This past Saturday was a blast! Not only did I get to have a guided river trip from Anthony Larson of Coulee Region Adventures but my grandpa joined us! Now my grandpa is not a fisherman, but he loves the outdoors and was an avid hunter for most of his life. He has traveled around the country and world targeting big game and coming back with some amazing memories! I am very lucky and happy that he was willing and able to join Anthony and me for this adventure.
So we loaded up, drove west to Onalaska and met up with Anthony and his son. We followed them to the pick up site on the Black River, loaded up his van with our gear and then traveled to the drop off location. We got our two kayaks loaded with the fishing gear, drinks, snacks, and hit the water! Anthony and his son in one NuCanoe Frontier, and my grandpa and I in another. We fished a small bay to get comfortable with the kayak. Then we paddled to the river, rode the current, and worked the banks with my fly rod.
The river splits up into multiple fingers and with every one we took the river got smaller and smaller. Anthony was a fantastic guide and suggested what flies to throw and where to work them. We parked the kayaks on a sandbar and worked the deeper areas where the river curves. Sadly no bites, but it was great to get out and walk. Back in the kayaks we went and followed the river and selected which finger to take. There was a good distance that was no more than 20’ wide. This section had some fun and sharp turns. So I parked the kayak with the stake out pole and worked some of the turns. After a good number of casts I was about to move on to the next bend when BAM my 5wt rod bent over! The fish pulled like crazy especially with the current! I ended up with a 15.75” largemouth and had a blast bringing it in!
We continued down the skinny river and it slowly started to grow and get wider. We really concentrated on fishing when it widening up and had more structure along the edges. The river flows into Lake Onalaska and has some excellent flats and grassy area to fish. Sadly no other fish wanted to play for either of us but we had a fantastic day on the water. Amazing views, fun paddling, and some fishy areas! My grandpa and I had a great time!
If you are ever near the west side of Wisconsin I highly recommend Anthony from Coulee Region Adventures for any paddling adventures. He can hook you up with a kayak for a self guided tour, or guide you. There are many rivers and lakes in the area with a variety of species to target. Look them up!