New Video: Driftless Area Classics: Taking Kids Fishing 

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

Maple Syrup Fest!

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.

Fly fishing nets. So many choices. 

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. 

The Microbrew Pride of Wisconsin 

Moving to Wisconsin, there are a few certain truths I have had to reason with. First, most people around me are Green Bay Packers fans. Second, there are five seasons here. Winter, Spring, Summer, fall, and deer hunting. Thirdly, Oktoberfest is taken very seriously. Fourth, Miller light trumps Bud light.

Now, The other local source of pride is the new Glarus brewing Company. Nearly everyone in Wisconsin has enjoyed a spotted cow. The beer is only sold in Wisconsin. There are bars in Minnesota who have been fine for illegally smuggling kegs of the brew across the border. I know I enjoy a wide variety of beers and probably don’t have the most select a pallet, but I can say with certainty he that I enjoy every flavor of new Glarus beer.

So what’s the point of this post? Nothing really. I suppose if anything it is just to remind you that if you make it to Wisconsin, take advantage of the opportunity and find yourself some of the exclusive local breweries. They are pretty darn good.
Yes I realize I may have lost most of my followers by switching from the Google form it to WordPress, but I’ve never posted for the followers. I enjoy the blog and community and it has been fun to get to know all of you. But in the end, this blog is an outlet and Google was making that outlet in accessible for me. I’ve already posted three times since making the switch in the last week. Maybe it’s the novelty of the switch, or maybe they improved accessibility really is the difference. Either way, it’s good to be posting again.

Getting the Kids Out

Here is the first post on the WordPress site that is not on the blogger page. Crazy!!

For the past week, we’ve been having some pretty amazing weather. 50s every day. For February, that is pretty ridiculous. Part of me is pretty pleased. Another part of me is a little disappointed in the Northern Winter. 

That said, one of the benefits of warm weather is that my son is willing to go outside. Last weekend we went to a local creek with easy access and met another buddy who had an infant he could drag along. 

We spent most of the morning throwing sticks and snow in the water. David did take his shot at casting the Tenkara rod. Eventually he decided to ride in my back carrier and we worked a few holes together. 

Courtney and Maya were the only ones to hook up. But I think my son really just enjoy getting outside and playing by the water. There will be plenty of time to catch more fish. 

It is supposed to get cold again this weekend so we likely won’t go out. But by the time summer comes I see plenty of mornings been fishing with David.