Andrew and I both had some other commitments this weekend so we decided to stay closer to home on Saturday and fish the North Branch Kishwaukee River. We floated about 3 miles before I finally caught the first smallmouth. It was a nice fish about 16 inches that hit a deer hair diver. Then, about 2 minutes later another much larger smallmouth took the same fly. The fishing was tough. We casted to more fishy spots in those first 3 miles than you can imagine. Nothing but deep holes behind fallen trees. The perfect lies for pike or bass, but not a fish to show from that kind of water. Further downstream the river widens and is more shallow. Floating close to the bank in just a few feet of water I saw the first smallmouth redd with 2 nice fish cruising around it. I made an attempt and failed when one of the fish gently picked up my conehead bugger and moved it to the side of the hole in the gravel dropping it before I could set the hook. I didn’t spend much time bothering them, but I did have a realization that with bass spawning they were more likely to be in the shallower, rocky water, and less likely to be those deep, silty, log jam holes. Just another thing to keep in mind if your chasing smallmouth in local rivers right now… Deep, dark holes will hold less fish near spawning time. Focus your efforts around shallow (5 feet or less) water near riffles or faster current.