Fall Bass on the Fly - Area's Top 10 Picks
Early morning on the Du Page River
Fly Fishing by Bill Osuch
Fly fishing for "Bronzebacks" has become extremely popular on the local scene as more bass anglers are enjoying the pursuit of this fine fighting fish at the butt end of a fly rod. As daylight hours begin to wane and the waters tend to cool, we can look forward to some of the finest bass fishing of the year to take place on our local lakes and streams. The following fall "Hot Spots" should produce good S.M. bass action throughout the autumn months.
ISLAND PARK AT MOMENCE (KANKAKEE RIVER) Route 17 & ROUTE 1
A good set of riffles hold active fish just below the railroad bridge along the south bank. Rocks along the bank at the head of the island hold quality fish. Minnow imitating patterns will work well here.
OLD DAM SITE AT AROMA PARK (KANKAKEE RIVER) OFF ROUTE 17
Fish upstream from bridge toward the islands. Smallies are found scattered amongst the rock and rubble of the old dam site. The slick water upstream may hold big fish. Clouser minnows and Leech patterns are bass favorites.
AREA 7 AT BONIFIELD RD. OFF RT. 113 (KANKAKEE RIVER).
The deep water pool below riffles just down from the island has big bass potential. Slack water weed beds hold fish early and late in the day. This area is located along the south bank just upstream from the access road and is a good spot for surface patterns such as poppers and hoppers.
WARNER BRIDGE RD. ACCESS AREA (KANKAKEE RIVER)
Work the gravel troughs alongside the islands for active smallies. The bridge pilings offer good ambush points for bass. Also, check the broken pilings downstream from the Warner Bridge Rd. for isolated fish. Streamers work well in this area.
ROCK CREEK (KANKAKEE RIVER STATE PARK) ROUTE 102
Excellent bass during normal pool levels. Bass are found along outside bends and at base of deepwater pools. Check deadfall and submerged boulders. Fish can be taken on top early and again late in the day. Try poppers, hoppers and muddler minnows.
BATAVIA PARKWAY (FOX RIVER) OFF ROUTE 25
The area below lower dam on down past the islands has been an excellent producer. Work shoreline deadfall and deeper pockets at head of riffled areas for best results. Cuts along the islands should not be overlooked. Clouser minnows and Zonkers in bright colors work well.
NORTH AURORA (FOX RIVER) ROUTES 56 & 31
Work off south end of island park. Good bass can be found around mainstream island near the power lines. Side channel of this island off west bank can be very good. Check bridge pilings below dam as well.
HAMMIL WOODS (DU PAGE RIVER) ROUTES 59 & 52
Work pool downstream from spillway. Fish hold along shoreline undercuts and deadfall.
HEIDECKE LAKE (JUG TOWN ROAD, 7 MILES WEST OF I-55) MORRIS, IL
Boaters can find excellent S.M. bass holding along the shoreline rocks. The east shoreline along either side of the center dike is best during the early fall. Streamers and nymphs with flash work well here.
VERMILION RIVER (MATHIESSON STATE PARK) WEST OF UTICA OFF ROUTE 71
Area upstream from Rt. 71 bridge holds great bass potential. River is wadeable upstream from this point.
ROCK RIVER (CASTLE ROCK STATE PARK) ROUTE 2, 4 MILES SOUTH OF OREGON, IL
Work the stumps and deadfall between island and West bank. Fish hold near bar at downstream base of island. Clouser minnows, zonkers and leech patterns (chartreuse) are productive patterns here.