Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Guide in Plover, WI

3.9 out of 5 Customer Rating
Item #2MKJ0000
Great Catch Guarantee insignia

100% Customer Satisfaction

has been our commitment since 1856. It’s who we are. If you aren’t happy with a product or service, we want to know about it. And we’ll make it right. That’s the Orvis Way.

Abe Downs

Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Guide

Phone icon715-572-3225 Email iconinfo@greatnorthernflyfishing.com Link icongreatnorthernflyfishing.com
1020 Tree Lane
Plover, WI 54467

Orvis is pleased to offer our travel customers access to two valuable services: Global Rescue travel membership and IMG Signature Travel Insurance℠.

Learn More

The Story

Rely on the expertise of Orvis-endorsed guide Abe Downs for your fly-fishing trip to Wisconsin: Great Northern Fly Fishing offers professionalism that you won't find anywhere else in Northern Wisconsin. Every time you fish with Great Northern, you will feel like you are fishing with an old friend. Abe Downs goes above and beyond, whether you are a first-time guest or a repeat guest.

The good thing about fishing with Great Northern Fly Fishing is that all you need to do is show up. You are more than welcome to bring your own equipment but you really don't need to. Great Northern will provide all equipment, including rods, reels, flies, lunch, and drinks. Most importantly, with the years of fishing these rivers, Great Northern provides knowledge about the river and fish, taking the guesswork out of finding fish on your own. Using a drift boat and a raft to navigate the rivers, you will be comfortable the entire day.

Northern Wisconsin offers large expanses of untouched wilderness. The rivers offer a truly unique experience. You will feel like you are an explorer, finding an untouched gem. The granite of the north woods lines the bottom and shores of the rivers, offering a target-rich environment. There is no shortage of spots to throw a fly at. Floating down the river, you will see deer, otters, mink, a ton of bald eagles, and maybe even a black bear.


The first weekend of May until November 30th. The bass season runs from the first of May until the first part of September. Musky are active from the first of May until the end of November with the prime times being May, June and September through the end of November.


Great smallmouth bass and musky on the fly. These species are native to northern Wisconsin and are prolific.


The terrain is rugged and remote. Granite boulder-filled rivers and forest-lined banks offer plenty of structure to hold fish. Every spot we fish is within driving distance of the meeting place.

Typical Weather:

Spring: Typically cool with warming days as spring progresses. As with every season in Wisconsin, it is wise to bring rain gear in case of a stray shower.

Summer: Temperatures range from 70-90 degrees F. Humidity can range from low to high.

Fall: Temperatures range from 32-60 degrees. Precipitation can range from rain to snow.


Rates start from:
You can find all pricing information at: www.greatnorthernflyfishing.com

What is Provided:

We provide all rods, reels, flies, and instruction. Lunch, snacks and drinks are also provided. The only thing that you will need to bring is anything personal such as sunglasses, rain gear, and waders when needed.

Gear Recommendations:

Smallmouth bass: 7 wt.-8 wt. rods with a floating to intermediate line

Musky 10 wt.-12 wt. rods with a intermediate to full-sink line

What to Bring:

Make sure to bring a camera to capture you day on the water. Rain gear, hat, and sunscreen are also recommended.


Great Northern Fly Fishing offers discounts at local hotels and restaurants. If flying into the area, the closest airports are Chicago, Minneapolis, and Central Wisconsin.

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Trophy Fish and Good Time on the Water What a good time on the boat. I have been out with Abe twice, and both times we had an excellent time. Abe put us on some good fish. The first time we boated a 48" Muskie and the second time we boated multiple small mouth above 19". On the second trip, I brought my nine (9) year old. Not only did Abe meet our expectations but spent time teaching about the river ecosystem. Some of the great things he did during the day was spending time helping my son to improve his fly casting, teaching us about the plant life, and teaching us about the drift boat. My son enjoyed the full trip on the water and wants to know when we can go back. We highly recommend Abe Downs as a guide.
Date published: 2021-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of our best guide experiences ever! Wow! Flyfishing for smallmouth on the Wisconsin! What a trip! Abe is one of those rare guides that is a combination of seasoned, intensely hard-working, resourceful, friendly and relaxed. He was hyper-attuned to what was happening on the waters, seeing fish we didn’t see, trying different patterns based upon the conditions, putting us into lots of opportunities, and offering casting tips, and interesting historical tidbits on the Wisconsin River and surroundings. Never even a hint of frustration after our umpteenth snag, tangle or snapped leader due to our casting bumbles. He’s a great conversationalist too, with lots of fun stories, but also asking us about our lives and interests. An All Star guide, but super affable, friendly and cool. My highest recommendation. Looking forward to our next trip!
Date published: 2019-07-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Birthday Fishing! Abe was fantastic. The day went all to quickly with many fish caught and released and many stories shared. Abe was also great with my husband who does not fish very often. We've already booked more days for 2020. Can't wait!
Date published: 2019-07-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Two Great Days on the Wisconsin River On the first day a large front had come through the area, even with some small tornaddo's touching down ! My guide Abe advised me that the day would probably be tough as a result, at least for large numbers of small mouth bass. However, although it was tough day for "smallness", Abe was ready to hit some Muskie. Perhaps a little early for same, but ...we heard a splash and saw what we thought was a Muskie in the shallows off an island. We rowed over, Abe put me in position ...and the first cast in "the spot" we hooked my first ever Muskie on the fly, 41inches ! Between that and a 19 inches small i.e., as I told Abe, it was my best two fish day ever ! Abe is a great guide, knows his job the water and the environmental and historic aspects of the area. First class in all regards.
Date published: 2018-09-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great experince in a beautiful location. Abe was knowledgeable and patient as my wife and I were on our first fly fishing trip. His instruction on casting was good natured and VERY helpful. The location of this trip was beautiful.
Date published: 2018-09-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great day on the river Spent the day learning techniques of fly fishing with Abe on the Wisconsin River. Loved his patience with me and his knowledge of fishing. It was on my bucket list to fly fish and my husband bought this trip for me as a gift. Very happy with my experience.
Date published: 2018-08-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Friendly and Knowlegable guide If you want to fish the Wisconsin river for small mouth these guys know the river and can put you on fish.
Date published: 2018-08-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best fishing day of my life? My fishing buddy, Ken, and I went out for a day with Abe Downs. Abe came highly recommended by other friends and we found out why. I am a "senior" angler and have spent many, many hours (years?) fishing for various species. With Abe, we were targeting my favorite species - the smallmouth. I probably had the best day of fishing in my life. Abe out us in places where the smallies were in "attack mode". He knew every spot to stop on the water and we were constantly rewarded with success. Equal to Abe's fishing knowledge and guiding skills, are his friendly personality and professionalism. Despite us getting our baits caught on obstructions etc. Abe would always put the boat in position to retrieve them. On several occasions Abe had to hop out of the boat into the water to get us off submerged boulders. I highly recommend a day of fishing with Abe Downs. You may get a lifetime memory like we did!
Date published: 2018-08-19
  • y_2021, m_6, d_13, h_18
  • bvseo_bulk, prod_bvrr, vn_bulk_3.0.17
  • cp_1, bvpage1
  • co_hasreviews, tv_0, tr_31
  • loc_en_US, sid_2MKJ, prod, sort_[SortEntry(order=FEATURED, direction=DESCENDING), SortEntry(order=SUBMISSION_TIME, direction=DESCENDING)]
  • clientName_orvis
  • bvseo_sdk, dw_cartridge, 18.2.0, p_sdk_3.2.0
  • CLOUD, getReviews, 63ms
  • reviews, product