Driftless
From Zero to Hero

From Zero to Hero

Hey let’s look at a bunch of fish pics, shall we? What is it with us anyway? This baby reads like a dysfunctional issue of Playboy. Don’t hesitate to bask in this voyeuristic medley of pint-sized aquatic pin ups. Regular folks must wonder why someone would be drawn to such banter. After a recent Brookie outing, I...
Viscosity

Viscosity

I’ve previously stated that there is no greater month for trout fishing in these parts than June. It’s just a personal preference. On the flip side I’ll admit to disliking the late winter/early spring period. I don’t appreciate being the meat in the trout sandwich. Earlier in the winter things are cold, somewhat unbearable, yet...
The Best of Both Worlds

The Best of Both Worlds

Nothing says R&R like a magnificent sunrise in the greater La Crosse area. A quick peek out my hotel window revealed a plethora of choices. Should I wander over to the Home Depot for some wallpaper paste, or hit the Olive Garden for the all you care to eat pasta bowl with extra Alfredo? I opted...
Up Shit Creek

Up Shit Creek

In standard annual rite of passage fashion I strapped on the boots and donned the waders for celebratory purposes. It was birthday week here at the worldwide headquarters, and the gift that keeps on giving is a hearty round of chasing tail. For a second year in a row I was snubbed in the steelhead...
We've Only Just Begun

We’ve Only Just Begun

Are you tired of looking at my windshield yet? I should retire this photo from the usual assortment of flotsom, but I seem to keep snapping the pic and subsequently feel the need to post it. I think it may be a subconscious reaction to Phil Monahan after he posted one of my videos on...
Sorry Folks Park's Closed

Sorry Folks Park’s Closed

Better late than never? You bet. The long wait was over as I finally made my inaugural run into the badger state for some trouting last Friday.  In typical fashion it was an early departure. Dawn raids are an imperfect proposition this time of year, but I don’t give a shit. While y’all were sleeping...
The All-American Rejects

The All-American Rejects

My post holiday hangover has lingered into the new year. Day to day duties as chief brainstrust at Labor have kept me off the streams during the winter season thus far. Like clockwork, most of my clients have returned from break with guns blazing to get some actual work done. While I’m itching like mad to hit...
I Love the Smell of Napalm in the Morning

I Love the Smell of Napalm in the Morning

I’ve been relegated to the bottom of the barrel over the last few weeks. It’s absolutely the lowest point of the year from a fishing standpoint and there are very few local outlets to get a fix. Work and holiday fanfare have helped pass the time, but still doesn’t quench the thirst. The ice hasn’t...
Suicidal Tendencies

Suicidal Tendencies

Let’s kick things off with what really matters. How about a proper shout out to Jack? As I sit here scribing this post my boy is recovering from surgery. Sure it was just a simple tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, but not the most fun day for a 5-year old. In the context of the angling arts, it...
Money in the Bank

Money in the Bank

Getting inside my head can be vexing territory. My mind, like most of my angling brethren, is one of both simple needs and perplexing tendencies. While I’d like to consider myself an evolved life form over our rodentia counterparts, I unabashedly approached the last week of 2012 trouting with the same fervor as a squirrel...
It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint.

It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint.

I’m on the clock. The darkness at the end of the tunnel is well within sight. Two more weeks and it’s all over for the unknown soldier. I feel compelled to savor every moment of late season trouting. There is work left to be done. Okay, enough of the god damn cliches, but seriously, there...
Hello. Is There Anybody Out There?

Hello. Is There Anybody Out There?

As the trout season limps to a conclusion, I’ve come to the realization that there’s only a small Band of Brothers committed to see it to the grand finale. Traffic on internet forums have slowed to a trickle, and my lackluster Google Analytics only serve to support this theory. I’d imagine many have changed gears to...
35 Days

35 Days

While my camera has sat idly on my desk over the last month, a little voice in the back of my head has nagged me to release the contents to the world. It’s not that I haven’t taken any pictures, on the contrary there’s been a decent smattering of megapixels accumulating. It’s just that life...
Duck and Cover

Duck and Cover

The proliferation of the duct tape and plastic sheeting mentality is not a new phenomenon. A wise man once exclaimed, “the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” Another one of my personal favorites is the classic cold war era Duck and Cover propaganda film where children were advised on how to protect themselves from an atomic blast. Paranoia and...
The Make Up Call

The Make Up Call

Is there anything worse than watching a basketball game where dubious officiating changes the course of the contest through the time honored tradition of the make-up call? Most of the time this curious act takes a bad situation and makes it worse. For those of us that prefer the comfort of a cold stream to...
Ron Dayne and Mary Jane

Ron Dayne and Mary Jane

One of my many visits to Dane County was particularly unkind to me. It was fall 1999 and I found myself deep in enemy territory, outside Camp Randall Stadium. My beloved Iowa Hawkeye football team was in full rebuild mode following the departure of legendary coach Hayden Fry, yet I opted to dawn an obnoxious...
I'm Loving It

I’m Loving It

After seeing the movie Super Size Me I recall contemplating if this film would actually create a dent in the armor of the mighty “golden arches.” Most reasonable people are aware of the risks that fast food presents, but just don’t care in lieu of instant gratification and ease of caloric intake. Strangely enough trout streams...
Breaking Up is Hard to Do.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do.

