The Lowdown, Trip Planning

Fishing the Bois Brule River

October 27, 2011
Brule River Steelhead

The Bois Brule River in northern Wisconsin, just east of Duluth, MN, is one of the premier fly fishing rivers in the upper midwest.
Known for resident brook, brown, and rainbow trout the river will also see runs of lake brown trout and steelhead as well as coho and chinook salmon. I was lucky enough to wrangle an invitation to fish the Brule last week, and what a beautiful river to fish.

In search of steelhead running up the river we donned our waders, grabbed our packs and rods, and fished several different spots throughout the day. Our starting point was well upstream away from the big lake, we were just south of Box Car Hole and had the river to ourselves as we worked it hard for a couple of hours.  At the present time the water is low and crystal clear, making it tough to fool a fish with even the most alluring fly.

Next it was on to Big Tree Hole and then downstream to what we call Big Rock Hole, where just weeks earlier we spotted a big fish heading upstream. Here we ran into quite a few other fisherman, and one young angler who managed to hook into a 26-inch brown trout. Further on down the river we ran into a fly fisherman who spent a good amount of time trying to convince my fishing partner to ditch his spinning rig for a fly fishing rig like his. Unfortunately, neither set up brought in anything to capture in a photo.

The afternoon took us to the mouth of the river and a beautiful sand beach on the south shore of Lake Superior. For the next few hours we were casting, wading and moving upstream looking for fish. Along the way we encountered very few fisherman and some really spectacular scenery. The setting sun forced us to put the fishing rods away and quench our thirst, but I have taken the pledge to return and chase the steelhead in the very near future.

Many thanks to my guide who owns a cabin on the river. We will get them again next time. Maybe by canoe?

Get out on the water! There is a lot of great fishing to be had before winter arrives.

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