January 20, 2019


Yes the snow is Majestic but give me green over white any day.

What Do You Do In Wisconsin When Below Zero?

Dream of big trout of course!!!

I ran into a gal at the local watering hole about 20 years ago. She was bragging about the monster brown trout she had caught on a crawler that she had go in the water after it because it got tangled in an old farm bridge ruins. She had a photo and showed it to me. I recognized the bridge.

I have returned to that bridge many times. I always check my line for weak spots before I go there. Have caught a couple here but nothing in the 28 inch range like the woman caught on a crawler. The irony of the gal's story was it was the first time she ever trout fished and her rod was a hand me down zebco that her father had owned years ago.

January 19, 2019

Not My Favorite Time Of Year To Fish

This deep snow can disable you when out and about this time of year.  

About ten years ago I stepped in a hole up to my crotch during this kind of weather.

One fake knee and other one recently scoped.

NO thanks

I will be watching for awhile.

January 18, 2019

Decadent Cabbage "Atkins"

Two small heads of cabbage chopped.

Two pounds of thick bacon browned.

One large diced yellow onion added

Two heaping tablespoon minced garlic added

When contents caramelized add to cabbage

On stove on medium low for 2 hours.

Opportunity Lost

Biggest wild small stream brookie I had ever seen lived in this hole. I caught this one and the bigger female followed him to shore and hung 10 feet off shore and left with him when I released him.

This solid 16 inch male brookie was followed into shore by its mate.  She was at least 4 inches bigger.  I remember unhooking this male brookie making sure not to do any jerky movements.  I wanted a shot at his running mate.  She swam away with him.

I had caught the big male on my go to brookie spinner.

This leaf hole was really a bear getting a spinner down without dragging leaves. The rock face caused a deep shelf about 2 feet off of the wall.  I tried every direction and every time of the day that very late season. Crawled up to the hole and cast from my belly from the bottom and head of the hole a couple times even.

I even enlisted my buddies John and Dave to try for the giant brookie.  They threw every fly in the book at her. Both struck out.

Season closed without a trace of the 2 sweet brookies.

My incessant babbling about the pair of brookies during the closed season piqued my friend Andy's curiosity and he had to take a look. 

Spring season came and the spring floods did a number on the hole.

The biggest brookie I have ever seen has been placed in my archive section of memories as "Opportunity Lost."

January 17, 2019

Ruger Revolvers Review

Purchased a Ruger 357 four years ago.  Bought a new pacmyer grip immediately.  Factory grip much too small for person with big hands.  Kept it for a year and sold it.  The frame and weight of frame too small for 357 mag.  Had hard time finding decent shoulder holsters for it.

Bought 44 mag from Cabelas that spring.  The handle was perfect and frame adequate for the caliber.  The kick was not unacceptable.  Again I could not find a decent holster.  The final straw was the cylinder rattled every step I took.  Got rid of it a year later.

The next spring I went to Moe's Black River Falls Ace Hardware and actually felt the Ruger 480 Magnum and no rattle and the gunsmith there helped me find a really good holster. Moe's was 80 dollars cheaper for the revolver anywhere online or in store.

The 480 Mag has a thicker cylinder and the 325 grain hollow points can be shot comfortably using "two" hands and hearing protection.

My Pocket Knives

I am a pocket knife kinda guy when I go fishing.  I typically don't carry one unless I am fishing.  There are always two in my vehicle.

There is my trout fishing knife that I purchased in 1983 in Florence, Italy.

There is my Swiss Army Knife I use when pike fishing that I purchased in 1991 in Lucerne, Switzerland. 

Both are always sharp and are carried as good luck charms. 


January 15, 2019

A Blast From The Past "Belly Laugh"

I was fishing with my friend Rick this day.  It was about 38 degrees this day.  Rick had on neoprene waders and was cooking due to them. He complained the entire outing. 

 We went again about a week later.  He had on breathables and had his belt on to be safe.  They were new waders and the whole wearing a belt was new to Rick.  He wore the belt a little too high and the air could not escape.  He looked like the Pillsbury Doughboy. 

I typically don't wear a wading belt if the water is not over my head. The deepest hole in the stream was maybe 5 feet deep.

