Sunday, July 22, 2007

Beyond Trout

Hard to imagine something other than trout at Zen Trout but during the dog days of summer sometimes you need a change of pace. This is a nice top ten list created by John Motoviloff. John presented this list while giving a talk as a guest speaker in the PE 148 Introduction to Fly Fishing class held at the University of Wisconsin - Madison this summer. Enjoy!

Beyond Trout: 10 Reasons to Fish Warmwaters and Lakes

1. Be a conservationist. You can’t protect a water unless you know and care about it. Get out there and know your local waters. That’s the first step to being a good steward.

2. Try something different. Wisconsin has 15,000 lakes and thousands of miles of warmwater river—a veritable buffet waiting to be sampled.

3. It’s what’s in season. Smallmouth bass—as well as largemouths, panfish, and northern pike—bite well in summer, when trout are sluggish. Also, hooked-fish mortality goes up drastically in summer.

4. Eat a little. There are few meals as delicious as a fry-up of panfish fillets. And you won’t put a dent in the population.

5. Refine your casting and presentation. Being on larger, open water helps you put a little muscle into your cast. And to try out a variety of retrieves and flies you might not normally try.

6. Solitude. There’s very little pressure on stillwaters and warmwater rivers.

7. Lazy is good. Trout make you get up or early or stay out late. Warmwater fish can be taken all day.

8. There’s nothing like a good paddle. Out on isolated lake or wide river, you get exercise and enjoy one of the oldest forms of transportation.

9. The more the merrier. You can easily get two people in a canoe, and three or four in a rowboat without spooking fish. This kind of fishing is a great summer social activity.

10. Try a float trip. Wisconsin, Flambeau, Chippewa—the options are endless. Camp, fish, swim—have a blast!

John Motoviloff is the author of Fly Fisher's Guide to Wisconsin and Iowa, Driftless Stories, and Wisconsin Wildfoods. You can buy his work at

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