Rivers of the Niagara Escarpment - Wisconsin
The Niagara Escarpment is a continious cliff and /or slope that runs in an East/West curve and stretch from Illinios to New York State, where the most famous part of the escarpment is located, Niagara Falls. In Wisconsin, rivers feeding Lake Michigan from the Illinios border up to the Northern tip of Door County, flow to the East from atop the Escarpment into the lake. These represent alot of our most productive steelhead rivers in the state, such as: the Root River, The Milwaukee, The Sheboygan, the Manitowoc, the Twin Rivers, The Kewanee, the Anhappee, and the streams of Door County.
While these water all vary in character, such as water color, flow speed, etc. they are all productive steelhead waters at certain time each season. Some have a multitude of quality public access, Such as the Kewanee, the Manitowoc, and the Milwaukee. Others such as the Sheboygan have limited access, unless a pass is purchased, to give the angler a chance to pay twice for the chance to catch a steelhead, though the sheboygan is a productive river.
While a visiting angler would likely find these rivers difficult to figure out into a period of a few days or weeks. Two of them are heavily stocked, The Root and the Kewanee, and dont take much figuring out. the other rivers and streams can be very productive, if you know them and if conditions are right, and if you're lucky.
These river can blow out quickly. Often if a big rain falls at the right time of year, it will bring the fish in, but an angler has to time the fishing to coincide with the fishing moving in, but before the river blows out.
Even though these rivers are very small compared to Western rivers, they can for the most part, be fished with two handed rods.
some rivers are hundreds of feet wide, while others could almost be jumped across. But water flow changes through out the year, and a stream can fish like a river when conditions are right. One of these tiny rivers, that flows close to my home looks far too meager to swing flies on for most of the year, but when the best days of the run happen, during high flow periods, I will fish a compact skagit on my Sage 6110 11' 6wt switch rod and work string leaches and similiar flies in bed rock slots and along steep banks. Most anglers, even those that fish two handed rods would never imagine that these streams could swing so well.
Posted by Stephen R. Nelson