The water is still running very high on the Des Plaines River in southern Lake County and has crested its banks in most areas. The once dry shoreline has become something that more resembles a marsh and quite a few new back water areas have been formed. This would be the third time fishing the Des Plaines river and the very first under these high water conditions. Expecting this, I picked a spot I ran across on my very first outing. A clear water drainage ditch pumping fresh water into the river was sure to have some better visibility. Flowing under a trail bridge and making a few nice turns, this creek finally hit the river against a long gravel bar. It's a one hundred yard stretch and was a manageable area that could be effectively covered in a short period of time.
the best Des Plaines River pike of the day
Upon arriving I noticed the once clear stream was now a cloudy tan color. I went for my new orange body orange blade spinner from Sims-Spinners that had just arrived by mail earlier this week. I figured the bright colors would add a foot or two extra visibility and was supper excited to see how a Sims performed in the field. I wasn't to be disappointed, within a few minutes I caught my very first fish on a Sims-Spinner. A meager pike, that quickly released itself from my hands, not too worthy of a picture anyways. Ten casts later, I turn the biggest pike of the day. The fish chased that little orange spinner hard and fast, striking the bait from just inches beneath the surface. Right before my eyes the drama unfolds as if in slow motion. I set back on my rod and the fish begins to dig hard in the first of his two runs. I gave the fish some loose drag and let it tire before bringing it back to the surface. With the fish now on the surface, I could see the spinner completely inside the fishes mouth. Oh crap! One misplaced head shake and those razor teeth would cut my 8 pound flouro like a knife through warm butter. With steady pressure I eased the fish closer, thank God the fish decided to keep its mouth wide open. With a perfect Boga-grip landing I carried my DRP pike to the bank for a photo!
Not a huge fish, but not so bad for only my third trip. I'll take a three pound pike just a few minutes from the office any day. Six total fish came to hand in this short trip, but none of the others had much size to them. I know there are some more substantial fish in this section of river and will be happy to keep searching for a big boy. A special thanks to Dan from Sims-Spinners, my initial impression was a good one! This truly was a good two hours spent on the Des Plaines river.