The Bois Brule River is rich with history, having had 4 United States presidents come to fish its waters. An outstanding article, Brule: A River of Presidents, was written about the river and its history by Judy Nugget for Lake-Link.
For our trip down the Brule, we took the “classic float” in a canoe with Carl Haensel of Namebini. Carl has been guiding on the Brule longer than anyone and his knowledge of its history and geology made our trip so memorable. We floated down sections of the river that resembled a small spring creek and then we’d be in a large lake before heading down a rapids section of whitewater. The changes in the river were a part of its character and added to its mystery. As we floated by the Cedar Island Estate, one could imagine all the titans of industry and other luminaries who’d visited here and fished these waters. As we moved downstream of the estate, it seemed around each bend in the river, a boathouse would appear, with a rich history all its own.
Carl was an excellent guide and his “Guide Talk” revealed his passion for this fishery and area. This is his home water and it shows in his ongoing conservation work on the river. Carl is very active in making sure the Brule stays a top trout stream and remains as it has been for decades.