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  • Biggest Fish Ever in Hayward Wisconsin

    This summer I visited the Freshwater Fishing Hall Of Fame in Hayward Wisconsin. I've been meaning to do this for a long time. I've heard it's a cool place, and now that I have been there I can attest to it personally. And like the title of this story, they have the biggest Bluegill ever, and an even bigger Muskie. This thing is huge. You can easily stand inside it's mouth (see those guardrails).

    The Freshwater Fishing Hall Of Fame has a little bit of everything. Mounted trophy fish of every variety. Old motors, which I really liked as I'm a motor head. Seeing all that ancient engine engineering made me want to pull start some of them to see if they would run. I'd bet most would turn right over. There is also detailed information about most all of our fishing hero's. The place really is a "mecca" for the freshwater fisherman. We only stayed for two hours and that was hardly enough time to scratch the surface of this information laden fishermans' haven.

    Now this wAs cool, prolly one of the first airboats!

    I have to get one of these for Wifey, she can pedal and I'll troll some lines off the back! This rig looked really neat. Steer by shifting your weight is a great idea, leaves your hands free to reel in the big one.

    And here's how you get around on thin ice up in the North Woods. It's got skis on the bottom of it!

    Dondon, here you go, bigfeets. They even have them in Wisconsin.

    While in Hayward we visited the Hayward Fly Fishing Company.

    Next thing you know we are going fly fishing! This is Wendy, she is one cool lady. She does everything herself, tows, launches, and rows the boat. Wow!

    The boat is a Drift Boat, made essentially of tough plastic. Even though it's pretty large and can carry three comfortably, it's light. I had never been on one, but I have to tell you, I was impressed by it's stability and flexibility as a fishing platform.

    I'm not going to lie to you. Fly fishing ain't easy. And I don't understand why not. When Wendy showed us how to do it on grass, it was real easy.

    Once you get on the water, everything changes. You have the other fisherman to worry about, you have the wind, you have the current and the weeds. It was crazy I tell you. I have never been so frustrated in all my life.

    But we did catch fish. Some Bass, that I lost, and some Bluegill too. It's hard timing the pulling in of the line with keeping tension on the fish!

    We had lots of fun, nonetheless, and I can see how enthusiasts can get hooked on fly fishing. Making the perfect cast and watching the strike at the surface of the water is an awesome experience. If you're ever in Hayward Wisconsin, do look up Wendy at the Hayward Fly Fishing Company. Fishing with her was a great experience and a lot of fun.

    I forgot to mention, they do catch big Muskie Fly fishing too. Muskie don't exclusively hit those massive baits normally used for them.

    Here's Wendy with a big Muskie she caught fly fishing out of her Drift Boat. Check out their website I posted above for a ton more pictures.

    We stayed at Treeland Resort on the Chippewa Flowage. The 17,000 acre Chippewa Flowage is reknown for it's excellent Muskie, Walleye, Crappie and Smallmouth Bass. You should make sure to try some Leinenkugel's beer while you are up here in the North Woods. It's made right nearby in Chippewa Falls Wisconsin. Try the Summer Shandy, it's very refreshing. I had one at the Treeland Resort Bar as soon as I got there. I had to wait a little bit for the other journalists to arrive, so what better way to kill some time than to enjoy a cold Leinies.

    These are some muskie baits they use. This is not small stuff, can you see the guys leg and foot behind the clear box. These baits are over a foot long.

    Eagles everywhere.

    We caught a ton of Crappie and Rock Bass. We were fishing for quantity, not for Muskie. Personally I did not feel like casting a half pound lure a thousand times for that one big Muskie, but that's just me! lol

    And I also learned something new here. In Wisconsin they spell it Musky. I've always spelled it Muskie. And I hear in Minnesota they spell it the way I do, Muskie.

    Rebecca McCormick my super enthusiastic fishing partner and photographer for the trip. She put together some of the pictures you see in this story. Always a pleasure Rebecca. Did I say she outfished me bigtime! I dono, wasn't my day!

