This giant trout fish and trout fisherman statue was once found tucked away behind a fence and some overgrown greenery on the side of the road in Des Plaines, Illinois. So overgrown was the surrounding foliage, driving down Golf Road on a Chicago road trip, they’d have been easy to miss. Luckily between my and my road trip companions’ eagle eyes, we were able to find this truly hidden gem!
The trout and fisherman sculpture flanked a sign that simply proclaims “trout fishing” and originally stood at Golf Road Trout Farm, a local Des Plaines attraction that opened in 1957. In 1997 the Illinois trout farm closed, everything was bulldozed, and the ponds were filled in. The only thing left were these statues and sign.
For nearly twenty years this fisherman and giant trout statue remained, though they became more and more buried under unruly brush. And then, in 2015, they disappeared completely. It was a sad day in the life of Illinois roadside attractions…but a happy one for Wisconsin roadside attractions.
It looks like the vintage fisherman statue and giant trout were sold to Mad Dan’s, a restaurant in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, lost the sign, were repainted and refurbished, and live on for a new generation of roadside attraction lovers to find.
Trout Fisherman Statue
REPORTED GONE FROM ILLINOIS
Former Location: Golf Road, off of I-294, Niles/Des Plaines, Illinois
New Location: Mad Dan’s Restaurant, 200 E Main St, Twin Lakes, WI 53181
Cost: Free to see.
Hours: Always visible
Date: November 25, 2007