Fly Fishing the Totagatic River in Wisconsin – Part 2


If you have watched the video of my first day on the Totagatic River, then you already know how productive this tannic water is! My second and third run down the river include another quick spurt down the top section (about 2 hours) and then a run down the next section of the river from Nancy Lake Bridge to Bridge Road itself.

I didn’t know the length of this section…but soon found out it was to be one of the longest stretches of water I had ever been on; all told it involved a lot of fishing with a lot of rowing added in. This stretch, much like the top section…had lots of holding cover for smallmouth. In particular I liked fishing the areas that had at least a moderate amount of current flowing through them.

I was able to land several fish over 15 inches and a few in the 17-18 inch range during my 5 hour float. I continued to have success using a white streamer (as you can see from the video). Once again the key in most of these norther Wisconsin waters is making an aggressive and accurate cast close enough to the bank or existing cover to elicit a strike from a lurking smallie.

One note…you had better beef up your tippet and you might even think about going to a wire tippet…as there are many toothy critters just waiting to nip your perfect fly off! I used an 18 inch section of 40 pound mono as my tippet, but later found that a big pike/musky will indeed chew right through 40 pound stuff and keep on moving.

As I note in the film, the closest town to all this river action is Minong, about 15-20 east of the Tatogatic River. While it is a small city…it has all the amenities a guy needs to be comfortable. While at it…I will add that for a good meal, visit Wendy’s restaurant (not the hamburger joint); their daily specials are truly a good eating bargain. If you have any questions send them to me at and I will do my best to answer you quickly and accurately.

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