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August 19, Saturday - “Lucky Fishing Hat” Wade & Float Outing (Kish)

Show us your lucky Fishing Hat. We’ll meet in Cherry Valley at the cafe at 7:00 AM
for some B&G, a quick “Lucky Fishing Hat” group photo, and then some good Kishwaukee
River smallmouth fishing.



You may have noticed I added the choice to float for this outing.

The Kish north and main branches are still running just a tad high for wading and there looks to be a damn good chance

of precipitation this Wednesday.

Any bump in the water level on the north and main branches would make those floatable only.

Without a bump those two branches just might be doable for a wade, we'll have to wait and see.

​I have been wading the south branch for the last week or so (basically all fricking season) and can tell you that the state of

the south is just about at it's normal Summertime flow, Kilbuck is flowing good also.

Again, keep an eye on the levels and hope for the best.

Hope to see you all on Saturday.


Current levels are as such...... North (red) 2.40ft., South (green) 2.37ft., Main (blue) 6.59ft.

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Hellooooooo, Is there anybody out there?

Looks like we got thru the rain without any increase to the water levels.

For anybody interested, I would suggest wading the south branch and floating on the north/main branch.

I have been out twice this week testing the waters. Expect a heavy stain on the north/main branch and a moderate stain on the south.


So, is there anybody interested in getting out this Saturday, Aug. 19th. ?


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Great! Glad we got some folks still interesting in fishing the Kish.

The south branch did receive some rain that made the gage jump up about 4 inches but

I believe it will drop back down the 4 inches come Saturday.

Looks like Bill and I will be wading. Maybe we can help out with shuttle service. We'll discuss at

the breakfast table. See you guys Saturday at 7am.

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My brother is coming with me, we will both be kayaking





As we sit right now we have 4 kayaker's and 2 wading, with 1 (Jude) not sure (except for breakfast) what the heck he is going to do.

Bill, do happen to know if Pat will be coming with you?

Make sure y'all bring your damn "Lucky Fishing Hat", you're probably gonna need it.

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1st Report


We had a large group for our first NW Region outing of the year.

I think there were like 10 of us seated at the breakfast table.....

Jude, BenK, BrianO, Bill k, Jay and Tom, Paul T, Eric G and his brother, and then myself.

Yep, that's 10.

After chow we assembled in front of the cafe for a quick shot....


Nice looking mob, huh? Ben K will post a better pic.


We had to split into groups. Paul, ben, Eric and his brother, all headed south to drop their kayaks in at some point way

upstream on the south branch of the Kish.

Jude took Bill and Brian down south also but not quite as for as the yak-heads went.

Jay, Tom and I also fished the south branch but stayed in Winnebago County.

When we first stepped foot in water and waded to the opposite bank we came across this bird all tangled up in knots with

some mono. The line was wrapped around a toe and the a few times around the neck. I took hold of the varmint while Jay cut the line away with his snippers. Bird bounced into the weeds to rest. looked a little stressed.


Jay was casting a crank bait most of the day, Tom had his fly rod and I tossed him a Jude-Bug to tie on, I had the spin rod in hand with a tube tied on.

Tom popped the first smallmouth of the day casting the Jude-Bug up against some rip-rap.


Jay thought catching a smallie on a fly rod looked pretty fun and Tom talk him in to making a few cast.

It didn't take long and it was FISH ON!!


Jay's first smallmouth with a fly rod.


Seemed like it was going to be a great day. WRONG!

It was pretty slow after that. Jay did pick up one more with a crank bait. I got the skunk.

Hope the other guys did good.

It was nice to meet new people and see Jay catch his first fly rod smallmouth.

Also, it was nice to actually have an outing here in the NW Region.

Tough year.





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I WILL post a better group shot... tomorrow. I need to resize a bunch of pics. Paul and I had a good day, consistent action with the majority of it on topwater, we each broke double digits. Didn't crack 17 inches but had a handful of fish just shy. I had a great time seeing some old faces, some new faces and getting on the water with smallmouth brethren. Hope to see everyone at the camp out next month, if not sooner.

