Mike Warren – Driftless Region, of WI/MN/IA.

Visit Website

Mike guides the Driftless Area of Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota. Some stream names of note are Timber Coulee Creek, The West Fork of the Kickapoo and the Bad Axe River to name three well known waterways. Depending on conditions Mike usually fishes the many tributaries to these. The fishing is about 95% brown and brook trout that measure between 7 and 12” with some reaching upwards of 15-18”. Nearly all the streams he fishes with clients are 100% natural reproduction streams, are naturally spring fed and have water temperatures in mid summer of under 60-63 degrees. The PRIME season is April 15th through Fathers Day and Labor Day to closing on October 15th. But, understanding there are some warm days fishing can be excellent in July and August with some amazing hopper action!

July 1, 2016


Mike Warren is a tenkara guide in the Driftless Area of Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota.

From Mike:


I find people genuinely enjoy the relaxed simplicity of Tenkara. And it’s a perfect match for our curvy, short-run Driftless region streams providing the needed accuracy, stealth, and an intimate connection.
I have been using tenkara methods and Tenkara USA products since 2012 and integrated tenkara lessons and guiding into my services in 2014.



I started guiding in the Driftless area in 2009 after snickering when seeing so many visitors fished only the most heavily publicized and marked locations with easy access points. There are so many more than a few famous streams here… After starting small, guiding on weekends, about 20 days a year now, a dozen-plus years later, I’ve guided over 700 clients, retired from my other career, and work with Driftless visitors over 100 days per season between April 15 to October 15.
I avoid the “cookie cutter” days by making every Driftless experience unique, matching streams to a client’s desires, physical abilities, and fishing background. I also try to make your day a complete experience. I offer up a little Driftless history, provide more upscale meals, offer a wide variety of rental equipment that includes an assortment of Tenkara USA rods and Orvis waders/boots, and always pick clients up in a clean, well-equipped vehicle.
It’s a great retirement gig, a fun way to make a few extra dollars, and as one of my clients said while we stood knee-deep in a beautiful Driftless trout stream, “Mike, I gotta say — I love your office.”


Mike Warren and Daniel Galhardo tenkara in the Driftless regiontroutbuddylogo

Facebook Comments


8 Responses to Mike Warren – Driftless Region, of WI/MN/IA.

  1. Alex Mendez says:

    Mike Let’s try to get a date on the books in September…..I’d love to hire you to take me fishing!! Call me this week at Butterfield CC.


  2. Dave Noll says:

    I have been out with Mike twice and can say that he really knows the Driftless Area of SW Wisconsin. He is a really good teacher and a day with Mike includes a really good lunch. We will definitely hook up again.

  3. Eric says:

    I followed Mike’s recommendation and signed on for the Dusk and Dawn package. After a few basic questions about my fishing abilities and the gear I was planning on using, he had a plan crafted as to where to take me fishing, complete with fallback options should access points be occupied. I had a really fun evening of fishing, catching a bunch of browns and a nice big and feisty brookie. Mike was really patient and encouraging, and readily shared his knowledge about Tenkara casting techniques, reading the stream, approach angles, fish vision, and so forth. I learned a ton. Based on our discussions during the evening session, and after assessing my casting ability and making recommendations on how to tweak my gear, he changed the plan for the dawn session and brought me to a stream with a bit more of an approach, which I appreciated. Again I learned a great deal about casting technique, structure identification, current reading, fish holding spot identification, fly selection, and plans of attack based on efficiency and effectiveness. I hooked into more fish than ever before, including two browns which were the biggest I’d ever caught. Such a great time. When not fishing, Mike is a font of knowledge about the Driftless region in general. He’s also very professional and sticks to the agreed upon schedule. I highly recommend Mike as a guide, and am already looking into scheduling another session or two with him before the season closes.

  4. Dan Van Buskirk says:

    I am the co -founder of Guitars 4 Vets and i live to fish!! I work with mostly combat vets. For my own therapy i need to become very good at Tenkara because i love the concept of Samarae to mtn fisherman. The simplicity movement and connection of Tenkara really appeals to me. Can you teach me the art and the driftless area? I also have a 10 foot european nymph rod along with two Tenkara rods. I want to fish for brookies and browns big water and small water. I will also take my canoe, and labrador Retriever Folger out with me for nature and smallie fishin (with a heavier rod than stream) closer to home here in wauwatosa.

  5. Dan Van Buskirk says:

    I will be going to Rocky Moutain National Park near the end of May to hang out with friends and hopefully to get away briefly and Tenkara fish! When i come back i have the whole summer to learn Tenkara here at homebrookies

  6. Steve DeMars says:

    I am interested in trying this intriguing type of fishing. Please let me know if you have any available date early this year. I have not purchased any equipment yet as I would like to understand this process before I take the bait ( fishing joke).

    Steve DeMars

  7. Dan Van Buskirk says:

    I am interested in fishing for trout the week of May 11 and also for smallmouth bass which i have Tenkara rods for both, and BFS rods.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>