My good friend Gary from Birmingham joined me for three days of smallie fishing on the Chippewa and Flambeau Rivers. He had been here two years ago during the same time of year and the river and weather conditions were almost identical to what we experienced in 2016. High water and more rain in the forecast did not bode well for the next several days of fishing. In fact, I tried to dissuade him from coming, but he said he was going to go for it regardless of my less then optimistic outlook. Gary has never caught a muskie so we got all of his gear ready the night before to see if I could give him an adequate shot of catching a muskie at a spot on the Jump River where I had some success a few days before. But even though the water and weather conditions were great for a trip to the Jump the muskies had caught a case of lockjaw. Not surprising when it comes to fishing for this enigmatic predator . He did manage to catch a really nice eighteen inch smallie before I decided to make a move and fish the Flambeau and Chippewa. A picture of that fish is included in this report. Both rivers were indeed high, but the Flambeau was not running as high as the Chip, so we opted to spend most of our time there. This was one of those afternoons where even though  the water was high the fish we caught were not right on the banks. The active fish were in the current about twenty to fifty feet off the bank and in two to three feet of water. That pattern continued to hold for us over the next few hours as we managed to catch twenty-two smallies. For the past several days, the majority of the fish were running in the fifteen to seventeen inch range. However, the majority of the fish today were running a little smaller and came in at between twelve and fourteen inches. I have a feeling that the plan for tomorrow is going to be similar to today. Gary really wants to catch a muskie so I imagine our first trip will be a morning trip to the Jump and then back to the Flambeau and Chip for some afternoon smallie fishing.

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