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Jonn
JONN
GRAHAM

Stream Stalker

Illinois:  Prairie or Rainforest?

Tue, July 15, 2014

Been awhile since I have visited…...........main reason?.....RAIN!!  This has been the summer from hell if you love to chase stream smallies.  Just cannot catch a break.  Here is a brief fishing report from my messed up summer:

As soon as I got out of school in early June, three of us headed down to TN for a stream trip.  We had great intel on about five different small streams (creeks).  Out of the five, we fished two with only one being in good, fishable shape.  What doomed us..?........you guessed it, RAIN!.  After a few days in TN, we realized that there were not any fishable streams left in our area of the state.  We packed up our bags and headed to KY to fish Elkhorn Creek.  I have heard about Elkhorn for many years.  It is a very nice, large creek.  When we got there, the water was perfect…....clear with still enough flow to float our three Coosa kayaks.  Guess what happened about 90 minutes later….......yup….........rain!!  We fished the creek the next day in less than ideal conditions.  I caught a couple of fish including this one:

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After completing our first day on the Elkhorn, we saw enough promise in this creek that we planned to fish it for the next few days.  But, that night the stream’s level shot up and we had to find a different stream.  We ended up fishing a very small creek that was beautiful, but seemed to hold very few fish.  I did catch a real nice smallie on the fly rod ( the only time all week that the water clarity dictated the use of the long rod).  We headed home a day early.  Though the whole trip was basically a wash, I would go back again.  The streams down there are beautiful and hold incredible smallie habitat.  I would like to go back and fish them when they are low and clear.

So, I returned home from the down south trip ready to start fishing in earnest around home.  But, of course, as all you know, Illinois just keeps getting hit with large amounts of rain.  Not only am I unable to fish, but my guiding season has been a nightmare.  I have had to reschedule trips right and left.  I have only been able to pull of two trips with clients.  The first trip was a half day wading trip and it was tough.  Last Friday I was able to get out with Debbie Compton and conditions, for once, were good.  Deb did pretty well and capped off her day with this bad boy:

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After Debbie’s trip I figured I was good to go for the rest of the summer.  But, once again, rain hit hard this past weekend and the Vermilion is sky high.  I got one month before it is back to school.  I sure hope we get a dry spell soon…............

AS ALWAYS….....HAIL TO THE SMALLIE

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