Flambeau River: Rusk, Price: ... A good to high quality stream with very good musky and walleye fishing. First, muskies are more concentrated in rivers and thus easier to locate. 5 Mepps Black Fury in-line spinner. Another key is learning to recognize water with the highest potential for holding fish. In three days on the upper river last summer, Koehn and I boated and released 15 smallies over 18 inches. The upper St. Croix is easily canoeable, and anglers who know the river use motors on the lower portions. Their phone number is (715) 735-6681. A good pair of sidecutter pliers should be readily available. The Namekagon flows from Lake Namekagon in Bayfield County to join the St. Croix in Burnett County. Fish, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife ... it has outstanding seasonal walleye and white bass fishing. Bridge crossings and public landings every few miles facilitate trip planning. The potential for calamity while float-fishing for muskies in a canoe is much greater than in more traditional watercraft. or Niko, at the helm of a canoe, it is that easy as they deftly maneuver the watercraft into good position. Some of the best are the Menominee, in Marinette County; the Black, below Black River Falls in Jackson County; lower Fox in Brown County from the DePere dam to the Bay of Green Bay; and Manitowish in Vilas County, from Boulder Junction to the Flambeau. Although it's possible to slow the downstream progress of a canoe with a crab-claw anchor off of the stern, successful float-fishing for muskies is a study in picking your casts and casting accurately. DeLorme's Wisconsin Atlas & Gazetteer is another valuable tool in locating new water. Today, this same publication reports that approximately 667 lakes and 48 streams in 53 counties harbor fishable populations of muskies. Taking two rods is a good idea. From the River Road bridge crossing below the Rainbow Flowage or the Apperson Drive access at the north end of the Rhinelander Flowage, a car topper with a small motor can go upstream or down a long way, if you take it easy in the rapids. The stretches below the Nekoosa, Petenwell and Castle Rock dams are definitely worth fishing. Choose from thousands of musky shirt designs for men, women, and children which have been created by our community of independent artists and iconic brands. Contact: St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, nps.gov/sacn/index.htm, 715-635-8346 or 715-483-3284. A spare paddle should be lashed to the gunnel. Fly fish for muskies and bass from the comfort of a McKenzie-style drift boat as you enjoy the scenic beauty of the Namekagon, St. Croix, Flambeau and Chippewa Rivers in Northwest Wisconsin. Target vegetation with inline spinners for summer's best musky bites. The Marathon County stretch, which includes Lake DuBay, holds some big fish. The angler who can read current seams will catch more muskies than one who simply flails the water. Ask Wisconsin muskellunge anglers to name their favorite waters and odds are good most will mention big flowages, like the Chippewa, Turtle-Flambeau and Holcombe. From Tomahawk to Lake Wisconsin, you'll find muskies in the river and its flowages, but you'll have to hunt for them as there is more water for them to roam. All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. There is no shortage of excellent fishing to be had all over the Northeast in the coming... Give a Gift   Finding waters like this isn't an easy proposition. This stretch is loaded with boulders, some as big as a small truck. At those depths, any muskie will see your lure as it passes overhead. The maps, which show landings, portages around dams and rapids, campgrounds and mileposts, can be downloaded or viewed on a mobile device. The Black River around Medford is vastly different from the waters downstream by the I-94 bridge, which millions of cars pass over every year. The upper stretches of these rivers are floatable by canoe, kayak, johnboat or drift boat. Convinced river fishing is worth a shot? Some of these - like the Upper Black - have been hiding in plain sight since the days before muskie management was even considered. Amazing Kayak Power and Control: Hobie's MirageDrive 360 Propulsion System, Baitfish for Bass: Search, Suspend or Sink Crankbaits, Southwestern Venison Chorizo Quiche Recipe, Hardwater Handbook: Ice-Fishing Adaptations, 240 Pounds! More Muskie Fishing-> Basement Baits and Custom Lure Painting-> Black River sucker . Rocks