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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.  Grab a favorite wintertime beverage, sit back and enjoy this month's Riffle.  

Chapter Meeting - Tuesday, January 17

Sconni's Alehouse and Eatery
6:00 pm Food, Beverage, and Conversation
7:00 pm Program
"It's A Bug's Life" with Bob Pils
Having trouble differentiating between a mayfly and a stonefly? How about a caddis from a midge?  Don't worry it will all be clear to you after this month's special presentation by our very own, Bob Pils.  Bob has been all wet for years so he knows his aquatic invertebrates.

Bob will be sharing his extensive knowledge about the bugs we love in our cold water streams.  He will be doing this by means of his own amazing illustrations.  

Before Gary Borger had his son Jason illustrate his books, Bob was the man with the golden pencil. Just his amazing drawings make this presentation a must see.

Join us for an enjoyable and informative evening.

President's Corner

Doug Brown
Hello Everyone.  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and Holiday season.  This time of the year always gives me time to reflect on the previous year, as well as look forward to what 2017 will bring.  Camping trips with my 2 daughters and 3 dogs. Seeing family far away, and of course, fishing.
Although we are in the grips of winter, trout season never really closes for us and we have a couple of excellent presentations this winter.  I hope you can all join us for the outings, as they are a great time to get us thinking about the upcoming season as well as learn something new. Also, we will be discussing some fun-instream work day projects on some local streams, to help improve the fishery and fishing.  This is great opportunity for you to get to know your board as well as see about opportunities if you would like to become more involved with the chapter.  We are always interested in new members helping with the board and helping move our chapter forward into the future.
Other events coming up are the State Council Banquet on Saturday, February 4th in Oshkosh.  Tickets are available now for $35.  This is a wonderful banquet as well as there are events going on all day long on Saturday.  Please consider attending as the funds raised go to support so many good programs that benefit our cold water resources.
In addition, there are a host of other chapter day events scattered across the state and these events are a great way to spend a day during the middle of winter.  Not to forget though, our catch-and-release is officially open on selected streams across the state and if you need to shake off that winter freeze, consider a drive to coulee country to enjoy some winter fishing.  The spring creeks mostly remain open during the winter and if you catch it just right, a midge hatch might come off for some exhilarating winter dry fly action.  Of course, running either a slow moving spinner or streamer into some deep holes can be very effective this time of the year.  Please check the regulations to make sure the stream you are interested in fishing is open.
I hope you all have a wonderful 2017 and I look forward to seeing you at one of Wisconsin River Valley TU presentations this winter.  Stay warm!
Doug Brown, President WRVTU
Doug Brown and a couple of board members.

Break Out Your Long Underwear and Go Fishing!

The early inland trout season on selected waters now runs from 5 a.m. on the first Saturday in January (January 7, 2017) through the Friday preceding the first Saturday in May (May 5, 2017).
For the current stream openings for the early season
click here.
You might need to bring along the ice auger.

Winter Midge Fishing with Kelly Galloup

While this video is filmed on the Madison River just down stream from his Slide Inn Fly Shop in Montana, Kelly has some good tips for all those who dare to chase midges in the dead of a Wisconsin winter.  Kelly grew up in the Midwest (Michigan) so he knows what works in most places.  Even if you don't fish this time of year it is good basic advice.


