Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Milwaukee River - Milwaukee - Wisconsin

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

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Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

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Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midges Afternoon 20-22 Zebra midge, Griffith's gnat
Caddisflies Morning/Evening 14-18 Elk hair caddis
February Midges Afternoon 20-22 Zebra midge, Griffith's gnat
Stoneflies Afternoon 10-12 Golden stone, Rubberleg stone
March Blue Winged Olives Overcast days / late afternoon 16-20 Pheasant tail nymph, WD-40
Stoneflies Warmest part of day 10-12 Golden stone, Rubberleg stone
April Blue Winged Olives Overcast days / late afternoon 16-20 Pheasant tail nymph, WD-40
Hendricksons Afternoon/early evening 12-14 Hendrickson dry fly, Pink lady
Caddisflies Afternoon/early evening 14-18 Elk hair caddis
May Hendricksons Afternoon/early evening 12-14 Hendrickson dry fly, Pink lady
Sulphurs Afternoon/early evening 16-20 Sulphur dry fly, Sulphur nymph
Caddisflies Afternoon/early evening 14-18 Elk hair caddis
June Sulphurs Afternoon/early evening 16-20 Sulphur dry fly, Sulphur nymph
Light Cahills Evening 14-16 Light cahill dry fly, Light cahill nymph
Caddisflies Afternoon/early evening 14-18 Elk hair caddis
July Tricos Morning 20-24 Trico spinner, Trico dun
Light Cahills Evening 14-16 Light cahill dry fly, Light cahill nymph
Caddisflies Afternoon/early evening 14-18 Elk hair caddis
August Tricos Morning 20-24 Trico spinner, Trico dun
Caddisflies Afternoon/early evening 14-18 Elk hair caddis
September Blue Winged Olives Overcast days / late afternoon 16-20 Pheasant tail nymph, WD-40
Caddisflies Afternoon/early evening 14-18 Elk hair caddis
October Blue Winged Olives Overcast days / late afternoon 16-20 Pheasant tail nymph, WD-40
Caddisflies Afternoon/early evening 14-18 Elk hair caddis
November Midges Afternoon 20-22 Zebra midge, Griffith's gnat
December Midges Afternoon 20-22 Zebra midge, Griffith's gnat

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

The Milwaukee River in Milwaukee offers a multitude of spots that are perfect for fly fishing. Here are a few you should not miss:

  • Kletzsch Park, located in the city of Glendale, provides ample space for fly fishing with its clean waters and scenic views. Local anglers often catch brown trout and smallmouth bass here.
  • Estabrook Park is a renowned spot known for its rich salmon run during the fall. Its dam area is a popular choice amongst fly fishers.
  • Lincoln Park is an ideal spot because it has numerous deep pools and undercut banks that are ideal for catching both trout and salmon.
  • Grant Park lies on the lower reaches of the Milwaukee River and has proven to be an excellent location thanks to its long, swooping bends and soft bottom that attract various species of fish.

Best Access Points

The Milwaukee River in Milwaukee offers excellent spots for fly fishing. Here are some of the most accessible points:
  • Estabrook Park: This park is known for its easily accessible shorelines and deep pools where fish like to gather. It’s a perfect spot for beginners.
  • Kletzsch Park: This is a fantastic place for more experienced anglers due to the wilder current and rocky structures that attract a wide variety of fish species.
  • Lincoln Park: With a fish ladder and wading areas, this park provides unique fishing experiences. The calm pools and shallow areas are perfect for fly fishing.
  • Thiensville Village Park: This park features a dam and deep runs, making it an ideal spot for catching larger fish. It’s a popular spot due to its easy accessibility and picnic areas.
Remember to always follow local fishing regulations and respect the river’s natural resources.

Local Fish

  • Brown Trout: The Milwaukee River is known for its abundant brown trout throughout the year.
  • Chinook Salmon: Also known as King Salmon, they are highly sought after for their size and fight.
  • Smallmouth Bass: Smallmouth Bass are another popular fish targeted for fly fishing on the Milwaukee River.
  • Steelhead: A form of Rainbow Trout, these fish are exciting to catch especially in the spring and fall runs.
  • Coho Salmon: Fly fishing for Coho is common in the spring and fall seasons due to their aggressive takes.
  • Northern Pike: Known for their strength and size, Northern Pike provide a thrilling challenge for fly fishers.
  • Walleye: The Milwaukee River offers good fly fishing opportunities for Walleye especially during early spring and fall.
  • Musky: Despite being elusive targets, Musky are a favorite for many fly fishers due to their size and aggression.

About The River

The Milwaukee River holds a special part in the vibrant history and the urban charm of Milwaukee city. It’s a heartwarming sight meandering right through the city’s downtown region. The river has been a lifeblood to the Native American tribes such as Menominee and Potawatomi who originally populated the area.

In the 19th century, the river became a major influence on the city’s industrial growth. Flour mills, tanneries, and breweries took advantage of its power and convenience. This led to a booming economy attracting immigration from Europe.

Fast forward to the 21st century, the Milwaukee River is a vibrant focal point providing recreational activities including:

  • Fishing – it’s home to more than 40 species of fish
  • Boating
  • Kayaking
  • Riverwalk – a long trail following the Milwaukee River, adorned with art installations.

Protection efforts have ensured the river thrives, making Milwaukee a truly riverside city.

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