Hi all, Can anyone offer any advice on fly fishing Lake Michigan near Chicago? I want to try out my fly rod to start targeting largemouths, rock bass, perch & panfish. Any recommendations of patterns or techniques for each? Thanks
In all my years of fishing Lake Michigan I have never or do I recall seeing anyone use a fly rod for anything other than the salmon run in the creeks. Large mouth are few and far between on the big lake, but they are there, the others are there to find, but never seen anyone fly for them. So you may be the first
I've seen a guy fly fishing the lake during fall salmon season and he was using single egg pattern. You can surely fly fish anywhere the lakefront as long as you have enough room to make your cast. Sorry but can't give you any advice on technique or pattern since I don't fly fish.
I have tried fly fishing, using "dibbling" wet fly technique targeting perch at Montrose on a clear-water day with 2mph wind (extremely rare) on a weekday at 6am several weeks ago. Got zero perch - crayfish pattern, shrimp pattern - but did get an aggressive goby. Perch hitting moving targets want something bigger, except in winter under the ice. Last fall I got a 2.5" goby to attack a 5" glo Cleo spoon when casting for salmon.
At Burnham you may have luck for rock bass, smallies, casting parallel to the wall and weed line where there is structure and depths are 5' - 7'. You can usually find space that puts 100' to 200' between you and the next angler.
You can fly fish the Chicago River between Lake Shore Drive and Columbus bridges on the southern shoreline. The LMB and SMB are too deep for flies, but big bluegill and some big crappie suspend at 3'-5' down within 5 feet fo the wall. You can do some decent casting, but it is all parallel to the wall. With a 9' rod and your stripping tailing at your feet, it isn't much trouble to back cast along the river without the danger of nailing a jogger or a tree.
Right now at Montrose, there are large schools of fingerling trout 6"-8" and the will hit a fly at the surface or two feet down. There is enough room to cast, but you have to go when the perch fisherman are well spread out. Weekdays 9 am to 11 am are your best bet, but winds will mess you up if you are just beginning.
I have seen quite a few guys using fly rods at the lakefront to target species outside of dying salmon. Spoke with one guy that said he has taken a number of smallies and browns off the pier. Talked to another guy that said he got into some steelies on the outside of Belmont.
It is not a very effective means of fishing the front of the lake, but people do what they do.
We shan't openly ever discuss fishing with a float or any organic matter for it is not the way of the Bassalarro.
He shall rise like the phoenix from a Lake Erie livewell.
Try the east side of Diversey Harbor (side that borders LSD) for gills and bass. Few people there so you don't have to worry much about snagging someone. Just be respectful of the boats. Also near the Fullerton bridge. Once July hits, I'll probably venture out there during the evenings. My guess being streamers and marabous for the bass.
I fish better with a lit cigar; some people fish better with talent. ~Nick Lyons, Bright Rivers, 1977
I've caught coho, smallies, perch, rock bass, sheepshead, browns, carp, and steelhead while fly fishing the lake in Indiana waters. Still havent gotten a king, but I'm sure it can happen. My advice would be to go buy some spinning tackle and get yourself dialed in like that then step up to the challenge of a flyrod when you're ready for it. Perch are a tough order because most of the time they are on the bottom in deep water. this time of year is you best be using streamers, I've caught some monster perch on big 4-5 inch alwife immitations while targeting summer steelhead. Browns and coho in spring, like right when the ice leaves, is my favorite time to fly fish on the lake. Carp can be a lot of fun if you get the right situation and they are feeding in shallow water. I use small crayfish patterns and sight fish only. never caught one blind. Smallmouth are alsoo fun, but most of the fish I've caught were on beds and I've since given that up. The problem with the smallmout is that they key in on gobies and gobies are never more than about six inches off the bottom. You have to basicly still fish a goby fly to get bit. All in all I would say that it can be done and is a lot of fun when it all comes together, but its not very easy and you have to have to right conditions to be successfull. I had a good day steelhead fishing this morning and had my fly rod in the boat, but only took about 3 or 4 casts before I put it away because it was just too windy to deal with.
For advertising information and rates, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
If you need assistance please send an email to the Help Desk
Copyright 1998-2012 ChicagolandFishing.com - All rights reserved. Disclaimer
No part of ChicagolandFishing.com may be linked to, copied, printed, or
reproduced in any manner, without permission from its owner.