There’s good Midwest trout fishing to be found if you know where to look.
The 12 states that comprise what is known as the midwestern part of the US isn’t exactly the fishing mecca of our country. If you take out Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, a whole lot of farmland is just about what you got left. However, if want to find some Midwest trout fishing, it is there if you know where to look.
Wisconsin – The Driftless Zone
If you think of fishing in the Midwest, Wisconsin just might be the top destination. There are some native trout in the upper regions of the state mixed in with some streams where trout are stocked by the state. However, if you are looking for natural fish, head to the driftless zone. Native browns and brookies will be there waiting for you.
South Dakota – The Black Hills
As they’re often described, the Black Hills of South Dakota are the best kept secret in fly fishing for trout. Streams are everywhere and most of them are just loaded with trout, but they are very under-fished with very little pressure. How does this not sound like paradise? Rapid Creek just might be the most famous trout stream, but I would still bet most people haven’t heard of it.
Missouri – The Ozarks
Again, when you think of Missouri, trout fishing doesn’t come to mind, but it should. There are some incredible opportunities at big native trout more so than many other Midwest trout fishing destinations. My personal favorites are the Red Ribbon waters of the Meramec River, North Fork of the White River, and Roubidoux Creek. These trout are longtime residents and reach bigger sizes due to more restrictions and greater catch and release efforts. It’s worth your time.
Nebraska – Lake Ogallala Tailwater
This tailwater in Nebraska is rumored to give just about any western tailwater a serious run for its money. Multitudes of big trout are the name of the game and smaller than expected crowds are the rule. We all know what it’s like to fish a famous trout tailwater and you just don’t get that same experience in Nebraska. If you find yourself in Husker country with a fly rod in your hands, this would be a place to not pass up.
Michigan – Manistee Area
If you are looking for great trout fishing just about anywhere there is running water, Michigan is your place. In my opinion though, the Manistee area just might have the most. With small creeks and streams flowing off of the big Manistee, and the upper Manistee being one of the best trout streams in the US, you can spin in a circle, throw a rock, and find gold medal water you can fish in that direction.
Out of the 12 states that represent the Midwest, these five trout zones would make any trout fisherman in the country drool at the chance to fish them. All five of these places have bigger cities and small towns nearby that offer lodging, food, and places for the family to enjoy some activities as well.
Make sure you make the time to get out and enjoy your summer at one of these top spots this year. You’ll be glad you did this winter.