December 16th Meeting – Jim Lattis, Director of the UW Madison Space Place on “140 Years on the Frontiers: UW Madison’s Washburn Observatory”

Dr. Jim Lattis is director of the UW Madison Space Place, the outreach and public education center for the University’s Department of Astronomy, in which he is also a Faculty Associate.  Jim teaches astronomy by many methods to a wide variety of audiences from the general public to the university setting.  His research focuses on the history of astronomy and more specifically in the age of Galileo.  Jim has published a book in that area titled “Between Copernicus and Galileo” (University of Chicago Press) and is currently working on a book on the history of Wisconsin’s Washburn Observatory.

UW Madison’s Washburn Observatory was the country’s 2019 12 Dec - Washburn telescopewesternmost research observatory when it was established in 1879.  Although the United States’ physical frontier advanced westward rapidly, the Washburn Observatory remained at the frontiers of astronomical research as a result of its long and prestigious tradition of innovative instrument development which led not only to the growth of modern astrophysics in the early 20th Century but also to new frontiers of space astronomy.  Jim’s presentation will survey the origins and important achievements in the history of Wisconsin’s observatory and its astronomers.

This meeting is a joint Holiday Party with the Wisconsin Smallmouth Alliance (WSA) at the Maple Tree restaurant on Highway 51 in McFarland.  Again this year attendees will need to RSVP by Dec. 9th via email to either Mike Simon at, Jerry Pasdo at or the Badger Fly Fishers at with your number of dinner attendees so that an accurate count can be obtained.  The meeting begins at 5:30 with a social hour followed by a family style dinner served at 6:30.  The presentation will begin following dinner.  The dinner cost is $19 which includes the tip.  Payment needs to be made in the exact cash amount or via a check payable to Badger Fly Fishers.

Hope to see you on the 16th to learn about the Washburn Observatory’s significant contributions to astronomy!


Buzz McFly

2019 12 Dec - sky
Title: “A Spectacular Sky”

The following is a list of our future monthly meeting presentations for the next three months:

  1. January 27, 2020 – Rich Osthoff on fishing the Driftless Region.
  2. February 8, 2020 – Spring Opener Fundraiser with Bob Clouser as guest speaker.
  3. February 24, 2020 – Tim Landwehr on “Fly Fishing in Patagonia.”
  4. March 23, 2020 – Bradd Sims from WDNR on “Smallmouth Bass Fishing and Easement Program”


November 25th Meeting – Matt Mitro on “Trout Research in Wisconsin: An Overview of Three Studies”

2019 11 Nov - MM - Mitro photoMatt Mitro is a fisheries research scientist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR).  Based in Madison, Matt has been working with the WDNR since 2003 on statewide fisheries issues with a focus on trout in Wisconsin’s inland streams.  Previously he worked for the EPA’s Atlantic Ecology Division and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.  Matt earned his PhD in fisheries from Montana State University studying Rainbow Trout recruitment in the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River.  Matt is an avid fly fisher who has chased trout for over 40 years.  Additional information on Matt’s research and published articles can be found at this link.

2019 11 Nov - MM - IMG_20171010_1227031
“Title: One Huge Brown Trout”

Matt will discuss three trout research topics:

  1. Climate Change and Trout – Much work has been done in Wisconsin investigating how climate change may ultimately impact trout distribution and how changes in environmental conditions affect interactions among species. Matt will present an overview of studies on climate model projections that show regions of Wisconsin expected to be most resistant to the effects of climate warming and on how interactions of gill lice and trout, mediated by stream conditions, may lead to brook trout loss.
  2. Brown Trout Density and Growth – Perceptions of poor growth in high density trout populations have raised the question of whether increased harvest can improve brown trout growth. Matt will present findings from an experimental study on Spring Coulee Creek related to this issue.
  3. Beaver Influence on Trout Habitat and Populations – This is a project to study the effect beavers have on cold-water stream habitat and trout populations in Wisconsin. The study began this year and it is expected to help fill in many of the gaps in the understanding of how to best manage for both trout and beaver on Wisconsin streams.

At the November 25th monthly meeting the winning bid for the fundraising auction of the Costa Rica trip will also be announced.  The winning bidder (or his/her representative) must be present at this meeting to pay for the trip.  The last chance and deadline to bid on this trip is Sunday, November 24th at 7:00 p.m.  All the complete details related to the trip and auction can be found at this link.

This meeting also includes the elections of Officers and Board of Directors members so come prepared to participate in this portion of the meeting.  The meeting on Monday, November 25th will be at the Maple Tree restaurant on Highway 51 in McFarland.  The presentation begins at 7:00 p.m. with dinner and conversation at 6:00 p.m.  Visitors and guests are always welcome.


