November 11, 2019

November 10, 2019

Trout Don't Live In Ugly Places

I have lived in Richland County for approximately 25 years.  My hometown is Gays Mills, WI.  I am an avid trout angler and outdoors person.  My wife Barb hikes and bikes throughout Wisconsin.

My fishing has given me a unique view of the streams in my now home water.  I fish 70 percent of my time in Richland County chasing trout.  The scenery here is amazing.  The rock outcropping are majestic and awe inspiring.  It never gets old seeing what Mother Nature and Father Time has created. Trout don't live in ugly places.

 “About four years ago I made a comment to an acquaintance about trout fishing being so important to me, and he dismissed it. He said trout fishing was the least important thing he does in life and I shouldn’t make it so important.

 I wholeheartedly disagree with him.  Many people go to church to feel spiritual and be in touch with the universe. I go into the outdoors to cleanse my soul. All the things in life that bother me are melted away about a hundred yards from the truck. The fish are only a bonus in the whole scheme of things.”

 The rock formations that occur along the streams in the area are second to none for beauty and grandeur.  I am in awe and feel a reverence for these beautiful places I am allowed to enjoy. My cathedral awaits me every trip to the stream.

Richland County does not have a monopoly on beautiful places.  My fishing takes me often to Crawford and Vernon counties.

I asked the family expert in the matters of everything geological about the rock outcroppings.

Brian Mcknight 

These beautiful photos show outcrops of Cambrian age sandstones that were deposited in a shallow sea between 495 and 545 million years ago.  At that time, Wisconsin was located near the Equator and rotated 90 degrees to its present position. 
The sandstone consists mostly of well-rounded quartz grains, indicating they underwent rigorous movement, grinding away at the rough edges until smooth and rounded.  After being deposited in the shallow sea, the loose sand grains were cemented to form the rock sandstone.  Some layers are cemented better than others and stand out further upon weathering.
Almost all rocks of Cambrian age in this part of Wisconsin are sandstone.  Geologists divide them into recognizable units called Formations (see diagram).  Only detailed field studies could determine exactly which Formation these rocks belong to, but knowing they are in Richland County, it is likely they belong to the Wonewoc Formation.  Excellent exposures can be seen north of Richland Center along Hwy 80 and Hwy 58.

Geological information provided by:

Dr. Brian K. McKnight

Professor McKnight retired in 1999. Brian received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1984 and the Rosebush Professorship in 1987. He used to teach honors geology, structural geology, sedimentology, and oceanography. "University of Wisconsin Oshkosh" 

November 06, 2019


If you ever fish with me and I say: "Check your knot and look for ticks in the line." Heed what I just said.  Also when I say that do not jump down banks or off logs.  Try not to step on branches.
I took a friend to exactly where I caught this one.  I uttered the check your knot statement and he listened but he crawled up on a down tree and then jumped off it and then jumped down the back to get in a better casting angle.. He heard my deep sigh of disgust and asked what he did wrong. I told him he might as well as thrown a big boulder in the hole.

November 03, 2019

A Door To The Past

This spring Gary Peters and I took out a camera crew from Discover Wisconsin to chase trout.  I got to Gary's house early and we talked a while. Gary was sporting a very unique flannel shirt.  He told me he was gifted it by a friend.  It was a vintage Woolrich Chamois Flannel. I admired it and asked what size it was.  I felt it and was impressed by the thickness and how supple it was. He guessed it was about 35 years old.  We shot the TV episode that will air on February 02.  Gary's vintage shirt was what stuck with me the most from the outing.  I could not put my finger on why.

I decided I must find a shirt like Gary's in my size.  Two weeks later it came in the mail.  I found it on ebay and it costed less then 20 bucks with postage. As I opened the package and admired it a long dormant memory from my childhood peaked through a door from the past.

