First Time Wade on This Underrated Resource.
This afternoon I had the pleasure of meeting up with a few friends whom I have not fished with, or even seen, since last year. I was joined on this outing by Issom Beituni and Christopher Stolarski, both from my website, and we waded and fished the Mazon River in the area around Coal City, Illinois.
Since I had not fished anywhere in Illinois since the end of April (thank you Wisconsin!), I wanted to spend at least one day while I was home to fish somewhere I can make an adventure to.
For much of the spring season in April and May, a contingency of my friends were rocking out at the river, catching loads of Smallmouth Bass during the spawn season, and even after it. I received plenty of invitations to join them but thanks to school and graduation and other trip plans, I never had the time to go anywhere. I finally had my chance today to fish someplace new, yet I knew that the fishing would not be as good due to seasonal conditions.
We began the day at around 12pm and we concluded prematurely at around 4pm before the rainfall and incoming thunderstorms invaded the area.
I was hoping to catch a few fish, and to hopefully run into a fossilized rock or two.
Sam, Chris, and I waded through a beautiful stretch of water that seemed as if it was strategically littered over the ages with boulders, rock fields, and riffle runs. For much of our time spent at the river, we saw Longnose Gar blowing up on baitfish, plenty of mosquitoes that left behind their marks, a few other fishermen, and a very minimal amount of Smallmouth Bass.
The three of us were solely employing fly rods. Sam was fishing with his 5wt set-up, Chris was also fishing with his new 5wt set-up that he purchased from Sam prior to fishing, and I was armed and ready with my 8wt rod and reel which is outrageously overkill for almost anything not named the Wisconsin River.
Air temperatures were somewhere around 90-degrees with wicked humidity, and water was equally as warm too, for unknown reasons.
Despite the river being in the lowest condition it has been all year, according to Sam, we only caught a few small fish at the Mazon consisting of Creek Chubs and Smallmouth Bass. Out of our party of three, I was the lonestar who laid an egg and caught nothing.
What was unusual was the fact that this river runs crystal clear when it is this low. Today was not the case. The river contained the clarity of chocolate milk.
Pictured below is Chris and his first fish caught on the fly rod in ages.
From this first time outing to the Mazon, I would have to say that it is quite possibly the second nicest river I have fished in Illinois; Coming far behind the Apple River, my number-1, which is located in far northwest Illinois.
Despite not catching anything, this river has loads of potential, and I will not write it off my list for the future.
By 4pm, Chris headed home, while Sam and I had the remainder of the day left for fishing. Along our way home, we headed to the Kankakee River area where we fished a feeder creek and caught nothing. Following that, at 5pm we made a stop at the crystal clear DuPage River where we planned to fish at for the remainder of our day. By then, sadly, we got rained out.
For a makeup, Sam and I have engagements for a Tuesday wade on the DuPage River.
We didn’t catch a lot today, but it was not a dissapointment for me. I got to bust out the fly rod, and wade and wander through a new venue and uncharted territory.
On the bright side, I saw enough through the lens of my camera, good enough to be posted for this blog. Like always, the images can be seen below: