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Rain fell cool in the early predawn hours. Upon checking the river levels on my phone from bed, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Whitwater had only risen 6-8 inches. Bleary eyed and questioning my sanity, I loaded up some gear and headed to the river to see if I could summon a bite from either a Striper or smallmouth.
It was still very dark out as I pulled into a friends property to access the river. It's still raining but not pouring. I walked upstream to a spot I've had decent luck before. I might get to finish my coffee, usually I don't. I soon discover that this cup of joe will not be finished hot either.
I set my cup on the ground and make ready to wade into the river.
There is plenty if wild life about.
A barred owl is asking the same question it always does from somewhere across the river in an unknown tree not far away.
Of course the great blue herons, with their guttural caws, perched above the rivers and beavers. I believe they take great pleasure in silently swimming near to me in the dark and smacking their tails, therefore briefly stopping my heart.
Once I take all this in, I step my sandaled foot into the shallow water. The water is still very warm. Near bath like.
Casting hither and fro produces nothing from this once solid fishing hole. As the light rises from the east, silhouettes of the hillsides begin to become obvious on the river water. The beaver gets ever bolder, swimming ever closer, smacking the water ever louder. The stripes have not made their presence known, the shad are all but still. It's time to move on.
I hoof it upstream to a nice but smallish riffle. Still throwing my rattle trap, I cast into the pour over and let my lure fall into the hole. I feel a familiar tap and reel in all slack for a good hook set. The fish peels drag immediately then swims with the current giving me the impression that she got off but I am wise to their tricksy ways and reel in faster to catch up. Soon my line appears to be rising, the classic sign that the fish is about to go air born. Air born it goes. I soon discover that I am in the throws of battle with a gar. Dirty, stinking, motherless gar. I'm as fond of gar as GarrettMeyers is of buffalo.
Fully expecting to lose my rattle trap, I fight the skinny kin of satan to the bank. I'm amazed that I didn't lose some 4 ft of line in this fight. Had I not been using flouro, I might have.
I extract the hook from its prickly snout and half considered leaving the fish in the bank.
I cut off the distressed line the armor plated hell fish shredded and retied. As i stood and took in the lightening sky, a bald eagle flew overhead then was joined by another, presumably it's mate. Shortly after this, a flock if small unknown birds were zipping through the sky, folding their wings and doing a fine impression if shooting stars. Around this time, I had grown seriously hungry and decided to head home for a nice breakfast with the family.

Earlier in the week, my pal Chuckebo and I had made plans to squeeze in one of our last floats of the season. With the imminent rainfall, we decided to scrap the idea and plan on the following weekend.
After breakfast, it appeared that there might be an early clearing up so without hesitation, I called him up and resurrected our plans thus salvaging our outing.
It seems that the cancelled trip was back on!
We got to the WWR around 1:00PM, shoved off around 1:30. There were only three canoer's and 2 kayaks putting in before us and we never saw them or any other vessels on the water again.
We fished a long while before we hooked up. I know the river pretty intimately so we pounded the good looking holes and ledges but to no avail. We began cursing the blasted front that came through and what not when Chuckebo hooked up with a short smallie in a riffle. The pattern continued, we'd hit every fishy looking hole and catch nothing then Chuckebo would catch a decent white bass or short smallmouth. Nothing to give us really any hopes as we have been on the water for 4 hours now at least! Lots of broken clouds and stiff winds, the winds kept us from throwing plastics but as soon as it slowed, we tied some on!
I had a freakish bonus moment, I lost a fat crankbait the week prior in a riffle. On this trip, as we settled into a wide eddy, I rested the canoe against a lay down tree to allow us to cast. I look down at the tree and there is my lost crank!
We move beyond this hole and catch a few more short bass, nothing too exciting. Chuckebo is doing all the catching.he points out some big clouds to the west.
We get to a wide, slow part in the river with some cover. I cast my green pumpkin worm to some structure and immediately I get a hit but no hook up. Both Chuckebo and I cast to the spot with no luck. We have moved a good bit from the cover when I make one last, loong cast to the cover, my line starts swimming off! I set the hook hard and know straight away that this is a decent fish! The bass goes airborn revealing her identity, she looks like a largie.
I get her to the canoe and get a quick pic on the paddle for size comparison. A respectable LMB from the WWR!
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Not far down the river, we come to some big chunky structure near deep water. Chuckebo casts to some of the structure and a nice bass tags his tube and goes air born but doesn't stay buttoned up. I maneuver the canoe for him to pick the structure apart. Finally, after some five minutes, he pitches his tube back to the structure and hooks up with a nice largemouth!
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We decide to double time it now as it's nearing 7PM.
Hitting only the really good riffles and holes. We get to a wide, slow hole and Chuckebo hooks up with a nice saugeye in the 17-18" range.
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Darkness fell fast in the valley as did the temps. We stopped fishing and focused on paddling. We ended up paddling the last mile in the dark.
Although it started out slow with only small bass catches, it ended with decent largemouth catches to save the trip.
Definitely not the numbers the WWR is known to produce but not a skunking either.









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