Area Tourism, Attractions and Events
You don’t have to drive to Montana for great trout fishing. Viroqua is only minutes away from hundreds of miles of prime wild trout water, which is why it has been dubbed the “Montana of the Midwest”. The natural reproduction of trout is so good in this area that fish are transplanted from our streams to other places in Wisconsin, and trout-friendly organizations such as West Fork Sports Club continue to improve the local streams by shoring up the riverbanks and adding trout beds and other trout habitat. The results of their good work is evident on two of the area’s most celebrated trout streams - the West Fork of the Kickapoo and the Timber Coulee, both of which are less than 10 miles from Viroqua.
The Mississippi River on the western edge of Vernon County offers exceptional Walleye fishing year around, especially at Lock and Dam #8 in Genoa. Spring and fall are the two peak periods for Walleye action on the Mississippi. Spring marks the annual spawning migration and fish are abundant in the tail water areas of the Genoa Dam downstream to De Soto. Fall marks the annual feeding migration and the best fishing of the season since the Walleyes are in feeding mode. And don’t be surprised if you hook into a big northern pike, small mouth bass or any of the other species lurking the waters of the Mississippi. Last spring a local angler landed a 70+ lb catfish when walleye fishing. What a bonus! Local businesses up and down the Great River Road also provide a host of services such as guides, bait shops, motels and restaurants, to assure a pleasant and enjoyable trip.
Shore fishing is widespread along the shores of the Mississippi River and access is easy from Hwy 35, the Blackhawk Recreation area just north of De Soto, Bad Axe River Boat Launch, Lock Dam # 8 at Genoa, Stoddard or Goose Island Park north of Stoddard.
In an effort to curb flash flooding, numerous dams where built in Vernon County in the 1960s. These dams created several new 40 to 80 acre lakes that today are managed for quality fishing, especially for Large and Small Mouth Bass, although Blue Gills and Crappie abound as well. Most of these lakes are surrounded by county parks with well maintained walking and hiking trails, plus handicapped accessible fishing docks.
Shortly after Thanksgiving the lakes of Vernon County begin to freeze and signal the start of ice fishing. These Inland lakes provide excellent Blue Gill and Crappie ice fishing while the Mississippi River offers tremendous Walleye, Northern Pike, Bass and Pan fishing.
Tourism Information: 608-637-2575 or email@example.com