My view on fishing changed from that weekend forward. Even though I did not land a fish on the fly rod, I knew this is the style of fishing I wanted to pursue. The one biggest question was where to fish back home outside of Chicago. Fly fishing is not as foreign out in Ohio since they have trout streams and a large run of steelhead every year. After turning to a few fishing forums and reading a few books, it was time to buy a few more flies and a 5wt. rod.
Fly fishing is not always about throwing small delicate dry flies for rising trout in a cold water stream, or indicator fishing with an egg/caddis combo for steelhead. Fly fishing is about enjoying yourself on the water, chasing anything that swims. Whether it is streamers, wets, or dries, the Midwest offers a variety of opportunities and bodies of water to fish.
I have fished small ponds, larger lakes, rivers, and streams throughout the Midwest the past couple of years. My skunk ratio is much higher then I would like to admit but I still choose the fly rod over spinning gear every time. Now it could my age or that I was not exposed to fly fishing until the past few years, but it seems the sport is growing in popularity within the area.
As a fly guy looking to learn from others, I decided to join a tying group. Back in February I joined DuPage Rivers Fly Tying group (DRiFT). These past few months with the group has really helped my tying and I feel comfortable behind the vice. Most of my fly boxes are filled with self tied flies and there is nothing like hooking into a fish with something you created. There are a few local fishing forums that also provide great information. Upper Midwest Fly Fishing http://uppermidwestflyfishing.com/ is a great site that provides information for the Driftless area along with warm water species. The guys on the site are great and full of knowledge from guides to the weekend fisherman. Everyone is willing and eager to help out a fellow fly guy trying to learn something new.
The Midwest has its share of water, now lets go fish it.