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Submitted by Trout MaGee


Every year around the same time, I begin to get a terrible case of cabin fever. I can, at times, appear to be as grouchy as a wiley old Grizzly Bear.

The days are short, the nights cold and everything seems to slow down. Wisconsin in the wintertime can wear heavily on one's spirit. So what better way to ease the mind, then heading out to your local trout stream and tossing some flies, spinners or what have you. Then out of nowhere, like a rock hard snowball to a frozen face, it hits you ... "That's right, it is illegal to fish Wisconsin's inland trout streams from October 1 until the first Saturday in March. Bummer!" The first thing I ask myself is, 'Why?' I just cannot and will not understand the reasoning behind this. I do understand that having fishermen/women traipsing through the stream beds, while the trout are spawning, is a bad idea. However by opening the trout season on the 1st of January and ending the season on October 15th you could avoid bothering or harming the trout while they are in their spawning period. I can understand how someone may worry about the trout getting stressed out during their spawning period and thus closing the streams during this important time is vital. However once the spawning season is over why can't we fish? Furthermore, how many fishermen/women are willing to actually go out and fish in temps that dip down into the single digits? Well, I know I will of course, but how many other fisherman actually will? The whole topic of catch and release during this time of year is debatable, however I would gladly fish strictly catch-and-release, if it meant I could head out to the stream and cast my fly in January. The main thing I would like to point out is there doesn't seem to be a good reason why Wisconsin restricts fishing for such an extended period of time and I have yet to find any suitable reasoning to support otherwise. So let's get this topic on the table and serve it up piping hot. If you are interested please sign the online petition to Extend Wisconsin's Inland Trout Season.

To sign the online petition go here:

What are your opinions on this topic?

Disclaimer: These are just my opinions and that is it.

Jobe Ewing (Trout MaGee) is a Wisconsin Driftless native who enjoys fly fishing for trout and photographing whatever captures his eye. He is a husband and a father of three who enjoys showing his family the beauty of nature. He lives along a stream somewhere in the Driftless Area.

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