January 27th Meeting – Rich Osthoff on “Fly Fishing Skills and Strategies for the Driftless Region”

For nearly twenty years Rich Osthoff has guided fly fishers for trout on his home waters, the Driftless Region of Western Wisconsin.  His trips take fly fishers on dozens of streams both north and south of the Wisconsin River, including the Viroqua area, Grant County, Richland County and the Kickapoo Reserve/Wildcat Mountain area.  Rich has fished extensively throughout the Rocky Mountains and has authored three fly fishing books and written numerous fishing and fly tying articles for leading magazines.  His first book “Fly Fishing the Rocky Mountain Backcountry” is based on 20 summers of hiking and fishing throughout 2020 01 Jan - RO - IMGP0117the wilderness areas of the Rocky Mountains and is considered by many experienced backcountry anglers to be the bible on backcountry fly fishing.  Rich’s two other books “No Hatch to Match” and “Active Nymphing” contain insightful and innovative techniques and strategies for catching trout.  You can read more about Rich at his website.

Rich’s presentation titled “Fly Fishing Skills and Strategies for the Driftless Region” will be a video supported presentation that covers important skills and strategies for the Driftless Region with an emphasis on short-line casting and drift control skills.  The meeting on Monday, January 27th 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 meeting presentations:

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

February 8th Spring Opener Fundraiser – Bob Clouser on “Bass, Both Species, Top to Bottom” and “Clouser’s Top Tips” and Much, Much More!

Bob Clouser is a long time high profile smallmouth bass fisherman and is the creator of the famed Clouser Minnow fly pattern.  The Clouser Minnow is known world-wide and has caught more varieties of fish than any other fly.  Bob has also developed numerous other innovative and highly productive freshwater and saltwater fly patterns.  Based in Middletown, Pennsylvania, Bob teaches fly tying, fly casting and fly fishing.  His very popular freshwater and saltwater fly fishing/casting schools are held at various locations around the country using visual aids and casting weighted flies and lines.  Bob also gives lectures, tying demonstrations and presentations nationwide.  Because of his extensive knowledge, Bob is sought after for his fly fishing 2020 02 Feb - Feb 8th - Clouser and Smallmouth Bass (titled)presentations on top tips for both smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing.  Bob has been featured in many fine fly fishing and fly tying videos and DVD’s.  He is also a prolific and highly regarded author of fly fishing and fly tying articles and books. Bob’s articles have been published in national and regional magazines as well as in freshwater and saltwater publications.  The books he has published are “Clouser’s Flies” and “Fly Fishing for Smallmouth in Rivers and Streams”.  Bob has been presented numerous awards for his strong conservation work.  You can read more about Bob at his website Clouser’s Fly Shop.

The Badger Fly Fishers are extremely thankful to the 2020 02 Feb - Feb 8th - Clouser Deep Minnow (titled)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 have been able to donate over $89,000 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 4:15 p.m. on Saturday, February 8th.  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 silent auction that provides the opportunity to bid on spectacular fly fishing equipment and guided fishing trips.  Here is a link to a list of the magnificent bucket raffle and silent auction items.  This list includes some fantastic, unique and rare fly rods and other prizes that you will definitely want to see and want to bid on.  Admission for the day is only $10 for adults.  Children under 16 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 – Bob Clouser’s presentation on “Bass, Both Species, Top to Bottom”.
  • 11:15 – Kid’s bucket raffle organized by the Wisconsin Smallmouth Alliance.
  • 11:30 – Lunch service downstairs begins and continues until 12:45.
  •   1:30 – Silent Auction Ends, Bucket Raffle Drawings.
  •   3:00 – Bob Clouser’s presentation on “Clouser’s Top Tips”.
  •   4:15 – Event Ends.

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 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 madisonmike@tds.net, Jerry Pasdo at japasdo@gmail.com or the Badger Fly Fishers at badgerflyfishers@gmail.com 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 chris@centralamericafishing.com.  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 badgerflyfishers@gmail.com.  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 (https://badgerflyfishers.org/) 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 obiobiobi@ameritech.net 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