Various Stuff   5 comments

After spending another half-week in LA last week, I had a night at home on Thursday and then took off for Cedarburg with my two dogs and three sons to visit my folks. My dad’s cousing Lee Swenson was in town for a short visit from Palo Alto, CA. The last time I saw Lee was in 1993, when I was 15. I enjoyed spending time with him in San Francisco then, and had an equally nice time with him over the weekend. At age 68 he still backcountry skis on Telemark skis in the high Sierras and does a fair bit of mountaineering as well. Lee took a shine to my dog Louie. Lee grew up with a dog but hasn’t had one since, and he and Louie got along like old buddies.


Lee Swenson and Louie in Cedarburg, WI

Lee Swenson and Louie in Cedarburg, WI


Lee had visited Taliesin the day before we saw him, and he couldn’t say enough about the beauty of Southern Wisconsin. He said the farms were just the right size, there were healthy crops everywhere, and beautiful deciduous tree-covered hills everywhere you looked. I couldn’t agree more.

I took a little time Saturday morning to fish for Smallmouth on the Milwaukee River in Grafton, Wisconsin. The section I fished runs through Lime Kiln Park and used to be dammed up. But the dam came down last year and the river is vibrant and free-flowing. I landed a couple of 6″ bass, but enjoyed myself nonetheless in this scenic, healthy river just 15 minutes north of Milwaukee.


The Milwaukee River in Grafton, Wisconsin

The Milwaukee River in Grafton, Wisconsin


This morning I took a little time to fish my home waters of Black Earth Creek. I landed a nice rainbow in this section along with one smaller brown. Both were on nymphs. I tried dries of many shapes and sizes but the fish were not rising this morning. The creek is really blooming with aquatic plants, making clean sub-aquatic drifts difficult. But the fish are there and the water is clear and lovely, so I can’t complain too much.


Black Earth Creek, Dane County, Wisconsin

Black Earth Creek, Dane County, Wisconsin


I’m scheming to take a little trip in July to Crawford and Vernon Counties, Wisconsin’s trout mecca, in my opinion. My birthday is in July and I have a willing co-conspiritor in one Mr. Stephen Rose, so hopefully that will be etched in stone shortly. It is almost July, after all. I do believe I’ll catch an armload of fish on a few of my favorite Driftless streams when that trip comes to pass.



5 responses to “Various Stuff

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  1. You got it man! Let’s get this on the calendar. Nice pics. Your uncle sounds like good people. Btw, I have been fishing for panfish on the fly recently, right down in Wingra Park. Thanks to the carp removal there is still some very nice sized openings to land your fly. I’ve pulled out some really nicely sized largemouth and had some epic hits. It’s really fun and it’s allowed me to give the kids a lesson on fly-fishing. I love not getting in the car.

    And I can imagine taking some fish of real size if I was to offer some larger flies.

    • Dude-Man, How about we leave July 15 in time to set up camp at West Fork Sportsman’s, fish the 16th, and head home mid-day on the 17th?

      Are you fly fishing Wingra from a SUP? And you’ve caught some bass? Is that what you’re telling me? Is it? IS IT?!

  2. Haven’t done the SUP thing just yet but fully intend to try in the immediate future. I have begun to realize the importance of this moment with my boys. 8 & 11 is about as good as it gets!

    I am very interested in them right now and want to offer them my “undivided” when I can.

    And, YES!, I think we can do exactly that on those days. Huzzah.

  3. Absolute novice here.. Live in elm grove but have been going out to local ponds, the mke river near good hope, and practicing in my backyard.. Dont even own waders or boots yet because i am not really sure what to commit to at this point… My dad and brother are visiting this weekend and i would like to take them out… They have the orvis 5 weight just like me after we did a 101 there in june. I hear the mke river between grafton and cedarburg is good.. Where exactly do i start this journey though? If i had to plug it in my gps, where would i start? And, should we just wet wade? I am tired of not “getting in” though, so is it possible for them to fish while i get in? any input would be appreciated… I have only caught one smallmouth so far but i just love getting out..

    • Tom,

      If you’re going up to Grafton to fish the Milwaukee River, just get in and get wet. That river isn’t particularly cold. I would think wet wading on a nice summer day would be very pleasant. Get some full-length synthetic pants and some solid footwear and get in there!

      As for how to approach the fishing, you may want to get a few streamers and some advice at the Orvis shop at Bayshore. They’ll set you straight on how to approach the Smallmouth up there. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t catch anything. Just think of it as an opportunity to advance your casting abilities. Success will come with time on the water.

      Have fun!


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