Fishing is strictly controlled for environment protection - none can be sold commercially - but fisherman can still buy a license and cook up their own catch
The mighty Mississippisnakes its way through the United States for some 3,700 kilometres, flowing down from Minnesota and Wisconsin to its sprawling delta in New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico. The Great River Road follows the Mississippi from beginning to end, and for a snapshot of these unique wetlands and lakes, wildlife, fishing, boating and river life, these pictures document a 300 kilometre stretch through the state of Wisconsin.
The riverside journey stops off at tiny towns like Stockholm and Alma that still cling to their immigrant Swedish and Swiss roots, to the early French fur trapper posts of Pepin, La Crosse and Prairie du Chien.
Outdoor enthusiasts can go fishing on a barge moored in the middle of the mighty river, venture out in kayaks and canoes, explore immense wetlands like the Wayalusing Sloughs, a maze of tiny streams and estuaries that are a wildlife paradise. There are even some vineyards clinging to the hills above the river where they grow curious indigenous grapes like Frontenac, Marquette and St Croix, cloned to survive in cold climates. The best place to pair Wisconsin’s famous cheeses with wine is Nelson Cheese Factory, whose wine list is as good as any Parisan bistrot or Italian enoteca.
For eating out, you cannot beat burgers and fries at local roadside bars like Red Ram, River Rats and the wonderful Wooden Nickel Saloon, while in the evening stop-off at a traditional Supper Club, like the welcoming Anker Grill, for a classic Brandy Old-Fashioned cocktail followed by a juicy steak or the Friday Night special fish dinner.
There is cheap and cheerful camping everywhere, chic bed&breakfasts like the romantic Blue Door Inn and Castle La Crosse, a lavish 19th century folly built by a Scottish lumber Baron, or the rustic but idyllic wooden cabins of Eagle’s Rest Roost that nestle right on the bank of the mighty Mississippi.