Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Fly Fishing on the Salt Fork River

On Sunday July 31, 2011, we went fly fishing on the Salt Fork River in Vermilion County. The width of the river channel made it easy for beginners such as us to get started without having to worry much about our backcasts.

With small and large pools interspersed with rocky riffles, a large assortment of habitats are available for various species. There are an abundant number of sunfish, rockbass, and smallmouth bass available for entertainment on light tackle, however, on our outing, we managed to entice only some small shiners with our offerings.

Large silver maples and sycamores dominate the banks, creating lots of shade, which was a relief from the oppressive heat and humidity. The water was hot, and I was sweating in my waders and vest. Even though I was disappointed with our lack of success in catching bass, I plan to return soon with tennis shoes and different flies.

::Posted by Tom Smith::

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Reporting Pollution or Dead Fish in the Salt Fork

Around the July 4th weekend, dead fish were first reported in the Salt Fork River. Unfortunately, by the time the information reached the Illinois Environmental Agency (IEPA) and Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), the source of the problem could not be located. If you should see anything that appears to be a serious problem to the health of the stream, please use the following guidelines. One of the most important lessons out of this incident is to report ASAP!


What to do if you see pollution or dead fish in the river

1. Call Illinois Emergency Management Agency's (IEMA’s) 24-hour hotline immediately at 1-800-782-7860. They will log the call and contact EPA.

2. Email a written description of who, what, when and where to Jeff Holste at the Champaign office of EPA Jeffrey.Holste@illinois.gov, This will establish a paper trail and enable you to alert and engage other concerned citizens.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pedal-Paddle-Pedal on the Salt Fork

Here is a set of photos and commentary about my first pedal-paddle-pedal (bike plus raft) day trip on the Salt Fork.

I hope to paddle the entire length of the Salt Fork, from the Saline Ditch in Crystal Lake Park to Danville using this method of car-free transportation.

-- Gary

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ice Floes

The Salt Fork ice broke today! Tom and I went to the county line bridge about 12:30 PM but the floes had already passed. We took off in our truck, mucking along the soggy county roads to 200E but again, we missed the ice so we jumped back into the truck one more time and headed off on asphalt to the Oakwood bridge hoping we could catch it before it was gone. When we reached the water intake pipe we were discouraged to find only a few slabs of ice floating by, but as we stood there taking a few photos and just enjoying the 60-degree spring-like day we noticed something upstream coming at us around the bend.

A huge mass of broken slabs and chunks of ice filling the channel from bank to bank pushing logs and debris moved toward us at about 5 miles per hour. It was incredible! Pieces of ice 7-8 inches thick and some as large as a bus jostled for position as they pushed and shoved their way down the channel while other pieces were getting shoved up the banks or caught in backwater eddies. I wish you could have been there, not only to see it but to hear it, the grinding ice as it jostled around in the channel and along the banks.

It was one of those fleeting moments in nature that you are so grateful to experience knowing that it will soon be gone. And it was. After less than 5 minutes the ice had moved on toward the Wabash. The Salt Fork River is once again a liquid stream of water rushing eastward until next year- if the winter conditions are right.

Clip video below to see and hear the ice flowing complete with my exciting comments!