Buzz McFly

The following is a list of our future monthly meeting presentations for the next three months:

  1. December 16, 2019 – Jim Lattis, UW Space Place Director on “UW-Madison’s Washburn Observatory – 140 Years on the Frontiers.”
  2. January 27, 2020 – Rich Osthoff on fishing the Driftless Region.
  3. February 8, 2020 – Spring Opener Fundraiser with Bob Clouser as guest speaker.
  4. February 24, 2020 – Tim Landwehr on “Fly Fishing in Patagonia.”

Fundraising Auction of Sport Fishing and Sightseeing Trip to Costa Rica

Do you want to get away from the cold weather in Wisconsin this winter?  Here is a fantastic opportunity to do just that!  Bill Weege, a longtime Badger Fly Fishers member, has very generously donated a week long February 2020 sport fishing and sightseeing trip to Costa Rica for a fundraising auction.  Money raised from his donation will go in total to the Badger Fly Fishers and in turn will be used to support work on local cold and warm water resources and the fish that live in them.

2019 11 Nov Costa Rica hotel
Hotel Villas Nicolas

About the Trip:  The trip is scheduled for an arrival date of February 8, 2020 and a departure date of February 16, 2020 and is booked with Central America Fishing (CAF), the premier outfitter for fishing trips to Costa Rica, Panama, Belize, and Guatemala.  CAF has appeared on Fox Sports West’s No. 1 rated fishing show three times, has published articles in the Billfish Foundation magazine and is partners with King Sailfish Mounts and the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust.  abe downs cropped #2 6419.jpg (2)The trip covers two people and the schedule for the trip is eight nights and nine days which includes travel days, two offshore fishing days, one inshore fishing day and three free days to relax at the beach, shop or set up a tour to see more of Costa Rica such as their Manuel Antonio National Park.  The boat for the offshore fishing days runs 20 to 30 miles offshore. The main target fish are sailfish, marlin, yellow-fin tuna, and mahi mahi.  December through April is both the dry season (summer) in 2019 11 Nov Costa Rica roosterfishCosta Rica and the peak fishing season, so this February trip is right in the middle of both of them!  The boat for the inshore fishing day stays within 1 to 2 miles of the coastline as you fish it North or South around the islands, reefs and river mouths.  The main target fish are snapper, grouper, jacks, snook, seabass, mackerel and of course the famous roosterfish!  The trip is valued at $5,613 USD and the complete 2019 11 Nov Costa Rica orange fishdetailed current itinerary can be found at this link.  Chris Atkins, the CAF owner and founder, will be happy to provide the details on additional tours and other activities that can be added to the current itinerary for the non-fishing days.  These items however are not included in the current package itinerary and therefore would be an additional expense.  Any changes to the current scheduled itinerary will need to be discussed directly with Chris who can be reached by phone toll free at (855) 414-FISH, ext. 13 or via email at  Here is an additional link for a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ’s).  The following is a summary outline of the trip:

  1. The trip package is valued at $5,613 USD and is for two people.
  2. What’s included: all transportation within Costa Rica as outlined in the current itinerary, hotel accommodations, breakfasts and three days of fishing which include all bait, conventional tackle, gas, lunch, and drinks (beer/water/soda).
  3. What’s excluded: international airfare to and from San Jose, Costa Rica, any changes to the current itinerary, fishing licenses ($15 per person), tips (fishing charter – $100 to $200 per day/per boat recommended – also see FAQ’s), lunches on non-fishing days and all dinners.
  4. Please review the current trip itinerary and frequently asked questions in detail and contact Chris directly at the contact information provided above with any questions. DISCLAIMER: the Badger Fly Fishers is not in the travel business so it cannot accept responsibility for any possible misinterpretations of the trip details or any liability.  Only Chris at CAF can explain the trip details and answer any questions related to this trip.

About the Auction:  The minimum bid for this fabulous trip is $1,500 and bids above the minimum need to be made in $100 increments.  Bids need to be submitted to the Badger Fly Fishers email address which is  Emailed bids will be acknowledged via an email response.  The current high bid and the bidder’s name (or initials if preferred) will be listed on the Badger Fly Fishers’ website on the home page ( midway down the page under the “WELCOME” banner.  The last chance and deadline to bid on this trip is Sunday, November 24th at 7:00 p.m.  On November 25th the winning bid will be announced and the winning bidder (or his/her representative) must be present at the next regular monthly meeting on Monday, November 25th to pay for the trip.  That meeting will be at the Maple Tree Restaurant in McFarland and begins at 7:00 p.m.  Payment can be made by check or credit card.  Credit card payments will incur an additional 3% charge to cover the credit card processing fees.  Best of luck at winning this amazing “bucket list item” destination trip!!!


