Spring has finally sprung and the popper bite is heating up. For years, before I got hooked on the fly rod my buddy Justin and I would celebrate his birthday on the 9th of May by floating the Kishwaukee River in Boone County, IL casting surface lures. Ever since I’ve marked the beginning of May as the beginning of top-water action on my local waters. Today, I took my nucanoe out for first time this season and scored a couple really nice fish on our favorite local river. A huge smallmouth slammed a black popper and very nice pike took a big yellow and red deer hair diver. I’ve caught a couple pike larger than this one, but not on the fly, and I don’t remember them being as strong… this fish was pissed! Justin has been living in northen California for the last few years chasing steelhead. On the water today he was definitely missed and I look forward to the day we get to float the Kish again popping for pike.