Jerry Davis: Bluebird day for early catch-and-release trout season
BLACK EARTH CREEK, DANE COUNTY – Anglers seemed more motivated by Saturday’s bluebird day greeting Wisconsin’s early catch-and-release trout season than hooking and releasing brown trout.
“Good to be out again.”
What a day!”
“Just had to get out and enjoy it.”
Not much mention of trout there, but oh what a day.
The phrase, bluebird day, is usually reserved for a beautiful sunny day, sometimes after an overnight snowfall and certainly not connected with spring or even the migratory bird, except the sky’s color.
While the phrase is often used by skiers, duck hunters, and other recreationalists, trout anglers were all too excited to not use the term even if it meant taking it from those knowing nothing of tied flies and shiny spinners.
For those anglers who went with the adage of “an early bird gets the worm,” some ventured out shortly after the 5 a.m. opening time. To others, they were perplexed with the reason for the 5 a.m. start and realized that this season had nothing to do with worms, but strictly artificial lures, spinners and various flies, including pink squirrels, instead.
Jed Lebeck, of Oconomowoc, more than an hour’s drive away, has about two years of fly-fishing under his waders’ suspenders.
“It’s my favorite since I started fly-fishing. There are fewer people and no bugs and vegetation is not overhead,” he said.
Black Earth Creek gave up a small brown trout, which was immediately released back into the water, another requirement of the early season.
The opener was perfect in so many ways, with only minor hitches being cloudy water, clear skies and late afternoon runoff of melting snow cooling stream water and slowing fish movement even more.
Crowds began to build by noon and fish were commonly caught and released, sometimes after a quick selfie.
Oh what an opener.
The regular trout season opens the first Saturday in May; the day after this early season closes.