Wine in Wisconsin?

When you are in Wisconsin, there seems to be a bit of drinking going on. When you are on vacation, there seems to be a bit of drinking going on. When you combine the two, it gets fun. We stopped at Wollersheim Winery and Distillery for a tasting and tour. It was fantastic. The grounds were beautiful.screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-6-23-01-pmThe history of the place was fascinating to me. From their website, “In the 1840s, the Hungarian nobleman Agoston Haraszthy discovered the sloped land where the winery sits today, and planted it with grapevines. During his short time in Wisconsin, Haraszthy also incorporated the state’s first town, Sauk City.” What a busy guy. I also like where his head was. He eventually gave up Wisconsin for a different wine growing area, California. Turns out, it was a good move.

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We made it out of the winery, even if we wanted to stay, and found our way (barely) to a farm. It was a beautiful space with chickens, a cat, a dog, some kind of farmers, and an old farmhouse. It was a great way to be introduced to the next part of our adventure, the Wisconsin Dells.

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Spring is here.

Just another reason why the northwest is great. I got to hang out at a farm during lambing season and then pick mussels to make for dinner that night.Screen shot 2014-03-08 at 10.10.11 AMSure the fishing isn’t so great out here, but this is making explore other outdoor options. At least I got to be on the water.Screen shot 2014-03-08 at 10.10.27 AMSomeone was happy with the result. I hear that they were delicious.Screen shot 2014-03-08 at 10.10.39 AM

Thanksgiving/Steelhead

We drove to Twisp for Thanksgiving/Steelheading. Mostly for the fishing. The first stop is George’s Bakery in North Bend.

Along the way, the weather was wet, but not too bad. In fact this helicopter had no problem moving logs around the interstate.

The first night, we stayed at the Twisp River Inn. It is right on the Twisp River which is currently closed to fishing.

They make breakfast with potatoes from the root cellar, eggs from the chickens in the backyard, and cheese from the goat farm next door.

Thanksgiving day, we drove to Carlton and fished a few very fishy looking runs.

That night, we stayed at a friends house. Everyone seems to have horses and dogs. There were as many dogs as people at Thanksgiving. The cats probably felt a bit like the natives during the original Thanksgiving.

The next day we fished a few more fishy looking runs. Walking speed water, deep enough to hold fish, but not too deep so the fly can’t get down there.

We didn’t catch anything, but neither did anyone else I talked to. The hunt continues. Maybe I am being optimistic, but when I have to bonk a hatchery fish, I am going to make a Gyotaku print of it.

Driftless, WI.

OK, so Driftless isn’t a town, so here is a short description of what it actually is. Arriving to the area after a 4 hour drive with little sleep, and traveling across a few time zones always seems like the best way to start a vacation.

There was lots of corn.

We were both very excited to see that access is not a problem in this remote area of Wisconsin.

The only best fly shop in Viroqua was staffed by what you would expect, a young, enthusiastic, eager to help, guy you would want to fish with

Sorted with a map, more flies than we would need for a week, and a new hat, we took off.The first thing that I noticed was the fact that anglers were encouraged to use the farmers land to access the water.The next thing was how fishy everything looked. The fish were right where they should be and they required a near perfect drift over some shallow, clear water, in order to be rewarded.We were able to fool them on homemade CDC elk hair caddis flies as well as store bought beetles, ants, and bead head squirrel.

Fishing the Driftless was fantastic for many reasons. Spring creeks were everywhere. The last picture above shows how close the farm the creek runs. I pulled my biggest fish out of what we called the “”Tractor Hole”. Access is easy, and crowds…don’t exist.