Tag Archives: Trout Unlimited

How did I get into conservation and fly fishing, anyway?

It’s a pretty simple story, and a perfect example of the butterfly effect. A couple years after I graduated from college, our photography business was growing and we were making a name for ourselves in our small college town. I was very close with my professors in our department as a student, and our department chair’s husband is an active Trout Unlimited (TU) volunteer. He knew of our photography, so he contacted me and asked if we could meet for coffee- he had a request for me.

To be honest, I kind of put it off. I didn’t know what TU was, and I was busy! Thankfully, he was persistent, and we eventually met at my favorite local coffee shop. He talked to me a little bit about what Trout Unlimited does in conservation, and asked me if I’d be willing to donate my time and take before, during, and after photos of their local stream restoration projects. 

Of course, I thought this was really interesting. I didn’t fish, and I didn’t spend much time in small streams. As a sea kayaker, I’ve spent lots of time on the water in a very non-intrusive way, but this was something totally new. I immediately agreed to help them out, and before I knew it, I was out on their streams with my camera. 

 

  

  

I brought the photos to their board, and asked them what their plans were for these images. I thought they were very powerful, and wanted to see how big their reach is. As it turns out, they had an outdated and not-maintained website, so I offered to build them a new one and run it. Shortly after, they created a position for me on their board, and I started learning more about what Trout Unlimited does in our community.

On those stream outings, the guys were always picking up rocks to look for bugs. They talked to me about the bugs that trout eat, and what different bugs indicate about the ecosystem below the water surface. In fly fishing, the “bait” is called flies. Some of the guys tie their own flies, out of special feathers, thread, and various materials. Some of the guys had flies with them, so they showed me which bugs the flies are supposed to imitate. I used to make a lot of jewelry, and I’m a crafty person, so I was quickly interested in fly tying, and went to several TU-hosted workshops.

  

In the winter, my chapter gets together to build lunker structures that we install when the weather is warmer. They even let me help! I kind of think of building lunker structures as Habitat for Humanity for trout. The structures go into a stream bank (or we create a new one) and give the fish a place to hide and safe places to hang out.  I have met some awesome people through my work with TU. Our university has an incredibly intelligent and approachable hydrologist, who worked diligently with me to help me understand groundwater in a more accurate way. It’s a pretty complicated system! The university even sent me out with them when they tested water flow on some of our local streams, and explained to me the different variables that make a difference in the health of a stream. That led to me being invited along with the DNR on some of their fish shocking outings. Fish shocking is the casual way to refer to their fish survey techniques. They basically put an electrified probe in the water, and the current causes a little muscle spasm on the side of the fish that is the closest to the probe. It causes them to swim toward the probe, and the fisheries guys net them up, measure them, then let them go.  

  

  

  

 They’re so efficient- the fish are hardly out of the water, and they seem to be totally unharmed. It’s not like a tazer kind of shock! Being such a soft-hearted girl, I was worried about hurting the fish, but they reassured me that the fish continue on their merry way. These surveys help the DNR learn the diversity of fish in a stream, the age of the fish, and the health of the stream… if there aren’t any young fish present, it probably means that the fish can’t naturally reproduce in that section of stream. It’s so interesting, and I got to see some of the prettiest (and tiniest!) fish in some of my home water. 

I learned more about the threats to water in my area, and in the Central Sands area of Wisconsin, where I live, high-capacity well pumping is the problem. Well, specifically, over-pumping. A lack of DNR’s ability to effectively judge cumulative impact in the past has caused major problems. I became active with the Central Sands Water Action Coalition and met many folks from river and lake associations who are watching their streams and lakes dry up, quite literally. 

 I’ve found it a good challenge to raise awareness of groundwater problems since we can’t see the problem until it’s too late, and it manifests itself on our surface water, or in dried up streams like in the photo above.

After a couple years of volunteering, my local TU chapter gave me a fly rod and reel at their banquet, as a gift for helping to bring them more up to date with media. Here’s a very cute picture of me holding the rod awkwardly after the presentation, because I’d never held one before!  

They also gave me a scholarship to their Fly Fishing School, so I could learn how to use it. I waited anxiously for a few months until the school, then I learned about casting, the gear for fly fishing, the knots we use, some of the bugs, and how to read a stream. 

  

  

Those TU guys in my chapter really know their stuff! Most of them have been playing in the water since before I was born, and they were surprisingly eager to share their knowledge and passion for fly fishing with me. We went fishing after the school, and I caught my first trout, a beautiful little brookie.

