Minnesota and Wisconsin Fall Steelhead and Musky Fishing

Minnesota and Wisconsin Fall Steelhead and Musky FishingSmallmouth bass fishing tends to peak somewhere between the end of August and mid-September  as they begin to vacate shallow hunting grounds for deeper wintering waters.  This is typically the time of year we come across the largest bass as they’re starting to really bulk up for winter.  Many times the fatties are caught on bigger musky flies when they ramp up into their fall feeding mode.

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Brule river Steelhead fishing heats back up in the fall as well with a healthy push of lake-dwelling brown trout and a smattering of salmon leading the way. Depending on temperature and water level, there are typically fishable numbers of browns and steelhead throughout the river by mid- to late-September with more arriving each day. Fishing continues to be good until the season closes in mid-November. Water temps dictate fish activity level and movement and typically nymph rigs produce better results in colder water situations, but fall is a great time to fish swung flies as well. Steelhead are a hoot on the end of a flyline anytime you can hook up with one, but fresh from the lake in the fall they’ve got an extra boost of energy that many times makes landing one just as challenging as getting bit- one of the few times you might see the backing on your fly reel in northern Wisconsin!


Musky, the apex predator in our region, also feed heavily in anticipation of the fall freeze up. October and early-November provide those who are willing to grind with some of the best odds for trophy fish as the feeding pace picks up and becomes more confined to daylight hours. The weather can be unpredictable, and fish activity varies from day to day, but such is the nature of fall musky fishing in the North. It takes a firm resolve to throw big flies all day, but steadily, consistently covering water is what puts anglers in contact with these notoriously fickle river monsters. Each encounter with these fish is unique and unforgettable and that’s what makes it all worthwhile! Weather can vary from sixty degrees and sunny to thirty degree rain and snow squalls during this time of year so don’t be afraid to pack a lot of clothing!


Musky and Smallmouth Bass float trips can accommodate up to two anglers per boat and include lunch, beverages and all necessary fishing equipment, although anglers are welcome to bring their own if they prefer. Bring seasonally appropriate clothing including rain gear, waders or wet-wading gear (ideally in dry bags). Plan on a minimum of eight hours on the water. Multiple group trips can be arranged as well.


$450/day (1 or 2 anglers)
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Brule River Steelhead walk and wade trips include lunch, beverages and all necessary fishing equipment other than waders. Bring polarized sunglasses, waders/boots, waterproof jacket and gloves and hats as desired- be prepared for unpredictable weather. Plan on hiking several river miles or until you’re ready to head in. A day on the river is a full day for us so we’ll typically stay out as long as you like. We typically run one or two anglers per guide but arrangements can be made for larger groups as well.


$300/day for 1 angler
$450 for 2 anglers