Rich's Guiding Area

      I guide on dozens of streams north and south of the Wisconsin River. Chicago, the Twin Cities and Milwaukee are all within a 2 ½- to 4-hour drive of my primary guiding areas detailed below.     
      I guide anglers from around the Midwest and from distant states. If you’ll be near the Driftless on business or travel, or you’re looking for a new destination, I invite you to check out this unique concentration of small, intimate spring creeks with superb public access.
      Rich's YouTube Videos, click here, will give you a feel for the fishery.

Viroqua Area: I do the bulk of my guiding in the Viroqua area, often meeting anglers in Viroqua or nearby Westby to start the day. Viroqua (½-hour southeast of La Crosse and 1½ hours west of Madison) is surrounded by dozens of productive streams in Vernon and neighboring counties. Having access to many streams helps us avoid other anglers and choose water that will fish well in current conditions. The Viroqua area, including nearby Westby, has many lodging and eating options making it a popular place for visiting anglers to base. Viroqua is also home to the Driftless Angler, a full-service fly shop. When I guide the Viroqua area for multiple days I usually camp at nearby Sidie Hollow County Park (view details online at Vernon County Parks).

Grant County: Grant County lies south of the Wisconsin River in the far southwestern corner of the state. For Illinois anglers, Grant County is a shorter drive than points north of the Wisconsin River. Grant County has fewer streams than the Viroqua area, but the county’s better streams are as good as any in the Driftless. In addition to the major streams, I guide some lesser known Grant County waters that hold fishable numbers of relatively large brown trout that are fun to target with Buggers and streamers if conditions are favorable. Fennimore is the angling hub of Grant County and, along with nearby Lancaster, has the most lodging and restaurant options. Anglers can also base out of the smaller towns of Muscoda or Boscobel situated right on the Wisconsin River in northern Grant County. Some good streams in southern Crawford County (just north of the Wisconsin River) are within a ½-hour drive of Boscobel. When guiding in Grant County and southern Crawford County, I usually camp at Riverside Park in Muscoda (operated by the village of Muscoda) or at the Kohout farm—a no-frills cow pasture campground located right on Castle Rock Creek.

Richland County: Richland County provides fine Driftless fishing starting just an hour west of Madison. Many Richland County streams are within an hour of my home, so I fish them frequently and know them well. When guiding in Richland County, I often meet anglers in Richland Center (a full-service town), or in one of the small streamside villages scattered throughout the county. Streams in western Richland County are just a half-hour drive east of Viroqua and are easily reached by Viroqua-based anglers.

Kickapoo Reserve/Wildcat Mountain Area: The streams in and around the Kickapoo Reserve and Wildcat Mountain State Park are actually the closest Driftless streams to my home, so I personally fish them often, know them well, and jump at the chance to guide these waters that are far enough off the beaten path that they attract relatively few fly fishers. Ontario and LaFarge are area towns. Wildcat Mountain State Park has a beautiful bluff top campground. The area offers other outstanding recreational opportunities, including canoeing/kayaking on the Kickapoo River (rentals and shuttles available), biking through old train tunnels on the Elroy/Sparta state trail, and horseback riding and hiking on the extensive Kickapoo Reserve/Wildcat Mountain trail system.