are plentiful and unforgiving. waterdata.usgs.gov/wi/nwis/rt, Numerous power dams and rapids on the Wisconsin River can make navigation tricky, especially for canoes and other small craft. There are canoe landings at the Gordon Dam and the Highway 35 bridge at Riverside, and numerous landings down to St. Croix Falls. Koehn's primary passion is smallmouth bass, with his weapon of choice a No. If you need fishing tackle, or are looking for a fishing guide or fishing charter please visit Tackle, Guides, Charters IDO » Community » Forums » Fishing Forums » Wisconsin Lake & Rivers » Flambeau River » Flambeau River Muskie. A 40-inch muskie may not be a challenge to a veteran Esox "hook" from the fishing platform of a stable boat on a quiet lake. The West Fork flows through Day Lake and the Clam Lake system. The Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system is the pinnacle of kayak control with more efficient fin designs, glide technology and allows the boat to be moved in any direction. The Flambeau River State Forest stretch of the North Fork is the most popular part of the river for muskies. You'll find muskies from here to the Mississippi, but the best fishing occurs above Lake Holcombe, where the river is still relatively small. Across the west, look to these areas to find aggressive bass. September through November the days are shorter and the mighty musky is putting on the feed bag for winter. His e-mail address is thkoehn@newnorth.net. All Rights Reserved. From Bruce to the confluence with the Flambeau River, it’s an 18-mile trip through mostly calm water. The East Fork is fishable and canoeable from Glidden downstream. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets. Here's a look at some of the best places to fish these rivers. But it was the close encounters with five muskies that iced the cake. For 100 miles, from the Gordon Dam on the St. Croix Flowage in Douglas County to St. Croix Falls in Polk County, the St. Croix itself is no slouch as a muskie river. The St. Croix system is another large muskie river complex, with 200 miles of canoeable water on the Namekagon and St. Croix, almost all of it protected from further development as a National Wild and Scenic River. In summer, however, this stretch is popular with canoeists and tubers, so it's best to fish on weekdays and get an early start. The Flambeau is an important recreational destination in the region. Water levels in rivers can fluctuate greatly, rising after heavy rains and falling during prolonged dry spells. A muskie might just find your bait at any point along the journey, with the biggest specimens cruising in the quiet waters of the flowages. © 2020 Outdoor Sportsman Group. Most of us do our muskie fishing on lakes. With skill and a little luck there's a good chance you can handle a riverine muskie on medium spinning gear while fishing for smallies and walleyes. Like most riverine fish, the upper Wisconsin River's muskies aren't huge - mid-30- to maybe 40-inchers. They were also found in the near-shore waters of Lakes Michigan and Superior and in the upper Mississippi. Michael Cassidy and Paul Pluff talk about their elk hunt in New Mexico using the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter. Enjoy some of the best warm water fly fishing anywhere as we pursue smallmouth bass, musky… Boat ramps are pretty much the shortest path to the water, with the easiest grade on the Upper Black, Flambeau and Jump rivers, where a cartopper or canoe is the ideal watercraft until late summer. But in the wild-and-wooly country above Merrill, failure to constantly monitor the river environment can leave you stranded - or worse - in anything less mobile than a canoe. Real-time data are recorded at 15- to 60-minute intervals, stored at the gaging station and then transmitted to USGS offices several times a day. From Lower Clam Lake downstream to the Chippewa Flowage, there is plenty of water and good muskie fishing. Elk burger patties... Crankbaits mimic exactly what they eat when hungry — other fish! This is not a place to task your grandpa's handmade birch bark canoe. I did notice a guy 3 years ago walk away from hervas camp landing with a stringer of pike. In addition to muskies, you will almost certainly see bald eagles, and there's a chance you'll spot a black bear, wolf or elk as well. These waters, covering an estimated 1,682 miles, are little more than glorified creeks, not worthy of much more than a footnote as being on the