It’s 3:30 AM on Saturday morning. I’m fueling up the vehicle and the brain. The bad gas station coffee thing from my last entry wasn’t just window dressing. For my money there’s no greater combination than the plain cake donut and black coffee. It’s a tradition learned from my grandpa. The guy would choke down...
What a Long Strange Trip Its Been.

What a Long Strange Trip Its Been.

The life of any respectable fishing junkie is filled with late nights and early mornings on the road. A diet of bad gas station coffee and stale donuts is the order of the day. The prefishing combination of insomnia, anticipation and AM radio is a lifelong ailment. There’s something great about doing something while the...
Stealing Candy from a Baby.

Stealing Candy from a Baby.

This week I scouted some new water in search of big browns. I’ve spent a portion of the spring season scouring lower sections of marginal water in search of bruisers with mixed results. The fishing last week was just too good not to go back to streamers. I threw them most of the time with...
Open Sesame

Open Sesame

 Saturday morning trout openers in Minnesota and Wisconsin can be too much of a circus for my tastes. I’m often guilty of skipping a fishing opener just to avoid the crowds. I opted to put on some miles and hit a few different streams to kick off the full 2012 season a few days after the...
It's a Small World (after all).

It’s a Small World (after all).

My arrival home from fishing last week was greeted with my 4-year old son Jack saying, “Why can’t I go fishing, Dad?” Quickly my mind provided the silent retort, “Because we won’t catch any trout with your tornado-like streamside demeanor.”  Though the real answer was, “Of course, let’s give it a go next week!” I...
Happy Birthday to Me?

Happy Birthday to Me?

My birthday was on Thursday. The tradition for my family has been to celebrate it in Milwaukee, as I have the coincidence of sharing a birthday with my mother-in-law. Typically I’ll have a few days to hit the Lake Michigan spring steelhead run. This year due to circumstances beyond my control, there will be no...
Brooks and Done

Brooks and Done

    I’ll cut to the chase. This might be the worst blog title I’ve penned to date. For starters I’m not much of a contemporary country music fan and furthermore the title, while accurate, pushes this wacky headline thing a bit far. My apologies. I sent my video from Cozumel to my buddy Joel Woodward a few weeks...
One Small Step for Man

One Small Step for Man

Our erratic winter weather patterns continue. Normally it’s subzero snotsicles here in Minnesota, not today. An investigation of the freshly minted habitat improvement section of Hay Creek was in order with the opening of our winter C&R season. It’s almost blasphemy that I’ve never fished this stream over the last 15 years, as it’s one...
I Ain't Got Time to Bleed

I Ain’t Got Time to Bleed

“I Ain’t Got Time to Bleed” is a notable tough guy quote from Minnesota’s ex-governor Jesse Ventura. It all started with a scratchy throat and congestion the night before my final outing of the 2011 trout season. By the time I was on the water Thursday morning it was full blown feverish chills, sore throat,...
Trout Season 2011, We'll Miss You

Trout Season 2011, We’ll Miss You

Fished for an hour or two late morning for brookies. The bite was decent and the water was low (big surprise) I got most of my fish on a large bead-head pheasant tail fishing under and indicator and a few on a small brown bugger. I have done very little nymphing under an indicator this...
Tour de Pierce

Tour de Pierce

School starts on Monday, so yesterday I decided I’d pile the youngsters in the car in search of trout and other trouble. I had been meaning to get deeper into Pierce county this summer, but hadn’t really made it. Our first stop (not including Dairy Queen in Ellsworth) was a quick stop to pay our...
Hot weather, ice cold trout

Hot weather, ice cold trout

I Ran over to Plum Creek for some brookie fishing with Jack, my 4-year old son on Friday. Fished downstream near the water treatment plant. Upstream of this stretch were massive piles of rip rap for the yet to be “improved” section (sorry I forget to snap in pics). We pulled a few fish out...
Touring the Heart of the Badger Beast

Touring the Heart of the Badger Beast

I Started the morning optimistically before dawn on a pasture section of Black Earth Creek with the fly rod. This was the first of many stops on my attempt to tour the streams of the greater Madison area on a half day outing. Threw a mouse just for fun in the dark until it was...
A Winona State of Mind

A Winona State of Mind

We made the run down to the Winona area for the Memorial Day weekend, as my wife is a Winona State alum. The kids had a good time at Farmer’s Park on Garvin Brook.   Not a prime location from a hardcore fishing standpoint, but a solid choice for a picnic with the family and...
Little Trout, Big Smiles

Little Trout, Big Smiles

My 4-year old son Jack got his first brown trout in about 30 seconds on his first cast with a worm. I opted to start his inaugural trout outing on the golf course like ease of the big numbers, little average size Upper Kinni.   Hold on tight Jack! You’ll remember this one for awhile!...
Rush River = Hot Bite

Rush River = Hot Bite

  I stopped by a few spots on the Trimbelle, but deemed it too muddy to fish yesterday. Then proceeded on to the Rush and fished 10-4 Caddis and BWOs were hatching when I arrived with noticeable risers in every stretch I encountered. Caddis were the ticket, I landed it 20 fish in relatively short...