May 02, 2018

A Day Like No Other

It is July in the heart of the Wisconsin driftless area.  You question your choice about fishing. The morning was a little over cast and 74 degrees but that changed quickly. The sun breached the horizon and the blast furnace began to bake us. The humidity is so high you can almost feel the moisture in the air as you breathe.

Your waders are a sauna. The fishing has been poor.  The stream temperatures are in the low 70s and the outdoor temp is 88 degrees.  You have 100 yards to go before your vehicle so you trudge onward. Our anticipation prior to the outing was replaced with a let's get it done quickly outing.

You wade in the stream to get some relief from the stifling heat and humidity. Your eyes are stinging from the sweat on your brow causing the sunscreen to run in your eyes. We even quit talking to each other because it just seemed too labored and senseless.

You catch a trout and it almost feels hot to the touch when you unhook it.  You decide to forego fishing and just walk in the stream in the deepest runs to keep yourself from over heating.

You can see the vehicle 50 yards away.  You are relieved because heat stroke is a real possibility on this awful day in the pristine green surroundings that the heat and humidity resemble the jungles of the Amazon.

The stream is silent.  There is not even a whisper of a wind.  The mosquitoes are nowhere to be seen on this mistake of a day to go fishing.  These temperatures are not good for the fish when you release them because there is a lack of oxygen in the water on crazy hot days like these.

The last run before the truck you visualize what the temperatures will be like inside your vehicle.  You need to cool down big time before the oven like blast that will be the vehicle locked and closed up for hours while you trudged through the insane heat.

You wade up to your wader tops just before the truck.  There is an odd sensation that you have not felt all day.  This water is actually cool.  You take out your thermometer and it is 20 degrees cooler than any stream temperature you have taken all day.

You are a little refreshed and decide to research why there is such a change in temperatures.

You hear a low roar coming from ahead of you. As you get closer the sound gets louder. There is a wow moment at what you see cascading down from the hillside not 10 yards up stream.  You follow the sound and low and behold there are 2 of them.

There at the head waters of a pristine Crawford County stream you see them.  The first is a small spring and ten yards from her is the "mother" of this stream.
You take turns cooling down where she comes out of the hillside.  Both of  you are dumbfounded and relish the seat in the spring. 

A temperature is taken while you are seated.  The findings are awe striking.
The outside temperature was 88 degrees and the life blood of the driftless was 42 degrees.  As we sat there our smiles returned and we were renewed.  The fishing was poor that day but the discovery was like no other.