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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 07:24pm - Nov 14,08
Posts: 1024
Location: Naperville

Post Posted: 11:34am - Dec 4,16 
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Been able to get out sporadically during this late fall period. Scheduling has been tough with a new job so I've mostly had to settle for spontaneous hit and run sessions, sometimes after dark. It's a fabulous time of year for just getting out and hiking the river. With the leaves and weeds died off, wildlife abounds and is easy to spot. Bucks strutting around with their harems, coyotes, owls, hawks, all sorts of water fowl and song birds, beavers, otters, etc. are all available for viewing. If you're lucky, they may let you get close enough for a picture.
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These guys are always shy. They don't like sitting still for pictures and I don't feel like carrying a camera with a better zoom.
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Still some mean shrubbery out there. Don't want to walk headlong into this tree. It's got one inch spikes all over the branches.
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Took me a half hour to pick all of these off of my waders:
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I've done some pretty dumb things to catch a fish but this was pretty high on the list. I tried cutting through thick, 10' high weeds in the dark rather than hiking around them. They closed up just as thick behind me so turning around once I was too far would have been just as much effort as just plowing forward. There was some large animal in there snorting and moving around but I really couldn't tell how far away from me it was. Didn't feel like coming face to face with a big buck deer smack dab in the middle of the rut. Never saw it though. Looking back, going around probably would've been quicker after all.
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Here comes the white stuff:
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The bite has actually been quite consistent for four weeks now. The only real difference is my retrieve has slowed down and I've been fishing a bit deeper. But there have been plenty of bites every session.
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Still haven't winterized any of my gear, gotta get on that :D

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 09:32pm - Feb 12,03
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Location: Not quite over the hill, but has a breathtaking view from the lofty perch.

Post Posted: 09:29pm - Dec 4,16 
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:gpost
You got it figured out enough to truly enjoy the surroundings. Well done and thanks for the picture tour. Very nice.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 06:08pm - Apr 12,12
Posts: 625
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Post Posted: 11:18pm - Dec 4,16 
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:gpost Excellent stuff man!! This really makes me wanna get out and do some river fishin! I haven't done any for a good long time now. I gotta say though, I'd rather suffer through those spikes than Poison Ivy . :bigyuck

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 09:45am - Oct 25,04
Posts: 816
Location: Plainfield

Post Posted: 07:35am - Dec 5,16 
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Winter Is a great time to fish that river. A float and fly will take some nice fish...

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 10:33am - May 14,08
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Post Posted: 11:45am - Dec 5,16 
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Nice post as always jmdog. Fishing is for me too in some ways is just enjoying what nature revels while I pursue the fish. I too am a big owl fan. Saturday we had a great horned owl like the one in your post take up temporary residence in our wood duck house. I wish I would have seen him get into or out of it as I would have thought he was too big for the opening of the wood duck house. In fact because of that at first I told my wife it was a barred owl. The glowing yellow eyes meant that it could only be a great horned. Strange that the dead give away cat like ears must have been folded down as I never saw them and watched him on and off most of the day. Also you mention otters and this September while fishing in Hayward I got a picture of what I at first believed was an otter. It was only later that its long legs and cat like ears proved it was a fisher an otters larger cousin and a first for me. Last this fall I encountered another first for me a loon that was not at all timid. He chased my plastic time and again right up to the boat. While my owl and fisher pictures are grainy that bunch of loon pictures and video are spectacular.

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 07:24pm - Nov 14,08
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Location: Naperville

Post Posted: 12:22pm - Dec 5,16 
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Lol yeah loons are goofy. Owls are probably my favorite critters to run into. I know of a pair on the east branch that I think are barred owls. They won't let me get close enough for a positive ID. Also, I spotted two eagles flying south on the west branch this summer. Flying nice and low, too. I read somewhere that they use rivers for navigation and they are definitely using the Des Plaines regularly now.

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Joined: 10:35am - Feb 11,03
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Location: Naperville

Post Posted: 03:15pm - Dec 5,16 
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Always enjoy your post jmdog.

Thanks for taking the time to share.

Tom

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 07:24pm - Nov 14,08
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Location: Naperville

Post Posted: 04:08pm - Dec 5,16 
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:thanks

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 08:53pm - Feb 2,08
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Location: Mokena

Post Posted: 06:58pm - Dec 5,16 
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Excellent report as always Jmdog. Thanks for sharing.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 06:47pm - Feb 10,03
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Location: West Burbs

Post Posted: 08:10pm - Dec 5,16 
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Dog, your posts always rock!

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 05:06am - Jun 23,09
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Post Posted: 10:15am - Dec 6,16 
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A great tour of the river and its surroundings, jmdog. Yes, my retrieve has slowed drastically since the fishes' metabolism is pretty low. They must also be higging the bottom since the flow, there, would be slower than the upper areas.
As far as the deer go, I have had some bucks just stand there looking at me. Probably want to say that I am using the wrong fly or my cast is all wrong. I have also watched mink and muskrats scour the edges and the racoons in the evenings.
I am always amazed by the crappie. You catch one and think there is a school. Then, after awhile of fishing the same spot, you think it was just a lone fish.

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 07:24pm - Nov 14,08
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Location: Naperville

Post Posted: 10:24am - Dec 6,16 
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Yeah, agreed on the crappie. I do know of one hole that concentrates them spring and fall. The rest of my catches seem incidental.

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