Trout Fishing in Wisconsin (WI) – Top Spots with Map

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It is a little known fact that less than a hundredth of one percent of all the world’s water is cold enough for wild trout to survive. They prey on insects that thrive in cold waters and are also vulnerable to environmental changes, so trout are an important part of the ecosystems that they inhabit.

Luckily for us trout fishermen, there are places like Wisconsin that are a fishing paradise. With over 10,000 miles of trout streams, creeks, and rivers, the state is home to plenty of clean, cold water that allows trout to thrive in great numbers and big sizes.

Trout Fishing in Wisconsin (WI) - Top Spots with Map

So where do you start if you want to go fishing in Wisconsin? With so many different places to fish, it can sometimes be difficult to decide where to go. Here are a few of the top locations that offer the best fishing in Wisconsin that can help you get started.

Top Fishing Locations in Wisconsin (WI)

1. Kinnickinnic River

Probably the most famous trout stream in the state, the Kinnickinnic River stays great due to the work of the organization of Trout Unlimited. Recent studies show that around 6,000 to 8,000 trout per mile on this river, which is almost unheard of anywhere else. 

This river is home to both brown and brook trout, which are doing very well in these waters. Because of its special fishing regulations, these fish can grow very large and many fish nearing state records have been caught here.

For anglers wanting to fish this river, it is recommended to study the rules for fishing here. The upper region of the river is more easily accessed and holds more fish, while the lower region can be more challenging but is known for larger trout. 

2. Bois Brule River

The Brule River is a 44-mile long river located in northeast Wisconsin. This river is full of brown and rainbow trout, as well as Lake Superior steelhead and even salmon. This makes it a popular destination among local anglers with its wide variety of fishing opportunities.

The 44-mile stretch is divided into two areas, each with its own unique differences. The upper region and mouth of the river is on the edge of Lake Superior and is full of steelhead and salmon. The large boulders and bluffs make for some beautiful scenery and is best fished from the bank.

The lower region of the river is much slower and makes from some better brown and rainbow trout fishing. This section of the river is best fished by boat or canoe. No matter what part of the river you are on, this river will not disappoint.

3. Pine River

The Pine River is one of only three wild rivers in the state of Wisconsin. This means it has no man-made structures or obstructions throughout the course of the waterway, and at times it can be difficult to find suitable areas to fish it. The effort is well worth it though, as this river produces some giant brook and brown trout. 

If you are looking for a large population of giant, wild trout, the Pine River is your best bet in the state. The Pine River System Fishery Area is a popular spot among anglers that will give you your best bet at finding fishable water and good numbers of fish.

While the Pine River can be difficult to fish at times due to the terrain and vegetation, the brown and brook trout are doing extremely well here and are ready to eat any kind of bait or lure you can throw at them!

4. Castle Rock Creek

This creek is probably the most complicated and toughest to fish on this list, but it is well worth the effort. Found east of the town of Fennimore, it flows straight into the Blue River which is also well known for its excellent trout fishing. 

A very helpful tip to fish this creek is to use stealth. It winds its way through many pastures and fields, so it is important to sneak up to the area you plan to fish and you can land some very nice brown and brook trout in its waters.

Castle Rock Creek also has a few special regulation fishing areas, such as catch and release only and fly fishing only. This makes it a great choice for an angler looking for more of a challenge when it comes to catching some brown, rainbow, or brook trout.

5. Root River

Root River is located only 20 miles south of Milwaukee and is a great place for trout and Lake Michigan steelhead. Because of its location, it can be a very popular place amongst anglers but there is always fish to be caught.

The greatest thing about the Root River is its accessibility and ease of fishing. Wide open water and deep pools give beginner anglers ample room to hone their ability and find fish. Sandy bottoms make the river easy to wade to be able to fish anywhere you might want to.

For anglers looking for a quick fishing trip or maybe a good place to practice their casting without fear of trees and vegetation, the Root River is a great trout location that has plenty of rainbow and brown trout to catch.

When Does Trout Season Start in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is a great destination for any anglers but in particular fly fishermen. Wisconsin has a dedicated catch and release only trout season that runs from January 5 to May 3. In addition to that, you can catch trout year round in many of the waters around the state.

To fish in Wisconsin, an angler will need a fishing license. These can be bought at a number of places around the state, and come in many different time limits. If you are only going to be there for a few days, it is much cheaper to buy a 3 day license than a year long license for example.

Final Thoughts

For many anglers, Wisconsin can be a dream come true. With its many different trout fisheries across the state and plentiful numbers of fish, many will wonder why people fly over the state to get to trout fishing states in the west. For those looking for something new and different, Wisconsin should be on your list!

Trout Fishing in the US

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