 

The hot pink spots just blew my mind. I didn’t touch her, I was afraid I was going to hurt her! That’s when I knew that I wanted to spend my time helping to protect these gorgeous creatures and the bigger environment that they represent. Our beautiful “canary in the coal mine,” if you will… 

TU isn’t necessarily a fishing organization, but there is a strong connection between trout and stream health. Trout are a very delicate fish, and they can’t survive in warm water. When the water becomes warmer for a variety of reasons (erosion, less cold water coming in, warming air temperatures, etc…) trout cannot thrive. Our only native local fish, the brook trout, is the most sensitive of all trout. A perfect example of this is on the Tomorrow River in Amherst. It’s about a 15 minute drive East of my house, in a tiny little town. In Amherst, there is a dam on the river, and a big mill pond above the dam. On the river upstream of the dam and the pond, brook trout are living happily and healthily in nice, clean, cold water. When the river widens for the pond, it is stagnant, and wide, and shallow, and the water warms up several degrees. There is also poisonous blue-green algae thriving in the pond. Don’t kayak in there! Below the dam, there are no brook trout. The water is too warm for them to survive! The pond has totally changed the ecosystem of that stream, and fish are no longer able to swim up and down that river naturally. It’s a manmade problem. 😦 Fly anglers, due to the nature of the sport, often spend time in their waders (waterproof pants), standing in the water. They go back to the same places again and again, and can see changes over time. That’s why there are so many fly anglers concerned about the health of our streams! 

So, I learned what TU does, and I learned to fly fish, and I learned more about the environment and cold water conservation, then I learned the key players in water in our area. The Wisconsin State Council of TU asked me if I would be willing to help them get more women involved in TU and get more of our current female members engaged at the state level. I jumped at that chance, and I became the first women’s initiative chair on the state council. I started learning more about the challenges to water in our state, rather than just my region, and I started connecting with lots more like-minded women. One of the big challenges to healthy water in our state was the Penokee Hills and the impending Gogebic Taconite mine. Our Wisconsin NLC rep (leadership within national TU), Bill Heart, took me up on a tour of the proposed mine site, took me through the Native American camp on the land, and showed me first-hand the beauty of that area.  After a couple years of being the Wisconsin Women’s Initiative chair, I found myself working as a contractor for national TU, continuing to further the women’s initiative- getting women involved, engaged, and helping to encourage and lift women up into leadership. Those of you who have known me for a while know that I’m a big advocate for empowering women and diversifying leadership in our country. I grew up with an incredibly awesome and strong single mother, and I’m a girl from the “Girl Power” generation. 

I’ve even gotten a couple photography gigs from the folks that I’ve met through TU. A couple guide companies and a few articles, and I’ve gotten to travel and hang out with some very cool people.

   

             I have gotten more and more involved with politics, as well. I didn’t realize, until spending time volunteering for TU, that there are a lot of politics in conservation! I wanted my opinions known, so I’ve taken advocacy trainings from the River Alliance and befriended folks at the Wisconsin League of Conservation voters, and I’m working to make sure that my legislators know that I’m here, and I’m speaking for the fish. It’s not just the fish, though… healthy, cold water for the fish means healthy, cold water for us. For our kids. For our drinking water. The water is all the same, and someone needs to look out for it. 😀

So… that’s my story. How a girly-girl turned into a serious conservationist, fly angler, and educated advocate for water. My involvement with Trout Unlimited has changed my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! 🙂

Thanks for reading and following me on my adventures!

Miles this year: 217.45

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18 miles + meetings in Minneapolis

As the weather warms up, each run feels a little different. I’m finally shedding my extra layers and running without feeling weighed down. Carmel and I have been having a grand old time running the mountain.  I also hosted an essential oil class with my mother-in-love. I swear by essential oils for multiple things, including helping me sleep. 🙂 After my class, I was feeling pretty tired, and I had my eighteen miler the next day, but The Lowest Pair was playing downtown at Guu’s. I first heard them when they opened for Trampled By Turtles in Green Bay last year, and I think they’re fabulous! I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to hear them in my backyard, so I went over there.

I’m having a little bit of a crisis of work intention, but I’ll go into that more in my next post or two, so going to a concert alone was certainly an interesting experience.

