Midwest Fishing Report: Rivers around Chicago fishing

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Summer and wading returns for this rivers section of the Midwest Fishing Report.

So I am running the same wading photo as last week, since conditions are much the same, though water is beginning to warm much and the topwater bite is greatly improved.

I usually post the sprawling, raw-file online version of the MFR, which appears condensed on the Sun-Times outdoors page, generally by Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning.

If you have suggestions, please let me know at straycasts@sbcglobal.net or @BowmanOutside.


Go to http://water.weather.gov//ahps2/index.php?wfo=lot to check area water levels and projections.

To get to more specific gauges, even on creeks, in Illinois, go to http://waterdata.usgs.gov/il/nwis/current/?type=flow


No updated report this week.


No updated report.


No report this wee


Ken Gortowski sent this:

The cool nights, it’s been 50 in my neck of the woods, have started to cool down the river. I no longer take temperatures, just put my hand in the water. It’s cooler now than it has been the last few weeks. The massive bug hatches of the past two weekends have died down and probably weren’t half what they were. The huge schools of carp feeding on the bug hatches in the eddies have started to disappear. I could see their torpedo forms back out in the shallow areas of the river. This is close to on schedule compared to years past. The benefit is more room on the edges for smallies and the fishing over the weekend improved. Not dramatically, but numbers were up and better still the quality of the smallies improved with a few in the 16 to 18 inch range being caught along with some hard fighting fish never seen taking me for a ride. They hit like smallies, they fought like smallies, I’ll stay convinced that’s what they were. No carp this time, thankfully, but a nice channel cat decided to hit and fight like a smallie. Covered almost two miles of river over the weekend and didn’t see another soul out fishing each of the stretches. You’ll notice I’m not mentioning where I was, I’m done with that. I’ve beaten that horse to death and anyone with half a brain and the internet can get all that info. I should have pictures up on my blog by the time this is being read. There will be hints, can’t help myself, and the astute angler with a good eye should recognize areas from the photos. I stopped fishing the creeks about six weeks ago. Since then I’ve got out on the river a good dozen times and in all that time so far I’ve run into two other anglers while out on the river. They were on the opposite side and I watched them for a bit. Baitcasters, big lures, long casts, nothing caught and they didn’t last 20 minutes. I expected that. I still get comments on how my ramblings are ruining the river. I’ve given away too many details, when they go out there now they’re not catching anything. The usual complaints. Based on the two anglers I watched, the only two I’ve seen, another anglers inability to catch fish has absolutely nothing to do with any info or details I may or may not have given away over the years. The average angler is simply clueless on how to fish a river. That’s good for me. They come, they fail, they never come back. More river for me. Did get to see the bald eagle on Sunday. I had heard rumors that he hangs out along this one stretch even this time of year. The tip off that the eagle was around was a very unhappy hawk that would not stop screeching. I was glad when the eagle finally floated off down stream. He was probably as annoyed with all that screeching as I was.

SS Minnows in South Elgin–(847) 289-0135–offers the opportunities of a local bait shop.

Check Fox updates near the Stratton Dam at http://foxwaterway.com/ or (847) 587-8540. For the area above the Montgomery dam, go to http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/closures/Pages/default.aspx

To join the Fox River Angler Diary Project, go to http://data.foxriverfishing.com I think it is one of the neater projects around.

Sam Bennetthas a getting-started guide for the Fox at http://www.foxriverfishing.com/tips/fox-river-getting-started-guide/


Nothing new. River is low.


No new reports of kings in the streams, other than the few early this month. Staff at Mik-Lurch reported a few steelhead in the streams. Weather makes it unlikely to see a big push of either.

Access points for Trail Creek can be found on the Trail Creek Access Map.


River is very low, very wadeable.

Norm Minassent this:

river is well below normal levels for this time of year, you can wade all over the place. algae on the bottom in some stretches still a problem but it’s not drifting like it was. emergent veggies on the other hand are drifting in the flow. if you don’t want to deal with that keep moving upstream until you find a stretch to your liking. topwater action with spooks and prop baits has been good. buzzbaits at heads and tails of riffles is very nice. rattlebaits in heavier faster flows continues to produce. in areas with minimal algae cover on the bottom crankbaits have provided good results. in areas with algal bottom cover fishing higher in the water column with swimbaits, flukes and wacky rigs is a good way to go.

The only thing I would add is many are out catfishing in the evenings and nights.

And I plan to put in some fly fishing time this weekend, not for catfish but for smallmouth.


Mike Mladenikhas reports and info at his Mike Mladenik Guide Service site.


The Wisconsin DNR Root River Report is generally updated during the prime seasons. But there is other information on the site. No update yet, but a few kings have been reported near the mouth.


A few kings are coming in.

Tyler Harmon messaged:

A few salmon have started running in the Northern Southwest Michigan rivers. . . . The other rivers in the area have some summer steelhead around, but its on a major down cycle this time of year as the first few salmon start to poke into the many other river systems of the area.

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