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Andrew R
ANDREW
RAGAS

Andrew's Adventures

Des Plaines River Exploration Wade

Wed, October 27, 2010

Wading a New Stretch of The Des Plaines River.

As it was originally scheduled, this afternoon I met up with Dan Sims and David Mannion of Sims-Spinners, and Jacob Saylor. I probably fished more with Dan and for whatever reasons didn’t get a chance to talk much with Jake or Dave. I was in the zone to explore every inch of water more than anything I guess. It was all business as usual today.

They all met sometime around 3pm, and I didn’t show until 30-minutes later.

Like Dan wrote and informed me from his excursion from a few days ago: This stretch of water is remarkably amazing in terms of overall appearance and fishy-looking water. I have never seen so many small islands and riffle runs on any particular stretch of the DPR before - and not even on any single other river I have fished before! You really wouldn’t expect to see images like this on such an urban river like the Des Plaines.

With the above photos in mind, I came prepared for catching two probable species: Walleyes and Pike. Spinning rod was fished with a Rapala Shallow Shad Rap, while baitcaster was paired up with a #5 Sims Spinner. Unfortunately, neither of the pursued fish were found today, but I still have hope.

Since the rainfall from the other day, the river shot up nicely. It is still wadeable and navigable almost everywhere, but the water clarity turned to dirt. It didn’t help that we were fishing in the midst of strong winds and a coldfront either. While it’s great we had our first rainfall in well over a month, it’s also good for the fish because more of them should be on the move right now.

The four of us waded about a 1/2 mile stretch. I went probably as far as a mile because I wanted to keep heading upstream until I grew tired. Much of this stretch was shallow water with a limestone and rock bottom, good enough to support Walleye and Sauger. However, what it was really lacking were long stretches of deeper water. All it has are a few isolated pools that are eventually capable of rearing some fish.

I don’t believe that anyone else but me from this party of four anglers caught anything. I finished with 1 Channel Cat, and two or three Largemouth Bass.

This Cat was the right size but wrong shape. It came from a mid-channel pool with current - it was probably 4ft in the middle of the eddy. I somehow snagged it on first cast and that could explain why it fought and stayed down like the more desired species.

Thanks to Dan Sims for this photo. He can be visited at www.sims-spinners.com

Towards the end of the wade, Dan took me over to the section of river where damage was done to the Bass the other day. The three of them fished this area first before I arrived, but didn’t catch anything.

Within my first five casts with the #5 spinner, I received hits from multiple fish. I then proceeded to have hook-ups shortly after, and got this decent one along with two other little guys.

This little pool was unique because it barely connects to the river and flowing water in any way. What’s strange is that while it is isolated, it still has some depth in the middle and could even possibly contain fish during the winter months when everything freezes over.

Since I was catching and wanted to keep on catching, Dan eventually left me by myself and went off to join Dave and Jake. By the time I called it quits and headed out from this little pool at 5:45, Jake had already mysteriously peaced out, and Dan and Dave were just about ready to pull away.

Right then, my day just about ended as well. This was a fun stretch of water to get lost in and I will be returning sometime again.


Thanks to Dan Sims for this photo. He can be visited at www.sims-spinners.com

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