Hayward Stories and Tips

Lake Chippewa Flowage

Lake Chippewa Flowage Photo, Hayward, Wisconsin

Home of the world’s record musky, which was caught by Louie Spray in 1940s (it weighed 69 pounds and 11 ounces), and dubbed as a "Musky Factory" (because of the amount of good-sized muskies being caught here) by the 1993 Muskie Magazine (which is the official publication of Muskies, Inc.), the Big Chip caters to everyone: anglers, canoeists, campers, and natural enthusiasts. Concerning me, I have rented a cabin here at Clements’ resort (when it was in business) and I have fished here. The scenery is gorgeous.

Lake Chippewa Flowage is Wisconsin’s third largest lake. It was created 75 years ago, when the gates of the Winter Dam were closed. It is fed by the waters of nine natural rivers and has 11 natural lakes. The flowage possesses 15,000 acres of water, 140 islands, and over 200 miles of undeveloped shoreline. There is a wide diversity of animals and fish that are present here. If you take a boat ride, you will be witness to loons, herons, bald eagles, deer, and bears, and there are also muskies, walleyes, cappies, large-mouth and small-mouth bass, jumbo perch, and panfish in these waters.

And people who are winter enthusiasts can take joyrides along the 500 miles of groomed snowmobile trails that crisscross the Chippewa Flowage.

It is the Big Chip’s scenery, undeveloped wild character, serene atmosphere, and great fishing that tourists like about this region. I, myself, have my favorite resorts located here. One was Clements, but it is no longer in business due to it being sold and torn down (and supposedly a new one will take its place). However, another favorite resort of mine, in which I dined at several times in the past, is called Herman’s Landing. You pay a little more for a cabin rental (for four people in the cottage, it is $570 weekly in the summer) here, but you have a lot of amenities, which includes the restaurant. I remember that I would leave my resort to come here for breakfast. I would order the ham, egg, and hash brown platter, and it was the best home-cooked meal I had ever eaten besides my mom’s. The ham they gave you back then was a huge, a thick slice that could easily feed two people. Besides having a great restaurant, this resort is stunning.

For you campers, camping on the Big Chip is allowed at no charge on a first-come, first-served basis at 16 island sites accessible by water only. You can only camp at existing campsites, which are designated on a map (probably get through the DNR there). Thus, you can’t make your own campsites. You have your choice of having a rustic campsite to full hook-up facilities that are available at private facilities on the flowage. However, if you utilize the state sites, you have to follow various rules, such as limiting your camping to 10 days on the flowage, being considerate of other campers by keeping noise to a minimum and leaving the campsite clean.

For you boaters, you need to exercise a lot of caution when operating your boat in the Big Chip. This is due to the fact that it has stumps, logs, floating bogs, and rock bars. In addition, you must operate your boat to Wisconsin’s boating regulations, which includes operating the boat at a "speed that is no greater than reasonable or prudent." The four DNR-administered boat landings have boarding docks to ease access for everyone, which includes people with disabilities.

If you are interested in making reservations at Herman’s Landing, the address is 8255 N. County Rd., Hayward, Wisconsin, 54843-7690, and the phone number is 715/462-3626. And, if you are coming from the north, I have the following directions: Take State Road 53 South to Highway 63 North and follow it to Hayward. Turn south on Highway 27 in Hayward. Take Highway B East for 15 minutes to Highway CC, then follow CC South for 5 miles to Herman’s Landing.

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