Small Stream Fishing in Northern Wisconsin

by | May 3, 2021 | fly fishing Wisconsin

bluegillGranny and I had our usual early morning coffee outside the cabin here in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.  Then we launched the rowboat and I rowed around our lake putting Granny on numerous little largemouth bass and a few saucer size bluegills.  It was a really good time until the north wind kicked up and the temperature dropped down in the low 40°s.


small-streamsWe headed back in and I got caught up on my blog writing.  At noon Howie wandered down and asked if I was up for some small stream brown trout fishing.  The inland stream fishing here in the north opened Saturday and the particular place Howie had in mind likely hadn’t been fished since last October.  No doubt I was in.


Granny opted to take the afternoon off.  Here in the Northwoods small streams mean bushwhacking, sinking in bogs and likely a few ticks as well.  That doesn’t exactly interest many ladies.  Furthermore, she figured that because this was a “small stream”, it likely meant small fish.  While that’s not always the case, the place we were going is loaded with these pretty little brown trout.


Matt-NortonHowie and I headed to this small stream late afternoon.  The temps remained in the 40°s and by now we had drizzle.  I hardly ever get to fish in the rain back in Idaho so I love these conditions.  I was in my Simms waders, jacket and fleece.  Before we left I added some lighter tippet to my bluegill rig so now I had a 10 foot leader with 3X rigged to my 4-weight Winston Air 2.


small-streamsThis stream indeed is small.  The overhanging trees create casting challenges.  Some would prefer a short 7 to 8 foot fly rod but for me, I find using a 9 foot rod for almost everything I do – I simply get used to handling it no matter what my conditions.  Yeah, I hooked a couple branches in the beginning but once I got going all was good.


brook-troutThis stream is loaded with little brown trout.  But they don’t come easy.  They are as wild as can be and if they see you or you kick up dirt while walking and it goes downstream, you could spook them all.  For this reason, I like to walk downstream through the woods away from the river bank, then slowly creep to the water and fish my way back upstream.  I knocked of this pretty little brook trout along with several small browns.


Jeff-Currier-flyfishingThe fishing was awesome.  I say that because I know how to fish small streams.  Unfortunately, Howie wasn’t catching any fish.  He was using a streamer of some sort.  I started with a caddis and nailed a couple small risers.  Then I put on a rubber leg fly.  I believe on the South Fork it’s called the Turd.  Anyhow, it raked the fish.  Howie said there are some hellgrammites in the Wisconsin rivers and this fly matches them nicely.


At the end Howie could see how much fun I was having and he gave me the water.  He watched and also collected some edible plants for dinner.  They didn’t look like much to me but I can assure you they would later taste great.  I reeled it up after my best trout of the afternoon.  It was this colorful slab of a 14” brown.


flyfishingWe are eating too much here with my old college roommate Howie and his wife Sue.  But its fun and we are going to be bad right to our last day of the trip.  Tonight, was pork chops, wild plants and noodles.  Oh, and some good red wine to top it off.  Life is good here in Northern Wisconsin and there will be more fish to catch tomorrow!


Don’t forget our yard sale will be May 15th.  There will be all kinds of stuff from camping to fishing gear.  I never sell stuff from companies I represent so don’t expect Winston’s or Simms waders or etc. but there’s some awesome stuff.  If you’d like a list of rods or reels just Contact Me and I’ll email it to you.  And don’t procrastinate, I mentioned this last month and a ton of stuff went fast!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

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I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!