The next morning, I woke up with a stomachache and generally feeling crabby. I didn’t want to run, so I put it off, and put it off some more. I did some work, and cleaned the house, and finally, I convinced myself to bite the bullet. Since it was in the 20s, I headed into the gym for my run. Luckily, my crabby mood lifted about mile 9. I ate some Starbursts and drank my Nuun, and watched some The Boss on Netflix.

Now, for a bit of honesty. 🙂 

You would think that having dozens of double digit mile runs under my belt, that I would remember the basics. One of the most important rules to follow is that you shouldn’t try out new clothes because they can chafe you, or ride up, or restrict your breathing… ain’t nobody got time for that. Since I was in such a funk when I was getting ready, I must not have been thinking straight, but I picked out a super cute tank top that I’d never run in before. I’d worn it for yoga and strength training, but not running. In any event, about ten miles into a sweaty treadmill run, my arms were chafing so badly that I ended up running and swinging my arms away from my body for the final eight miles. That shirt also just soaked up all my sweat. Gross AND annoying. Alas, I have no idea what the f I was thinking lesson learned. 

As soon as I left the gym, I went straight to our local soft serve place, Belts, and ate my recovery lunch while sitting in a mustard bath.  I recovered with laundry and packing for my weekend- the Trout Unlimited Upper Midwest Regional meeting. I was so excited to see my Wisconsin TU guys, my Illinois TU friends (hi, Myra!), and, of course, the staff. Dont worry, I made sure to grab some Spotted Cow to share with the guys.

Brian had Friday off, so he helped me finish packing and loaded my car for me. Before I knew it, I was on the road. A couple hours into my drive, I looked in the backseat and realized I didn’t see my garment bag hanging there. I called Brian, who informed me that we’d forgotten to put it in the car, and it was still hanging on our bedroom door frame. I ended up making up for it by buying new meeting clothes (thanks for no sales tax on clothes, Minnesota!), and my WITU friends and I headed over to our friends’ house for a cookout.

 Thanks for hosting this rowdy bunch, Criqui family!

I enjoyed the meeting, especially learning about the plans that TU has for helping us protect and restore our beloved Great Lakes. I represented Wisconsin well by attending the “Women In TU” presentation… 

  And we got to catch up over dinner. Go Badgers! Linn and Mike, from WITU, worked with my friend, Kyle (remember Kyle, from Oregon?), to put on a presentation…

  

   …our CEO gave a talk of his own…

   

   

…and Matt (from TU AND the River Alliance) and Linn gave a presentation about advocacy.

   

 

 I took Kyle to the Mall of America to walk around for a bit, and I dropped him off at the airport on the way to visit the Weisses.  I got to meet baby Lexi!!  The Weisses are fabulous parents, and I just love watching my friends grow into their new role. Thanks for letting me spend the night and cuddle with your babe! I was on the road early on Monday, and headed home. I love seeing that “Welcome to Wisconsin” sign.

Thanks for reading!

Miles this year: 188.45

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Kasha salon + food + Chicago

I’ve spent a lot of time in salons. Almost every wedding morning, I’m skipping through a salon, camera in hand, with blushing brides and excited bridesmaids. This time, I was invited to Kasha Salon, in Wausau, for new promotional photos. This is Stef. She’s an absolutely stunning woman (seriously, those eyes!), with a sweet personality and a powerful creative streak. I met her on dance team back in my high school days, and it was really fun to reconnect with her over a couple shared brides as clients. The salon is beautiful, and filled with fabulous products!  Thanks for bringing me in, Kasha staff! It was a pleasure working with you all!  I had a busy week, but was able to steal away for a Skype coffee date with my first sole sister, Nancy.  Nancy moved to warmer climes last year, so we’ve only been able to keep up our dates virtually. 🙂 I hope to get out to the Vegas area to visit her soon!

I had lots of food in the studio this week. I am absolutely in love with these lavender lemon shortbreads.

  Of course, I ate them as soon as I was done, and I washed it down with my newest favorite food- bug macaroni and cheese!!  As a fly angler, I have a special appreciation for all things buggy. 🙂

Keeping with the lemon theme, I worked on some stock photography of translucent fruit…

 …and I finished off the work week with a beautifully rich French Napoleon from Andersonville’s Swedish Bakery.

 I spent Saturday at TroutFest, a TU event. I had a booth for the women’s initiative, and I also had blank trout outlines for kids to color. My booth was right along the window, so I kept my eye out on the water- as the ice melts, the eagles come out.

