It’s been far too long since I’ve been out fishing. With warmer weather this past weekend, I took advantage of it, before the lakes, rivers, and creeks froze up, again. It was about 35 degree’s, and gloomy. It’s been gloomy for the past 7 days or so, and it’s starting to get to me. I need some sunlight soon!
I had plans to pick up my kayak and head out to the Des Plains River, but I over slept m y alarm. Decided to fish the closest place to my GF’s place, Poplar Creek. I only fished the creek 2 times this past year, and I wasn’t as successful, like in years past. It’s a great small creek. It’s surrounded by an urban area, but there are parts of it that really disguise it’s setting, very well.
Not as scenic as the streams you will find on Alan’s blog – Small Stream Reflections

It’s a great small stream/creek that feeds into a much larger river, The Fox River. It’s surrounded by a very urban area, but there are parts of the stream that really disguise it’s setting, very well. Small and largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, creek chubs, northern pike, and various pan fish can be found/caught here.

There are quite a few bridges that you will come across if wading this creek. Lots of fish can be found congregating underneath these bridges. I cannot stress the importance of wading smart and carefully when approaching any of these bridges, especially, if you’re by yourself. 90% of the time, the lighting sucks underneath the bridges, and there’s no telling how deep it can be. Even if I am familiar with a bridge, I find a stick and use it as a wading staff. So, be careful out there! Also, cast like a million times in there until you advance through them. =)
Bridges usually always hold fish.

I know what you’re thinking, Justin, is breaking the rules, again! – Ohio Smallie – This sign carries no weight. Poplar Creek is all Public. I think someone put it there, because, there’s a nice deep bend in the creek right in front of it that holds all kinds of fish. Although, there were none there that day. In the summer the big smallies usually hang out there. Someone is trying to protect their spot. All good with me, if it scares others away. I use it as a land marker when telling friends where to go, and where all the holes are. Ha!


As, the day went on, the gloomy clouds seemed to get even gloomier. It made this bridge look dark and ominous. The name of the street that crosses that bridge is Bluff City Blvd. There’s a casino nearby, and when I’m in this area, I usually let my imagination run wild with the thoughts of card games gone wrong, knee caps, and body dumps cross my mind.

Another bridge.

Sure enough, after going to the other side of the dark ominous bridge that is Bluff City Blvd. I come across a shoe in the water. Not just any shoe, but a Nike Michael Jordan shoe. These are highly coveted, and it was in decent shape. What a shame…I hope I don’t come across what I’ve been making up in my mind! Dun Dun Dun!

Thankfully, there were no floaters.

I started to lose feeling in my toes, so, I knew it was time to turn around and head back. Most of my trek back was spent walking through the woods, because, I just wanted to get back before gloominess became darkness. I came across some fresh lumber. I loved how these logs resembled sunflowers. Can you see it?

Some sweet looking lumber.

No fish were caught, but I didn’t care. It was a treat to just get out for a wade, wet a line, and walk through the woods. I saw 1 fish, a bluegill I spooked near one of the bridges. I also, spooked a big Red Tailed Hawk out of a tree. I hear it, but couldn’t locate it in the tree’s until I unknowingly got too close and it took off.

End of my day.

5 Replies to “Winter Creek Fishing”

  1. Looks like pretty nice water to me Justin. That first picture sure is pretty. If I ever get back home to Illinois again I'd sure like to fish Des Plains.

  2. It really is a nice escape from the area that it is in. Next time you're out here, be sure to shoot me a message and we'll get out there and fish, Howard! DPR Pike await!

  3. Those small rural streams can be secret hideaways for both the fish and the angler. Great to see you get out this time of year and give it a go. What flies did you decide to use?

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