Buzz McFly

October 28th Meeting – Mat Wagner on “Golden Dorado Fishing in Northern Argentina”

Mat Wagner, along with his wife Geri, owns the Driftless Angler Fly Shop in Viroqua, WI.  Mat will make a presentation titled “Golden Dorado Fishing in Northern Argentina” at this month’s meeting. 2019 10 Oct Map Mat Wagner - Golden DoradoMat has fished all over North America for pretty much anything that swims and was fortunate enough last year to fish for Golden Dorado in Northern Argentina and is now obsessed with what he calls the “best and most fun fish you will ever catch on a fly rod.”  Freshwater Golden Dorado fishing is only available in a small part of the world and more specifically Central and East Central South America.  Mat’s trip was to the Upper Parana River and the waters of the Ibera Marshlands.  Golden Dorado average 6 to 22 pounds in size and can grow up to 40+ pounds in size.  These fish are well known for their aggressive eats and acrobatic fighting.  2019 10 Oct Big Fish Mat Wagner - Golden DoradoIn addition to some fantastic photos, Mat’s presentation will include and discuss the locations, habitats and tactics to catch Golden Dorado.  In April next year Mat is going back to Northern Argentina to lead a group of anglers to pursue these great fighting fish with a fly rod.  Come prepared to the meeting to sign up for this true trip of a lifetime because you will definitely want to be on it after seeing Mat’s presentation!  The meeting on Monday, October 28th will be at the Maple Tree restaurant on Highway 51 in McFarland.  The presentation begins at 7:00 p.m. with dinner and conversation at 6:00 p.m.  Visitors and guests are always welcome.


Buzz McFly

The following is a list of our future monthly meeting presentations for the next three months:

  1. November 25, 2019 – Elections and Mathew Mitro, WDNR.
  2. December 16, 2019 – Jim Lattis, UW Space Place Director on “UW-Madison’s Washburn Observatory – 140 Years on the Frontiers.”
  3. January 27, 2020 – Rich Osthoff on fishing the Driftless Region.

September 23rd Meeting – Scott Osborne on “Fly Fishing Adventures and Conservation Efforts in Cuba”

Welcome to our new season of presentations!  Scott Osborne represents Avalon Outdoor in the United States and has been involved in fly fishing destination travel for nearly a decade which includes guiding clients in Virginia and hosting trips around the world.  Scott began working with Avalon Outdoor a few years ago by first hosting groups for the company and is now its primary representative in the United States.2019 09 Sept permit-005  Avalon Outdoor is an Italian owned company that has been based in Cuba for 27 years and places a strong emphasis on conservation in the protected marine areas of Cuba while offering high quality fly fishing, scuba diving, and eco adventure operations.  The company is the only outfitter in Cuba that offers six unique, pristine and protected marine parks for fly fishing only.  Additional information about Avalon Outdoor’s Cuban fly fishing offerings can be found on this website.  Scott is based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Central Virginia where he loves chasing smallmouth bass, brook trout, and musky throughout the year.  He is enthusiastic about sharing the uniqueness of Cuba and spreading the word to people everywhere of the conservation efforts and the amazing saltwater fly fishing opportunities available.

2019 09 Sept Cuba map

Scott’s presentation will discuss Avalon Outdoor’s focus on protecting the vulnerable marine areas in Cuba while offering the highest quality fly fishing and scuba diving trips in the Caribbean.  Through a unique model and innovative partnerships, Avalon Outdoor has made it their mission to create a sustainable business that effectively preserves and protects the marine parks of Cuba while fostering wonderful opportunities2019 09 Sept tarpon-004 for Cubans to live successful lives as stewards of their coastal resources.  Furthermore, in this model of sustainable conservation, Avalon Outdoor has created a legal pathway for United States citizens to visit Cuba and participate in this conservation effort while enjoying fly fishing or scuba diving in the Caribbean’s most pristine marine areas.  Mark your calendars now as you don’t want to miss this fabulous and unique presentation as we kick-off our 2019/2020 season of monthly meetings!

The meeting on Monday, September 23rd will be at the Maple Tree restaurant on Highway 51 in McFarland.  The presentation begins at 7:00 p.m. with dinner and conversation at 6:00 p.m.  Visitors and guests are always welcome.


Buzz McFly

Alaskan Aleutian Peninsula Adventure

In late June a group of Badger Fly Fishers made up of Bill Engber, Henry Haugley, Jim Bartelt and Richard Glad adventurously headed out to Alaska’s Aleutian Peninsula on its Bristol Bay side near Port Heiden.  After taking numerous means of transportation from Madison, the adventurers finally landed at the Lava Creek Lodge on the Cinder River.  2019 08 Aug Plane and Boat - Lava Creek Lodge






The group was looking forward to some serious King Salmon (Chinook) angling using swing fishing methods and large Intruder style flies on Skagit Spey equipment.

