Smallie Resurrection on Easter Sunday

As you all may know, May 5th is opening day for small mouth bass in Wisconsin. Which means it just isn’t possible to catch a small mouth bass anytime before that, right? WRONG! It is possible, but don’t worry if you didn’t get that one, you will have the chance to make it up. How may you ask is it possible at this time of the year in rivers? Well, if you haven’t been hermits like us and actually walked outside this past winter and early spring, you would have noticed the unusually warm weather we have been having. And warm weather means warm water means warm species fish means… you got it…Small mouth Bass!

So, while visiting the local Chicago Fly Fishing shop (add plug here) on Saturday, we learned of smallies hitting on the ever charming and radiant Kankakee River in Illinois. We tipped our hats to the friendly flyers and made our way home to clean our bait reels, put on new line and wait in painful discomposure for Sunday’s dawn to break for the fishing to begin.

And Sunday couldn’t come soon enough. We woke at 5 am, packed up the rental, bit a chunk of a chocolate bunnies ear off and made our way to the 7:30 am mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Which brings us to a new segment of the blog…

“Dear God, please grant us favorable weather and safe passage to the (fill in the blank) river, so that we may enjoy the gifts you have generously provided and walk in the way of your wake.
Oh, and help us to catch a SHIT LOAD of Smallies…Amen”

And so with that said, we dipped our casting hands in holy water and made our way on to do what St. Peter did best. Deny Jesus 3 times? No you fools, fish! But we did deny the speed limit as we raced to the river. The drive to the Kankakee River is not the most pleasant of trips. No rolling hills of Wisconsin, or rocky mountains of Montana, or even the moss covered trees of Ohio. No, the drive through Middl Eastern Illinois is that of flat farm land with more land than actual farm and sporadic crime filled towns of the kinds of bums we would rather not associate ourselves with. So, we tried our best to enjoy the 2 hour drive by listening to our early morning playlist. Oh, we should probably warn you. With the all encompassing title of RiverBums comes the burden of being roadies as well. We pedal to the medal when it comes to the wide open road. And with road tripping comes our eclectic array of music. How much do we love music, you ask? Well, if having 4 ipods, 8,000 songs, and over 150 playlists isn’t enough; it’s fourth on our Fishing List… right after rods, reels, and lures of course.

With that being said, we thought we would give you a taste of just some of our roadtrippin songs..

Early Morning Playlist Teaser

All These Things I have Done- The Killers
Ticket to Heaven- Dire Straits
Hey St. Peter- Flash and the Pan

We arrived at the river around 10:30 am, geared on, liquored up, lacquered down, and hiked it to the water. As you may have recalled from earlier in this posting, we described the Kankakee as charming and radiant. Well, it is if you’re from the dessert and have never seen water before. This river can be pretty in distinct portions, but most of it is wide, flat and (here comes the breaker) MUDDY! And if there is one thing (Ok, one more thing) that Riverbums hate, it’s muddy bottoms. Mud means hard walking, cement boots and the occasional pore cleansing mud mask as you fall face first after slipping.
But, it was all worth it. After just half an hour of trying to figure out where the smallies were. In the deep slow water? Off the eddys? In the drift between the rapids and slow? Ding, ding, ding! That’s it! AC lands a beauty of a bass off the drift between fast rapid water and slow deep pool providing water on a yellow twisty tail with a long yellow jig head…

First Lunker of the Year…
It was like your first lick of ice cream after a long diet, or the return of your favorite show after a long winter or the day your kid moves out, sweet and ecstatic relief. Finally able to let your breath out and soak in the moment, taking mental pictures of the environment, smelling it in, spreading your arms out and closing your eyes. But, just for a moment, cause who would want to miss this beauty. So the first smallie of the season went to AC. But, it wasn’t too long until Dad would hook a smallie too…off the eddy of a small cove…

Dad’s First Smallie of the Year…

Dad Reeling in the Bass…

Four hours on the river + 2 decent smallies = Not a bad day fishing! Hey it’s better than a day at the office. Despite our worries of the murky lagoons of the Kankakee River we had a good time reeling in the bass, taking mud baths, and getting out in the water…

An Irish Rod Holder
(Fridge magnets that Dad souped up for rod holders…Classic RiverBum)
Anyone Up for a Cold One?

Casting in the Fast Water…

Goose Nest (Scrambled Please!)

Until next time, we’ll see ya on the other side of the river…
Cast Away,
AC & Dad

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