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Kankakee River: Is a nice day enough?

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To answer my own question, not in my world. But Friday was close to that nice.


It was a good break after the endless winter we had.

The warmer air and the higher angle of the sun are making a dent in the remnants of winter, as the scene above from the Kankakee River State Park shows.

I had high hopes for my window Friday afternoon.

I had a couple ideas. But Norm Minas happened to call and we agreed on a couple of them and he added a couple others. Our family and work schedules didn't mesh, so I couldn't tag along with the master wanderer of the Kankakee.

After dropping the 5-year-old off at preschool, I first hit a creek mouth in Kankakee. Alternating between a couple crankbaits and a jig and crawler, I did exactly nothing in half an hour.

Nor did the guy on the other side of the creek.

So, I moved on to option 2, a deeper, slack-water hole in the state park.

The drive along the river on Route 113 was very interesting. I hit double digits in the cars of fishermen parked between Kankakee and Warner Bridge Road.

And a good number of the fishermen I saw were younger guys, 20-somethings are younger in my world.

That many guys fishing early on a Friday and that many of the many being young made my afternoon as much as anything.

As luck had it, another guy was fishing the main part of the slack-water hole. I gave the downstream end 15 minutes, then, after losing my second crankbait, went to option 3.

I don't have many secret locations, but I have a couple in the main section of the state park, including a winter hole.

There's a tree that sticks out, forcing the flow to wash around and creating a washout in turn.

If you can get a bait down there, you can usually pull a fish out.

As I came down the bank, an old guy was sitting with his face into the sun.

It was that kind of afternoon, one to sit with your face into the sun and the north wind at your back.

My first thought was he was fishing and I would have to move on. But he was simply soaking up the sun after our sucky winter.

He watched as I cast with some good accuracy into the washout. I alternated between a diving crankbait and a jig and crawler.

I was rather proud of my casting coming back that quickly after most of a winter off.

And some of the casts floated perfecting into the washout around the root. If a fish was there, I should caught it.

Not to happen.

In the warmth down the bank and out of the wind, I threw my Ducks Unlimtied hat off and let the first suntanning of the year begin on my bald head.

It was time.

As I pulled out of the park on the side entrance, an expensive woman with an expensive dog in the backseat of an expensive car pulled in.

Winter breaks.

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We'll find time one of these days. Did ok fishing my way to the ISA Banquet Saturday.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on March 6, 2010 6:30 AM.

WWW Chicago outdoors: Getting out was the previous entry in this blog.

Wild Saturday: Sandhills, everywhere is the next entry in this blog.

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