I was in Reber's Gas Station and I was seven years old again. Reber's was where all of my Dad's outdoors friends met there on Sunday mornings to tell tales about their outdoor conquests.  The tales varied from pheasant hunting to trout fishing.  Some of the tellers of tales wore their newest jackets or flannels. It was kind of a men's fashion show in the 1960s there at Reber's.  I can't remember which one of the guys had on a new Woolrich flannel shirt but there was one and all of the crew there wowed and coveted the prized Chamois Flannel.

The crew broke up typically after church was over.  They went to pick up their children and wives at the church. I can remember talking to my dad about that flannel shirt and he told that he spent his extra money on family and actual hunting and fishing gear.  My dad typically wore a dickey's work shirt.  It had no bling like the Woolrich.  There were six children in our family.  My dad hunted and fished to put food on the table. He could not afford the fancy fashion shows at the gas station.  My mom use to kid dad that he only produced so many kids so he would eventually have at least one to take with him so he could get twice the fish and another deer and more pheasants.  My mom was not kidding.

My dad's plans did not come to fruition because he left the earth at age 40 when he was up north deer hunting with his brother. My dad died of a heart attack.  My mother was left to raise six children by herself. I remember the first Christmas after my dad died.  I got sox and underwear. Looking back on those days my mother did one heck of a job keeping all of us in clothing and feeding us.

That flannel Gary was sporting while we fished opened that door to the past.  For years I was envious of all of the other kids I went to school with. Getting necessities for Christmas instead of presents a kid with a dad who was a lover of the outdoors got was hard to tolerate.

I did not even realize I was influenced by my past so much. I am retired these days and my wife still works.  Our one daughter is an adult and works and has her own money.  I use to fish and hunt.  I was a fanatic I admit it.  My wife and daughter will not eat anything I hunted.  I sold my guns 15 years ago.  Hunting just to kill or horn hunt was not what my dad had taught me hunting was about. I even donated my venison to local food bank for a couple years.  I hung up my bow and deer rifle.  I still am a fishing maniac.  I love my good gear.

I would like to step back in time and open that door to the past and sit in my dad's chair in Reber's Station on Sunday mornings and sport my Woolrich.  I am still a fanatic about outdoor gear.  I could buy new flannel shirts but there is something about the older Woolrich. Woolrich has changed hands and does not make the outdoor related theme shirts anymore.  My wife asked me if I am done every time a vintage Woolrich shirt is in the mailbox that I purchased on ebay.  I believe I am done.

October 31, 2019

You Are Not Old....You Are Just Fat

Five years ago I was very close to giving up small stream trout fishing.  I had convinced myself that it was a young man's sport and I was done.  I even took all the gear out of vehicle and put it in the closet with the other archived outdoor related gear.  I was fishing from my recliner then.  An upcoming back surgery had limited my mobility and placed me in a serious funk.  Along with the funk came an additional 30 pounds on top of not exactly being skinny. I was crying in my beer to my wife one night and she recommended losing some weight to make the possibility of my upcoming back fusion being successful.  I began my diet that night.

I dropped 15 pounds before my surgery. My back fusion was more complicated than expected and I rode the recliner for a year. My 15 pound weight loss quickly went away.  I even added back a few more than 15.  My wife is a nurse and researched diets I could actually stay on.  We decided a diet I had tried 20 years prior and did well on was worth another try.  It was the Adkins Diet.  I had stayed on it for six months prior and lost 38 pounds.  It all came back within 6 months of going off.

Another year was lost due to a knee replacement.  The need for weight loss was glaringly obvious then.  After my knee was replaced and I did physical therapy I went on Adkins again.  The research said that once on Adkins you needed to stay on it.  A maintenance program it was called. The last time I was on the diet I remember it getting old really quickly.  I failed to research the diet and make the meals fun and fulfilling.  This diet causes your body to burn your fat you have stored.  I turned into a carb counter for a while.  I was limited to under 20 carbs in a day.

