Milwaukee River, Wisconsin Fly Fishing Reports & Conditions
Reported by Orvis Milwaukee
Fly Fishing Map of Milwaukee River, WI
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Milwaukee River, Wisconsin Fly Fishing Reports & Conditions
My tips of the week
Water levels are low and clear. Those 'Bronzebacks' are still hitting top water flies on hot afternoons. Fish streamers, poppers and divers to see what Micropterus dolomieu is eating this week. Bang the banks or fish near structure (i.e. rocks/logs). Using big strips to stir up the surface with topwater flies is important, vary strips and make sure to pause, this goes for stripping streamers as well. Fish each cast you're on, watch your fly. Watch and feel for strikes, strip set, repeat. 'Smalljaws' are going to be most active in the mornings and late afternoon time frames. *Wade up or downstream and look for structure near banks and pools where fish may be holding. Dead drift crayfish patterns, twitching them occasionally and feeling for strikes. Strip streamers through deep pools, varying strip length and speed as you're doing so to hone in on what fish will react to. Warmwater Species *when water levels permit safe wading*: fish the banks of the river, getting your fly moving as soon as it hits the water, keep tension on your line and strip-set. Look to shade/foam lines with cover, structure and holes. *Cover water to locate holding areas and always remember to use good etiquette while on the river. *Always be aware that structure can potentially change with big pushes of water.
Fishing Conditions

Fly Fishing Milwaukee River is currently Excellent

Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby:

Water flow: Fishable = 250cfs - 800cfs / Low = 200 / High = 800 / Blown Out = 1000+

Visibility: 36 inches

Water temperature at mid-day: 78 Degrees F

Water condition: Clear

Best time of day to fish: Early Morning to Late Afternoon

Best stretch: Between North Ave in the City of Milwaukee up to the Grafton Dam in Grafton, WI.

Best access point: Hubbard Park, Estabrook Park falls, Kletsch Park falls

Fly fishing hatches in order of importance:

None applicable.

Fish species: Chinook/Coho Salmon, Brown Trout, Steelhead, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Walleye, Carp, Panfish

Fishing season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Nearest airport: General Mitchell International Airport

Milwaukee River Description

The Milwaukee River runs from the northern suburbs of Milwaukke through the heart of the city and offers seasonal steelhead, brown trout, and salmon fishing in the spring and fall, as well as a great warm water fishery for smallmouth bass in the summer.

Techniques & Tips

Top-water poppers (strip & pause, strip & pause) *make some noise*. Also, try Dead-drifting a crayfish pattern, buggers and nymphs, maintaining as drag free of a drift as possible, use weights to get flies into the feeding zone and an indicator to set your depth if necessary. For subsurface presentations through runs and pools, keeping tension on your line and your rod tip low, close to the water.

7-Day Forecast

A slight chance of thunderstorms through Tuesday night, looking clear for the rest of the week through the weekend. An increasing chance of thunderstorms and showers getting into Sunday and Monday. Highs will be in the mid to upper 70s and lows ranging through the 60s throughout the week.


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