Author: Chris Hansen

Invasive Species Rant

I’m at a boat launch near home this weekend, and here comes the  DNR’s Milfoil Boy.  Nothing against this guy, he was polite and just doing his job, and I answered all his questions like I have many times before.  When we were done with the mandatory back-and-forth, he told how this year there would even be boat wash down stations at some popular boat launches on the Croix and Mississippi.  “Good”, I thought, “another reason for me to be late getting home”.  I can already hear the phone conversation…..”Really, Hon’, I pulled the boat out over an hour ago, but I’m still waiting for my turn to do the mandatory BOAT WASH!”   I can’t stop wondering how many tax dollars are going to this endeavor? What is an invasive specie?  A better question is “What isn’t an invasive specie?”  Every critter, fish, plant, and person in the world could be considered “Invasive” if it is in the wrong place.  Milfoil, Zebra Mussels, and Asian Carp get most of the press now.  You aren’t likely to hear many complain about Brown Trout or Ring Neck Pheasants, but some might put them into the invasive category–after all both come from lands far away.  If Whitetail Deer, Ruffed Grouse, Black Capped Chickadees, or Walleyes were introduced and later became overly abundant somewhere in Argentina, someone there would probably put laws into affect that would involve a firing squad for...

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Spring Steelhead

The North Shore did not disappoint.  I have gone fishless on the Shore many times over the years, but I have gotten a little smarter, and have learned to wait until the conditions are good.  And this has to line up with time I can actually get away.  River levels ranged from a little low to very high depending on where we were, Gunnar and I concentrated our efforts on the Middle Shore, and hooked fish in every river we tried.  Almost all were caught fishing traditional North Shore style, drifting yarn flies on mono.  I have a rod that is only used for this–it is an old Sage I built [over 20 years ago!] with an even older Battenkill reel on it.  Other anglers were getting fish using fly line with indicators.  The biggest ones were around 28″, and almost everything we caught was a wild steelhead; we only got a couple of loopers, and one of them came home with us. Anyone thinking of trying for Steelhead on the North Shore, it will be good for at least another week.  Most years the peak is late April-early May, but this year the rivers didn’t even start flowing until around May 1. Anyone with specifics asfar as river access points, or tackle/rigging tips, please drop me an...

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Wisconsin Trout Opener

I’ve hardly missed a Wisconsin Opening Day in the last 40 or so years, but I opted to pass on sketchy weather on Saturday, and took the Little Girl for her 4th season of trout fishing on Sunday instead.  We hit our usual hot spots, plus tried a couple of new ones.  High, muddy water made for tough conditions, but we ended up with 7 in the cooler, just enough for a fish fry.  Projects are going to keep me around the house this weekend, but I’ll be chasing steel on the North Shore next...

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Spring is finally here

Made a rare visit to the Rush on Sunday.  The water was high, but flowing pretty clear.  I couldn’t believe how few anglers were out for such a nice day.  Fishing was decent, got into  a nice hatch of mayflies in one section, but most fish I caught nymphing, and even got a few on streamers.  Best fish of the day came on the first cast with a new “Stay Hungry” streamer pattern I call “Creek Chub”.  Not a great picture of the fish o the fly, but there will be more to come. Sunday brought the end of the catch and release season, the coldest one I can remember. The statewide Wisconsin Opener is next Saturday- you can be sure I’ll be out there, will...

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