list of Wisconsin's 49 recognized muskie rivers - if it weren't for the fact that representatives of the Esox clan in both numbers and respectable size swim here. Most fishing rods feature both an action and a power rating, but what do those ratings mean and how do you use them to select the right rod for different scenarios? There are several access points along the river and at road crossings on this stretch, including a good boat launch just above the dam in Park Falls. All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. Species: Steelhead, Fall Salmon, and Smallmouth Bass Location: Joins the Columbia River just east of the town of Brewster Directions: Take U.S.97 east or Highway 17 north of the confluence of the Okanogan and Columbia Rivers, and continue north on U.S. 97 to follow the Okanogan River upstream The TFF is a 13,000 acre flowage in Iron County created in 1926 by the damming of the Flambeau River. Specializing in fully guided trips for musky and smallmouth bass in Northern Wisconsin and the U.P. The lower end is essentially a flowage with generally slow, sleepy water and great habitat in the form of weeds at the channel edge, deadfalls and similar cover. Message Subject: Black River sucker: Gringo Loco: Posted 2/1/2020 12:18 PM (#953371) Subject: Black River sucker: Posts: 557 Location: Moses Lake, WA: Made something similar a long time ago on a different blank form. and throw nothing besides the Tiny Torpedo. You have the potential of catching a fish of a lifetime on every cast. The Flambeau River State Forest provides excellent backcountry opportunities, including wooded hiking trails, ATV and snowmobile trails, family campgrounds and rustic river sites, hunting and fishing. Camping Canoeing Fishing GoPro Wisconsin. This laid-back Taylor County guide knows better, at least on his home water in Wisconsin's heartland, a good hour's drive from any big-name muskie lake. After 3 days of fishing, we showed the boys from Ohio nearly 30 miles of various spots on the North, South, and main forks of the Flambeau. But take the leaner, meaner riverine cousin of this fish and put a hook in her face while ghosting downstream backward in a canoe and you'll find yourself in the middle of a "hair dryer in the bathtub thrill." You Might Also Like. In this video, outdoor writer and tackle specialist Shane Beilue breaks down the difference between a rod blank’s action and power and discusses what the various ratings of each mean. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets. Their phone number is (715) 532-6016. Simple to make and grill, these BBQ Venison Burgers are the ultimate food to serve at your... A mock whitetail scrape is easier—and cheaper—than you might think. With nearly 1,700 miles of recognized muskie river in our state, there should be enough water to keep you occupied at least until freeze-up. The upper reaches of the Menominee are essentially a series of "cookie-cutter" pools, with river levels regulated by dams operated by the local power cooperative. Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these great options. Toss in a few key tributaries and the total comes to more than 1,000 miles. For lures all you need is a pocketful of 2-inch Mister Twister fliptails and 1/8-ounce jigheads, a couple of Beetle Spin-type safety-pin spinners for a little different look, a couple of Mepps Black Fury in-line spinners, a No. But Murphy's Law says the muskie is going decide to eat when you're winging that Tiny Torpedo in pursuit of other species. We were floating down the Flambeau River trying to catch a musky. The North Fork is easy going, but the South Fork is a real barn-burner canoe river. Catch each of the trout that make up the Utah and Wyoming Cutthroat Slams. Several flowages slow the pace of the river between the big twin tubes at Grandfather Dam and the ever-changing sandbars licked by boiling brown water near the Wisconsin's confluence with the Father of Waters. Canoeable with mostly easy water and some rapids. Because river currents bring food to them, they must grab it before it gets washed downstream. However, catch rate for larger smallmouth bass (>17 inch-es) was significantly higher on the Namekagon River than the Chip-pewa or Flambeau. From the Turtle Flambeau Flowage in Iron County downstream to Park Falls, there is good muskie action on the North Fork and in backwater sloughs. A major key to success lies in making a steady retrieve. Joe was doing a lot of rowing and I