Archive for the ‘Winter’ Category

Amazing Video – All I Can   1 comment

One of my passions is alpine skiing. I’m a coach for the Blackhawk Alpine Race Team and my co-coach, we’ll call him “Brian”, introduced me to this video. I’m planning to purchase the full movie to watch with my boys this weekend. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

 

JP Auclair Street Segment (from All.I.Can.) from Sherpas Cinema on Vimeo.

Posted February 22, 2012 by troutseeker in Winter

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Family Hike on the Ice Age Trail   5 comments

Sunday was our first family hike with our new puppy, Louie. It was a lot of fun!

 

Louie likes fingers. They taste delicious.

Louie likes fingers. They taste delicious.

 

My son Bode.

My son Bode.

 

My wife Rebecca with Bode and Louie.

My wife Rebecca with Bode and Louie.

 

Louie on the Ice Age Trail near Verona, Wisconsin

Louie on the Ice Age Trail near Verona, Wisconsin

 

Family Photo: Sawyer, Tom, Shepard, Bode, Rebecca, and Louie.

Family Photo: Sawyer, Tom, Shepard, Bode, Rebecca, and Louie.

 

Love those rocks!

Love those rocks!

 

Shepard loves Cherry trees too.

Shepard loves Cherry trees too.

Southern Wisconsin Trout Unlimited Work Day   3 comments

The Southern Wisconsin Trout Unlimited chapter organized a work day Saturday morning on a stream in Dane County. Stephen Rose and I went out to lend a hand. There were 34 volunteers clearing Buckthorn, Box Elder, and Honeysuckle away from the stream corridor, and in 3 hours we cleaned out over 1,000 feet of streambank. This section of the stream went from a choked up mess to a wonderful place to chase after trout and take in the beauty of a spring creek.

(Click on the picture below to see 13 more pictures from the cleanup day)

SWTU Cleanup - Photo Copyright James Beecher, 2012

SWTU Cleanup - Photo Copyright James Beecher, 2012

 

Kurt Welke, the Fisheries Manager for the South Central Region of Wisconsin, was on hand and working hard. He set aside some larger tree trunk sections that would be placed in a section of the stream that was wide, shallow, and silty. He said that the trunks would be used to alter the flow of the water to create faster flow, which would scour away the silt, deepen the stream, and oxygenate the water.

SWTU will be holding two more maintenance/cleanup projects this spring. One on March 17th and one in April. If you’re interested check out the chapter’s website at http://www.swtu.org/, or contact Conservation Committee Chairman Steve Wald (sewald101@gmail.com) for more information.

It feels really good to help transform an unusable section of stream into a beautiful trout fishing destination. Each section of stream we improve provides another trout fishing destination for all of us to enjoy. Come on out March 17th and help improve your trout fishery!

Frye’s Feeder and Donald County Park   4 comments

Yesterday Stephen Rose and I did some exploring with our kids and my dog. We went to eastern Iowa county to take a look at Smith-Conley Creek. We checked out a parcel of land Stephen was curious about. And then we went to Donald County Park, a place neither of us had ever visited, even though we’ve each lived in Dane County for over a decade.

Donald County Park is the piece of land that spawns Mt Vernon Creek, at the confluence of Frye’s Feeder and Deer Creek. There are some great hiking trails, beautiful views, and of course, trout.

We had a great time exploring and relaxing in the February sun, sheltered from the wind behind a rise in the Driftless. It’s a neat place to check out, and I’ll surely be back with my fly rod when the trout season is in swing.

Shep and Joe at Donald County Park, Dane County, Wisconsin

Shep and Joe at Donald County Park, Dane County, Wisconsin

Joe and Stephen relaxing in a Hennessy hammock, Donald Park, Dane County, Wisconsin

Joe and Stephen relaxing in a Hennessy hammock, Donald Park, Dane County, Wisconsin

Shep, Joe, Bode, and Stephen, Donald County Park, Dane County, Wisconsin

Shep, Joe, Bode, and Stephen, Donald County Park, Dane County, Wisconsin

Frye's Feeder runs through Donald County Park, Dane County, Wisconsin

Frye's Feeder runs through Donald County Park, Dane County, Wisconsin

Maybea-Dog enjoying her free time, Donald County Park, Dane County, Wisconsin

Maybea-Dog enjoying her free time, Donald County Park, Dane County, Wisconsin

Driftless Winter Scenes   2 comments

I got out this morning to do a little walking along one of my favorite Driftless streams. I could not help but notice the grin on my face as I took my little walk. I felt so at ease, all my concerns disappeared. The winter sun was beginning its slow traverse of the sky, the water to my right made its way from deep in the ground toward the Gulf of Mexico, and my mind was free to take it in.

Being outside along a winter creek it is amazing how much life continues on, even while everything appears to be suspended in time by bitter cold.

Below are some photos of my short journey. I hope you get out to enjoy the world a bit this winter.

The sun rises over a Driftless spring-fed creek in Wisconsin

The sun rises over a Driftless spring-fed creek in Wisconsin

What life lurks beneath the water? Driftless creek, Wisconsin.

What life lurks beneath the water? Driftless creek, Wisconsin.

