The Illinois River Ranch
The Illinois River Ranch encompasses 5,000 acres and is a short 5 minute drive from our lodge. As the name implies, the Illinois River is the draw for fly fishermen. This beautiful stream meanders effortlessly through the valley floor. Its banks are lined with tall grasses and willows providing abundant habitat for the various terrestrial insects that the trout gorge on. Deep undercut banks, overhanging willows, and deep pools provide epic cover from trout predators (man included) and compel the angler to make a perfect cast. This classic meadow stream contains unbelievable biomass and secluded holding water: the perfect recipe for growing big, healthy, and wild brown trout. We refer to these brown trout specimens as “butterbeans” and this is the river where they thrive. Whether you prefer tossing mouse patterns at twilight hours, flipping hoppers to fish hiding deep within an undercut bank, or delicately presenting a mayfly pattern, the Illinois River rarely disappoints a fly fisherman.
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