     

  I hurried home on Saturday night, and packed for Sunday… the highlight of my weekend was a trip to Chicago with this little love… …my niece, Ember! ❤ My sister, Erin, and I had a chance to catch up, and I spent a little time down in Chicago, including lunch with my cousin, Max.  A whirlwind week, filled with my favorite things. With spring around the corner, spirits are high!

Miles this year: 137.25

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Spicy soup, a trip to Green Bay, and tying some flies

It was cold. Freeze your face off cold. I love Wisconsin, but we had five days in a row with a high temperature below zero. This girl needs to play outside!

That is the Wisconsin River a couple blocks from my house. I still ventured out in the cold to go to Green Bay TU’s annual banquet. They have the biggest chapter banquet in our state, and their banquet committee is filled with exceptional volunteers. I was even lucky enough to win an air compressor! Brian was absolutely thrilled.

I braved the cold to tie flies with our chapter at one of our free fly tying workshops. We had a great time! We encourage kids to come, and our UWSP Fly Fishing club came out to help, too.

 

Just when I thought I’d had enough ice, I had a photo shoot with some iced coffee. 🙂



I thought briefly about running outside, but then I saw this…



…so I stayed inside, and made some spicy soup.

I love poached eggs.

The weather was scheduled to warm up, so I went outside to play, and my next post will feature a cute snowy shoot with a pup.

Thanks for reading!

Miles this year: 120

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WITU State Council Banquet + a fabulous loaf of bread

My very first volunteer opportunity for Trout Unlimited was helping to sell tickets for the raffles at our state council banquet. That was five years ago, and now I’m in charge of the raffle ticket sales. Times have changed! 

This year, while we started the day in a meeting, our council hosted the first WITU-sponsored women’s fly fishing seminar ever here in Wisconsin. We had some incredible women instructors come and teach our attendees about the sport that we love, protecting the resource, and connecting with the outdoors in a truly meaningful way. 



Here’s a couple of my favorite photos from this year- the awesome members who keep me coming back, our strong leaders who fight for the resource, the award winners, and all sorts of stuff. 🙂



This event was held in Oshkosh, and my best friends Amy and Nikki came out to help me sell tickets. We spent the night relaxing in the hot tub and drinking wine. It is a strange “girls’ night” but we love it. ❤

I returned home and prepared for our chapter’s fly tying night out at Clancey’s. We had great turnout, and a lot of fun! I invented a new pattern for the “Oberstadt sparkle dry fly” and I will let you know how it works ASAP. 🙂



We were in the middle of a cold spell, so I had to do the majority of my running indoors. When I had a 12 miler on the schedule, the high temperature didn’t get above zero. That meant I got used to this view:



I actually don’t mind running inside as much as you’d think- I can keep a water bottle and fuel (Starbursts, FTW) right nearby, and a sweat towel, of course. 🙂

Lucky me, I was busy carb loading with the subject of this week’s photo shoot- a loaf of Le Fruit, another Main Grain creation.

My view?



The finished product?



I lead a charmed life.

Up next? Our awesome Valentine’s weekend., including Jason Isbell in Chicago and my mom’s wedding!

Miles this year: 106

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Fly fishing on my mind

What is an avid fly angler to do in the winter months in central Wisconsin? 

Go to trade shows. Lots of trade shows.

I went to the Chicago Outdoor Sports show to visit my friend, Jen, who runs DUN magazine and had a booth there. It was awesome to play around with a couple new rods and remember what it feels like to cast a line to water. They had a pool for us to cast into. 



I stayed with my aunt Eileen and uncle Rick in their beautiful Elk Grove home, and I got to hang out with my cousin twin, Killeen. She just bought a super cute house and it was wonderful to hang out there, drink some wine, and relax. 🙂



I loved running around their neighborhood- they even have a little pond.





I returned home to the frozen tundra, and headed over to the Eastern part of the state for Fox Valley TU’s Cabin Fever event.



Jen is an active volunteer in the Fox Valley chapter and she’s doing great work for the women’s initiative. It was great to see you, girl! I also had a booth at Central Wisconsin’s TroutFest, and I’ve been working on reaching out to the women in our communities and in the angling industry to get them hooked up with the work that Trout Unlimited does here in Wisconsin. 🙂 I also have some blank trout outlines for kids to color. How cute is this?