felt like a rich man, as my guide and I shot the jaw and laughed a … Third, far from the "fish of 10,000 casts," river muskies are aggressive and opportunistic feeders. Perhaps the best word to describe the Menominee is "diversity." Float-fishing one of these rivers won't be your cup of tea if your concept of "roughing it" is a non-Jacuzzi room at the Best Western. The Flambeau River State Forest stretch of the North Fork is the most popular part of the river for muskies. Thrown in the Western end of the Michigans U.P. Walleyes, muskies, northern pike, largemouths and smallmouths roam the waters with trout and panfish. MENOMINEE RIVER This Michigan/Wisconsin boundary water takes top marks as one of the most beautiful and diverse fisheries in the state, with walleyes, whopper smallies and eye-popping muskies. Hooking up with a muskie is enough to make you forget about traveling through Mosquitoville at convention time while wearing a heavy layer of sweat, bug juice and mud. © 2020 Outdoor Sportsman Group. But if you're one of those folks who believe that people not living on the edge are simply taking up too much space, check out the Wisconsin River above Merrill. Bow fisherman arrows fish of a lifetime on South Texas trip. Access is fairly easy along the first eight miles of this run down to Ojibwa, with three decent boat landings and just one small rapids to contend with, which doesn't pose a problem unless the river is exceptionally low. If you add to those the St. Croix and Namekagon rivers, you've got some 800 miles of prime muskie water. Anglers who have discovered our state fish swimming where least expected aren't keen on sharing the good news. The Flambeau River is a tributary of the Chippewa River in northern Wisconsin, United States.The Chippewa is in turn a tributary of the upper Mississippi River.The Flambeau drains an area of 1,860 square miles (4,800 km 2) and descends from an elevation of approximately 1,570 feet (480 m) to 1,060 feet (320 m) above sea level. Terry Fieselman knows these rivers well. Although the odds of landing a 20-pound muskie are more in your favor with muskie tackle, the chances of initial hookup approach sure-thing status when you arrive at the river and announce "I'm bass fishin'!" On days that follow heavy rains, when the Flambeau is out of its banks, the Jump River is a good choice for a float trip. Most fishing rods feature both an action and a power rating, but what do those ratings mean and how do you use them to select the right rod for different scenarios? Topwater baits will take muskies near shoreline wood and in side currents. The main stem of the Flambeau, which flows through Rusk County and joins the Chippewa above Holcombe Flowage, is also exceptional muskie water, but like the Chippewa, the Flambeau is wider and carries more water here, so you'll have to work harder to raise a muskie. Muskies congregate in the tailrace waters below Petenwell and Castle Rock dams, and anglers do well here throughout the season. Another good float ends up at the County W bridge, beginning six to eight hours upstream in the little town of Lugerville. A "dry bag" with bug repellent, sun block, camera, dry clothes, snacks, water - and your wallet - will reveal the difference between a veteran float-fisher and somebody about to try the experience for the first time with a real potential for never getting in a canoe on a river again. Massive Alligator Gar Taken on Father's Day, The East's Hottest Summer Fishing Destinations, Catch More Bass on a Jerkbait in the Cooler Months, Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power, Hunting Elk with the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter in 6.5 PRC, Action and Power Ratings- How to Choose the Right Bass Rod. Score an Invite Onto a … Phil Schweik and partner Justin Gaiche, of Hooksetters Guide Service, have boated more than 80 legal muskies up to 52 inches annually in recent years. Who needs live bait when the big 'gills are so eager to strike these lures? Personal flotation devices should be worn at all times. The obvious question is, Why don't more folks chase these fish if all it takes is a simple float down a scenic river? JUMP & UPPER BLACK RIVERS The Jump River also has two good floats worth a serious look, both upstream and downstream from the town of Jump River. The run above the village of Jump River takes about 10 hours if you put in off of River Road, about eight miles east of County MM. If you've never fished