Cedar trees over moving water, Driftless, Wisconsin

Cedar trees over moving water, Driftless, Wisconsin

Frozen buds, Driftless, Wisconsin

Frozen buds, Driftless, Wisconsin

Frozen Arctium Minus, Driftless, Wisconsin

Frozen Arctium Minus, Driftless, Wisconsin

Windblown tracks, glittering snow, Driftless, Wisconsin

Windblown tracks, glittering snow, Driftless, Wisconsin

Spring water, Trees, and Bluffs, Driftless, Wisconsin

Spring water, Trees, and Bluffs, Driftless, Wisconsin

A confluence of spring-fed creeks, Driftless, Wisconsin

A confluence of spring-fed creeks, Driftless, Wisconsin

Nightshade and Cedars in the light of the rising sun, Driftless, Wisconsin

Nightshade and Cedars in the light of the rising sun, Driftless, Wisconsin

Nightshade, aka: "Devil's Berries", streamside, Driftless, Wisconsin

Nightshade, aka: "Devil's Berries", streamside, Driftless, Wisconsin

Cedars lit by sunlight reflected off the creek, Driftless, Wisconsin

Cedars lit by sunlight reflected off the creek, Driftless, Wisconsin

Cedar bark in the light of a January sunrise, Driftess, Wisconsin

Cedar bark in the light of a January sunrise, Driftess, Wisconsin

Another world lives on the bark of this Cedar, Driftless, Wisconsin

Another world lives on the bark of this Cedar, Driftless, Wisconsin

A woody forest vine, Driftless, Wisconsin

A woody forest vine, Driftless, Wisconsin

The Galena River, LaFayette County, Wisconsin   4 comments

Over the weekend I took a trip down to Chestnut Mountian Ski Area, south of Galena, Illinois, to do my second job as a ski coach for the Blackhawk Ski Club. We had a great weekend and our kids were second as a team in the Giant Slalom Saturday, and first as a team in the Slalom on Sunday, and we ended up winning the overall meet against powerhouse clubs Tyrol Basin and Cascade Mountain. Way to go Blackhawk!

Coaching skiers at a ski race involves standing at the bottom of the course, cheering on skiers, giving out high fives and fist bumps at the finish, and talking about the run the skier just had. It’s an interesting experience, and a lot of fun. But, I didn’t really move from my spot for two days, and if you’ve ever stood on the side of a hill for two days, you too may want a change of scenery.

So, when the race was over Sunday afternoon, I drove north through the beautiful town of Galena (it is seriously a very cool place) and headed north to Wisconsin. I decided that since I was in the Driftless I’d take in some sights I’ve not seen before. After passing through Hazel Green I checked my GPS to see that there was a river flowing southward on the east side of Benton and Cuba City that I’d not seen before. I took some county roads and made my way toward the river.

The Galena River is not designated as a trout stream, and it likely gets too warm and flows too slowly to support a trout population. I stopped at the river on Twin Bridges Road and got out with my fly rod and camera. I did some fishing with a wooly bugger, a copper john, and a hopper pattern, but didn’t get any interest from the smallmouth bass that may have been swimming there. It was nice to unwind with some casting and waiting, and it made me wonder why trout fishing has to close down for several months of the year in Wisconsin. I can’t, for the life of me, understand the science behind this law. Perhaps there is concern that spawning and reproduction will be disturbed by fishermen wading through redds. Perhaps it’s more of a cultural thing. Winter is for ice fishing, you idiot. I don’t know.

At any rate, being outside along that pretty river was a nice way to end the weekend, and I’m glad I did a little exploring.

Galena River near Benton, Wisconsin

Galena River near Benton, Wisconsin

 

Galena River near Benton, Wisconsin

Galena River near Benton, Wisconsin

 

Galena River east of Cuba City, Wisconsin

Galena River east of Cuba City, Wisconsin

 

Twin Bridge Road passes over the Galena River, Lafayette, County, Wisconsin

Twin Bridge Road passes over the Galena River, Lafayette, County, Wisconsin

 

Gravestone at Carr Cemetery near Cuba City, Wisconsin

Gravestone at Carr Cemetery near Cuba City, Wisconsin

 

Moonrise over Lafayette County, Wisconsin

Moonrise over Lafayette County, Wisconsin

Frogs, Keyholes, Turkeys, and Hammocks on a ‘Saturated’ Mill Creek   1 comment

Tom with a pickerel frog found in the water of a small tributary of Mill Creek just north of the Trout Creek Fishery Area. This specimen was obviously in a state of torpor as it was found in just this  position in approximately 6 to 12 inches of water. It didn’t move the entire time we had it out of the water.

The 'keyhole' view of a Mill Creek tributary

The kids coming along is an essential part of what Tom and I are trying to do out on the streams. This image reminds  me of when I was kid crawling through the sewers out in front of our house. But these coldwater streams are a huge, and beautiful, step up from those memories.

 

Heron walking the stream on his own well on his way to becoming a troutfisherman.

I like the image above as it reminds me of the psychological state you enter that I’ve heard called ‘flow’. Anybody whose been out there knows what I’m talking about. That lovely set of serpentine curves is very suggestive of good water.

 

A nifty 'saturated' color shot of the boys keeping vigil over the fire.

Tom and  I have been having fun putting this blog together and over the last 6 months we’ve visited alot of really cool websites and blogs with often amazing photography. I decided to horse around with the pics from this trip to see if we could make what was a rather gray day feel a bit ‘warmer’.

 

A farmer's field with an amazing number of wild turkeys feeding.

It’s hard to appreciate just how many (easily 500) turkeys we saw that day but if you have any worries about the turkey population I think this might help put that idea to rest.

 

A camping hammock slung on Mill Creek just off the highway.

I think this image, minus a slithering brook trout, about says it all for what I’m hoping to accomplish over the coming season. We may not pull off quite this arrangement but we’ll hope to get damn close!

By the way, we didn’t see much evidence of Mill Creek being ideal trout water. This part of the system is heavy with silt and the cutbacks are mostly filled in. The flowrate is probably not enough to support good fish numbers. I’d say that the DNR’s got a pretty good handle on the designation of this part of the Trout Creek system.

Bring on Saturday!

Posted March 3, 2011 by Stephen in Trout Creek, Winter