Archive for the ‘Kittleson Creek’ Category

Pics from Kittleson on Sunday   5 comments

I hope you enjoy the pictures of Stephen and I at Kittleson Sunday. Even though we didn’t catch any fish it was a nice, relaxing morning spent in the beautiful Driftless Region of Wisconsin.



Streamside Banana

Streamside Banana



Hard to beat sitting around streamside

Hard to beat sitting around streamside



Rubber Pants Revolution!

Rubber Pants Revolution!



Sally Jerney's homemade butter biscuits and a big thermos of hot coffee

Sally Jerney’s homemade butter biscuits and a big thermos of hot coffee



Kittleson Creek, Dane County, Wisconsin

Kittleson Creek, Dane County, Wisconsin



Hand-tied leader with a blood knot connecting 20-lb and 15-lb Maxima Chameleon

Tom’s Hand-tied leader with a blood knot connecting 20-lb and 15-lb Maxima Chameleon



Parenting – An abbreviated Treatise   1 comment

The opener is this Saturday. I plan to stay local for much of the season. I’ll take a few trips further afield, but I’m scheming to get intimately familiar with water that is within thirty minutes of home and work. An hour here and an hour there will make up the bulk of my fishing time this season.

My friend Stephen Rose on local water, Driftless, Wisconsin

My friend Stephen Rose on local water, Driftless, Wisconsin

Weekend trips this year are going to involve my three young sons and a few good campsites, and there will likely be more variety to my weekend Driftless Area stream time. Whatever it takes to keep it fun for my kids, that’s where I’m trying to aim. I want them to want to join me in trout country. I’m building relationships with them that I hope will grow into their love of the same places I love. If that takes campfires and marshmallows, lunches at the local burger joint, and a few hands of UNO at the campsite in the afternoon, I’m game.

Shep at Parfrey's Glen, 2009

Shep at Parfrey's Glen, 2009

I was recently called “the best parent when it comes to making things fun”. It was a compliment, but it was a statement made to temper criticism that followed. The criticism was that I acquiesce to my children when decisions about “what to do” have to be made. It’s not as if I let my children choose to do whatever they want to do whenever they want to do it. I’m not a wet noodle that bends to their every demand. But I’ll admit, I fall into the role of joining them as boys in the activities we share. I want my kids to like me, to want to invite me along when I’m an old man.

Childhood is not only about “Protestant-Work-Ethic” character building via depravity and rigid time management. It is just as important, perhaps more important, for children to understand what they have to fall back on when they need some reprieve from the trying times that come from all directions in a person’s life.

Let's dig a hole in the backyard! (Madison, WI 2009)

Let's dig a hole in the backyard! (Madison, WI)

When I think back to my boyhood I don’t remember with fondness those things that adults had me do to “prepare me” for the real world. I remember spending time with my mom, dad, and sister, or my neighborhood buddies, doing things out in nature or around the neighborhood, exploring unfamiliar places, revisiting familiar ones. I remember my dad waking up on Saturday morning just in time to watch Looney Tunes with me and my sister, and I thought it was so cool that he took an interest in something I really liked! And I also remember the excitement of being invited to partake in activities that my parents liked too.

My dad, The Man. (Cedarburg, WI, 2011)

My dad, The Man. (Cedarburg, WI, 2011)

My dad had plenty of “advice” for me that I didn’t appreciate and still don’t take any stock in. However, he’s been more than open to trying things I’ve discovered on my own so that he can share experiences with me. That’s the approach I’m trying to take with my sons. Show them things I like. Try things that they like. Meet in the middle. Skip out on responsibilities once in a while for the sake of freedom and fun, to feel like you’ve got some say in your life. Not all the time, but rules can and should be bent once in a while. Like that time in 8th grade my parents took my sister and me out of school for a whole week to go skiing in Montana. There’s one I’ll never forget.

Camping in the Trees and Kittleson Creek   5 comments

What a campsite this would make.

Getting out to our coldwater streams is a really big deal. But how to not ‘break the bank’ on our visits can often feel like a huge compromise. When you’ve waded enough of these streams you realize just what you don’t see when you stay in a readymade campground.

Someone bought me a cheap nylon camping hammock as a gift for my wedding.  I had planned a bachelor’s river trip down the Flambeau River flowage with a dozen or so of my good friends. That was sixteen years ago and the hammock turned out to be the most revelatory part of the whole excursion. The first night we set up camp, I saw that the moon was bright in the sky and we had little worry about weather. So I strung up the hammock for fun.

But I felt so good in it I didn’t bother to set up my crummy tent and I slept better than I ever had before. I think I was the only one who felt great in the morning. (the beer may have played a role) From that moment on I’ve looked for ways to use the hammock as my primary way to get through the night outdoors.

Recently, Tom and I came across an article in the Times.

Cory and Dana Foht

These guys were doing exactly what I always hoped to do. Why do we sit on our hands?

Anyway, Tom and I have invested in some pretty sweet hammock gear and we can’t wait to find an ideal tree to spend an evening this way. Up in the canopy with the stars.

Wouldn't this be cool.

I’m envious of this dude.

This kind of camping would allow you to get right down to the streams edge without disturbing so much as a leaf. You can string one of these arrangements in two minutes if your not expecting weather and fifteen if you do. And there’s a minimum of wet stuff to contend with in the morning. I’ve been through quite a few serious weather evenings in my hammocks and getting wet has never been as issue. Mostly, I’ve worried about everybody else who wasn’t in one.

This whole idea can be taken to some pretty cool extremes.

This is New Zealand but there is no reason we couldn't figure this out at some point.

Enough of that. You get the idea. Tom and I hope to locate idealized trees for this activity all season long. There won’t be any campfires but who cares? We came to fish.

On the last day of the season last year, I elected to give the newly restored section of Kittleson Valley Creek in SW Dane county a try. The banks have been nicely cut back and lunker structures added with some really nice riffle runs and on either side of the restoration I’ve seen some pretty big browns. It’s not a big stretch but it has some premium spots for fly casters.

Kittleson Creek is a nice little tributary of Gordon Creek.

This spot may not be a good choice for the early season as I can imagine it getting some significant traffic right out of the gate. But if you can manage to escape work one day you might have a really sweet couple of hours working this water. You might not even need to get wet.

If anybody’s interested, Tom and I will be down at the On The Creek fly shop in Cross Plains tomorrow night tying some flies.

If your local, maybe we’ll see you out there?


An idea taken to a nifty extreme. Just how the heck do they get out of there?