Paddling and fishing the trout rivers of western Wisconsin

A column in the River Falls Journal pays well-deserved praise to the virtues of the Kinnickinnic and Rush Rivers and is an inspiration to get out and enjoy the rivers, whether fishing for trout or paddling a canoe.

Fishing for trout in western WisconsinIt probably says something about my dedication as a trout angler that I have frequently stood in the Rush River, frustrated by the fish, and daydreamed about paddling a canoe down the river, even imagining the route I would weave through the rocks.

It’s usually been nothing but a daydream, not even growing into a hare-brained scheme, because the river is shallow and rocky enough that normally, such a paddle would be more frustrating than fish feeding on unidentified insects.

As described by Dan Wilcox in the River Falls Journal, some adventurous folks recently took advantage of the spring’s high water and had a great paddle through just the stretch of river I’d choose:

By Saturday, March 13, water level on the Rush River had receded about two and a half feet. Members of the Wisconsin Canoe Militia (a disorganization of friends and avid canoeists) floated down the Rush River from Stonehammer Bridge to Langer’s Bar at Highway 72. The Rush was still about a foot and a half high, perfect for canoeing.

Normally the middle reach of the Rush isn’t very navigable with lots of jagged limestone rocks. That day most of the rocks were covered with water making for a fast and enjoyable float trip.

I was just talking to somebody the other day about a combined paddling/fishing trip down the Kinni canyon. Maybe I’ll have to finally do such a trip this summer, even though now it sounds like there’s a new obstacle with a big tree down across the river.

Whether it’s paddling or fishing, it’s all about just getting out on a river, and a trout river is by definition a beautiful place. Wilcox’s column pays deserved praise to the Kinnickinnic and Rush Rivers.

It’s easy to fall in love with the Kinni and the Rush rivers because of their sublime beauty. Trout fishing is a contemplative sport, and the gorgeous scenery along our neighborhood rivers is an inspiration to many not only to fish but just to be there.

1 reply on “Paddling and fishing the trout rivers of western Wisconsin”

I too went out on the Rush this June from Langar’s bar to the swimming hole a couple of times. Despite a couple of portages due to deadfall or nasty snags, it was a beautiful and amazing run. I hope to do it again next spring.

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