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Big River Fly Fishing

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Kankakee, IL, USA
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About Big River Fly Fishing
Big River Fly Fishing is a guide service designed to introduce the sport of fly fishing and promote the Midwest as a world class fishery. I grew up on the Kankakee River and have been entranced, obsessed with the sport of fly fishing since I was eleven or so. I've spent years living in New York and Western Montana, and honestly, this home water fishery rivals it all. This guide service will strive to provide memorable trips on the Kankakee and share the love for the river's history, ecology, conservation efforts, and of course, fly fishing.
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Don R wrote a review Oct 2018
2 contributions
Can't say enough about Capt Will and his knowledge of the Kankakee River! I've wade fished the Kankakee many times over the last several years but this was my first time floating it. My friend RB Steve had been wanting to get me to try drift boat fishing for quite a while. I'm so very glad I took him up on his generous offer! Please pardon the pun, but now I'm hooked! Will's boat was comfortable and very stable. Will even put up with my terrible humor. Kudos to anyone that can do that. Water temps had dropped about 18 degrees in the 48 hours before our trip. Not sure about Steve but my expectations, due to the conditions, were rather low. Suffice it to say, we landed way more fish than I thought we would! Here's a photo of a pair of smallmouth bass that Steve and I caught at the same time. If you have the opportunity to take a guided trip by Capt Will, do not pass it Up!
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Date of experience: October 2018
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gms60302 wrote a review Sep 2018
Chicago, Illinois4 contributions1 helpful vote
I've been fishing with Will for years and have floated with him many many times. First and foremost it's a blast to spend a day with Will! From a fishing standpoint, he is a true expert. He's has the patience and attention to detail to help newer fisherman gain confidence and skills to get dangerous with a fly rod, and he's equally skilled helping experienced fisherman hone and refine their game. In terms of expertise - you will not find a more knowledgeable smallie guide anywhere in the midwest. He has put in the time knows the river system better than anyone, and pioneers/develops new flies and tactics so that even when the fish are being stingy - you have great odds he'll have something up his sleeve to get you on fish. Out of 10, 10. Out of 5, 5. Can't recommend more highly.
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Date of experience: August 2018
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Colby S wrote a review Aug 2018
1 contribution1 helpful vote
Capt Will guided me on my first ever fly fishing experience. Within the first half hour he had me casting onto targets no problem. His instruction was spot on. I went there specifically to learn the fundamentals so I don’t develop bad habits trying to teach myself. Not only do I feel we accomplished that, we caught some smallies and I enjoyed all the beautiful Kankakee River has to offer! I’ll be back for sure.
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Date of experience: August 2018
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Adelmad wrote a review Jun 2018
13 contributions7 helpful votes
A friend invited me to go on a guided fly fishing trip on the Kankakee River. I had never learned how, so I didn't know what to expect. First off, Will uses a drift boat, which he oars from the center of the boat. So no motors, noise or fumes. His boat is designed to support two fly fishermen, one up front and one in back. Each station has kind of a wooden harness which supports the fishermen and keeps them in the correct position. So you're really well balanced and supported, and far enough from each other to avoid snagging your lines. Will is an excellent instructor and got me fly fishing in no time. He has a patient, gentle way about him, which really helps you learn. He gave me a lot of feedback and redirects, and I could see that I was improving from cast to cast. He knows the river inside out and showed us where to cast and how to maneuver the flies to draw a strike. I got a really nice smallie as a reward for my efforts. My friend got a few of his own, too. By the end of the day, my casting was consistent and I was hitting the spots I was aiming for. Really rewarding! The river itself is beautiful and peaceful, It's surrounded by farm houses, state parks and cottages. And there's fish in there. We're already planning our next trip. And I'm looking into buying my own fly rod! I've fished with a lot of guides and Will is easily one of the best. You won't be disappointed!
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Date of experience: June 2018
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Kansas S wrote a review Jun 2018
1 contribution1 helpful vote
Will did an incredible job. I showed up with a lot on my mind, and casting in poor form, and he was to coach me thru it all. He was calm, but reminded me when I was letting bad habits set in again. I look for this in a guide. I want to learn, I want to improve and be coached, but without being yelled at. Will is the perfect guide. I caught 5 smallie's and a largemouth. It was a great day on the river. He had everything we needed, and knew the ecosystem really well, which I geeked on some. Highly recommended. This is a must-do if in the Chicago area on travel or otherwise. Easy program.
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Date of experience: June 2018
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