The 5 Best Fly Fishing Spots in Illinois!

Illinois offers many ideal spots for fly fishing thanks to the many lakes, streams, and rivers throughout the state. The best fly fishing spots are often near or within state parks, surrounded by beautiful nature and wildlife. Each of the following must-visit fly fishing spots offer a variety of fish and plenty of nearby recreational opportunities. 

1. Apple River Canyon State Park, Apple River, IL

Located in the beautiful hills of Northwest Illinois, Apple River Canyon State Park is a scenic area covering nearly 2,000 acres. The Apple River features clean, clear waters—perfect for keeper-sized trout, which are released by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources yearly. Aside from trout in the springtime, Apple River is home to sunfish, crappie, carp, and smallmouth bass. 

2. Kankakee River, Wilmington, IL

The Kankakee River is a nearly 60-mile river featuring three dams and a dozen larger streams. It runs through wetlands, floodplain forests, cobble and bedrock, the Kankakee River State Park, and Wilmington. High-quality channel catfish, bluegill, and largemouth bass throughout the river. 

3. Siloam Springs State Park Lake, McKee Township, IL

Located in one of the most beautiful state parks in Illinois, Siloam Springs Lake is known for its sparkling lake and wooded terrain. Largemouth bass, carp, crappie, rainbow trout, bluegill, and channel catfish reside in the lake. Six fishing piers are located around this lake. 

4. Fox Chain of Lakes, Spring Grove, IL

As Illinois’ largest concentration of natural lakes, you’re sure to find a great spot for fly fishing. Get access to the Grass, Marie, and Nippersink lakes and also seven more lakes connected by the Fox River. Bluegill, walleye, bullhead, yellow and white bass, and crappie are common in these waters. 

5. Lake of the Woods, Mahomet, IL

This beautiful 900-acre preserve area is the perfect spot for fly fishing. Lake of the Woods is conveniently located next to Tincup RV Park and Lake of the Woods Golf Course. You’ll find covered bridges and plenty of wildlife in this peaceful area. 

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