Stephen and I went to check out the Madison Fishing Expo tonight. First time for both of us.
I think our collective reaction to the proceedings could be summed up as follows:
We heard about some improvements in the works for Black Earth Creek in the Village of Cross Plains, we took in the wonder of giant fishing boats with glittery paint, and saw more than our fair share of musky lures, discounted “custom” fishing rods, and people shilling for northwoods retreats and guide services.
A well-fed Pike
For the kids there was a “trout pond” full of brook trout meeting their maker by way of a piece of corn affixed to a hook. The best part was that after a kid hooked a fish, their dad would take it off the hook and then the “UNDERTAKER” would come around with a bag and a knife and “put the fish out”, as we say in the business.
The Fishin' Pond - complete with hillbilly background music
Hey kid, lemme put that fish out for ya.
The highlight of the night was talking to a couple of trout fishermen, Craig Amacker and Rob, from Fontana Sports. Two knowledgeable, friendly guys with the only fly rods in the entire place.
Last, and probably least, my favorite painting from the expo (although the 3-D largemouth chasing a leech was a close second)…
I'm a wolf, bitch!
My advice, spend your $8 admission fee (and $6 parking fee) on a burger and a pitcher of beer at your neighborhood tavern. That’s $14 well spent.
Call me a newbie, but I just discovered the “Friday Pin Up” at the Moldy Chum. I’m sure some of you guys have known about this for years. Anyway, I’m particularly fond of the ladies fly fishing in bikinis and rubber pants. Call me crazy. Perhaps this is related to some suppressed and heretofore unrecognized tall boot fetish first developed as a 13-year-old watching Sam Kinison and Scorpion videos on MTV. Although I don’t recall anyone carrying a fishing rod in those videos.
Whatever. Go check it out if you’re inclined. I know my blogging/fishing buddy Stephen Rose is rolling his eyes and laughing while he reads this, but I’m also pretty sure he’ll go check it out. Ha!
Friday Pin Up from the Moldy Chum - Rubber Pants anyone?
Last winter I experimented with moviemaking in a media production class as a way to develop new skills that suit this ever stranger internet environment.
I chose ice fishing as a topic because it was something I really hadn’t entertained doing to this point in my life. I always wrote it off as too stationary an activity. But I have always been struck by the great numbers of fisherman who sit out in the cold. What is it that’s so compelling?
So much fuss and concentration over this really uncharismatic hole.
I probably wouldn’t have done anything about this idle curiosity if not for the young guy at the center of the movie, Donny. This infectious kid, really hard not to like, had so much enthusiasm for the enterprise that I felt compelled to at least give it a look.
Full disclosure. You will not witness any fishporn in this particular video. Donny had plenty of luck fishing during my filming effort, he caught plenty of legal northern pike, but I was never present to see any of his swag. Instead, the film that got captured is really a intensive look at this quiet and reflective activity on the last day of a fine season of trophy fishing.
I wish I could give you the backstory but suffice to say that Donny has not always had things go his way. But his simple joy and sparse surroundings make me think that I have overlooked some of the unspoken qualities of ‘the ice fisherman’.
If your careful, you’ll observe our lovely state capitol (currently under siege by state employees perhaps hoping beyond hope to retain their CBA’s).
I found myself walking through the Pheasant Branch Conservancy this morning and took some snapshots. It is a really pretty place to visit.
Pheasant Branch Creek, Middleton, WI
Trail along Pheasant Branch Creek
Pheasant Branch Creek, Middleton, WI