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The Monthly E-Newsletter of the Wisconsin River Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited

Welcome to our Monthly E-Newsletter

This month's issue is filled with things to do, things to learn, and even things to have fun. Sit back and enjoy this month's Riffle.  

Chapter Meeting - This Tuesday, May 16

Sconni's Alehouse and Eatery
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Tie, Lie, and Fly Swap Night
Grab your vise, special materials, secret patterns and come join your fellow chapter members at an open tying night. There will be plenty of tips learned and secrets shared. At the end of the evening we will hold a fly swap among that participants.  It will be a great way to help fill up fly boxes for the season that is upon us.

Don't tie?  Don't worry.  There will be plenty for you as well.  It is a great way to learn about patterns that work in our local streams and you can see how a well constructed fly is made. Plus, if you stare intently at someone's special creation, compliment them on their amazing ability, it is almost certain that you will go home with a few flies too.

Come out for this fun event.  It will be the last chapter meeting at Sconni's until September.

The Season's Here.  Go Fishing!

The inland fishing season began in full force this past Saturday May 6th.  While rivers in the immediate area were high some hardy folks took to the trout lakes and ponds and did quite well.  The river levels subsided a lot by the the first part of the week and are now fishable and even sporting some early hatches of Quill Gordens and caddis.  Can the Hendricksons be far behind?

Get out there and fish.  When you do and  ome home from the stream, share your exploits and brag a bit if you must on the Chapter's Facebook page. 
WRVTU on Facebook
Click on the copy of the Trout Regulations below and find that special place to fish with the maps included.

Brushing Project Sunday, May 21

Join us for the first project of the year.  Here is the info about the project from Ben Rollings, DNR Advanced Fisheries Technician:

 The Spring Creek Feeder, Unnamed Creek 16-4d has been negatively impacted by beaver.  Beaver control practices have been in place to get a hold on the damage issues, and to prevent future damage to the Creek.  Beaver damage includes widening of the stream channel causing warming of water temperature, altering water flow/stream meander, erosion of stream banks, and siltation.  The goal of this project will be to create stable banks, direct water flow, narrow the stream channel to keep water cool, keep the stream bottom free of silt, and provide areas of silt deposition.  
                This is a brush bundling, in-stream, improvement project.  The project will begin at the Ford crossing and continue downstream approximately 1600 feet.  The bundles will narrow the stream causing the stream bed to scour out and become deeper and faster.  In addition, narrowing the stream will flush riffles for spawning trout.  Once the bundles are installed on the lower inside edges of bends, and in wide shallow areas, they will catch silt that is being flushed out, filling the bundles, and ultimately creating a bank.   In the long run, once the banks form and grasses and/or trees grow, insects will move in creating a food source, and cover for trout.   Tag alder that is growing along the stream bank will be cut using hand tools, and then placed into bundles within the stream.  Brush bundles will be secured using degradable twine and attaching the twine to wooden stakes, which will be anchored down in the streams substrate.   This prevents the bundles from being blown out during high water events.  Chainsaws, loppers, twine, wooden stakes, mauls, and other hand tools will be used during this project. WDNR will be doing all of the chainsaw cutting for this project. Stakes will be put in place, by DNR, from May 15, 2017 through May 18, 2017. On May 21, 2017 WDNR will be collaborating with Wisconsin River Valley TU to place cut tag alder within the staked out point bar areas. TU volunteers will need waders and gloves, and if available, loppers to clean up as we go. We should meet at the parking area at 8 a.m. on May 21,2017.

Important! Due to difficulties in obtaining the permit for this project, please look for an email on Friday the 19th or Saturday the 20th to make certain the project is a "go".

