Saturday, September 1, 2012
Deep in the Weeds
I fully expected to bump into Mowgli and Baloo, bopping their way through the jungle. Or to have some hideous children-of-the-corn moment. Or to simply lose my way in the sea of seven-foot black-eyed susans, never to be found again. It was delicious.
I'd asked Mac, somewhat skeptically, if waders were really necessary. My early glimpses of the sweet little stream seemed to belie the need to get wet, and it was bloody hot, but he had nodded and I reluctantly suited up. Good thing too, for without that slick outer surface I might still be out in that deep Wisconsin meadow, tightly wrapped in bright green tendrils.
Instead I slithered my way through the growth, pausing in the occasional gaps of matted grasses formed the night before by bedding deer, listening to the constant drone of bees, enjoying nose-to-nose stare downs with curious hummingbirds, and following the sound of running water - often the only clue that a stream was near.
Mac and I had arrived late on a bright afternoon to my favorite kind of trailhead (an empty one), strung our rods, and continued on foot down the dirt track that bisected the small Driftless area valley. In time we turned off-road and waded into the lush deep grasses, bushwhacking our way to the small spring-fed stream that also split the area, though considerably less directly than the roadway. Waterways scoff at straight lines.
The final hundred yards of water, below the feeding spring, yielded us three nice brown trout, skinny as their home stream, the last a surprising twelve incher that, despite the narrowness of the waterway, danced acrobatically in the fading light.
And thankful to have emerged from the Wisconsin heart of darkness, alive, and able to fish another day.
A huge thank you to my new friend Mac of The MacLoosh Chronicles. I invited myself into his region and he kindly put in a day on his favorite Driftless trout water with me. And a mighty fine day it was.