The short days and no sun has really been getting to me, so my incredibly talented electrican husband whipped together a light box for me.



After sitting in front of that contraption for a few days, I felt like a million bucks! We were lucky enough to cap off our busy week with Central Waters’ 17th anniversary party. I was covering the event for Hoopla magazine, but I ran into Lydia at the party!



We drank some delicious beer and danced to live music. A perfect Saturday!







Thanks for the fun night, Central Waters!

I’ll leave you with some of the most refreshing subjects I’ve had in the studio lately- fruit!





I just love working with food. Seriously. 🙂

Up next? Frame’s 150th anniversary, an encaustic artist, and out of town friends.

Thanks for reading!

Miles this year: 84

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Recovery: am I supposed to be taking it easy?

In traditional Heidi style, I was way overbooked. The day after the marathon was filled with a physical therapy appointment (to check me out and test out my stress fractured foot), an oil change, and a pedicure appointment with Carmel. 🙂 My sore little toes loved it!

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At least I wore compression socks!
I drank smoothies…

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…and smelled the roses.

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I even found time to do a brook trout manicure before my trip to Minnesota…

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…and I snuck in a photo shoot at the next local brewery- North Abbey Brewing. The space was recently purchased, so they’re in the middle of demolition and starting to move equipment in. I can’t wait for them to build their dream so I can see (and taste!) the finished product!

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I spent my day and a half at home being a busy bee, then loaded up the car to go visit the TU Western Restoration staff at their retreat in Minnesota. It was pretty cool for me to visit the driftless area in another state. I love learning through travel! We had some beautiful weather, took a couple field trips, and I ran on the trails near our cabin.

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I loved this trip. It was wonderful to meet some new people and see some old friends! 🙂 after the retreat, I drove a half hour south with my friend, Mike, to catch my first Iowa fish. Trout season was closed in Wisconsin and Minnesota, but Iowa was just a stone’s throw away.

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The Asian Lady Beetles were terrible. I’m not positive, but I think it’s because they live in soybean fields, and during the harvest time, they’re evicted.

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My stratus and I reached a new milestone, I drank some great diner coffee, and I hurried home for another busy weekend. 🙂

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Thanks for reading, friends!

Miles this year: 509.1

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My mentor, the record store, tacos, ice cream, and a fun TU trip to Milwaukee… and Mr. and Mrs. Phares!

I had my weekly meeting with Bill, my photo mentor. 🙂 We often go to Emy J’s, and if I have time, we go visit Randy at Radio Kaos.

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I love visiting actual record stores. There is something special about it, and Randy is awesome. I usually ride my bike for my errands, and this was no exception. I often take a little detour just so I can see one of my favorite smiley faces in the tar.

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In fact, when I was running this week, I found a new one…

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Too cute.
Friday afternoon, I headed back over to Central Waters to catch Tortuga Express, a food truck to be featured in Hoopla. If you’re not hungry now, you will be!

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Brian and I ate those delicious tacos for dinner, and swung by King Cone for dessert. I knew about their delicious homemade ice cream from a photo shoot that I’d done a few months ago, and I wanted Brian to taste it for himself!

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We took our ice cream to go, and headed down to Milwaukee. We stayed with my TU friend, Henry, since we had our first family work day planned for Saturday morning!
It was incredibly adorable. We encouraged parents to come to the work day and bring along their kids- we had a coloring table with trout pictures, an entomology station, a fish shocking station, and a chance for the kids to help us put in spawning gravel. We had the DNR guys come on out to help, and the kids loved playing with the bugs! They got right in the stream and helped us use the kick nets. The kids seemed to love it, and I think the parents also learned a bit. 🙂

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We grilled out for lunch, and Brian and I headed out quickly to get to Stacey and Ron’s Minnesota wedding. A few hours of driving, a stop for iced coffee, and we made it just in time for dinner and dancing!

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We met this beautiful couple through the small group at our church. We love these guys! 🙂 Robert was the officiant, and the rest of our small group (minus Pam) came to celebrate, too!

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Our handsome small group men are what keeps the ladies coming back for more theology and bible study! Haha. 🙂

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Congratulations, Ron and Stacey! We are so happy for you two. Thank you for inviting us to celebrate with you… We wish you a lifetime of love!

