Here's a confluence of the mighty Wabash river and a smaller tributary:
Literally, no visibility in the Wabash. After 3" of rain in the last 7 days, most of the state was blown out mud water.
I looked for streams with small drainage areas in square miles, high gradients, and plenty of elevation. Guessing the water would be clear enough to fish. The first creek is seen above. Visibility was close to 3'! Day was sunny. The stream was full of rock and boulder. Once we got away from the Wabash, there wasn't any silt. Even runoff into the creek came filtered through a swamp! There was very little in the way of slow current anywhere on the stream. We picked up a fish here and there, almost entirely on crankbaits. One per hole. All were 12-16.5" and chunky. The smallies fought like devils in the current. I promise to get pics as I'll be heading back Tuesday.
We fished 3 hours and headed out to a new small favorite from last year that produced multiple 19" smallmouth bass. Mike wanted to get back there.
The fish in this stream didn't want anything to do with crankbaits. We finally hit a large pool and slammed crazed smallies left and right around 8pm on 5" flukes. These fish also fought like mad in the strong current.
Neither Mike nor I had any idea those streams would be in that great of shape. It makes sense. No man made drains sending all the water off parking lots into the creeks. No farm tiles up against the streams. Too much elevation and therefore wooded buffer strips to protect against erosion. Clear water. Good fishing. Imagine how good the fishing could be if our rivers and creeks didn't ever muddy up!
We only fished about 5.25 hours in total. Lots of driving and walking between bass holding spots. I've now found a couple places to go catch smallmouth when all the gauged streams are blown out. Truly a light bulb moment.
Stream 2 never got 3' deep. The fish adapt. These large rocks you see are cover and hiding places. I nailed a bunch of good ones by drifting a 5" fluke under them in the current.
BT 18 (16.5, 5- 15" 5-14")