We fished for 4 hours and we got to near the end of our outing.  I directed Rick to the other side of the stream through the shallows because the other bank gave him optimal cast retrieval.  Rick scored 4 trout in the run.  We were both tired and decided to call it a day.

Rick asked me how deep the run was because it was quite a walk up or down stream to cross in the shallows.  I told him 3-4 feet maximum.  Rick decided he would cross in the run. Rick sat on a boulder and slid into the water.  What happened next was hilarious.

Rick new waders were water and air tight and so was the belt he had on.  His waders worked like a floatation device and promptly whisked his feet off the bottom and there Rick was padding for all he was worth in four feet of water.

 His feet were actually fully out of the water which force his face to submerge a couple times.  I told Rick to just stand up because it wasn't that deep. Rick could not regain his feet due to the air trapped in his waders.  Rick was flailing and swearing and having a really hard time getting to shore. 

Rick finally quit trying to stand up and he swam the 10 feet to the other shore.  I was not a good fishing partner that day.  I was busy laughing my butt off. In the end I started walking towards him to help.  He had made it to the shallows and crawled out.  The width of the stream was maybe 10 feet and tapered upward on the banks. The dog padding only lasted for maybe five seconds. 

He was wet head to toe.  I went back in the hole and retrieved his fly rod.  Luckily we were really close to the car or that would have been a cold walk back soaked in 40 degree weather. 

January 14, 2019

Almost Not A Trip Report

Spent the last couple of days calling/messaging/emailing friends asking to go fishing with me today.

My wife likes me to have a person with me these days to kinda babysit me. One of my friends has a bum knee.  Another had a serious health scare and is grounded for a while.

For one reason or another I could not find a fishing partner.  I was really bummed and a little bashful about going alone. I had researched the weather and today looked the best.  Overcast and about 37 degrees.

The weatherman lied of course.  It did not get over 24 degrees but it was overcast.  I had the overwhelming urge to go and finally loaded the vehicle and went back in the house and told my wife exactly where I was going.  I picked an easy walking stretch and told her I would be home by 3:30pm.

I christened my new fluorocarbon loaded rod today.  I found out on the second cast that the line stretches much more than my power pro and a hook set is required to get deep penetration and keep big trout on the line.  The fat 18-19 inch light colored female got off before I could get a photo. 

The rest of the trout were in the 8 -14 inch range.  35 browns to hand from 11:30am to 3:00pm. I took the lures away from another 10 guppies at shore following. Beavers really made a mess of this stretch. 

 Lots of frozen guides and a coupe knots from the fluorocarbon.  I don't like it.  Too stiff and limits casting distance.

As I loaded up to go home I saw the temp was 22 degrees and it had just started to spit freezing rain.

I have decided I no longer need a babysitter.


I am a trout fishing nut.  Lots of folks think that the trout are the only reason I go.  The trout are actually secondary. 

Litmus Test

Look closely at this photo. If you aren't smiling now you need to lay down your fishing rod and take up golf.

January 13, 2019


I made a coffee table book of my stream photos.

If you like the book make sure to use the code at top for a big discount.

I get no royalties or kick back for book.


Click above Driftless link to order.

January 09, 2019

January 07, 2019

Chicken Vegetable Soup Ala Sarah

Went to a family gathering yesterday in Verona.  My sister in law Sarah made a very tasty soup with secret spices.  Sarah inspired me when she gave me a packet of her secret spices.  


2 pounds diced white and dark chicken.
50 ounce chicken broth
1 heaping tablespoon chopped garlic
1 large yellow onion diced
8 ounce chopped celery
8 ounces chopped carrots
half head chopped cabbage 
2 pinches of Sarah's secret spices.

Went in crock pot at 8 will be done at 5.

Thanks Sarah.

January 05, 2019

2019 Opener

10am to 1pm.  25 degrees and sunny at 10am. 48 and sunny at 1pm.

Trout were not very active.  Only in very slow water.

Fished with Laine Cronk.  He casted about three times as many times as I did.

He landed five browns.

I landed two browns and a brookie.  None were photo worthy.

January 02, 2019

The Same But Different

Upstream or down.

Late June or early April what a difference it can make.

Different but the same.