I met Jim and Jack last fall during this same time of the year at Flater’s Resort. This father and son are avid outdoorsmen and have made their way to Rusk County again to do some bear hunting. Last fall, we hit the water for about three hours during the middle of the day to see if they could tease out a few smallies before they made a late afternoon trip to the woods in anticipation of taking a nice black bear. Today was almost a carbon copy of the time we spent on the water last fall. High water on both rivers and cloudy with light winds. I met them on “the point” at Flater’s and decided to opt for the Chippewa today since it was not running as fast and high as the Flambeau. We fished the south side of the river about a mile upstream from Flaters. I rowed my drift boat as we slowly eased our way downstream within casting distance of the bank. With both of them being experienced fishermen they were making accurate casts right on the bank where the smallies would likely be under those conditions. They had a couple of strikes during the first half hour, but I could see from all of the early indications that the fishing was going to be tough. Time was short because they were only going to be fishing for a couple of hours, so the pressure was on. They worked the banks hard on both the Chippewa and Flambeau over the next hour and half and managed to catch five smallies along with a nice thirty inch northern pike that Jack extracted from the Chip. So back to the resort we went to share a burger and fries before they made their way to the woods. Jim and Jack are great people as well as seasoned outdoorsmen and are a lot of fun to have in the boat. I look forward to seeing them again next year if not sooner. Jim invited me last year to fish for walleyes with him on the Wisconsin River during the spring spawning run. I could not make it because of some guide trips I already had on the books. He sure has given me some incentive to make that trip. That incentive came in the form of a picture he texted me of a 30 1/2″ 12# 8 oz. walleye he caught during the time I probably would have been there. I certainly appreciate the invitation and hope I can make that trip happen this coming spring.