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.

Cordially,

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.

Cordially,

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.

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Great Blue Heron with a turtle in its beak.
Bigfoot
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 madisonmike@tds.net or Jerry Pasdo at japasdo@gmail.com 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!

Cordially,

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.

Cordially,

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.

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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.

Cordially,

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.

January 28th Meeting – Abe Downs on “Fly Fishing Costa Rica for Marlin”

Abe Downs’ presentation on “Fly Fishing Costa Rica for Marlin” for Monday, January 28th has been cancelled and rescheduled to the Monday, March 25th meeting due to forecasted extreme cold temperatures and heavy snowfall for Sunday and Monday.  Stay warm!!!

Cordially,

Buzz McFly

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, January 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.

Cordially,

Buzz McFly

 

September 24th Meeting – Jason Randall on “Nymph Fishing Secret Weapons”

Jason Randall has been an outdoor writer for the last twelve years with feature articles appearing regularly in American Angler, as well as Fly Fisherman, Eastern Fly Fishing, Northwest Fly Fishing and many other outdoor magazines. He is a veterinarian certified in fish health and medicine. He is also a member of the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association and the Society for Freshwater Science.

In April, 2017, Jason’s fourth book, Nymph Masters: Fly Fishing Secrets from Expert Anglers, was released from Stackpole/ Headwaters Books. Combining secrets, tips and hints from some of the top nymph fishermen in the sport, Nymph Masters thoroughly studies all aspects of nymph fishing.

Temple Fork Outfitters (TFO) recently named Jason to their National Advisory Team to develop a new and innovative nymph fishing rod. In October, 2017 the ‘Drift Rod’ was released to wide acclaim as the first truly convertible rod, changing in length from 9, 10, 11 or 12 feet. Each year, Jason appears and presents at shows and events throughout the North America.  You can find additional information about Jason Randall at his website.

We are extremely happy that Jason will again be our speaker at the Monday, September 24th monthly meeting to kick-off our 2018/2019 season of presentations.  Jason has drawn huge crowds to our Spring Opener and to last year’s September monthly meeting.  His presentation is titled “Nymph Fishing Secret Weapons” and will cover the challenges of nymph fishing particularly related to the need to keep your flies in the strike zone near the stream bottom and the use of a more sensitive strike detection method.  Jason will also discuss European nymphing techniques and why they are so effective.  This discussion will include a review of the fly rods, flies, casting and fly presentation needed to be successful with these techniques.  Some secret weapon flies for Driftless area streams will be shared and thus will no longer be secrets for those who attend this presentation.  Be assured that this presentation by Jason will be both informative and entertaining. Mark your calendars now as you don’t want to miss this meeting!  The meeting 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.

Cordially,

Buzz McFly

WI DNR Tick App

The WI DNR has started a new app for your smart phone to track ticks and gather information from people throughout the state. You can download this free app, take surveys and get information about ticks throughout the state. You can find more information by going to the WIDNR tick  web page or you can go to the download page for the tick app

MI Dept. of Environmental Quality issues permit to Aquila Resources

Hi Everyone,

Today the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) issued the wetlands permit to Aquila Resources for their Back Forty Project.  The MDEQ cover letter and the wetlands permit are attached as PDF files below.
Kathleen Heideman is preparing a press release that will express our disappointment on this disastrous decision.  Send her your comments for possible inclusion in the press release.
Her email address is:  gadmin@savethewildup.org
Thanks,
Dick Dragiewicz

Summer Picnic – August 4th

Brian Ramsey -1August 4th will be our annual members summer picnic at Donald Park located just north of Mt. Vernon on Hwy 92. There will be food and conversation; Brian Ramsey will be there to teach, or help you improve your fly casting. So bring your favorite fly rod and improve your cast.

This post will be updated once we have more information, but typically it runs from 10:00 AM till 2:00 PM. Normal grilled picnic food will be available.

Brian has many distance and accuracy casting awards – along with being a popular guide in the driftless area. You can check out his site at Brian Ramsey Fly Fishing and learn more about Brian and his guide service.