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Ramble with Gortowski: End of the line

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gortowskirs After a decade or so, Ken Gortowski

may have sent his final report for fishing the Fox River.

Some time around 1999, Gortowski began giving me regular reports or suggestions for fishing the Fox River.

When somebody does something like that for that long: one, I come to depend on it and enjoy it; two, I hope he finds he cannot stop doing it and continues on.

At any rate, here's Ken's final word:

The Fox River is flowing high, fast and muddy and based on how slowly it's coming down, it's likely to stay that way for awhile. Last week I sent Dale the following:

My choices for high water fishing would be to walk the shores in St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, lower Batavia, North Aurora and around Indian Trail Road. Further south, the whole east side from the Montgomery dam down for almost 2 miles could be good. I don't see too many doing this for as easy as it is. The west side in that stretch has a few access points that are worth fishing, but they may take more effort to figure out.

I would throw in Oswego too. To the north, throw in Elgin, South Elgin and any other town that sits along the river.

The problem is, I don't fish any of those areas any more. Haven't in years. I tried a couple of spots in the past month, the most recent being a few days ago in North Aurora. I thought I did a nice write up about how I thoroughly didn't enjoy it:

I'm not sure it matters whether or not I actually fish these areas any more. Good high water spots pretty much never change. If you do a web search on those getting out in the past week you'll find that fish have been getting caught. They won't tell you where they are, that's there prerogative, but I'll pretty much guarantee you that what's mentioned above pretty much covers it.

Instead, I wait for the creeks to go back to normal a few days after it stops raining and go hit them. I enjoy my time on them much more than the river. At least when the river is high. I've noticed that I no longer care about catching much of anything and will take whatever I can get. I thought I did a nice write up on that from one of my most recent creek adventures:

And that's the other thing, I won't fish the Fox again till it comes down to normal. I have about 5 miles of the river to explore, areas I've been meaning to get to for years. I've canoed past them, but not waded.

There's also more creeks to explore. I've recently found more access points. One to a creek that has been virtually impossible to get near. I think I'll be pretty busy with another 5 miles of creek exploring.

So, my Fox reports have pretty much become moot. I don't fish those areas any more, so why keep telling others to go fish them. Where I've been going it's extremely rare that I run into anyone. The bulk of the population that lives in the Fox Valley all live north of Oswego, with most of those being north of Aurora. I'll be heading down from Yorkville. Casting around the canoers and kayakers might get a bit annoying, but there's a real good chance I won't be running into any waders.

Which is good for me.

So this is it. My last fishing report on the Fox River for Dale. I think I sent him my first one back in 1999, maybe 2000, so it's been a long run. Time for someone else to give it a try.

I'll still be out fishing and I'll still keep writing things down. I have no choice, I'm OCD. Those things will continue to show up here:

Maybe now and then Dale will put up one of my blog posts as one of his Rambles with Gortowski, we'll see.

I hope a few have enjoyed my meanderings over the years and believe it or not, my fishing reports are pretty accurate. Go try those high water areas, you'll see.

For anyone that fishes the Fox on a regular basis and has nothing better to do for the next 10 or so years, I highly recommend you start sending Dale email with some Fox reports every week.

It will be worth it.

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Thanks Ken, I've always enjoyed your musings.

The end of an era.

I hope you continue to send Dale your creek reports...

Thanks guys. My musings will continue as well as my exploring, a different focus perhaps. The plan is to wade as much water as possible from Yorkville down for 20 miles or so over the next few years.

I mentioned to Dale in a follow up email that if I'm lucky, I have a good 10 years of wading left in me. Time to explore more instead of beating the same waters. I'll regret it if I don't do it.

I don't even care if the fishing sucks down that way. It's so isolated and beautiful.

Something I need more than fish.

In a couple of years if I see a demand for fishing reports centered around the Millbrook area, I'll start up again. Somehow I don't think there will be much of a demand.

only ten years left in you? I hope not.

Thanks for all the reports Ken they will be missed.

My knees or my back will give out. It's not a matter of if, but when. I already know that. My doctor told me for the past 15 years I shouldn't be doing what I'm doing. Why listen now.

thx ken 4 ur insights on river views.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on May 4, 2011 4:59 AM.

Fish of the Week: Montrose Brown was the previous entry in this blog.

Midwest Fishing Report: Rivers section is the next entry in this blog.

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