This past weekend I was fortunate enough to go along with a couple of friends to a public trout stream west of Madison, WI. Since it’s been a tough winter and spring for me to swallow — with game species seasons still closed to anglers – I’ve been trying to find ways to get around not being able to fish for bass.

For me, catching potato chip-sized gills and shore fishing for walleyes can only suffice for so long. I needed to branch out and try something different. That’s where my buddy, and member, Brian Thiel, comes in handy! We’ve talked for ages about going trout fishing in the area.

So we grabbed our waders, he grabbed his fly rod, I tied a #1 Panther Martin’s on a spinning rod, and we were off! The conditions were ideal for fishing this time of year, 65 degrees and overcast with some drizzle from time to time. I couldn’t have asked for better on my first venture out to the streams.

The action wasn’t all that bad either! I managed to land two small trout, lost a few including one that would’ve been legal size when the season opens on the 5th of May in Wisconsin. I realize the couple I caught were just shy of the legal 9” mark, but I was so ecstatic about just being able to catch them on my first attempt at this whole trout fishing ordeal. There were many other hits and misses I should’ve capitalized on, but that’s what happens when you do something for the first time. To be honest, I haven’t been this fired up about fishing since safe ice this past winter!

When fishing becomes a true passion in your life, like it has for me over the last 10 years, you begin to branch out and try new techniques and pursue different species. I’ve realized in the past couple years that it’s not all about being able to continuously do what you’re good at, but to keep trying new things and setting new goals each year.

That’s how we, as anglers, grow and learn how to react to different situations and changes in how fish think and act. Technology, such as the interactive maps on, can be a great resource to learn about new waterways, species and techniques to successfully get on quality fish each time out, but it’s the guys and gals that know how to react to the surroundings that produce day after day on the water.

Keep learning, keep researching the maps on Fishidy and go get ‘em!