2019 08 Aug Group Pic - Lava Creek Lodge

They were not disappointed as you can see from these trip pictures which are just a sample of the astounding number of dime-bright Kings landed!  In addition to the Kings, Chum Salmon, Sockeye Salmon, Arctic Char and Rainbow Trout were also caught.  It was a fabulous trip with much fun had by everyone!  What an adventure!  Bill will be ready to fill in the details and show some more pictures to anyone interested at our first meeting of our new season of presentations on September 23rd!

Regarding our September 23rd meeting, we are happy to announce that we have secured Scott Osborne, the US Representative for Avalon Outdoor, to make a presentation on fly fishing adventures in Cuba.  The meeting on Monday, September 23rd will be at the Maple Tree restaurant on Highway 51 in McFarland.  The presentation begins at 7:00 p.m. with dinner and conversation at 6:00 p.m.  Visitors and guests are always welcome.  More details will be provided soon.


Buzz McFly

Menominee River Back Forty Mining Project’s Proposed Tailings Dam

Dick Dragiewicz from the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition has provided additional information about the Menominee River Back Forty Mining Project related to its proposed tailings dam.  Al Gedicks and Eric Hansen wrote and had published an opinion article in the Lansing State Journal about the hazards of this proposed mine and especially its tailings dam.  Also, the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition’s current Summer 2019 newsletter includes a detailed analysis of the mine’s proposed tailings dam.  Dick can be reached by email at or by phone at 847-924-9299 if you would like additional information.


Buzz McFly

River Alliance of Wisconsin Update on the Menominee River Back Forty Mining Project

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

Contested Case Hearing, June 4th:
The Coalition to Save the Menominee River is challenging the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s decision to grant the wetland permit to Aquila Resources.  The case will be heard starting June 4th.

Public Hearing, June 25th: 
Michigan regulators will hold a public hearing on three proposed permits for Aquila Resources’ Back Forty mine on June 25th, from 5:30-9 pm, in the Stephenson High School gymnasium in Stephenson, MI.  The three permits that will be available for comment at the hearing are: a dam safety permit, an air quality permit, and an amendment to the mining permit that was granted to Aquila in December of 2016.

Yes, I am interested in attending the hearing on June, 25th.
(River Alliance will follow up with more details and suggested talking points.)

Congressman Gallagher Opposes the Back Forty 
At a recent fundraiser for the Coalition to Save the Menominee, Congressman Gallagher spoke and shared his opposition to the Back Forty project and his willingness to work to stop the mine proposal.

The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin Appeals Court Decision 
The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin appealed a December decision from the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin that dismissed the Tribe’s claims against the federal government. The Tribe went to court in January of 2018 asserting that the federal government had improperly abandoned its obligation to exercise jurisdiction over Clean Water Act permitting for the mine, by allowing the State of Michigan to oversee and control what should have been a federal permitting process.

The Tribe further asserted its rights under the National Historic Preservation Act to consult on the protection of its cultural and historical sites. In December, the court rejected the Tribe’s claims on a preliminary motion by the federal agencies and the mining company and dismissed the case, disallowing full briefing and hearing of the issues.

The Risks with Tailings Dams
Dr. Al Gedicks wrote an informative article about the tailings dam that failed in Brazil and the connection to the Back Forty project. “On January 25, 2019, a 28-story high tailings dam… in southeastern Brazil failed, releasing almost 3 billion gallons of sludgy mine waste. The spill flooded nearby homes, submerging cars and buses under a river of reddish-brown sludge. The death toll so far has risen to 228…

The same design for storing mine waste, known as the upstream dam construction method, is now being proposed for a large open pit metallic sulfide mine and tailings dam next to the Menominee River on the Wisconsin-Michigan border.”
Read more.

Follow these pages to stay in the loop on the proposed Back Forty Mine: 

Coalition to Save the Menominee
Protectors of the Menominee
Save the Menominee River


Buzz McFly

May 20th Meeting – “Decoding the Driftless” Movie Showing with Steve Born Answering Questions

Emmy Award-winning filmmakers George Howe and Tim Jacobson of Sustainable Driftless and Rob Nelson of Untamed Science have teamed up again to produce a one hour feature-length film on the amazing origins, diversity, and resources of the Driftless Region.  The creative team also includes Swedish filmmaker Jonas Stenstrom of Untamed Science, and six-time Emmy-winning wildlife cinematographer Neil Rettig.  The result is an extremely rare footage of natural phenomena in the Driftless Region in a way never seen before.

The one hour long movie will take you on a wild ride of adventure from the air, ground, water, and a secret underworld, as leading scientists, local guides, and area enthusiasts reveal their passion for, and knowledge of the Driftless Region.  Travel back 500 million years to discover how this unique region was formed and has evolved over time.  Explore the archaeology, paleontology, geology, and biology of this fascinating region which will take you to parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois to uncover ancient hidden mysteries, endangered Ice-Age throwbacks, and globally rare ecosystems.  This is not a fishing DVD but you are sure to get a new appreciation for the Driftless Region by attending the meeting to watch the movie.  Here is a link to the “Decoding the Driftless” trailer.