    We fished over "fish cribs" as they call them. Manmade structure dropped by the Wisconsin DNR. Fishing jigs straight down about 12-14 feet in 16-18 feet of water. The bite was soft, but at least I can say Rebecca got the hang of it. My excuse is that I was using high visibility line, and Rebecca wasn't. I'm thinking this crystal clear water requires the additional stealthiness of the clear line but since we were only here for the one day I was not able to come up with that as a pattern. Like I said, prolly just wasn't my day.

    This was cool too. From Hayward, we went to Cable Wisconsin and on the way we stopped to see this crazy guy with a chainsaw. It was in a tiny town called Seeley Wisconsin. We stopped to eat at the Sawmill Saloon and the chainsaw guy was right next door. The rustic Sawmill Saloon has live music and has some really great food. Try to time your visit to enjoy their Friday Fish Fry.

    Isn't that something. Look at that detail, all done with a chainsaw! Wow!

    Visit . What a country!
    Comments 21 Comments
    1. GoTennTitans's Avatar
      GoTennTitans -
      Cool. Looks like a great place to visit, if I'm ever in Wisconsin. As far as Bigfoot goes, he's creepy, but the pretty girl wasn't scared of him. You know what they say about guys with big feet........
    1. "G"'s Avatar
      "G" -
      I would like to go there sometime
    1. Pool13_Jeff's Avatar
      Pool13_Jeff -
      I've been to the HOF several times and I really enjoy the area. I used to fish Big Chetac every year. Last time was four years ago. The crappies were on fire and we made some incredible memories. We had a catch/release contest one evening that included 4 of us tossing Baby Shad. The four us caught 87 crappies in 60 minutes. What a great time!
    1. BarryG's Avatar
      BarryG -
      It is an interesting place for sure! I haven't been there in years though, since we quit going to Canada fishing we don't go that way anymore. 1 day isn't enough time to really look at that place. I would like to go back when we could take time to really look around.
    1. SLARUE's Avatar
      SLARUE -
      looks like a great time.
    1. Billbob's Avatar
      Billbob -
      good times
    1. rons's Avatar
      rons -
      Been to Hayward several times, a vendor my company buys from has a lodge on Spider Lake.We go up in late August for 4 days. We fish for Musky usually but the last trip there we fished for Sturgeon. Hoping to go again this year since it willbe my last chance for a free trip there before retirement. Never been to the museum there, will try to go this time.
    1. NYHellbender's Avatar
      NYHellbender -
      Great trip report - Awesome pictures. I think I'll have to take a trip up there some day.

      Leinenkugel's is a great brewery - I love thier Creamy Dark - All of thier beers are really good
    1. Badgerloader's Avatar
      Badgerloader -
      Excellent report
    1. Speckanator's Avatar
      Speckanator -
      You got a rough job
    1. flycaster's Avatar
      flycaster -
      Great report and pictures.
    1. "D"'s Avatar
      "D" -
      Must be tough "working" for a living!! Great photo's and story. Thanks.
    1. broz's Avatar
      broz -
      That is why I live here .Nice job slab
    1. specktacklure's Avatar
      specktacklure -
      WOW, very cool - definitely looks like a must see place for freshwater fishermen.

      And yes, Summer Shandy is very good
    1. Mrs. Crappie Stalker's Avatar
      Mrs. Crappie Stalker -
      Really cool! That museum looks awesome. I'd have the house full of chainsaw sculpture if Paul would let me.
    1. flintcreek's Avatar
      flintcreek -
      Thanks for sharing, looks like you had a good trip.
    1. RCC's Avatar
      RCC -
      Good read and good pics. Makes we want to go.
    1. bigarm's Avatar
      bigarm -
      Been there great place
    1. STUMP HUNTER's Avatar
      Looks like a great time on this trip. Y'all seen a lot of different things while there. Very interesting pics of the trip also. Thanks for the report.
    1. Luvfatslabs's Avatar
      Luvfatslabs -
      Slab, you sure do get around, good read thanks
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