As my son gets older we can get a bit more adventurous. Of course I enjoy days out on the water by myself or with other friends, but I cherish the opportunity to spend an hour or two exploring the outdoors with my son. Courtney (@sculpinarmy) and I decide to spend a warm March Saturday morning in the Wisconsin driftless area fishing with our kids. Different ages require different levels of attention. My son is just three years old and wants to do things “all by myself!” Courtney’s daughter on the other hand is content with a full belly, dry diaper, and constant motion.
God, these times are so good.
Click the link below and enjoy a short video of our morning on the water.
Driftless Area Classics: Taking Kids Fishing
I tried my first attempt at editing and shooting a short video on my phone. Turned out okay! Check it out! Driftless Area Classics: The Pink Squirrel
Today, the Eagle Bluff environmental learning center in Lanesboro, Minnesota had their annual maple syrup fest. With the weather just above freezing, the trees were ready to give up the goods.
We started our morning with breakfast at the Uptown Cafe and Bakery (@adie_eats) in La Crosse, Wisconsin. This is a new venue that has phenomenal baked goods and is bringing a little taste of the south up north. Nothing like a little chicken and waffles to get you going in the morning. Plus there’s scones and the fresh baked donuts are delicious.
Next we put the two kids in the car and headed out to Lanesboro. The environmental learning center is a phenomenal facility that hosts seemingly endless amount of educational opportunities and classes for all ages. But today was all about the syrup.
After some taste tests and arts and crafts, we headed out on the trail with a naturalist who gave us a great tour and provided some Native American history with regards to the reasoning why maple syrup takes so much work to create. Let’s just say this. If it came out of trees like syrup, people would be fat and lazy and sucking on maple trees all day long ignoring the rest of the wonders of the world.
We carried Anna in the chest carrier and David hiked with Mama. We learned how to identify maple trees in the winter by their bark and unique branching pattern of the twigs. Then David got to help drill a hole and tap the tree. Sap was flowing freely!
We finally made our way to the sugar shack where David got to help throw some logs into the fire and see some pans of sap being boiled down. 20 gallons of’s of sap makes 1 gallon of syrup.
It was still a bit chilly so we were all ready to get back in the car but we had a great morning. I have a recommend the Eagle Bluff environmental learning center for anyone looking for unique out or educational activities.
I’ve never made a big investment in my fly fishing nets. I’ve essentially had a couple cheap big box style wooden nets that have each cracked when falling along the river. I did re-web my most recent one with a silicone fishpond netting and this has been good until I cracked the wood again. It is still useable, but I did decide to look for something else.
The Rise nets are pretty popular as are the nomad nets and you can also go the route of local, high quality wooden nets.
Looking in eBay I found another option that will probably break but looked cool enough to try and was only $20
The backpackers net by pacific fly is pretty cool. Light weight. I’m tempted to switch out the netting for the silicone stuff but it might not work as well.
The cloth webbing always gets caught up on hooks and streamside grass.
We will see. It is cool. I’ll let you know how it works out.