South West Wisconsin-Driftless Area
With a big fat goose egg for me this last trout season I was on a mission to land one trout on my own. It was the last weekend of trout season for the year and I had some tough choices to make. Play it safe with better luck next year & take in a few family functions that will bore me to death. Or hear flack for the rest of my life & pack up the truck and head north to the spring creeks of Wisconsin, for one last shot at my first trout. Ummmmmm…. What a tough one. So I took my chances and had to go north, 4 hours later I’m faced with bugs clawing at my every hint of flesh and weeds up to my ears, after a string of days with plenty of rain, the local shops kept saying its not about the fish but the experience. Many places to choose from in the driftless area of Wisconsin, I wanted to check out a few favorites. Not knowing what the heck as far as, match the hatch and all that jazz, hoppers and terrestrials were a safe bet. Besides whats seemed to be millions of grasshoppers were darting around like shooting stars, it was a good call.
With my 4wt in hand, I decided to take a few shots at a little crook in the creek about 30ft up stream from a roadside bridge. Like I had mentioned before it’s late summer, weeds are about 8 feet tall, no joke. Between swatting bugs and untangling my back cast, I managed to land my hopper in a nice little drift right off the bank. All this is happning I get a mosquito bite on my lip, and feel instantly my lip puff up like a golf ball. I was like Quasimodo, drooling out the side of my mouth. A madman swinging a stick in the air with a bump the size of a child’s fist on my face, not a good feeling.
That day I’d broken my cold spell, I landed 4 trout that day. Beautiful in its spectrum of colors these little wild trout, were a gift from above. My first experience, as a man in waders, made a huge impression on me.
While driving home on this trip I began to count my blessings on how lucky we are to have wild trout waters so close to home. I realized these waters needed to be kept clean and as an angler it is my responsibility to take care of this natural wonder. I wanted to be more frugal in my way of living, live more green. I’m doing my part, are you?