Steve Born will be attending the meeting and has graciously offered to answer questions IMG_6284after the movie about the Driftless Region and its geology.  Steve is Professor Emeritus and former Chair of the Urban and Regional Planning Department at the University of Wisconsin.  He is a geologist by training with multiple degrees from various universities, is passionate about fly fishing and is co-author of “Exploring Wisconsin Trout Streams” (UW Press).  Steve’s comments on the Driftless Region after the movie are guaranteed to be both informative and entertaining.

The meeting is on Monday, May 20th which is one week earlier than normal due to the Memorial Day holiday and will be at the Maple Tree restaurant on Highway 51 in McFarland.  The presentation begins at 7:00 p.m. with dinner and conversation at 6:00 p.m.  Visitors and guests are always welcome.


Buzz McFly

April 22nd Meeting – Phil Anderson on “Classic Trout Flies and Their History”

Anderson Photo4 (1024)Phil Anderson is a recently retired professor of Genetics at the UW-Madison and an amateur historian of fly tying and fishing.  He has lived in Madison for 37 years and among his weaknesses are trout of the Driftless and classic books on the history of fly tying.  Phil has taught fly tying classes for the Southern Wisconsin chapter of Trout Unlimited for 14 years and writes a monthly column for SWTU about classic trout flies that have withstood the test of time.  He has educated quite a few Driftless trout over the years about the history of fly tying by reintroducing them to classic flies that they probably have never seen.  Such flies have lost their place of prominence in fly shops, glossy magazines, and glitzy websites but they’ve lost none of their fish-catching magic.


Fly anglers have been fooling trout with fur and feather for hundreds of years.  Read an old fly tying book or examine your granddad’s fly box and you’ll discover flies that are the foundations of our sport.  Many of those old flies are great fish catchers often better than the latest hot new fly.  All trout flies, even modern ones, descend from ancestral flies of similar design and some of those designs date to the earliest days of fly fishing.

The English-language literature on fly fishing began in 1496 with publication of the first book that included artificial flies and recipes for their construction.  Fly angling evolved tremendously in the ensuing 500+ years due largely to conceptual and technical advances by some of history’s most insightful and influential anglers.  Phil will examine the evolution of fly fishing using classic trout flies as a window on the history of the sport.

As with biological evolution, the pace of change in fly fishing over time has not been uniform.  Relatively lengthy periods of stasis in which few significant changes occurred have been punctuated by short periods of major change.  New ideas and methods were established often by individual angler-authors that swept rather quickly through fly fishing.  Phil will highlight some of the landmark anglers, influential books and famous fly patterns and comment on their impacts both at the time and today.

The meeting on Monday, April 22nd will be at the Maple Tree restaurant on Highway 51 in McFarland.  The presentation begins at 7:00 p.m. with dinner and conversation at 6:00 p.m.  Visitors and guests are always welcome.


Buzz McFly






March 25th Meeting – Abe Downs on “Fly Fishing Costa Rica for Marlin”

Abe Downs is the owner of Great Northern Fly Fishing and an Orvis endorsed fly fishing guide on the Upper Wisconsin River fishing for smallmouth bass and musky.  Abe started fly fishing for trout as most fly fishermen do but quickly realized trout are not the only game in town.  Turning his attention to warm water species, Abe soon found himself fishing for bass and musky.  Since rivers and fish are always changing, Abe believes fishermen need to change too so he likes to experiment with new fly fishing techniques.  Abe also has a passion for travel and finding new places in the world to catch fish with a fly rod.

Do you want to become famously known as the next Santiago as in Ernest Hemingway’s novel “The Old Man and the Sea”?  If you recall, Santiago is an aged Cuban fisherman who, after 84 days without success on the water, heads out to sea to break his run of bad luck.  On the 85th day Santiago hooks a giant and resolute marlin; what follows is a great struggle between man, sea creature, and the elements.  You can gain some extremely valuable knowledge to help become the next Santiago by attending Abe’s (a.k.a. The Newest Santiago of Costa Rica) presentation on “Fly Fishing Costa Rica for Marlin”.abe downs mapabe downs cropped #2 6419.jpg (2)In September 2018 Abe flew to San Jose, Costa Rica and then traveled on to Quepos on the Pacific Ocean side of Costa Rica.  Quepos has a population of about 22,000 people and is the gateway to Manuel Antonio National Park.  The city is very tourism-oriented having many bars and restaurants and a vivacious nightlife.  The town is named for the native Quepo Indians who inhabited the area in the colonial era.  Abe’s presentation will be about fly fishing for marlin in the Pacific Ocean off Quepos.  He will include a general overview of his travel to Costa Rica and some of his cultural experiences while in Costa Rica.  Specific to the marlin fly fishing, Abe will talk about the tackle requirements and what it takes to hook into one of the biggest fishes you can fly fish for.  With the knowledge obtained from Abe’s presentation you are guaranteed to catch an enormous marlin well within the 85 days it took Santiago to catch one!!!  Hope you can make it to this month’s meeting to learn how you too can become famous as the next Santiago of Costa Rica!!!  The meeting on Monday, March 25th will be at the Maple Tree restaurant on Highway 51 in McFarland.  The presentation begins at 7:00 p.m. with dinner and conversation at 6:00 p.m.  Visitors and guests are always welcome.


