An Outdoorsman‛s Journal
Wisconsin River for the Good Times
Hello friends: Some of the best adventures that I go on are the simplest. This week I camped on the Wisconsin River near Portage with Michelle Chiaro and my pups Ruby and Fire and we had a new pal along and that is a baby duck named Murph. Murph literally wandered into our lives two weeks ago. I think he is a mallard and he/she is a super cool pet that loves attention and likes to eat sweet corn, chick feed, and spaghetti.
Sometimes Murph sleeps with me and he/she loves to cuddle.
Tuesday, Aug. 4 High 73, low 51 Here was the plan. I was going to launch my 18.6 War Eagle at Portage and we were going to head to where a whole bunch of us held my stepson Joey Dushek’s bachelor party a year ago. Joey’s shindig was on a sand bar with a deep water drop-off and there was a channel on another edge that held some dandy northern pike and musky.
Some bad luck came our way twice. First, we got the boat stuck in some sand and my rig was very full. Michelle and I had to do some gut wrenching to push the War Eagle out of our predicament. When we got to our destination, time and current had changed it so that it was underwater and the fishing holes were very filled in with sand.
We headed north to a different sandbar/island and began the task of building a comfortable camp and the mood was excellent as we had about 40 hours to live in paradise.
A brief description of this area would be that for being so close to civilization, there are very few people on the river, especially on weekdays. The shallow water and ever-changing layout to the channel can wreak havoc on man and machine and that really keeps out the general population.
At nighttime, we fished from shore and had a fire. Another stepson of mine, Travis Dushek, came with his girlfriend Liv Dahlke for a visit and Michelle caught three walleye to my zero. Travis runs a mud motor, and is 1,000 percent addicted to the outdoors.
It was very late when we quit looking at the stars and campfire.
Wednesday, Aug. 5 High 75, low 53 Here is a little side note on my buddy Murph. We do not want him getting eaten by a big fish or an eagle and thus we have to be very careful because he can run and swim extremely fast. This perhaps one-third grown duckling has both Fire and Ruby in love with it and at home and here at camp one of the two is always guarding him.
This morning Michelle and I were very lazy, which is what trips like this are all about. We fished from shore, ate a great meal, and at noon decided it was happy hour, which meant it was OK to have a very tasty malt beverage.
This afternoon and until dark we explored by boat and fished the entire time. Michelle had a smile from ear-toear as she has now caught seven walleyes to my zero. I had two big fish cut my line and I must admit that this section of the Wisconsin is simply amazing. The views, the wildlife, and the freedom to camp on the numerous sandbars is my kind of get-away.
We had to head to camp before dark because we ran out of bait and our buddy Murph was talking like he does when he is tired or hungry. I took an ear of homegrown sweet corn and cut the kernels off. Murph has to dunk each kernel in the water before he eats it and life on the river is great.
Almost everything we ate on this trip came from this way of life — homegrown taters, green beans, sweet corn, eggs, and beef, and we started out the adventure with venison steak.
Naturally when after another big night we were headed upriver the next morning back to the landing, I hit something with my prop and it now has a new shape. This brings me back to my earlier point of why this area is quite desolate even though it is very close to civilization.
Get out on the water before it freezes and you have to wear five layers of clothes. Sunset