Fly Fishing Wisconsin’s St. Croix River for Giant Smallmouth


Let me just start off by saying that I consider myself a person who deeply believes and trust in God…in fact I am not sure what I would have been or how my life would have gone with this presence; so, that being said, I don’t say this easily or with mere jest…The St. Croix may very well be the ‘perfect’ smallmouth stream. OK, go ahead now and insert your idea of a perfect stream…and let me say this strongly…if you haven’t yet fished the St. Croix, prepare to change your mind.

I had only read about this system…and thus being so close my wife and I made the trip the 45 minutes over from Trego, Wisconsin. I put in at the CCC landing at 138.9 and would float to Riverside Landing at 131.7…where my wife would pick me back up 6 hours later (no cell phone service).
St Croix RiverThe first mile or so below CCC was slow moving and frankly it felt like being on a lake that was slowly moving along. Here is the one wrinkle that threw me off at first…the water is so black, so tannic that I couldn’t get a good bearing as to how deep the water was…until my right foot banged into a rock and quickly I could deduce that the water wasn’t as deep as I thought. I went to a lighter fly and started stripping a bit quicker; 3rd casts and I caught my first ever St. Croix smallie. Another 100 yards and bang, another. The next few miles was more of the same…a fish here and there, they were big. One was 17, the next 15 and so on…until I was almost at my takeout…

I made a long cast across slack water and could see my white fly, that was until it disappeared. I could see a bulge, nervous water just before the fly went missing and immediately upon strip setting I knew that I was into a big fish. I made my way up to my GoPro camera and the rest as they say…well, you can watch, but it sure was a lot of fun.

This river was more than just fish. It was lily pads in bloom. Dark black water…that was clear? It was birds, beaver, muskrat, eagles…the list goes on and on. As I said, God was with me on this stream and I sat back and casted over and over, the stream ambling its way downhill towards the takeout.

As soon as Vickie pulled up I gave her a look and of course she thought it was due to a big fish (and it was) but it wasn’t…if that makes sense. I will, God willing, be back, many times to make each and every mile of this special river. I hope you enjoy the action and the scenery.

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