Buzz McFly

Coalition to Save the Menominee River is Seeking Contributions

The Coalition to Save the Menominee River is seeking contributions to help pay fees and expenses that will be incurred in 2019 to support two lawsuits on the Back Forty Project filed by the Coalition to stop this mining project.  Donations need to be received before April 25, 2019 to help achieve the June 30, 2019 goal of $50,000.  As of now the Coalition has received $19,000+ from various sources.  Donations have ranged from $1.00 to $8,000.  If you can make a contribution, please make the check payable to:  Coalition to Save the Menominee River, Inc. and mail it to Coalition to Save the Menominee River, Inc.,  P.O. Box 475,  Marinette, WI  54143.  The Badger Fly Fishers have contributed to this cause in the past and need to review this year’s contribution level with its membership.  For additional information on the proposed Back Forty Project (aka “the mine”) and the opposition to it you can go to this linked website.

The background and reasons for this request are that in 2018 the Coalition filed two lawsuits on the Back Forty Project and are confident in achieving favorable rulings that will prevent this mine from being developed.  One case was filed in Federal Court and the other case was filed in Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.  The estimated costs for these lawsuits including expert witness costs, travel expenses for the hearings, attorney fees, etc., will reach approximately $200,000.  The Federal lawsuit addresses two issues:  (1) Did the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) properly determine that the issued Wetlands Permit was within the authority delegated to the State of Michigan?  (2) Was the EPA’s decision to withdraw its lengthy list of objections to the Wetlands Permit arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretions, or otherwise not in accordance with applicable laws?  No date has been set for hearing this case.  The delay in setting the court date is due to the backlog of cases created by the recent 35-day Federal Government Shutdown.

The second lawsuit is a “Contested Case” filed in Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.  This case states that it is unlawful for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to rely on a very lengthy list of conditions that are part of the Wetlands Permit as a way to address all the shortcomings in this permit.  This case is scheduled to be heard in early June 2019 in Lansing, Michigan.

The Coalition’s other expenses are for the production and distribution of educational and advocacy materials designed to increase and support opposition to this mine.  It also sponsors and arranges educational events with the same goal.  It has limited basic office supply costs.  No salaries are paid to the many volunteer members of the Coalition.

The Coalition is a 100% volunteer group that advocates for the protection of the Menominee River and Lake Michigan from the hazards of a proposed polymetallic sulfide open pit/underground mine that would be located on Michigan’s shoreline of this river.  No salaries are paid to anyone that works with the Coalition.  It is a 501(c)(3) corporation.


Buzz McFly

Badger Fly Fishers’ Membership Approves Donation to Harry and Laura Nohr TU Chapter

At the February 25th monthly meeting the Badger Fly Fishers’ membership overwhelmingly approved the Board of Directors recommended donation to the Harry and Laura Nohr TU Chapter to help support additional work in the Blue River area.  The picture above shows Tim Fraley, President of the Harry and Laura Nohr TU Chapter accepting the donation check from Bob Harrison, President of the Badger Fly Fishers.  Before the evening’s regular presentation, Tim reviewed the Chapter’s recent work and future plans within the Blue River area which included a map of the projects… there are no secrets!  Many thanks go out to Tim Fraley, Brian Larson and everyone at the Harry and Laura Nohr TU Chapter for all their hard work on these projects.


Buzz McFly

Caddisflies, Mayflies and Stoneflies Worldwide Insect Decline

According to a new study published in the journal Biological Conservation, 40 percent of global insect species are threatened with extinction.  The four most affected aquatic insect populations, which the study describes as “imperiled,” are caddisflies, mayflies, stoneflies and dragon and damselflies.  Additional information about this study can be found at this link.


Buzz McFly

February 25th Meeting – John Lyons on “Wisconsin’s Greenfire: New Voices for Conservation”

John Lyons is a fish biologist with over 33 years of post-graduate experience studying the fishes of Wisconsin, the Upper Great Lakes Region, Mexico and Central America.  Since 1985 John has been the John Lyons Wisconsin fishCurator of Fishes for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Zoological Museum and prior to his retirement in 2017, he was a fisheries research scientist and supervisor for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) for more than 32 years.  John earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.S. in Biology from Union College, Schenectady, NY.

