West Fork Smallies
by John H. Myhre
is a place, where generations of anglers have enjoyed
some great fishing and even in today's fast paced world
where everything is constantly changing, time has basically
stood still there.
This place is the West fork Of the famous Chippewa
river up stream from Moose lake located East of Hayward
Wisconsin. What can you expect in the fishing there
today? Well, along with some decent walleye fishing
and way better than average musky fishing, there's also
some great smallmouth bass fishing that just seems to
keep getting better all the time. And that's what I'm
talking about here! Plenty of smallmouth with some fish
running up to around 6 or 7 pounds, maybe even bigger!
Why is the bass fishing getting better you ask? Well,
the rise in the popularity of catch and release and
the fact that for around 7 or 8 years now the bass season
has only been open to only catch and release till later
in June are a couple of good reasons. In fact, these
factors alone are probably the biggest reasons for the
increase in both size and numbers in bass when other
fisheries, especially those in less remote locations,
are often struggling to keep up with increased pressure.
Still the fact is it is good here and getting better!
Whether you fish with a spinning rod or a fly rod, there
a fish here plenty big enough to test your skills as
Then besides good fishing, a trip down the "Chip"
is a great experience and has some beautiful scenery
too. Paddling along the path of the old voyageur's and
lumberjacks there are some big wild rice fields, lots
of wild country, and plenty of wild critters to see.
there are a lot of miles of river upstream from Moose
lake to canoe and fish, the most popular stretch's are
those from Clam lake to Moose, and from highway GG down
the Torch river to the "Chip" at Cattail lake
then on down to Moose lake. Along with a lot of river
and a just few minor rapids to contend with, there are
also several small lakes and wide spots in the river.
As for distance or time, the Shorter trip from 174
down can be done in 3 hours or less, ( the average is
around 5 hours ), but you can also spend all day fishing
it and exploring. Then on the longer trips from Clam
lake or GG, you need to get started early in the day
or spend overnight camping along the river in the National
Forest if you want to spend any time fishing.
John H. Myhre is a professional outdoor communicator
and Wisconsin licensed guide from the Hayward, Wisconsin
area. . He can be reached at 715-462-9402 or you can
e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org