These Boots Were Made for Wading…

…And that’s just what these Bums will do!
It’s not every day that you meet a fisherman that wades all day long with only the nourishment of water for miles on end. Oh sure, in the pictures we look cool, calm, and collected Perfectly lipping that fish, posing and putting on a smile. Or, in Dad’s case, making sure his frown is tight enough to hold his cigar in place. But, behind the scenes, where the river runs wild…there is consecrated chaos.


The best kept secret this side of Green Bay!
If you ask the average fly fisherman how far he travels in a day of fishing a river, he will snort. Yes, snort, we like to think they snort. That’s because the typical river fisherman doesn’t travel far at all. He focuses on an area for an hour and moves down a few feet to focus on another spot, for another hour. Standing in one position for a very long time. While the average fisherman travels a block in one day, the Riverbums travel miles. We wade through rapids, over giant boulders, through brush, under downed trees, and even take our chances in the deep. No matter what is ahead, we wade through. Eager to see more of that magnetic water, thirsting for the chance to strike a spot never thus stricken.

Range of Structure in the River
But, it’s no easy task. Take it from us; it takes years of practice to walk the way we walk. Starting out we never traveled miles in one day, let alone be out in the river for that long. But as time progressed, our bodies evolved to withstand hours on our feet. We learned to rely on resting against the current. When our backs become restless, we stand in deep water and lean back to allow the current to hold us. But, back aches are not the hardest part. It’s the boulders you have to watch out for. Wading, looking out for jumping fish, casting, and keeping your eye on the water level is a lot to do at once. But, we do it. Imagine a soldier in the jungle as he navigates nimbly in and out of the vast foliage while tactfully allowing his finger to graze the trigger and focusing his sharp eye on everything that moves. Can you see him slowly lunging to and from, rising over tree trunks, and at times gliding backwards all the while keeping the same pace and a steady heartbeat. Ok, well, we aren’t that good. However, it feels like that at times. Stepping carefully in the precise spot between boulders, feeling with your toes where the obstacles sit before you, judging whether you should step over, beside, ontop, or backwards. That’s what wading is like for us. Observing the water, judging the terrain, making a decision, and most importantly sticking to that decision. Because the worst thing a Riverbum can do (other than lose a huge lunker on the retrieval) is not follow through. Always trust a decision and go with it, backing out last minute could mean falling in or worse not embarking on the adventure itself.

So you may be asking yourself, why go through all that trouble to catch some fish? To you, it may seem like trouble, a hassle, messy, tiresome, and just plain boring. But to us, wading in the water is like walking on another planet. Even if it’s the same river. At first, you enter the water and you feel out of sorts, like you just stepped in the wrong house. Everything is foreign and odd. But then, your legs begin to feel at ease, your mind adjusts and as if Spock enabled his mind meld over you, suddenly, you are being teleported to a new space, a new land and you feel completely at ease. Your body loses all tension, your head clears, heart begins to pound in a consistent pattern and you are at peace. It’s more than just catching fish, my friends. It’s about walking a mile in your own shoes, without the noise of the world around you. Suddenly, the sound of your breath, your legs splashing against the current, the trees creaking, your line spooling, a kingfisher chirping, and that jump of a fish in the distance is all you hear. Nobody telling you what to do, where to be, and how to be. Imagine it. Imagine being able to transfer your mind and body to a completely different universe where all that matters is getting over that next boulder and casting as much as you can, wherever you can. There are no directions, plans, and meetings. Dreams seem real, thoughts you have never thought appear, and you start to see things differently. Everything is possible and anything is probable. Don’t believe us? Good, cause it’s not for the faint of heart. Because, once you step in, stepping out is twice as hard. Once you step out, and your wader boot drops that last bit of river water and you are back on dry, solid land, the withdrawal begins to set in and you miss the other world, the other you.

But, it is the time spent sweating, falling, soaking in mighty strife that matters the most. It is the journey of trying, trying with all you have to obtain a fish. The symbol and reward of all that effort. But, why tell you about it, maybe seeing us cemented in time may give you a clearer picture of what it’s like for us to wade away…

AC’s first bass of the day on the ************ River

So, as usual we took this Saturday to visit our favorite river that shall go unnamed. We visited an area that we hadn’t seen in over a year. Despite the many rafters and floating beer cans, we were the most successful we had ever been this side of the river. With about 20 smallies and 2 northerns reeled in…

Dad fishing the rapids…

A dark bass hiding on the bottom
(but a yellow twisty with an orange jig was sure to drag him out)
Net and Release…

When we emerged from the river, tired and pleased with the days outcome we were met by a wonderful gentleman by the name of Bill. So, please welcome a new segment of the blog…

“I’ve Met the Riverbums”…

Bill lives along the river banks and was kind enough to hand us bottled water as we waded out. He is a fishermen as well and enjoys time out on his boat. A shout out to Bill, thanks for the water! 🙂

Nothing like a jumping bass to make the day…


We left our favorite river behind to move on to the Little Wolf River near Royalton, WI. We arrived early and were able to fish a good 10 hours in 89 degree weather and clear skies. The water was crystal and perfectly leveled…

Netting a Lunker
The Northern of the Day

Gorgeous Coloring

“I’ve Met the Riverbums”…

We ran into a pleasant man named Rich as he floated down the river in a PFD (personal flotation device) built to float and carry a fisherman down rivers, over lakes, etc. His device looked like this…

A shout out to Rich who also provided us with bottled water. We must look thirsty :). Enjoy the top water Rich!

AC caught this last one while Dad was chatting with the float fisherman.

So, it was a great weekend with final numbers…
SATURDAY: 20 smallies and 2 northerns
SUNDAY: 35 smallies and 1 northern
LURES: yellow twisties with orange jigs, green/white/yellow/red dotted chuggers and one spinner bait with crawdad pattern.
So, until next time…We’ll see ya on the other side of the river…
Cast Away,
AC & Dad

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