Fox River Guide Service Details

Bob Long, Jr. with a midsummer
creek smallmouth bass.

phone: 630.404.0795


The Fox River is one of the top smallmouth bass fisheries in the area and the smallmouth bass will be the primary fish we pursue. The Fox also has a healthy population of walleye, channel and flathead catfish and white bass. It’s also possible to tie into the occasional northern pike or muskie.

Even though the Fox River is a very urban river, it’s possible to find locations that offer a little solitude and some outstanding fishing. Some areas will have you amazed at their beauty while others will have rush hour traffic passing by as you release your 20th bass of the day. Whether urban or more secluded, a wading and walking trip on the Fox River or one of its tributaries is well worth your efforts.

Initial areas offered for Fox River guided trips are:

  • Geneva through Yorkville
  • Select areas below Yorkville
  • Select tributaries

Each year I learn new stretches of the Fox River and will offer to guide there as I gain confidence in the areas ability to produce a worthwhile fishing experience. Over the past few years I have been teaching myself stretches of the DuPage River if you would like to try that river. I also know a small stretch of the Kankakee River if you like.

  • Trips are geared towards your wading confidence and skill level
  • Spinning — fly fishing — baitcasting, bring your favorite rod
  • Urban or more secluded — your choice
  • Half day trips only — morning or afternoon

Updates to my Fox River guiding services and announcements of new area availability will show up here first, 
so check back throughout the fishing season.

Smallmouth bass on a fly from a Kankakee River tributary.

Guiding Rates / Half Day Trip is 4 to 5 Hours

Half Day Trip, 1 Angler: $95
Half Day Trip, 2 Anglers: $150
Half Day Trip, 3 or More Anglers: Add $75 Per Person

Guide-to-Angler Ratio

We maintain a 1:2 guide-to-angler ratio. For groups of 3 or more we will be teaming up with other outstanding
 Fox River anglers in order to give members of your group
 more individual attention. In some cases, three persons can fish accompanied by only one guide, but in these cases, one of the anglers must be advanced and essentially able to care for themselves.

What to Bring and What to Expect

I will do what I can to put you on fish,
 but if they aren’t cooperating that day, you will walk away with
 a better understanding of the Fox River and river fishing in general. 
Something you can repeat wherever water flows.

Tim Holschlag tossing flies on a Fox River creek.

Anglers using spinning and baitcasting gear should bring a medium to medium light rod spooled with 6, 8 or 10 pound test line or a braided line equivalent. Bring your favorite selection of lures and I will have plenty with me that I like to use.

Fly fisherman should bring rods 7 to 9 feet long in 4 to 8 weights. Weight forward/floating line with 9 foot leaders or fast sinking line or sinking tips with 2 to 4 foot leaders will work. I will have a selection of flies that work on these rivers. Bring what you like to use and we will adjust their use to the conditions found on that day.

No matter what you choose to fish with, you must be willing to experiment with your gear and your techniques. There are no set rules to catching river fish, get the lure to the fish, no matter what it takes.

Yes, it actually closed down on a fly.

We will be fishing primarily for smallmouth bass, but will take anything that swims or takes a lure. The best thing you can bring on one of these guided fishing trips is a positive attitude. A sense of wonder for your surroundings wouldn’t hurt either.

Keep one eye on the shore and you’re likely to see deer, beaver, muskrat, groundhog, and mink. Keep the other eye on the sky and you might see blue and green herons, bald eagles, red-tail hawks, osprey, kingfishers, all types of ducks and geese and the occasional great horned owl. One fall day I had the privilege of seeing a flock of at least 50 hawks migrating down the river. I have a feeling that was one of those once in a lifetime moments.

There are no guarantees of going out and catching a fish, some days are just like that. But go back to the same spot the next day, or a spot that looks just like it, use the same lures and techniques and you might have the best fishing experience of your life.

You should have a valid Illinois fishing license and should bring a camera, 
fishing gear, rain suit, polarized sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent,
 waders and wading shoes (if you’re wade fishing) and water or soft drinks.

A selection of smallies from spring and summer.

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