Spring smallie season in Illinois has arrived. Water temperatures and river conditions are lining up for a very productive spring on the Big River. Smallmouth are moving out of winter water and into feeding mode along bank lines. Contact Capt. Will Winans to reserve your date for 2018 and discover, revisit or learn about this world-class smallmouth fishery, just a short drive from Chicago. 

Big River Fly Fishing Guide Service near Chicago

  • Accepting reservations for Spring/Summer of 2018. Book your trip.
  • Gift certificates available. Contact Capt. Will Winans.
  • Current fly tying classes at Chicago Fly Fishing Outfitters with Capt. Will Winans:
Intermediate Fly Tying, Baitfish patterns for smallmouth bass. Wednesday, December 6th, 6:30-8:30pm.

Introduction to Fly Tying (3-session class). Wednesdays, January 3rd, 10th and 17th.
Visit Chicago Fly Fishing Outfitters for class details.


 Despite a rainy 2017, I'm seeing some of the best fishing this season in years, here in Illinois. The Big River's producing some excellent days with a nice range of healthy, hard fighting smallmouth.

Best Fly Fishing Trips in the MidwestSome dates for September and October are available. Email willwinans@bigriverfly.com to set up a trip or reserve a date for 2018.

Learn fundamentals of casting efficiency, improve your technical streamer and topwater game. Enjoy a beautiful river and gain insight on an overlooked and prolific world-class smallmouth bass fishery.