Smallmouth Fly Fishing Available Within 60 Miles of Chicago

If you haven’t gotten hooked on smallmouth fishing yet, give it a try this Fall.  Pound for pound, a smallie when hooked never wants to surrender, providing great fight and sport, especially on a fly rod.  Streamers and topwater poppers imitating frogs and damsel or dragon flies work best.

Area waters supporting populations of smallmouth bass include:
Kankakee River, about 60 miles south of Chicago.  Preferred guide Will Winans fishes the Kankakee River exclusively from a drift boat.  Visit Big River Fly Fishing for more information.

Northern Illinois rivers and tributaries.  Preferred guides Mike Allen and Kurt Nelson fish several rivers with their rafts including the Kishwaukee River, DuPage River, Fox River and tributaries with private property access.  Visit their Midwest Waters Angling website for more information.

Fox River tributaries 30 miles west of Chicago which are easily wadeable.

DuPage River West Branch which runs through Warrenville and Naperville and is wadeable.

If you don’t mine driving 90 miles, you can fish Michigan’s St. Joseph River with guide Jay Anglin.  See Jay’s website Anglin Outdoors for more information.  

Jim Schmiedeskamp with a Kankakee River smallmouth (top left), Dan LaFave with a Northern Illinois River tributary smallie (bottom left), and Dave Calson with a Fox River tributary smallmouth.