If your family fishing dates tend to land no more than a carload of disappointed kids, The Trout House restaurant at Rushing Waters could be the fishing hole you’ve been seeking. Admittedly, it’s not all that sporting. But a guaranteed catch from a stocked Wisconsin pond will probably go further with the kids than a true A River Runs Through It moment. And at $11 per person for a lunch cooked from your catch (the fishing costs extra), the Hook and Cook Shore Lunch makes an affordable family outing for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.
Rushing Waters Fisheries boasts 56 ponds that draw from cold artesian springs in Palmyra’s glacial Kettle Moraine hills, an hour from both Madison and Milwaukee. The business raises antibiotic-free fish and built a reputation selling rainbow trout to restaurants and retailers. It has since added a shop, farm tours and, in 2013, a restaurant.
Photo courtesy of The Trout House at Rushing Waters
For the Hook and Cook, staff hands you gear (fishing rods, worms, bobbers—and a hand towel) and sends you to a pond teeming with trout. Chefs at the pub-style restaurant prepare your catch pan-fried or beer-battered. The menu has other options, but the unquestioned star is the fresh, sweet trout you just caught.
Hook and Cook is available year-round, Wednesday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reservations are recommended but not required (rushingwaters.net).