The majority of the biggies I catch are first-cast fish. They're there or they're not. They don't take much coaxing to react.


Speaking generally to the forum community here, don't squander October online. Get out there!


...And post some reports!!!

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Thanks everyone for the good ideas. I will try a few things out on the fox tomorrow morning.

With the water temps having cooled considerably morning fishing might not be the best choice,Midday fishing might actually be better.Of course evening is always a good bet

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