Illinois is a state that is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty and diverse wildlife. Among the many outdoor activities that it offers, trout fishing stands out as a favorite among locals and tourists alike. With a variety of rivers, lakes, and streams teeming with trout, Illinois offers an unparalleled fishing experience. Whether you are a seasoned angler or a beginner looking to cast your first line, this guide will help you discover the best spots for trout fishing in Illinois.

Top Trout Fishing Locations in Illinois

Illinois is home to a multitude of fishing locations that offer a healthy population of trout. Each location has its own unique charm and offers a different fishing experience. Here are some of the top trout fishing locations in the state.

Apple River

The Apple River in northwestern Illinois is a popular spot for trout fishing. Known for its clear waters and scenic beauty, the river is stocked with rainbow trout twice a year. The river offers a great opportunity for fly fishing and is suitable for both beginners and experienced anglers.

Kankakee River

The Kankakee River, located in northeastern Illinois, is another excellent location for trout fishing. The river is known for its diverse fish population, including brown trout, rainbow trout, and brook trout. The river's fast-flowing waters make it a challenging yet rewarding spot for fishing.

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes of North America, is a premier location for trout fishing in Illinois. The lake is home to a variety of trout species, including lake trout, steelhead trout, and brown trout. Fishing in Lake Michigan offers a unique experience as it combines the thrill of deep-sea fishing with the convenience of being close to urban areas.

Trout Fishing Techniques

Trout fishing requires a certain level of skill and knowledge. Here are some techniques that can help you increase your chances of catching trout.

Fly Fishing

Fly fishing is a popular method for catching trout. This technique involves using a lightweight lure called a fly to imitate the natural food of the fish. Fly fishing can be a bit challenging for beginners, but with practice, it can be a highly rewarding experience.

Spin Fishing

Spin fishing is another effective technique for catching trout. This method involves using a spinning lure to attract fish. Spin fishing is relatively easier to learn compared to fly fishing and is a good option for beginners.


Trolling is a fishing technique that involves dragging a fishing line with a baited hook behind a moving boat. This method is particularly effective in large bodies of water like Lake Michigan. Trolling allows you to cover a large area and increases your chances of catching trout.

How to Plan Your Trout Fishing Trip

Planning a successful trout fishing trip involves several steps. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you plan your trip.

  1. Choose Your Location: The first step is to choose a fishing location. Consider factors like the type of trout you want to catch, the fishing techniques you want to use, and the proximity to your location.
  2. Check the Fishing Regulations: Before you head out, make sure to check the fishing regulations of the location. These regulations may include fishing seasons, catch limits, and fishing methods.
  3. Prepare Your Gear: Depending on the fishing method you choose, prepare your fishing gear. This may include fishing rods, reels, lures, and fishing line.
  4. Plan Your Accommodation: If you are planning a multi-day trip, consider booking accommodation near your fishing location. Check out Getmyboat for a variety of boat rentals and charters.
  5. Check the Weather: Lastly, check the weather forecast for the day of your trip. Weather conditions can greatly affect your fishing experience.


Trout fishing in Illinois offers an exciting and rewarding experience. With a variety of fishing locations and a healthy population of trout, Illinois is a paradise for anglers. Whether you are a seasoned angler or a beginner, the state has something to offer for everyone. So pack your fishing gear, choose your location, and get ready for an unforgettable fishing adventure in Illinois.

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