My companion was Dave, who also
and I sometimes catch him imagining he is fishing for spooky trout....
True story: while Dave was keeping a low profile to avoid spooking stupid fish, I caught this smallmouth from the very hole I was standing knee deep in. I was day dreaming at the time and she picked the stationary fly off the bottom. The result: we began to put together a pattern...a slow presentation was critical.
We took in some very un-Illinoisian landscape. This section of the Vermilion hosts the only class III whitewater rafting in Illinois (in times of higher water) and features a beautiful boulder strewn bottom - all nestled between sheer rock cliffs. A far cry from the muddy Mackinaw I'm used to.
The water is clear, exposing abundant signs of life. What was most striking was the
...because Vermilion River smallies gobble crawdads up, all day long.
Dave was semi-prepared, having a single olive wooly bugger. The lack of heavy lead eyes kept his bugger above the snaggy rocks and thus he enjoyed immense success, catching five fish as compared to my one.
The highlight of my day was the accidental snagging of an Asian carp that spent more time in the air than in the water. Them suckers can jump and don't appreciate being foul hooked. The tail hooked fish probably went 8-10lb and put up such a fight that the next one I snagged was not an accident. Sadly, both carp shook the hook but I now have a challenge and I'm wanting more....
I've already designed an Asian Carp Snagging FlyTM. Stay tuned for that.