I have been a proud Minnesotan, for the fifty years, that I have claimed this
State as my home. But in recent years, since I started becoming a fly
angler, that pride has started to tarnish. What used to be a right of birth
as a Minnesota, to claim we were better than Wisconsin, has
come full circle.
Wisconsin, hats off to you, and your State DNR, for an excellent job. Your
brochures on Trout Fish, for fishing of any species in fact, are way above
anything Minnesota has yet to achieve. Where Minnesota gives out computer
generated lists of trout streams, listing them by County, Township Number,
Range Number, and the Section Number that they cross in said nine square mile
Township. Wisconsin gives out a 32 page magazine, that has 18 pages of
Sectional Maps of Wisconsin, showing in color the 5 different classes of trout
streams, and which classification applies to each Trout Stream or portion of
If you want to go fly angling for trout in Minnesota, you are best
advised to carry a machete, and a good compass. For the streams I have
found, as a rule have been primitive at best. (And that is trying to say
something nice.) Parking is non-existent, and you have very little to go on,
for how friendly the local constabulary is, towards a parked vehicle on the
side of a road, for an extended period of time.
In Wisconsin, they supply off-road parking along most major Trout Streams,
and even mow a path to the stream area, such bliss. The Trout Streams are
not cluttered with thickets, downfall of trees that impede and peril your
progress, or ground that may twist an ankle or break a leg. Now don't get
me wrong, I am not talking about manicured stream-side lawns, but at least
getting there is not a chore.
County Maps are free for the asking, at local Wisconsin Tourism Centers. The
County Maps are quite detailed as to Road Numbers, or Names, and even show
the small little burgs and hamlets that are usually overlooked on other maps.
I finally came to this conclusion, this past weekend after fighting for the
last time the bureaucracy of the Minnesota DNR, and the Minnesota Tourism
Office. And the sorry excuse for what they call Trout Streams, and the
lack of information for those who wish to go fishing for trout. I want an
experience the thrill of catching a trout, not whether I will ever find
civilization again, or if not, will my body ever be found.
Fly Angling in Minnesota is too much like work, and I don't need anymore
work. If so the Minnesota DNR, and Minnesota Tourism Office should be paying
me, and at overtime rates too.
Who knows where this new infatuation may lead, I may even become a Cheesehead
supporter of the Green Bay Packers, like my eldest daughter is. But for the
moment yet, "GO VIKINGS." ~ Steven H. McGarthwaite (aka ParnelliMN)