Moving from NYC to Chicago!

lookard

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Hey guys! My wife just got a job in Chicago and I'm working remote. So I've just started researching places to fish for trout! It seems like the nearest place/area is in the southeast part of Wisconsin about an hour away from Chicago? I found this map that Wisconsin's DNR provides. I'm excited that I will be much closer to great lake steelhead streams. But I am wondering if I am missing any where else for trout during the non-steelhead season?

Here's a Farmington river brown at a "secret" location. I had gotten a yearly CT fishing license at the start of the year because I wasn't expecting to move. Got to go there many more times before I leave.

farmington_winter_trout.PNG
 

jjcm

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Wisconsin is near. Michigan is not too far either. The MO is three hours away the Au Sable four and a half to five. And there are some stream in MI that are closer. There is also a lot of options for warmwater species right in the area.
 
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joe_strummer

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although US 31 is no slouch and my preferred fish-my-way-up route through the area is M-37. I had family at both ends of that road at one time.
 

jjcm

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For the north-south roads, US-31, M-37, and US-131. For the east-west roads, US-10, M-55, M-72, and M-115. Most especially in the northwestern lower peninsula, and really in all of Michigan, these roads lead to the best the state has to offer. There are fisheries -trout and/or steelhead- that are more to the south in the state too. The Pigeon, the Grand, the St. Joe, etc.
 

lookard

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US 131 -- as fishy as a highway gets in the midwest, or maybe any road anywhere that's not A1A or the Haul Road.
I just put a random pin on US131 to a random pin in chicago. Looks like 2.5 hours! That's seems reasonable to me given that I typically drive that long to get to catskills or farmington.
 

lookard

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although US 31 is no slouch and my preferred fish-my-way-up route through the area is M-37. I had family at both ends of that road at one time.
I saved a couple of location along that route when I was watching some youtube videos on the great lake steelheads.
 

weiliwen

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Hi! I also live near Chicago, actually a northern suburb. Viroqua is the Heart of the Driftless, and it's exactly 4 hours from my house. I'd argue that Highways 14 and 18 have some of the best fishing - I use both to get to The West Fork Kickapoo, Tainter, South Fork Bad Axe, Timber Coulee (Hwy 14) and Blue River, Green River, Castle Rock Creek, Big Springs Creek (Highway 18).

There is a little fishing for stocked brown in SE Wisconsin, like Bluff Creek, but it's a low-numbers thing. You need to get at least to Madison (Black Earth Creek, Gordon Creek, Germany Valley Branch, Mt Vernon Creek); those are just about 2 hours from my house.

And the Wisconsin DNR Trout Streams Maps site has them for every county, and some specific streams besides. It's a great resource.
 
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joe_strummer

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I just put a random pin on US131 to a random pin in chicago. Looks like 2.5 hours! That's seems reasonable to me given that I typically drive that long to get to catskills or farmington.
So around Newaygo or the Muskegon, or Little M I'd guess? There's stuff to fish around there. I've waded and floated those waters a bit. Good variety.
 

jjcm

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There are also places in Indiana. This is a very different experience because it is basically creek fishing for steelhead.
 

jjcm

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I'll add another thing, Trout Unlimited has a series of booklets that discuss a number of MI's trout streams. The information these booklets contain is really beneficial. They can be picked up in various MI fly shops for $32 a book. This is probably one of the best investments into fly fishing stuff one can make if one is new or unfamiliar with the area.
 

silver creek

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Improved Trout Waters of Wisconsin has all locations of the improvement made on public fishing waters and the where the easements are for parking and entering the streams.

Todd Hanson is the former editor of Wisconsin Trout, the publication of Wisconsin Trout Unlimited.

 

lookard

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Hi! I also live near Chicago, actually a northern suburb. Viroqua is the Heart of the Driftless, and it's exactly 4 hours from my house. I'd argue that Highways 14 and 18 have some of the best fishing - I use both to get to The West Fork Kickapoo, Tainter, South Fork Bad Axe, Timber Coulee (Hwy 14) and Blue River, Green River, Castle Rock Creek, Big Springs Creek (Highway 18).

There is a little fishing for stocked brown in SE Wisconsin, like Bluff Creek, but it's a low-numbers thing. You need to get at least to Madison (Black Earth Creek, Gordon Creek, Germany Valley Branch, Mt Vernon Creek); those are just about 2 hours from my house.

And the Wisconsin DNR Trout Streams Maps site has them for every county, and some specific streams besides. It's a great resource.
Thanks for these details! We're trying to nail down a neighborhood in Chicago to visit/see apartments. Are there any neighborhood that you would avoid if you were to live in Chicago and want to optimize for traveling to the rivers? I don't mean unsafe neighborhoods, but more like particular heavy traffic that a person who doesnt live there would not know? E.g. I live in Astoria, NY, its better than in brooklyn because its close to the tri-boro bridge and thats the access point into the highway and to catskills/farmington rivers. Saves me about an hour of traveling to these rivers.

I believe right now we are considering Andersonville, Edgewater, Irving Park, Boystown.
 

lookard

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I'll add another thing, Trout Unlimited has a series of booklets that discuss a number of MI's trout streams. The information these booklets contain is really beneficial. They can be picked up in various MI fly shops for $32 a book. This is probably one of the best investments into fly fishing stuff one can make if one is new or unfamiliar with the area.
Thanks for the recommendation! There seems to be only 2 fly shops in the Chicago. But I'll definitely pick it up when I go to MI for some fishing!
 

weiliwen

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Thanks for these details! We're trying to nail down a neighborhood in Chicago to visit/see apartments. Are there any neighborhood that you would avoid if you were to live in Chicago and want to optimize for traveling to the rivers? I don't mean unsafe neighborhoods, but more like particular heavy traffic that a person who doesnt live there would not know? E.g. I live in Astoria, NY, its better than in brooklyn because its close to the tri-boro bridge and thats the access point into the highway and to catskills/farmington rivers. Saves me about an hour of traveling to these rivers.

I believe right now we are considering Andersonville, Edgewater, Irving Park, Boystown.
I probably cannot help you. when I moved here, I knew from the start that my kids would NOT attend Chicago Public Schools. They have some great magnet high schools, but coming in as a Freshman, my son wouldn't have been able to start there. On the other hand, half of the Top Twenty high schools in the nation are north of Chicago. My kids' high school, Adlai E Stevenson High (EVERYTHING in Illinois is either Lincoln something or Stevenson something. I live in Lincolnshire and my kids went to Stevenson HS, LOL), was recently chosen as the 5th best "open enrollment" high school in the nation, open enrollment being defined as "if you live in the district, you get to go there." Last year, of all of the perfect ACT college entrance exams in the nation, Stevenson had one percent of them.

So, Chicago itself was out of the equation for me. Northbrook Glenview, Deerfield, Lake Forest, Buffalo Grove, Vernon Hills, Libertyville, are a few of the good places to live north of the city. I don't even have to lock my doors in Lincolnshire. I've seen kids' bikes laying on lawns for weeks, and nobody light-fingered them. High Standards, but don't look for vocational programs there - 98.5% of graduates were in college the following September.

Lastly, I will admit I know nothing about fishing in Michigan, my fault there - I am drawn to the Driftless Area for reasons above and beyond fishing, although that's why I started.
 
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