2017 Chapter Events

  • The date for this years Taylor County Sportsman's Youth Expo is Friday May 19th. We were blessed with a really beautiful day last year and a great group of volunteers.
    We would need to be there (Taylor County Fairgrounds in Medford) by 8:00am at the latest to get set up for student arrival. There is a hot dog or brat & chip lunch provided. If you can help teach a kid to cast or show how to tie a fly and can help let Linda Lehman know at 
  •  On Sunday, May 21st we will be working with the DNR brushing crew on Spring Creek in Lincoln county. Spring creek is a critical feeder stream of the Prairie River and is a rich habitat for natural reproduction. Brushing this creek will greatly improve it's habitat and fish ability.
  • On Saturday, June 10 our chapter will hold a planning session at the Whippoorwill House on the Prairie just outside of Parrish.  Following the planning gathering we will fish.  Put it on your calendar now and make plans to attend.
  • On Saturday, Sept 23 we will again try to finish brushing an area upstream of Hwy H on the Prairie River in Langlade county. Following the brushing we will eat and of course fish into the afternoon and evening.
  • October 5-8th  "At the Confluence" with author John Gierach, artist Bob White, and photographer Mike Dvorak at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau.  Details are still being formed for this exciting gathering of writers, artists, conservationists, and the public.  Stay tuned!
Put these dates on your calendars now!
Details for these events will be posted in our e newsletters, Facebook, and emails as they become available. 

Chapter Survey
"Tell us about a stream that needs our help."

Where is that section of trout water that could use our help?  We are talking about that piece of now marginal water clogged with tag alders that could be restored to a viable fishery.  How about the small creek that holds trout but has suffered from the effects of poor agricultural practices? What about that culvert that is misplaced so the fish cannot travel to upper stretches to spawn? How about your old favorite stream that you no longer fish because over the years it has changed for the worse?

As we go about our fishing look for potential projects that we could stick volunteers and money into creating viable trout habitat and great fishing. That really is our mission you know.

Please click the link below and let us know of those waters of potential.  We are about the business of sustaining and restoring cold water streams.  We need your eyes and your ideas.
Tell Us Where

Fly of the Month - Hendrickson - Ephemerella Subvaria 

"This hatch marks the start of serious mayfly action on almost every major trout water in the East and Midwest in the early spring.

The emergence begins in early April in the trout streams of southern Pennsylvania. It peaks in mid-May in the Catskills and late May farther north. It can linger through early June in northern areas like the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Good action lasts from two to three weeks on any given river."
Great site for bugs!
Click on the image below for tying instructions.

Closing Thoughts  "At What Price?"

PHOTO: Wisconsin has thousands of small streams such as this one, and the state's largest environmental group, Clean Wisconsin, says a 2014 manure spill of more than a million gallons that polluted the Little Eau Pleine River and netted the polluter a $464 fine sends the wrong message about keeping our environment clean. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey)

I was talking to another "old person" the other day and he made a comment that stuck with me.  He said, "You know, most of the people that are alive today don't remember how it was." We were talking about how it was back in the 50's and 60's.  In those times before strong environmental regulations began to make the impact they have.  Back in the day, rivers were sewers and depositories for factory waste.  I grew up on the shores of Lake Erie and witnessed the Cuyahoga River burning on the five o'clock news. Some of us remember the smell of the Wisconsin River that bore not only the timber of the north but the chemical stew of the mills and factories that crowded its shores.

Today we and our children and grandchildren are the recipients of clean water and air thanks to those courageous people who stood up and said enough is enough.

Sadly today it seems that we are turning away from the things which have made such great strides.  It seems that each day brings another loosened regulation, uncorrected violation, and the dismissal of solid environmental practices for short sighted monetary gain.  It feels like we are plunging to a past, that for many of us, we would hate to relive.  I hate to imagine a day when my grand kids are forced to tell their kids not to go in the river or even try to fish in a lake because its not safe.

Our job as Trout Unlimited is to restore, reconnect, and protect the cold water resources from which all water comes. We need to work hard as volunteers in the stream. We also need to raise our voices to insist we don't plunge back to those days where the river burned.  Without that memory, it is  all too easy to go back.

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