Bois Brule River

Northern Wis

Brule River wisconsin steelheadCounty: Douglass County

DeLorme Page: 93 D-7 and D-8, 101 D-8 and C-8

Wisconsin Trout Regulations Page: 9 and 10

Another of Wisconsin’s most famous trout rivers, it has been called the “River of Presidents”.  5 US Presidents have stayed and fished on the Bois Brule: Grant, Hoover, Eisenhower, Cleveland and Coolidge  It was home to President Coolidge’s summer White House and many presidents have stayed at the Cedar Island Estate.

A wet fly fishermen I know told me this story about Eisenhower and he wrote it up for us.

“The story that I got was the Ike, (President from 1952-60) would fly Air Force One into that field on a Friday, unload his gear and someone would shuttle him to the “estate” where he would stay until Sunday pm and then the plane would take him back to Washington.  While he was fishing the plane would fly to the SAC base that used to be just west of Duluth for refueling and layover.  It was pretty well hushed up and in those days they could get away with it.  The fellow that told me the story was a pretty straight shooter from the Brule area that used to work at the estate so I believed him.   A fly shop in Lake Nebagamon, also told me the same story.  They said that the field was built as an alternative if the Ruskies snuck over the pole during the cold war and targeted the USAF base near Duluth.  That part of the story I have never been able to confirm.”

It is certainly one of Wisconsin’s most beautiful rivers.  The upper river is slow, flowing over silt and sand. The middle stretch alternates between pools and riffles.  The lower river is freestone like with long rocky glides and a boulder strewn bottom. The Brule is home to Brook Trout, and resident Brown and Rainbow Trout.  Migratory Rainbows (Steelhead) and Browns use it for spawning. Coho, Chinook, and Pink Salmon also use the Brule for spawning grounds.


The classic canoe route is from Stone’s Bridge to Winneboujou. This is a rather simple paddle which takes you through a lot of good water. There are a few riffles and it also takes you through Big and Lucius Lakes, check these for Brown Trout. You also go by the Cedar Island Estate which is quite a scene.

Hatches: The Brule is home to some larger Mayfly hatches. Because of the varied water types, hatches will vary accordingly.

The Bois Brule and other Lake Superior tributaries have special regulations that are different any other rivers in the state. The date that the water is open to the size a species of fish that you can harvest is different.  Be sure to carefully read the all the regulations before casting your line over its water.


Brule River Wisconsin