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Midwest Fishing Report: Rivers section

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Yet, another round of heavy overnight rains makes for an interesting rivers section of the Midwest Fishing Report.

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


For an overview of nearby river conditions, click here. Another time when it is a good idea to check for water levels.


Haven't talked with Jeff Nolan of Bridgeport Bass in the last few days.


Just before the latest rains arrived, Andrew Ragas, Counsellor of the Fish Parliament, said there would not be a report this week.


River wanderer/ponderer and now ChicagoNow blogger Ken Gortowski sent these ponderings Tuesday before the latest rains:

By the time this is being read on Wednesday things could change dramatically, or not. It all depends upon the violent storms that are called for late Tuesday. We all know how well that went last time.

The Fox on Monday was trying desperately to get back to normal. It was still up a bit, but no big deal if you want to walk around in the edges of the water. It's also lost that muddy color and looks pretty good.

None of this mattered to some of the Fox anglers on They've been out fishing, seems like the northern reaches mostly, since the last batch of rain stopped. Some good numbers and sizes being caught. Apparently the fish really liked the addition of some fresh water to the river.

Over the past week I opted to fish 2 creeks 3 times. One of them was close to being back to normal and the other was actually low, which caught me by surprise. I have no idea how it missed the deluge. The mud line on the one that was almost normal showed that the river had gone up and down a good 4 feet. It took only 3 days to accomplish that. The other creek had no evidence of a mud line at all. It was like it had never rained. Since they both flow out of the same general area, there's no way one of the little watersheds didn't get hit.

I wound up catching 6 different species on the creeks, which is one of many reasons why I like to fish them.

Based on how well anglers have been doing after the last batch of rain, I wouldn't worry about it too much. If the water comes up, fish tight along the shore. Standard operating procedure for high water.

The other rivers are trying to get back to normal. The DuPage is almost there. I don't check the Des Plaines gauges, but I drive over it every day. It still looks like it's moving pretty good. Not sure I would even bother to venture out to the Apple. I hear of a road that got blown out and it's still flowing pretty high.

We'd whine if we weren't getting the rain and we whine when we get it. Would be nice to get the rain in moderation rather than 2 hour deluges that dump 6 inches of rain on us. But it sure seems like the fish don't care. They seem like they're enjoying it.


River will dirty up and rise with the overnight rains. Before that, Time on the Water Outdoors reported white bass are active, try bladebaits at the mouth of the Vermilion or the 251 bridge, or find cooler water. Catfish are going on cut shad or cut Asian carp.


With high water temperatures, not a lot going. But plenty of steelhead are stacked up in the front of the mouths out on Lake Michigan. Not sure if the rains will spark a run or not.


With rains over much of the watershed, river is rising again. I doubt that it will be enough to knock out wading.

Ed Mullady reported this:

Catfishing continues good throughout. Smallmouth and largemouth bass being caught by fly fishermen on streamers, poppers. Both also on *minnows *jig and twister tails.
Walleye improving. Some walleye in Indiana around LaSalle F&W; Momence, Kankakee River State Park island areas on jointed plugs*jig and minnow.
Rock bass also good throughout river on *spinners *crawlers*minnows*rubber spiders.
Some pike hitting at LaSalle F&W Area, near State Line in Indiana on big minnows

Norm Minas sent this:

If only the action was as hot as the weather, I'd be in smallmouth heaven. For the most part, it's enough to keep you going but no huge concentrations of fish. Well, at least no huge catches in any single area, a handful here, a couple there, one here, none there. Mostly it's mid stream humps, riffles, neckdowns between islands and around bridges. Some topwater, mostly buzzbaits, rattlebaits, flukes and sluggos. There is a lot of algae on the bottom, still some flowing but not too bad. I'm cleaning green off maybe every fourth cast that isn't on the bottom. I'm cleaning every cast that's on the bottom. I guess I'll move uptown, the algae usually isn't that bad there. I got a couple nice fish, mostly small 12 to 15 inch and medium 15 to 18 inch smallmouth. I picked up a couple cats on rattlebaits, no walleye lately.


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


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

River is up about a foot, water is more clear. Catfish are fair on cheese bait, cut bait and worms. Big bug hatch! Carp are really hitting the surface, some pretty good size carp have been caught. Still fewer fishermen with the heat. Should change up here in another week, I hope

I think that change is starting as of today.


Tyler Harmon Facebooked he is just waiting on the first fall kings to show.



Fishing Headquarters



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






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looking at the gauges, we skated by.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on August 3, 2011 6:27 AM.

Stray cast: Martz, Lake Calumet, Olsen, bighead was the previous entry in this blog.

Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes/areas is the next entry in this blog.

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