Moving from NYC to Chicago!

lookard

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I've moved here for a few months now. I've gone to Viroqua, WI and fished a few of their streams. It was pretty awesome. Very different from the streams that I'm used to in NY and CT.

Also, last weekend, I made a trip east to Grand Rapids, MI and tried for some steelhead at Rouge River in Rockford. It was an urban stream setting where I was, but was still rather beautiful. Hooked up a few baby browns, 3 nice steelhead. The weather turned warm and the snow melted. That really shut the bite down.

Can't wait to go back and target these large trouts. But Grand Rapids is about a 3.5hr drive for me. I wonder if the nearer streams like the St. Joseph's would be decent for the wade angler. Most of the information I've read online is recommending that you go with the boat. But I'll have to pick up those books on Michigan that were recommended to do some research over the winter.
 

Ard

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Always good to see someone adapting to their new surroundings and while I can see a 3.5 hour drive as being a bit of a deterrent I think you'll discover some closer places to wet a line. Most members may think that because I live where I do that there is excellent fishing within walking distance. That couldn't be further from the truth. My short drives are 45 minutes or more and I must tow a boat in order to fish. Walk and wade situations are few and far from me unless I target small rainbows near home (4.5 miles) still not really walking distance .................... 3 hour drives can be the norm unless we live on the banks of a good river but then floods could be the norm so I've accepted the trade off ;)
 

weiliwen

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I've moved here for a few months now. I've gone to Viroqua, WI and fished a few of their streams. It was pretty awesome. Very different from the streams that I'm used to in NY and CT.

Also, last weekend, I made a trip east to Grand Rapids, MI and tried for some steelhead at Rouge River in Rockford. It was an urban stream setting where I was, but was still rather beautiful. Hooked up a few baby browns, 3 nice steelhead. The weather turned warm and the snow melted. That really shut the bite down.

Can't wait to go back and target these large trouts. But Grand Rapids is about a 3.5hr drive for me. I wonder if the nearer streams like the St. Joseph's would be decent for the wade angler. Most of the information I've read online is recommending that you go with the boat. But I'll have to pick up those books on Michigan that were recommended to do some research over the winter.
If you are in Chicagoland, you can catch salmon and steelhead from the piers and jetties extending into Lake Michigan; I am not sure too many fishers do that, though. Barely over the border in Wisconsin, the Root River and Pike River had salmon and steelhead runs, much closer than Grand Rapids.

About two hours away (from me, anyway - I live north of Chicago a bit), you can fish trout streams near Madison Wisconsin. PM me and I can give you some details.
 

jjcm

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The Root can be fun to fish when the water levels are right. For two years, most especially this year, the water level has been so low that it is...well it's kind of nasty. A good flow keeps the urban fisheries fresh, when that is not there, the fish die early and the river becomes a stinky puddle.

Pier fishing is okay, and can be great. It is not a high numbers game. There is a chance at various species throwing a streamer off one of the piers or into the harbors. I use Rio Outbound lines and streamers. Gear fisherman do this up and down the coast of Lake Michigan, in some places fly fisherman fish it too but they are fewer. Gear fisherman bottom bounce spawn sacs, float shrimp under a bobber, or throw spoons. I did a good amount of this in my younger days. I do not even own spinning gear now. Spawn and shrimp generally out perform spoons. I think spoons out perform flies, but that just ain't fly fishing. My point is that fly fishing these spots can be a challenge.

There are some honey holes on the coast of LM. It takes a lot of time to find them because it is a huge tract of water and land one must explorer. There is a time investment in cracking this code.

Finding a steelhead run on a river is an easier way to catch a fish in my opinion.
 

bonefish41

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Learning curve is long for flyfishing by wading in a trout stream having ambiance of chalk and limestone in Michigan rather than urban or semi urban...lots of public information available for those streams...my familiarity in my younger days were Little Manistee(which has flies only section) and Pine...the latter is wild only fish and no steel or salmon...Grand Rapids 3.5 another 1.5 and you are there ...but now would be the time to research...Pine is closed and the Little M is closed for the upper part...until opening Saturday April 23...start with DNR info..expand by googling the rivers and streams ....there's lots of trout history in Michigan...Closer... the St Joseph it's fishable from its Michigan mouth to downtown South Bend...again it's big but lots of public sites and access mostly boat fishermen ... I know that some do bank and wade ; however, guarded secret spots for wading and/or bank, flyfishermen and given the river size most use spey or switch, two handed casting ...lots of gear heads and bait...I did it once about 25 years past essentially a 3 hour drive from Indy...personally I did not like the ambiance which was catching...another 3 and I'm in Baldwin where I do not need to catch but just flyfish ...catching a wild Brown Trout daytime, wading the Pine is akin to Permit in the Keys. I have never accomplished a fly caught Brown on the Pine and never will because I cannot wade anymore...it is a beautiful river however, when schools out to back in... staying on upper part minmizes aluminum hatches and yackers as well as fishing during week...
 
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