Mending Fly Line with Henry Kanemoto

This article is Henry's recent post on the FlyFishingForum.
The internet is a wonderful resource for teaching fly fishing especially video instruction. Line mending is a skill that is often demonstrated on YouTube as a particular mend for a particular situation but I have not seen a holistic explanation of mending line.
I wrote a post on mending line for a fly fishing forum that used several videos to expand and explain mending to new and seasoned fly fishers.
Click on the first video and then read the following text.
  What follows is an explanation for the new fly fishers who may be unfamiliar with mending and the reasons to mend, and a review for experts.
A line mend is a repositioning of the fly line. In this case, the mend is called an ON THE WATER MEND (OTW) because the mend occurs AFTER the cast and AFTER the fly line has landed in the water. The video above shows one type of ON THE WATER MEND when nymphing with a strike indicator.
Unless you are casting directly upstream or downstream, the cast will always CROSS a section of water.
If the section of water is traveling downstream FASTER than the water the indicator is in, the un-mended fly line will form a DOWNSTREAM curve (a “U” shape pointing downstream). This will cause the indicator to be pulled downstream (downstream drag) by the faster water and therefore faster than the flow that the indicator is in. To prevent this DOWNSTREAM drag, MEND UPSTREAM with a “U” shape pointing upstream.
If the section of water is traveling downstream SLOWER than the water the indicator is in, the un-mended fly line will form an UPSTREAM curve (a “U” shape pointing upstream). This will cause the indicator to be held upstream (upstream drag) by the slower water and therefore slower than the flow that the indicator is in. To prevent this UPSTREAM drag, MEND DOWNSTREAM with a “U” shape pointing downstream.
This is the LAW OF THE MIRROR IMAGE MEND. Make the SHAPE of the mends the MIRROR IMAGE of the un-mended line, which is crossing the differential flow and is causing the drag.
This video demonstrates the IN THE AIR MEND (ITAM), which occurs between the rod stop of the cast and before the line unfurls and falls onto the water. The mend repositions the fly line in the air, and the fly line falls on the water already repositioned to correct for the unequal water flows. Again the LAW OF THE MIRROR IMAGE MEND applies. Make the SHAPE of the in the air mends the MIRROR IMAGE of the un-mended line which is crossing the differential flow and is causing the drag.
Notice the video demonstrates the rod tip movement in a geometric single plane - either to the RIGHT and back to center or to the LEFT and back to center. This is how the mend forms in a right curve mend. After the stop, we move the rod tip to the right and then back left to return it to the center. As the loop moves down the line it transmits this right then left line displacement so that the line curves to the right and then back to the center as it falls to the water.
The location, depth and length of the mend depends on the following:
1.The sooner we move the rod tip after the stop, the closer the beginning of the mend will be to the leader.
2. The further to the side we move the rod tip, the deeper the mend or curve.
3. The longer we keep the rod tip to the side, the longer the curve will be.
Notice the video demonstrates the rod tip movement in a geometric single plane - either to the RIGHT or to the LEFT.
If we do move the rod to one side and not move it back to center, the result is a “REACH MEND.” We “reach” the rod tip to the right or left and then follow the line down with the rod tip, to form right and left reach mends. Reach mends are the first mend a beginner should use and are the most common of in the air mend. It gets more complicated as we add the additional in the mends. The reach mend is in the video below.
Think of in the air mends as occurring in a 3 dimensional space over the water.
The rod tip can be moved in 6 directions along the 3 axes (X,Y,Z) which form a three dimensional space. So the rod tip can be moved right or left (X axis), up or down (Y axis), backward or forward (Z axis), and in any combination of these directions simultaneously or in sequence. Stick with me here because after this it gets easier.
The simplest mend is the reach mend, which has been described and demonstrated above. The right reach mend I described is a motion of the rod to the right and down. So a right reach mend is a combination of a sideward and a downward motion following the line.
But even with a "simple reach mend" an expert caster can perform wonders. Here is Jason Borger performing an extended reach mend across a river to fish the other bank
A puddle or pile cast is actually a mend in the downward direction. The rod tip is immediately dropped to the water after the stop and the highly angled cast dies piling up the leader in a puddle. By moving the line immediately down into the water, we kill the cast. The puddle or pile cast is actually a downward reach mend!  I doubt that many of you have ever thought of the puddle cast as a downward reach mend. The puddle/pile cast is in the video below.
A tuck cast is actually a mend in the forward and up direction. We push the tip forward and up after the stop, and that sends an upward “wave” of fly line down the cast. It creates more vertical space for the fly to tuck under and back. So the tuck cast is a forward and up reach mend.
 The tuck cast is in the video below. He does not say to mend after the cast. However, if the fly hits the water before it can tuck under the cast, try the mend. It will create more space for the “tuck”.  
A downstream parachute cast is a slight upward motion of the rod tip so that the fly line hangs down from the rod tip like a parachute. So parachute cast can be thought of as an upward reach mend. The parachute cast is in the video below. Although he does not say to pull up, Reaching the rod up after stop gives you a longer drag free downstream drift.
Even the traditional ON THE WATER (OTW) mends are combinations of rod tip motions. The hump mend is an up and down mend that throws extra line into the drift. The standard right OTW mend moves the rod tip up and to the right to reposition and add line to the drift.
With OTW mends in the first video, it is obvious that the angler is ADDING FLY LINE into the mend. What is not obvious is that for ITAM , you also MUST ADD FLY LINE into the mend. Consider that a mend is placing SLACK LINE into the cast. If we do not add this extra slack fly line to account for the mend, the fly will fall short of the target. This takes practice and adding the correct amount of slack line to form the mend AND to hit the target is a learned skill. So practice your mends. They look easier than they actually are because of the slack line requirement.
Through these examples above we realize that every mend can be described as a motion of the rod tip along the three axes. So if you will think of mends as just movements of the rod tip in combinations of the 3 axes of motion, you can conceptually see how these mends are interrelated and work to reposition and add slack strategically to where it is needed.
Read, learn, practice, succeed.
Copywrite (2016) Henry Kanemoto
Please do not reproduce without permission of the author

