Happy Holidays from Big River Fly Fishing
Winter is near and some reflections on another smallmouth season.
Trip Gift Certificates available and fly tying classes scheduled, see below.
Booking Now for Spring 2016.

Long casts on a warm afternoon in late September.
It's holiday time. Days are short and time on Illinois rivers looks in short supply as the cold moves in. For me, river time is now replaced with family time. My wife and I are enjoying the arrival of our little girl and getting some quality indoor time this December. Fish pics are now endless baby photos and getting outdoors is running to grab more diapers. It's great, and while unwinding with family I've had time to reflect on another year and build some plans for 2016.
Here's a quick recap of the 2015 on the water:
 After a typical spring on the Kankakee River, record rainfall and ensuing floods early in the summer led me toward a few waterways and river sections I've kept in my back pocket for years. Illinois has some truly remarkable fisheries.

By August the Kankakee had dropped to median flows and then, it was low and clear. What amazed me about this year, from March through October, was the range of conditions. So while the cartography didn't change much, river flows, depth, water temperature, visibility and barometer were almost always in flux. This is the beauty of fishing big rivers with complex ecosystems. Each week, new bugs hatch, new riparian plants and birds show up and fish react.  Big rivers are different every day and it makes them great classrooms. Set up a date with Big River Fly Fishing for 2016, get at the core of fly fishing and discover what makes a river tick.

Gift certificates are available. Trips are booking now for dates beginning in April, 2016. Email, call or use the contact page for details.

Fly tying classes are scheduled. I'll be teaching a few levels of tying classes at Chicago Fly Fishing Outfitters this winter. Email me or contact Chicago Fly Fishing Outfitters to sign up.
Introduction to Fly Tying: Wednesdays, January 13th, 20th and 27th, 6:30 - 8:30pm. In this comprehensive three-session course, learn to tie the three major categories of flies: streamers, nymphs and dries, establishing solid fundamentals. No experience necessary.
Intermediate Fly Tying, Streamers I : Tuesday, January 19th, 6:30 - 8:30pm. Learn several of my favorite, time efficient patterns for river smallmouth, while we discuss specific
rigging and fishing methods.
Intermediate Fly Tying, 
Streamers II : Tuesday, February 2nd, 6:30 - 8:30pm. We'll work on life-like streamers, that come alive under water and turn heads of big smallmouth and trout.
Intermediate Fly Tying, Western Trout Flies:  Wednesday, February 10th, 6:30-8:30pm. In this class, we'll focus on some effective and fun-to-tie nymphs and dries for trout on freestone streams. A great class for dialing in proportions.

Friends of Langham Island workdays.  Get outside this winter. Explore and help preserve this fascinating Island, within the Kankakee River State Park. Langham Island is home to many rare and native Illinois species, including a new contender for the Illinois state flower. Visit the Friends of Langham Island FB page for details and future work days.

My most sincere thanks for all the support this year and to all who came out for a memorable 2015 season. Spending time with great people on the river and getting to know them is my biggest job perk. I look forward to more laughs, adventures and rod bends in 2016. Join me on the river.

My best for a great holiday season,

Captain Will Winans
 Big River Fly Fishing

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