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my brother Tim and I had a nice float, we each had a smallie caught at the put-in before even getting the boats in the water. double digits for each of us as well. nothing bigger than 14".

My brother also got two Northerns and I also got a couple rock bass. Tim got most of his fish on a twister, I used Hula, senko, crank. Tried topwater a bit at first but no topwater action.

Thanks to PaulT for showing us the put-in and take out points.


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Well...luckily breakfast was good, cause the fishing wasn't. Bill and Brian and I hit the S. Branch near Kirkland. I took off early after catching one. At that point Brian had caught a few but Bill still smelled skunky. I hope things improved after my departure. (Don't say it, Terry.)

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Ben & I hit a nice section of the South Branch. Condition were perfect for floating as it was up a few inches and there was good water visibility. I could summarize by simply saying we had a quality outdoor experience. Considering the remoteness of the river, comraderie, wildlife sightings, weather, river conditions, and the smallmouth's willingness to hit topwaters with bad intent. Although we go about it with totaly different tools (fly vs spinning), Ben & I share a common passion for catching smallmouth on topwater on remote rivers. I think we worked well together as a team as we took turns leading and didnt tangle line once all day. Numbers were pretty even until I got on hot streak at the end. I would say we caught 25-30 fish total, most were smallmouths, then 2 pike and 2 rock bass. We got about a handful that were in the 16-16.5" range. We also has probably 4 doubles during the day. We probably had double the number of bites on topwater blowups. Walking the dog was drawing some savage strikes but many misses. Ben's topwater fly drew less strikes but his hookup percentage was better. I also caught a few dragging bottom with a hulagrub but topwater was the best thing going for us and we stayed committed to it. The worst part of the trip was taking out our kayaks as the takeout had a steep wet hill to carry. Here are a few pics from my camera. I'm sure Ben will contribute as he had the best photography equipment.



Ben's has a nice comfortable rig for fishing out of. That is until you need to carry it up a steep hill.



Ben's first fish of the day was a northern.



This was one of the better fish of the day. Caught off a mid-stream boulder on a popper fly

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It did, Jude, Brian and I moved to another spot upstream about 1pm. He pick up 4 of 5 more in the 7 to 13" range. I got one but it was worth the wait - an 18"-er. Thanks to you, Terry, for setting this up. And also to Jude and Brian for putting us on some nice locations.


Bill K

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Geez havent logged in for awhile was busy traveling during the weekdays out of state helping my kids move into their colleges. Got back end of week and fished 5hrs south des plaines saturday and 8.5hrs south branch kish sunday. Boy super disappointed i didnt know about the outing i would have went for sure. Fishing was on fire brought about 60 fish to hand 7 to 1 ratio smallies to pike. Keep an eye out on south branch for 2 muskies swimming together. I assume must have run up way far from rock river.

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Encouraging report Joe. We could have helped you with a shuttle instead of doing that bike riding thing.The fishing on Saturday for us was steady but not on fire. Was the on fire bite on the Des Plaines, Kish , or both? Personally I have never caught, hooked into or even seen a musky in the Kish. I do believe it is possible as I have hooked into them in the Rock.

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Paul, both rivers the smallies are very willing if you are in the right environment. Sunday Kish I focused on pike for starters in your old neck of the woods, and wow on big teeth, but in the afternoon when it hazed and clouded over there were a lot of smallies very shallow over gravel in 10" to 2' of water in current so i went through a lot of keitech and optimum opti shad swimbaits on 16th ounce jigs fishing them just sub surface and tickling the surface. Emulating fleeing baitfish was the biggest frenzy getter. Regarding the musky it was reported to me by a friend of mine who was wading my takeout area that day. He was fishing for smallies but he followed them around some waitng to see his go pro pics but he is a long time avid fisherman including a musky psycho so there is no doubt in his identification. 2 fish were hanging together good size.


No doubt they came up inimpeded from the rock im still amazed at the differnce in fish comparing early season cold months to this time of year. Clear water late winter and spring i see next to nothing but now i see a lot of gamefish and a large schools of quillbacks and suckers. Its all about no dams and fish having ability to get out of skinny water in cold season.

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