Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Overflowing sewers after a good rain
Thanks for the advice fellas.
After giving it more thought I think I'm gonna focus on the smallmouth basses. It just seems wrong to go to an area that is somewhat of a warmwater species mecca, or at least a smallmouth/pike/musky/etc. mecca, and not play around with those. It'd feel like going to the Yellowstone region and fishing for bass. I have little experience with smallmouths so it'll be exciting and different to me. I'm gonna try not to think about the bigger, toothier fellows because I won't have that much time and musky fishing strikes me as the type of thing that requires a lot of time and dedication. I've been on enough short steelhead/salmon trips in unfamiliar places to know how that can turn out. I'll have some gear to handle a pike just in case though.
So now that I pretty much ruled out trout fishing in the Driftless I have it narrowed down to...still too many potential rivers. But wherever I go it'll be somewhere where I can rent a canoe and enjoy some scenery. The Namekagon, Flambeau, and Hayward area sounds pretty cool. Hard to go wrong with any National Scenic Riverway. So that's one option. Then there's the area further east towards Iron Mountain. There are a lot of green blotches on the map around there. The guy at Tight Lines in DePere (very helpful, by the way) told me to look into the Sylvania Wilderness just over the border in Michigan if I want the backcountry canoe experience. If I stay east I might also poke around the big lake and its supposed flats fishing but that may be biting off more than I can chew.
I have some more reading and internet poking around to do, and ultimately I'll go wherever the fishing is better if one place in particular has better conditions. In the meantime, however, if anyone has any insight into either of those regions, I'm all ears.