- Stream Location: WI
- Conditions: Sunny, no wind, perfect day
- Distance Hiked: 3 miles
- What Worked Best: Nymphs early, dries the majority of the day
The first Saturday in May. The beginning of the Wisconsin Trout Regular Season. No, we didn’t keep any but traditionally this day has served an important purpose throughout my life. It all began just before my 5th birthday, when my dad took me out for my first opening day of trout season. The weapon of choice is a little different today (flies) than it was when I was five, but the purpose always remains the same. My dad, me, trout, and the absorbing and pristine environment that only trout live in.
It’s been a decent number of years where our stream of choice on the opening day of regular season has been one of the all-time finest native brook trout streams you’d lay your eyes on. Not only are the brook trout full of vibrant colors, but the environment surrounding this stream is very unique. As you make your way along the stream, you’ll be jumping from bog to bog amongst the marsh and plethora of small feeders. The water is extremely clear and there is little cover alongside the stream banks which means stealth and effective fly placement is critical.
We began the same as in years past, hiking toward the headwaters then making the decent into the stream valley. We began covering the stream with a careful approach and placing our flies near either side of the bank, knowing the little gems would be hiding underneath the banks for cover. The minute you land your first native brook trout, is the minute you realize the worth of this stream. As my dad said, “Catch one and the whole trip was worth it.” How true that is. You will sit and admire the richness and absolute purity that these brook trout radiate. Then you’ll take in the diverse, unique, and pristine environment that it takes to sustain these gems. Yep, all it takes is one.
Continuing to cover the sidewalk-width sized stream, we realized great success capturing the native brookies. One of my favorite challenges with this stream is making a good 15+ yard cast with a dry fly and enticing a brook trout to take. With the meander and small width of this stream, this proves to be difficult but I had the pleasure of meeting this challenge a handful of times today.
Jumping from bog to bog as you cover the stream just adds to the experience. Make one poor step and you could be sinking and sinking very fast. It honestly almost feels like quicksand and today there was one instance where I was sucked in knee length but managed to escape out. As you can imagine, it is quite the workout come day’s end but oh so totally worth it.
We left this stream with the same feeling as we had in years past. Feeling rejuvenated, alive, free, in awe, and amazed with the picturesque environment because each time always feels like the first. Yes, another successful opening day for my dad and I…and many more to come.