Welcome to Eye of the Guide

Part Fifty-two


Minnesotan Getting Hooked on Wisconsin!

By Steven H. McGarthwaite


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 Trout Stream.

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)


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