John’s presentation will inform us about a new environmental organization, Wisconsin’s Greenfire, Voices for Conservation, which was established in 2017 to promote the better use of science and increased transparency and collaboration in the management of Wisconsin’s natural resources.  John Lyons SandCountyAlmanacThis organization is open for anyone to join.  John will describe the origins, structure, and function of the group and how Greenfire hopes to work with groups such as the Badger Fly Fishers to help conserve the state’s aquatic ecosystems.  He will also focus on three pending fisheries issues which are the WDNR’s Trout Plan, Recruitment, Retention, and Reactivation (R3) of anglers and hunters, and the adaptation strategies for addressing climate change impacts on fisheries in which the Badger Fly Fishers can play a particularly important role.  Additional information on Wisconsin’s Greenfire can be found on its website.  The meeting on Monday, February 25th will be at the Maple Tree restaurant on Highway 51 in McFarland.  The presentation begins at 7:00 p.m. with dinner and conversation at 6:00 p.m.  Visitors and guests are always welcome.  Hope you can make it to the meeting to be educated about this new environmental group and more specifically its work related to Wisconsin’s aquatic ecosystems.


Buzz McFly


February 9th Spring Opener Fundraiser – Pat Dorsey on “Western US Rivers’ Tailwaters and Colorado’s Best Trout Streams” and Much More!

Pat Dorsey is a Denver, Colorado based fly fishing guide and co-owner of the Blue Quill Angler, a full-service fly shop that has served customers since 1988.  Pat has pursued selective Rocky Mountain trout for over thirty-five years and as a result has a vast knowledge and expertise fly fishing in Colorado’s legendary rivers’ tailwaters and streams.  As a master fly fishing guide Pat has helped anglers of all ages and skill levels discover the joy of fly fishing, knows the waters of Colorado better than almost anyone and is an expert on the equipment and flies needed to catch selective Rocky Mountain trout.  You can find additional information about Pat at his website.pat dorsey - rainbow trout

The Badger Fly Fishers are extremely thankful to the American Family Insurance Co. that its Spring Opener will once again be held at the American Family Insurance Training Center, Building A, 6000 American Parkway, Madison, WI.  The facility is outstanding and a perfect location for our event.  The Spring Opener fundraiser helps support local conservation projects.  As a result of attendees’ participation and support of this event the Badger Fly Fishers pat dorsey - brook trouthave been able to donate over $86,000 to improve Wisconsin’s fisheries through education and stream restoration projects.  A comprehensive list of these projects is included on the What We Do page.  The Spring Opener runs from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 9th.  The event includes 20+ fly tyers that provide hands-on expert instructions, a trade show with 20 or more vendors, a chance to win fabulous fly fishing related equipment in bucket raffles and a live auction that provides the opportunity to bid on spectacular fly fishing equipment and guided fishing trips.  Here are links to lists of the magnificent bucket raffle and lively auction items.  Admission for the day is only $10 for adults.  Children under 15 are admitted free.  An on-site lunch is available for a nominal charge.  The following is the schedule of activities for the day:

  •   8:00 – Registration opens, fly tying begins and commercial exhibits open.
  • 10:00 – Pat Dorsey’s presentation on “Fly Fishing Western US Rivers’ Tailwaters”.
  • 11:00 – Kid’s bucket raffle organized by the Wisconsin Smallmouth Alliance.
  • 11:15 – Lunch service downstairs begins and continues until 12:30.
  •   1:00 – Lively Auction.
  •   2:30 – Pat Dorsey’s presentation on “Fly Fishing Colorado’s Best Trout Streams”.
  •   4:30 – Bucket Raffle Drawings.

The Spring Opener event poster includes some additional information, a map with driving and parking directions can be found at this link and more information is available elsewhere on our website.  Please plan to attend this very important fundraising event for the Badger Fly Fishers that helps support the local conservation projects that all of us fly fishers enjoy and appreciate.


Buzz McFly

December 11th Meeting – Emily Buege (WDNR) on “Snapshot Wisconsin: Let’s Discover our Wildlife Together!”

Emily Buege is a Research Scientist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and a database manager and spatial analyst on the Snapshot Wisconsin project.  She has a B.S. in Ecology and a M.S. in Geography with an emphasis in environment and natural resources.  Emily’s thesis research involved species distribution modeling of native fish in the Bladen River, Belize.