a river for muskies, you might wonder why you should give river fishing a try, when there are so many good muskie lakes throughout the state. Canoeing is the most popular activity at the forest. This river has everything an angler could ever desire regarding fish species, aesthetics and variety of angling conditions. In the flowage, anglers will find musky, panfish, bass, pike, walleye, sturgeon and catfish. The North and South forks of the Flambeau are a little like Jekyll and Hyde. 9 black/silver Rapala or two, and a couple of clear Heddon Tiny Torpedos. Contacts: Bridge Bait in Park Falls, (715) 762-4108; or James Sports Shop in Ladysmith, (715) 532-6016. Second, you'll do most of your fishing in 3 to 5 feet of water. Abundant public accesses make it easy to get on and off these rivers, whether you float from one point to another or return to your launch point at the end of your outing. Muskies are where you find them. Give a Gift   CHIPPEWA RIVER From the Winter Dam, in Sawyer County, to the Rusk County line, some 25 miles away, is the very best stretch of the 122 miles of muskie water recognized on the Chippewa by the DNR. His phone number is (715) 748-0913. Muskies often hold in slow water immediately adjacent to faster water, waiting for the current to bring food to them. The Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system is the pinnacle of kayak control with more efficient fin designs, glide technology and allows the boat to be moved in any direction. As the river develops broader shoulders with the entry of more tributaries south of Wausau, rapid changes in water level are scarcely noticed, or at least are not a source of great concern. Several more rapids and a dam from Ojibwa down to Bruce in Rusk County make the next 34 miles of river a cartopper or canoe-only stretch, with the best muskie habitat found in the river's deeper holes. You can reach Todd Koehn at 1-800-710-8020. From its confluence with the Eagle River at Watersmeet Lake in Vilas County, downstream to Lake Wisconsin, the Wisconsin River and its flowages offer muskie action to rival that found on the Chippewa system. |   You may find you're having too much fun to go back to fishing lakes. The Chippewa exits the flowage at Winter Dam. Schweik targets weeds, downed wood, current breaks, eddies and dams with soft plastic baits and jerkbaits, along with big tandem spinnerbaits. All Rights Reserved. A trip includes a 15' flat bottom boat, guide, shore lunch which is cooked by the guide and fish stories like you wouldn't believe! we have it covered. Price County may offer the best multi-species freshwater fishing in the country. There is some marginally challenging water along this run, providing a good taste of adventure - and a really good chance of dancing with a big muskie. This stretch of the river offers excellent fishing for musky. Or it might be a handful of natural lakes, like Vieux Desert, North Twin and Pewaukee. The Marinette Area Chamber of Commerce is a great source for lodging and other amenities. Catching winter walleyes often requires mobility and a willingness to adjust tactics. Most of the river from here downstream is navigable by outboards, and there are boat ramps in every city and between them. There are sites where you can launch a small trailered boat and others that can handle car toppers only. But put a 35-inch muskie in tumbling thigh-deep water and even the most taciturn angler tends to babble and gesture frantically when the spinning reel's drag starts to scream. Highways aren't the only access obstacles on a close encounter with these fish. She was a fat one, maybe 43 inches, definitely out of place for a stretch of river that was kiddie-pool deep. Mexico's Lake Picachos is full of big largemouths; catching 300 pounds in one day not uncommon. Field skills: If you want to go long, start training with these tips. |   In this video, outdoor writer and tackle specialist Shane Beilue breaks down the difference between a rod blank’s action and power and discusses what the various ratings of each mean. It takes eight to 10 hours to work the stretch from Highway 73 at Jump River down to the wayside take-out point in the town of Sheldon. Simplify breakfast or brunch for a crowd by making this savory venison chorizo quiche recipe. One good float starts at Crowley Dam, just north of Highway 70 in Price County, and ends at the Highway 70 bridge at Oxbo in Sawyer County. The greatest concentrations, however, are found in the upper Chippewa, Flambeau and Wisconsin river systems. Volunteers Needed to Help Remove Curly-leaf Pondweed. Guide Todd Koehn knows well the dangers - and potential - of the upper river, traversing these waters in a flat-bottom boat with a jet-drive outboard. Downstream from Lake Holcombe, there is more water, so muskies here are scattered and you'll work harder for a strike. If you haven't looked at the smaller urban lakes in your area, you are missing out on some... In-Fisherman legend, 86, changed the sport of fishing like few others have. Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these great options. With Fieselman and one of his kids, B.J. Terry Fieselman just smiles when he hears that stuff about the muskie being "the fish of 10,000 casts." Many anglers don't know that some of the best muskie waters in the Badger State are free-flowing rivers. A steady retrieve over the water it calls home is more efficient for the angler in a situation where he may only get a cast or two - and definitely more appealing to the fish. Most info I find is 5-10 years old and this river is talked about like its the best musky water in Wisconsin. An accurate cast can be made with expert boat control through rapids and obstacles until the fish is whipped enough to be led to boatside for a quick release. Discharges at power dams can also change river flow rates dramatically in a short time period. But we know if anyone can do it, Mike and his team can. Michael Cassidy and Paul Pluff talk about their elk hunt in New Mexico using the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter. Both the East and West Forks of the Chippewa are excellent muskie rivers. Fishing, Hunting, Camping, Canoeing and Nature Observation. The dam created 18,900 acres of water with 212 miles of winding shoreline. Save that cast for the little pocket of deeper, foamy slack water under the grassy bank just a few more yards downstream - unless you want to catch a bass. Northern Wisconsin musky and bass fly fishing waters around Hayward, Wisconsin include Namekagon River, Flambeau River, Chippewa River & St. Croix River. A separate news release will be issued specific to those regulations changes. This river has been called "the hardest-working river in America" because of the power-generating dams along its run. I have fished both the East and West forks several times in recent years and have never failed to see or catch muskies. But you would be surprised at the great action on rivers in the northwoods. If you've been catching catfish with the same method for years, it's time to change it up and... Chelsie Walters and Jessyca Sortillon - August 31, 2020. Increase a lure’s effectiveness by pairing it with the ideal reel speed. In September, you’ll even have the unique opportunity to fish for sturgeon. Just outside of Ladysmith lies another river system gem. Aerial photos show portage routes around dams, as well. His phone number is (715) 854-2055. With an abundance of lakes stocked  in the Badger State, we sometimes lose sight of the fact that Wisconsin muskies are basically river fish. One good float starts at Crowley Dam, just north of Highway 70 in Price County, and ends at the Highway 70 bridge at Oxbo in Sawyer County. Although it is labeled trophy water, action is very good and multiple fish days are not uncommon here. Contacts: Hooksetters Guide Service in Mosinee, hooksetters.biz, (715) 693-5843; Castle Rock Dam Bait Shop, castlerockdambaitshop.com, (608) 403-1590. If there is a muskie fishing epicenter for Wisconsin River muskies, it has to be the 16-mile stretch between Wausau and Merrill, which is rated as Class A2, Category 1 water by the DNR. Contacts: Happy Hooker Bait & Tackle near Hayward, (715) 462-3984; or Anglers All in Ashland, anglersallwisconsin.com, (715) 682-5754. Subscriber Services. You might want to check out the Yellow River in Washburn and Burnett counties, the Manitowish and Turtle rivers in Vilas and Iron counties, or perhaps the Tomahawk in Oneida County, which the DNR rates as Class A2, Category 1 water. Drop off one vehicle at the bridge and take Grover Road north to Sawyer Dam Road for a three- to four-hour float, with a float to the archery club adding about two more hours to your adventure. rates for smaller smallmouth bass was significantly higher on the Flambeau River than on the Chippewa or Namekagon (Table 3). And there is much to be said for being the first human contact in the education of a muskie.