Nothing much has changed on the Brule in the last ten days.


The water remains lower than average and clear. The weather has been on average warmer than normal. The days out on the water have been enjoyable for this time of the year. The sparse rain that has fallen in the area has done little to effect the level of flow in the river. Guides and anglers feel that the lack of rain may be holding some fish back from coming into the river(Brule Theory #17a)


Reports from anglers and guides are that fish are being caught. The morning shift continues to have the upper hand at being a more active time period for feeding fish. The word is that it has been a tougher year than normal, with hook-ups being down from previous years. Be patient in the afternoons, rest spots that you have flogged and return with stealth. There has been no rhyme or reason to fly pattern, size, color or shape. The hooked and caught chart on flies is out of this world and there is no hot fly that has been proclaimed this year so far. Anglers who have gone to lighter lines and smaller flies reported no extra activity.

Food For Thought

From the folks I talked with there are two schools of thought;

First, the fish are continuing to trickle in slowly. There have been some bright fish caught each day. By this time a majority of the fish are in the river. Sometimes there is a November push of fish or even a December push(season is closed). No Rain, no big push of fish. Until this happens the catching will be tough. Only Mother Nature can fire the pistol to begin the race.

Second, what we got, is what we got! DNR has been warning that there will be a return to more traditional run sizes of 4,000 to 5,0000  thousand fish instead of the 8,000 we have been blessed with over the last few years. This could be what we should get used to as far as fishing activity. For the next few years there may not be as many fish coming back. What complicates both theory’s is the weather. Without the rains that traditionally are believed to be part of the trigger system for the fish to enter the river, it is tough to make a judgement.

Brule theory is fun and exciting and mind-boggling all at the same time, I think it would be incredibly tough for the new steelheader to go zero nibbles for two days and be excited about coming back to give it another try. Unless of course they come to party like a rock star under the canopy of the North Woods and the sweet appeal of a Wisconsin shot and a beer joint called the Kro-bar. Here is a review I found on line for the Kro-bar from a gal from Arizona who stopped in for a beer. I did not change her writing.

“an isolated dive bar set deep in the woods near the Brule River in wisconsin. the Kro bar is like one of those places you see featured in a scary chop-her-head-off-and-bury-her-body-in-the-woods type movie. its dark, creaky and musty. it smells of…. well, i dont actually know what that smell was. the patrons that frequent this bar are serious fisherman who spent a long day on the Brule, or hardcore Packer fans with guns and hunting caps on…. was i intimidated? hell yes! if i hadn’t walked in with 3 of my very big swedish male cousins i would’ve been way too scared to enter through its doors…. strangely enough, once you’ve clinked glasses and christened your first beer you’ve made a bar full of new friends already. extremely nice people once you get to know them… however, i would NOT advise vikings fans to come in here ever. i’m not even joking around. you won’t make it out of those woods alive.”

Now you get the picture!

The first photo taken last week is of Brian and his pup with his first bonerfied, Mack Daddy steelhead. Fresh as a daisy. He sent me the self portrait and it was perfect. The second is of Doug, a fine angler who comes from Tennessee to fish the Brule each year. Doug always has at least one ear flap up to listen for that rogue steelhead rolling in the backwater that he might have a chance to fish to with a dry fly:) The last photo is of a group of guys sitting on the bank relaxing instead of fishing. If you come across these guys sitting on their favorite hole on the river, know that at least one of them will have a Thermos full of Baileys Irish cream and coffee. If you treat them nice, they may even let you step in for a rotation of gallery fishing.