BFF Member’s New Book, River Alliance Update, Stream Improvement Project Contribution and More Great Fish Pictures

Scott Seymour is a long-time Badger Fly Fishers member who has written a book titled “Return to Familiar Waters”.  The book was just released in February on and is about Scott’s journey to becoming a fly fisher and the streams and rivers he has traveled to along the way.  Many of these locations are places people will readily recognize.  The following is a book review:

“Return to Familiar Waters” by Scott Seymour – Reviewed by Bob Harrison

Scott Seymour wrote his first book, “From Field to Fly” in 2000.  2021 03 Mar - Scott's book cover - 51sNe3kGvaL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_The book was a how-to guide for fly tiers showing how to skin and preserve birds and fur bearers to use in fly tying.  He has just released his second book, “Return to Familiar Waters” in February, 2021.  Unlike his first book, “Return to Familiar Waters”, is not a how-to book nor is it a where-to book but rather it’s a fly fisher’s journey from rowing the boat while his grandfather fished to ultimately earning his place in the boat as a fishing companion to his grandfather.  From there, we climb into the passenger seat and follow along as Seymour slowly and inevitably discovers the rivers, lakes and streams of his home state of Wisconsin.  Along the way we meet lifelong friends, bear witness to the ones that got away and a few of the ones that didn’t get away.  Those of us who have enjoyed fishing the waters of our wonderful state will recognize many of the locations in Seymour’s adventures and in doing so perhaps relive some of our own adventures.

We also share in Seymour’s conversion to that hallowed group of misfits known as fly fishers.  His immersion into that world of lost souls includes trips to the American West, Alaska and south to salt water destinations.  But ultimately, like many of us, he circles back to his home water.  In Seymour’s case it’s the Menominee River in northeastern Wisconsin.  Seymour speaks with due reverence to this very special river and the imminent danger it faces with a proposed open pit sulfide mine known as the Back Forty Mine.  This mine will come within 150 feet of the Menominee River and its blue ribbon smallmouth bass fishery.  The last chapter of the book is one of the best written descriptions of what is at stake should this mine be allowed to open.  Mr. Seymour is committed to stopping this potential risk to his favorite river and has committed all the profits from the sale of this book to organizations (listed in the back of the book) opposed to the Back Forty Mine project.  Buy the book and you will not only get an enjoyable read but also help to preserve a great river.

Many of us will read “Return to Familiar Waters” and see a common thread with our own path to that wonderful “Dark Side” that is the sporting life.  As Mr. Thoreau pointed out to us many years ago, “Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it is not fish they are after”.  Mr. Seymour has looked into that deep pool and seen life, without artifice, looking back at him.

“Return to Familiar Waters” by Scott Seymour is available for purchase on

The following is a recent update from the River Alliance of Wisconsin on the Menominee River Back Forty mining project:

On January 4, 2021 Administrative Law Judge Daniel Pulter denied Aquila Resources wetland permit for the proposed Back Forty sulfide mine near the Menominee River.  In June 2018, Tom Boerner, the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, and the Coalition to Save the Menominee River contested the wetland permit that Aquila Resources received from Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).  While this is a setback for Aquila, we expect it to challenge this decision.  You can donate to support the continued legal efforts of the Coalition (donate here) and Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin (donate here).  Over the past several years the Badger Fly Fishers have made contributions to this cause and written letters of support.  The Coalition to Save the Menominee River provided this press release that is a good summary of the decision:

The Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River, Inc. is very pleased with Judge Pulter’s decision in our Contested Case to deny Aquila Resources’ Wetlands Permit.  His decision validates many of the objections the Coalition raised with respect to the Permit.  One of our big arguments was that the application should never have been considered administratively complete by EGLE because the wetland impacts were not reliably identified, which deprived the public of its right to review and comment.  Judge Pulter agreed.  Another issue we raised was that Aquila did not properly assess the alternatives to avoid wetland impacts.  Again, the Judge agreed.  And, on the big question of whether EGLE could issue a permit with conditions that would have allowed Aquila to submit new and updated modeling to support the wetland impacts, the Judge said such conditional permits are not allowed.  The decision itself is over 70 pages long, and our attorney is still assessing what it all means.  We do understand that the next step, should any of the parties so choose, would be to seek review from the Environmental Permit Review Commission.  That request would have to be made within 21 days.  More details can be found at this link.

The Board of Directors’ recommendation for a $1,500 contribution to The Harry and Laura Nohr Trout Unlimited chapter’s Blue River project was overwhelmingly approved by the membership.  When this project is completed it will greatly improve over 7,700 feet of stream on the Zadrazil property which is a new easement.  Thanks for everyone’s support of this worthwhile project. 

The Buzz again received numerous great fish pictures since the last announcement that you can find below.  This group of pictures reveals in a photograph for the first time Brian Ramsey’s super special Driftless No Hackle Dry Fly which is simply and fittingly named the “BR Mighty Trout Catcher”.  Brian is a master fly casting instructor who has provided instructions in the past at our summer picnics and is a professional guide that many of us know.  Please keep the pictures of fish and fly patterns coming to this email address ( and the Buzz will periodically post the pictures on our website.  Enjoy!

Continue to keep safe and healthy!


Buzz McFly

2021 03 Mar - Brian Ramsey Trout #22021 03 Mar - Brian Ramsey Trout #1  2021 03 Mar - Brian Ramsey Fly (cropped)

Brian Ramsey’s Driftless Trout and No Hackle Dry Fly.

Thanks Brian for sharing!

2021 03 Mar - Bob and Gene with bass image2
Bob Harrison and Gene Knutson on the Menominee River last year showing off their catches.

2021 03 Mar - Bob's White River AR trout-2-20-20 email
Bob Harrison with a stunning Brown trout caught in February 2020 on the White River in Arkansas – look at that boyish twinkle in his eyes and proud smile as he cradles that beauty !!!