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Midwest Fishing Report: Rivers section

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I debated not doing a rivers section of the Midwest Fishing Report or waiting until later today. But you know what, I think most people can figure out the rains overnight and forecast for today will alter things.

This is the extended online version of the MFR, which appears on the Sun-Times outdoors page on Wednesdays.

Well, this is the rivers section for rivers around Chicago fishing. The lakes and areas MFR will follow shortly.

Normally, I post the online MFR, both the rivers and lakes/areas sections, by Wednesday morning.

I will probably separate out the rivers section like this until the fall.

If you have suggestions, post in the comments section or let me know at

Let's lead with the reopening of the Indiana streams tomorrow.


The closed portion on the Indiana streams, the ones which are tributaries of Lake Michigan, reopen to fishing Thursday. There were high hopes with good water flow and cold water. However, heavy storms are rolling through the watersheds. I had hoped to try it early tomorrow, but the rain may make me rethink that.


For an overview of nearby river conditions, click here. I think the next few days this will be important.


Didn't hear from Jeff Nolan of Bridgeport Bass, but I know the North Branch had a pretty significant flood last week.


Didn't expect a report from Andrew Ragas, Counsellor of the Fish Parliament Maybe next week.


Late Tuesday, guide Ken Gortowski sent this:

I'm not sure I ever put down this part of my thought process before. I know I've hinted at it over the years.

Not far from my house in Yorkville are 6 creeks, 5 of which I like to fish.

This early afternoon (Tuesday) I had to do some running around that took me over 5 of them. They are all running a little high and all are muddy. This flies in the face of what usually happens after a rain. Usually the river takes forever to come down and the creeks go back to normal relatively quickly.

And I go fish them.

Just the opposite is true this time.

At 3 PM on Tuesday when I'm writing this, the river gauge for the Fox River in Montgomery is reading 1330 cfs. It's been dropping like a rock for the last couple of days and is doing a pretty good job of it today.

The first of the 6 creeks I mentioned above is in Oswego, about 3 miles down stream from Montgomery. All of the others are even further down stream.

In the same stretch of all these creeks are a number of no name ditches that always have water running through them. The four I drove over today were all running faster than usual and all were muddy.

I think I take all of this into consideration when I'm deciding where I want to go fish, only somewhat subconsciously. I want to go fishing at the end of the day today if time allows. Based on the above info, I'll go north of Oswego, but just south of Montgomery. The current flow can still knock you down if you get lazy and sloppy, but for the most part I can go pretty much anywhere I want.

Fishing the creeks are completely out of the question. From a fishing standpoint, they don't seem to react the same way at high and muddy levels as the river does. At least not where I go. Plus, the water is concentrated in very narrow channels and tree falls can span the whole width of the creek. This can make for some extremely dangerous situations that if caught up in one, you'll be wondering if your waders sprung a crotch leak or did you just piss in your pants.

Holes and cuts in creeks come up on you much quicker than the river and if you can't see the bottom, I wouldn't be walking around in there. And this is on sections of creeks I know like the back of my hand.

Where I want to be in the river is down in Millbrook and Millhurst. These are both downstream of all the creeks and ditches. I've fished a few sections down that way and even at lower water levels it can get a little tricky. Going now with all that water from the creeks heading that way would be suicidal.

So somewhere between Montgomery and Oswego is where I'll go, if I go.

In reality it took me all of 2 seconds to run all this info through my head and make that decision, probably less.

I think after all these years I'm going to change my nickname from Waterdog. I think I'm going to go with OCD Angler, OCDA for short.

No wonder I can't sleep at night.


The river was projected to fall below flood stage at LaSalle by Thursday. I suspect that may change with the latest round of weather, but we shall see. Time on the Water Outdoors in Spring Valley reported even with the high water some boaters were getting out and primarily fishing for catfish.


The river is stained, but was receding quickly as of Tuesday evening. But a series of heavy storms is rolling over the watershed. So I am not sure what is going to happen.

Ed Mullady sent this Tuesday:

As of right NOW, river is going back down(Subject to more rain)
In Indiana, Catfish good on gold fish *large golden roaches *nightcrawlers. Esp. good
around Point, north of English Lake *Rt 39 & * *10 mile road. Open bayous throughout good for *catfish *pike *bass.
Illinois: Momence good on catfish (baits above)*smallmouth & largemouth bass picking up on *crankbaits *live minnows *live and artificial plastic worms.
Kankakee River State Park - In addition to catfish, some good sized smallmouth bass have been hitting. *minnows *crankbaits*jig & twister tails working.
Wilmington Dam and Island Park--Mike at Angelo's reported catches of some nice pike being caught. Minnows, spoons,large spinners work. Catfish good also.


Morris Wetlands is open for fishing that stretch of the Mazon. Hours will 6 a.m. to sunset.


OREGON: Jan Prose at TJ's Bait/Tackle & Canoe Rental sent this:

The river came up about a foot with last week's rain, but it's dropping quickly. Still mostly catfish and carp being caught. A few nice flathead were caught with last week's Cabela's catfish tournament in Dixon. Some school age kids have been buying the goldfish and catching flatheads at the dam in the 10 # range.


Tyler Harmon Facebooked that just a very few summer steelhead were being caught.


Guide Bill Stoeger reported the white bass run over; walleye (16-20 inches) are fair on Poygan and the river; a few crappie are starting.



Fishing Headquarters



MICHIGAN DNR REPORT,1607,7-153-10364-34956--,00.html






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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on June 15, 2011 5:57 AM.

Wild of the Week: Frog princess was the previous entry in this blog.

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