Monday, August 17, 2015

Mid Week Milwaukee Area Day Trip

A couple weeks back, I took a day long fishing trip, visiting two streams in three different towns, stopping for sustenance and spirits in each town.  I got up early and I needed caffeine, so my first stop was a local one.  I stopped at the almost legendary Fuel Cafe in Milwaukee's eclectic Riverwest Neighborhood.  They have great cafe food, better coffee and several local bottled beers to offer.  I really enjoy the El Gato Mexican Mocha, and when I really need a boost, the Kevorkian Crush.

Fuel Cafe Milwaukee
Fuel Cafe
From Fuel Cafe, I got on I-43 north and drove up into Sheboygan County to fish the Onion River.  I got a little lost when my phone lost connection and the GPS failed.  For this reason, it's always a good idea to have a map and understand how to use it.  Most of the good fishing destinations are probably far from a cell tower.  I found an alternative route without having to backtrack ten miles to the county road I missed.

wisconsin country road
Sheboygan County Country Road
The Onion River doesn't have a lot of access points, but they're well marked as public fishing waters when you find them.  The particular spot I went in is very close to a maple syrup producing facility with plenty of chickens running free.

I am always shocked at how cold this tiny little stream is.  I don't regularly wear waders in the summer months, and the Onion made me question that decision.  With my 5wt in hand, I stepped into the frigid spring fed water, working my way up to the next overpass. 


 I have not had a good day on the Onion, but I know they're in there.  I saw one really nice sized brown trout come out from under an undercut bank to investigate a dead drifted Bugger .  He came so close to taking it, then disappeared back under the bank and refused to budge.  My only fish on the Onion was the tiny creek chub below.  It beats getting skunked, but not by much.

 After leaving the stream and walking back to my car, I drove into Sheboygan for a light lunch.  The first place that caught my eye was Black Pig.

Black Pig had reasonably priced food and an interesting beer selection.  I was more interested in a drink than food.  I had two beers and an order of White Truffle Oil and Black Pepper Bacon fries.
 I had a Dubbel by Une Année, and a Rübæus Raspberry ale by Founders.  The Dubbel was good, the Raspberry ale was remarkable.

After some lunch and rest, I hit the road for Cedarburg.  There is a roadside park at an overpass of the Milwaukee River called Garrison's Glen.  I guess it's technically in the town of Mequon, but these are small details.  Garrison's Glen is no well kept secret, and I have never had the river to myself at this location.  Spinning gear with bobbers and worms, fly gear, centerpin guys, all in vehicles ranging from massive Ford F-350s to tiny Volkswagen Beetles all crammed into a parking lot that is meant to hold about six normal sized cars.  Be respectful and have fun out there.
I always go upstream at the overpass, casting streamers toward the submerged boulders.  There are some nice bass in  here, but they see a lot of angling pressure.  I only landed one fish, the smallmouth pictured below.  Not the largest fish, but these little smallies really put up a fight!  This scrapper gave my 8wt a great workout!

 I probably walked close to half of a mile against the current of the powerful Milwaukee before heading back down to the overpass and driving into downtown Cedarburg.  My first stop was Morton's Wisconsinn.

  Morton's is a strange place.  There were families with children there, Fox News was on in the corner, the bar was full of anti government propaganda and corny little knick knacks covering every square inch of space on the walls and ceiling.  The only beer they had on tap that I had never had was Bud Light.  When in Rome...
I was actually sitting next to the owner at the bar. A kind man, whose name i don't recall.  We talked fishing and beer, he gave me a shot of Jägermeister
Remember the bar fight scene from Terminator 2?  The whole place reminded me of that scene.  Just as I decided to get out of there before the T-800 burst through the front door and asked me for my clothes, my boots, and my motorcycle; The Dwight Yoakam song "Guitars, Cadillacs" came on.  I swear I can't make this up!  I got out of there right away!

I walked a few blocks to Maxwell's.  Maxwell's had a better beer selection, and seemed to be a local favorite.  I took the only open spot at the end of the bar and ordered a New Belgium Skinny Dip.  I only planned on one, and just as I was about to leave, I heard mention of their $1.00 taco Wednesday special! I ordered a beef and a chicken taco and a Rebel Kent The First by 3 Sheeps. The beef taco is the way to go, but for a dollar you can't really go wrong.

I originally planned on driving back to Milwaukee to fish the river in town and hit up some night life spots, but it was dark and I was exhausted before I made it into town.  Really, there is so much to do in Milwaukee, and so many overlooked fishing spots, I'll have to do an entire blog post on what to do in Milwaukee for a day.  But if you want to hit three spots in one day, the Milwaukee river provides great summer smallmouth fishing within the city limits from the Capital Drive overpass down to the North Avenue dam with many access points and very light pressure.  There are other species too.  I've caught carp, all sorts of panfish, northern pike, and even an occasional walleye.  In the fall, the anadromous species will start to run, with chinook showing up in good numbers starting in October and mighty steelhead showing up in good numbers (from my experience) in April and May.

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