Great Blue Heron with a turtle in its beak.
Bigfoot a.k.a. Sasquatch

Let’s discover our wildlife together!  Snapshot Wisconsin is a volunteer-based project which utilizes a statewide network of trail cameras to monitor wildlife year-round.  From coniferous forests to vast prairies volunteers host trail cameras throughout Wisconsin’s landscapes.  The photos of diverse wildlife captured on Snapshot Wisconsin cameras such as these here are hosted online where they can be classified by volunteers across the globe.  The resulting data set is used to inform WDNR management decisions and helps it learn more about Wisconsin’s wildlife.  The project is also a unique opportunity for individuals, families, and students to get involved in monitoring the state’s valuable natural resources.  Additional information about Snapshot Wisconsin can be found on its webpage and you can visit this website to view and classify images captured on all the project’s trail cameras.  Please note that Emily can not divulge the remote Northern Wisconsin location where one of these pictures was taken because it would become an instant tourist attraction that would likely overrun the area.  Get ready to see some beautiful pictures of wildlife in a natural setting and to learn how you might participate in this exciting project!

This meeting is a joint Holiday Party with the Wisconsin Smallmouth Alliance (WSA) at the Maple Tree restaurant on Highway 51 in McFarland.  New this year is that attendees will need to RSVP by Dec. 3rd via email to either Mike Simon at or Jerry Pasdo at with your number of dinner attendees.  The meeting begins at 5:30 with a social hour followed by a family style dinner served at 6:30.  The presentation will begin following dinner and the cost is $18 which includes the tip.  Payment needs to be made in the exact cash amount or via a check payable to WSA.  Hope to see you on Tuesday, December 11th to be educated about the WDNR’s Snapshot Wisconsin project!


Buzz McFly

November 26th Meeting – Don Wolf on “Fishing Lake Nipigon and the Lake Nipigon Region”

As we all know, Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario are collectively known as the Great Lakes but these well-known bodies of water all originate from a lesser known source.  Lake Nipigon and the Nipigon River in northwestern Ontario drain into Lake Superior making the lake and river the largest tributaries of Lake Superior.  Lake NipigonIn fact Lake Nipigon is considered by many people to be the 6th Great Lake.  With a surface area of 1,872 sq. miles, shore length of 649 miles, maximum depth of 541 feet and nearly 500 islands it’s understandable why Lake Nipigon is a great lake!  The lake is also noted for its towering cliffs and unusual green-black sand beaches composed of the fine particles of a dark green mineral known as pyroxene.  The lake basin provides an important habitat for woodland caribou too.  Don Wolf has made the 12 hour road trip from Madison to Lake Nipigon numerous times to explore and fish the lake and rivers in the area.  In addition to being a huge lake, Lake Nipigon is a very wild lake that has very few houses on it and only about a half dozen boat landings on the entire lake.  Don will share his experiences and discoveries fishing for northern pike and brook trout on the lake and steelhead on the Lake Superior tributaries in the Lake Nipigon region.  The meeting on Monday, November 26th will be at the Maple Tree restaurant on Highway 51 in McFarland.  The presentation begins at 7:00 p.m. with dinner and conversation at 6:00 p.m.  Visitors and guests are always welcome.


Buzz McFly

October 22nd Meeting – Lisie Kitchel (WDNR) on “Wisconsin’s Native Freshwater Mussels: A Unique Resource”

Lisie Kitchel is a Conservation Biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) working in the Bureau of Natural Heritage Conservation where she is an expert on Wisconsin’s native freshwater mussels.  Lisie is trained as an Aquatic Ecologist with a BS in Ecosystems Analysis and an MS in Fisheries and has over 30 years of experience working with rare and endangered aquatic species.

Did you know that Wisconsin has 52 different species of native mussels?  Well it does!  Our native mussels, or clams as they are more commonly called, are one of Wisconsin’s most diverse yet hidden treasures.  Mussels have a surprisingly complex life cycle which is dependent on fish and they have adapted amazing ways to attract these fish as hosts.  Mussels have also contributed to the history of Wisconsin from food to buttons to pearls.

Freshwater mussels surveyor at work.

Acting as filters mussels improve the water quality of our lakes, rivers and streams and they are good indicators of changing environmental conditions.  Mussels are so important indicators that the WDNR has developed a Wisconsin Mussel Monitoring Program and recently completed a Freshwater Mussels Survey.  Lisie’s presentation guarantees that you will come away with a greater appreciation of these unique animals.


Buzz McFly

Wild Parsnip

It is that time of year again to watch out for Wild Parsnip. Contact with this plant can cause burns and severe skin rashes. There is an oil on this plant that when transferred to your skin will cause issues when exposed to sunlight.

If you do contact this invasive plant, wash the area quickly and avoid sunlight on that area.

For more info from the WI DNR – Follow this link to their website

Welcome to the new website

Hello, welcome to the new website. You will notice that it is still under construction and a few things are missing yet. Feel free to browse around – punch a few buttons and try it out.