About a year ago I quit counting carbs and decided I was removing completely a few things from my diet.  No pasta, potatoes, bread, and beer.  I am allowed one cheat day from my diet a month. I do it up big time on my cheat days. I lived in Germany for 6 years so the German Beer was hard to give up.  I replaced beer with Korbel and diet seven up diet coke.  So all of you reading this are cringing now.  You think it is diet you could not stay on.  You are wrong.

You will have to force yourself to eat meals like this on this diet.  It is a sacrifice you should make.

My weekly diet:
Breakfasts typically are bacon and some version of eggs.  "Lots" Sausage sometimes.
Lunch consists of some cheese and lunch meat or leftover meat from day before meal.  Buy a large variety of cheeses. Along with this you must drink lots of fluids.

Weekly supper menu:
Cabbage and onions and bacon...add some kielbasa to very this meal...maybe a Andouille for variety
Pork chops and steamed cauliflower with melted sharp cheddar over 
Boneless chicken thighs made into a fajita.  Hold the soft wrap  . Lots of onions and garlic and bell, red and yellow peppers.  Marinate the mixture in butter.  Butter is not limited in this diet. Eat bird portions.
A large porterhouse with 2 kinds of mushrooms and onions and garlic.  Some asparagus steamed or sautéed in butter with parmesan sprinkled on top.
Large salad with grilled chicken and scads of veggies and some cubed cheese.  No tomatoes or carrots. A low calorie vinaigrette dressing. bread crumbs or cracker fillers.  Lots of garlic and onions in mixture.  Spice it up with sage.  Make a big meatloaf so there are leftovers.
Egg Plant and Zucchini Parmesan tomatoes sauce or pasta. Four varieties of cheese. Use egg plant and zucchini as layering.
Kraut and kielbasa....make sure you are full.
Seafood night...Grilled scallops, shrimp, and skinless salmon. Make lots...don't leave table hungry.
Seafood Gumbo....leave out rice and tomatoes...lots of okra...sausage and chicken good...use your imagination on types of seafood.
I have about 5 other meals I have for supper.
Go out this night and get a king sized prime rib with asparagus on the side.  
There are many Adkins pre-made meals at grocery store.
Eat supper before 5pm and make sure to drink lots of fluids.
Sauces and condiments typically are loaded with carbohydrates. Catsup and gravies are a no go.  Mustard is good.

If you need to snack during the day let it be a meat stick or some cheese.  Be imaginative with your cheese.  A horseradish Havarti is my favorite snack.

Berry cheese given to mother in law.

October 20th I was on my diet for a year.  I have lost 73 pounds.  I am planning on another 45 to be lost.

Those long walks on the trout stream can be part of your exercise.  I walk more than I did in the past with my wife.  This weight loss was without a crazy exercise program.

I went trout fishing more times this year than the five years before combined.

The door to the outdoors that you thought had closed because you have no stamina will return with this diet. 

You will be amazed how much better you will feel weighing less.

Christmas Present For The Hardcore Trout Angler

It happens never fail when someone touches my rod like when I'm crossing a fence. I usually hear this feels more like a broomstick than a trout rod. 

Then they watch me cast and they awe at how tighter of quarters I can get in with my broomstick. I can also turn big trout before they dive into the abyss. Tried out two reels this year .

 One was a new Shimano Stradic 2500 and the other was a Diawa Ballistic 2500 and both were on my new favorite rod a six and a half foot medium heavy st.croix. If you have a trout angler that is looking for a new rig and you want to buy it for him for Christmas this is what I would get and I would put either 8 or 10 pound Moss colored power pro on it. 

Then I would go online to panther Martin and buy him a bunch of size nines and gold deluxe or gold with red and black spots then I would also get some silver plated with yellow bodies and red spots in size 9 for the frog season and you will be in business

October 28, 2019

Made The Cover Of Wisconsin Section November Midwest Outdoors 2019

My Midwest Outdoors appeared in my mailbox today.

I had no idea that I was going to be on the cover.