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Southeastern Wisconsin (SE WI) Lake Michigan Tributaries - the Milwaukee River

The Milwaukee River, located literally in the heart of the city, is the largest Lake Michigan tributary in the SE WI region. Due to the Milwaukee River's size, even when under heavy angling pressure you can usually find plenty of room to cast and fish. As a general rule, flows are more consistent, which means when it's unfishable it will be unfishable for a LONG time; in fact I didn't even bother fishing it during the 2005 Spring Steelhead run - most of the time it was a literal death trap for the wading angler.

Next to the Root River, the Milwaukee is also one of our most heavily stocked rivers in the area. Boasting consistent runs of Fall King Salmon, this is one of my favorite places to be in October! At times the Coho Salmon runs can be on fire as well. Brown Trout are consitently landed in the lower sections when conditions are right. Steelhead can literally be found any time of year at any location - the catch is that Steelhead are typically chance encounters unless you've timed your trip perfectly at the very height of the spring runs. All the while you never really know what you'll encounter on the Milwaukee River - Walleye and Smallmouth Bass make up part of the natural fauna in this system.

The Milwaukee is definitely a river system that I have not learned fully...with over 26 miles of wide water that are SOMETIMES accessible to fish there are literally miles and miles of river that see next to nothing in the way of angling pressure for those willing to explore. Late Fall and Spring Fishing can leave even the more experienced anglers scratching their heads...fish that were there one day quite literally disappear the next.

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Images of the Milwaukee River

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