A Unique Christmas Gift

I have known my brother-in-law far longer than my sister has. In fact we have been hunting and fishing together as long as we can remember. 

This year when the USPS Santa arrived with packages from North Dakota, I received not one, but seven gifts.  All came from that guy who hung around our farm long enough to marry my sister.  

Now, I am not all that keen on re-purposed gifts but as I opened each package I discovered each to be a treasure. Each package contained a book about trout and fishing that had been treasured previously.

He later confessed that he found each of them while scouring antique malls and estate sales as is his nature. Knowing that I loved all things trout he had a marvelous time getting good deals and plotting his Christmas surprise.  

I already have a couple of them but who wouldn't want another "Trout Madness" or Vince Marinaro's "Dry Fly Code"? I even discovered one of my new favorite authors, W.D. Wetherell by reading "Vermont River". 

Maybe by next Christmas some of these treasures and others like them will be read, wrapped, and sent on to good friends. Hopefully they will enjoy them as much as I plan to do.

But for now I am off to curl up in my old favorite chair, brace myself against this cold winter night, armed with a new, old book, and dream of cold water rushing against my waders.
Thank you Richard

Fly of the Month - Pink Squirrel 

Click on the squirrel for tying instructions.
Photo from the the Driftless Angler (Great Fly and Guide Shop!)

From the Orvis website:

"The Pink Squirrel was first created by Wisconsin angler John Bethke, who has taught fly fishing at University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse. He is well aware that his nymph doesn’t conform to “classical” fly-tying or -fishing orthodoxy, and he has written:

I have some friends who are not inclined to even tie a pink squirrel on their leaders, not to mention use a strike indicator. These people prefer to fish in a more dignified or sophisticated manner. On rare occasions, I feel that way myself, and I can play those games fairly well. But mostly, I fish to enjoy the travel along my streams."

Orthodoxy Smofodoxy.....This fly catches fish. 

Chapter Board Meeting Tuesday January 10

The board of directors of WRVTU meets Tuesday, January 10, 6:00 pm at Sconni's.  We will be looking at this year's upcoming programs and projects.  How about joining us for this gathering?  Meetings last no more than an hour and a half and we need input from a variety of chapter members.  We especially value input on fund raising, chapter projects, and future chapter events.  Please come and be part of this important work.  If you have any questions, please email us at 

Closing Thoughts 

The old bench by the river in January 
While snow is a problem to shovel and navigate, it brings the promise of rivers alive in spring.  Snow is but the promise of spring to come.

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