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We stayed in a hotel over in Winona, and after we slept in a little bit, we headed out for a Driftless area adventure.
More to come in my next post…

Miles this year: 392.95

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Fighting Dams and Fishing for Smallmouth Bass :)

I left the Klesmith family and headed straight to a village meeting in Amherst- an open forum focused on what to do about the dam. It needs to either be replaced or removed- it can’t stay put in its current state.
Of course, being someone so focused on our cold water streams, I wanted the dam removed. Above the pond, it is a class 1 trout stream, with wild, naturally reproducing brook trout. Below the dam, where the water is 8-12 degrees warmer, there are no brook trout. 😦
The people who live on the mill pond, however… they want to replace the dam. I don’t blame them for liking the look of the water or the wildlife that’s attracted by the pond. I like still water, too… where it is naturally occurring. We have over 15,000 documented lakes in Wisconsin! I grew up swimming and playing in lakes up north, but they were “supposed” to be there. The mill pond is too muddy and shallow to swim in, and there is poisonous blue-green algae.
Anyway, I went with my TU chapter representatives to the meeting to show off a plan for the space where the pond is… We hired a firm to design a public space with foot bridges, bike paths, and a park. The meeting was very civil- folks from both sides were very respectful and tolerant. I was very frustrated, though… we have a lot of brook trout here in Wisconsin, and for some reason, I think the general population doesn’t realize how special it is for them to be wild, native, and happily making fish babies in our streams. With the opportunity to reconnect this resource, I couldn’t believe that anyone would want to replace the dam. There was good turnout at the meeting…

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…and when it was over, I cried on the way home. I need to work on hardening my heart a little if I want to keep going to public meetings!
My spirit was lifted on Thursday after a productive morning of editing and lunch with my favorite photo mentor, Bill. 🙂 Emy J’s has great coffee and fabulous food.

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I rode my bike home in the rain…

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…and prepped the house for a little facelift.
I had the weekend free from weddings but Brian was working a shutdown, so I was lucky enough to spend the day up north.
I’m on a boat…

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Al invited Aaron and I up to fish the Menominee (the border between Wisconsin and the UP) in his drift boat. We caught lots of smallies!

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The sturgeon were going crazy- they’d launch themselves out of the water and do some kind of prehistoric bellyflop on top. It was a noisy situation!
Look at these beautiful flies I was using.

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The water was beautiful, and Al found a perfect place for us to stop for lunch!

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The highlight of my day came near the end, when I coaxed a walleye up to take one of those minnows on top!

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I’ve never caught a walleye before, and I was afraid to hold her for obvious reasons…

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Al was an amazing host. Not only did he show us the time of our lives up there, he cleaned my fish for me and sent me home with ready-to-cook filets. Thanks for the awesome time, Al and Aaron! I had a blast.
That was the first fish I’ve ever kept. I was nervous to do it, but Al promised she’d be delicious! He showed me where her heart and other organs were, and I learned more about fish anatomy 🙂
I cooked her up with fresh beans from the garden, and drank fine wine with good company. Brian and I ate her on our front porch.

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That’s about all the emotional growth I could muster for the week!
Be back soon, friends… with pictures of my newest niece!!

Miles this year: 364.75

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Wisconsin TU’s Youth Fishing Camp, running, and Amy and Chris!

I’m having a hard time adjusting to life in my office after that beautiful week playing in the mountains. Here’s one more image for you…

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I am happy to be back- back to my home, and my bed, and my puppy. And back to my garden! Some of my favorite purple raspberries are ripe.

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I ran with the fun run group here in Point over at Standing Rocks, but I had so much fun that I didn’t take a picture until the ride home.

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I was home for two nights, then I headed out for Wisconsin TU’s very first youth fishing camp.
My friend, Jen, came over to help! We were twins in our matching jackets.

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We taught the kids about conservation, knot tying, tying flies, and a whole ton of information about fishing with flies, spinners, and bait. The kids had a great time, caught some fish, and learned a lot!

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Many thanks to all our volunteers who came out and shared their time and talents with the next generation. What a crew!

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I was SO ready to be home for a week in my own office and my own kitchen… I cooked Heidi food for a week!

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I’m sure everyone eats their eggs with kale and sriracha, right?
I returned to running with Lydia as much as possible.

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Hurry home, Carmel! We miss you. 🙂
I was lucky enough to be invited up to Wausau to capture one of my best friends, Amy, in some engagement portraits with her handsome fiancé, Chris.
Amy was one of my maid of honors, along with my other bestie, Nikki. Here we are, almost seven years ago. #flashbackfriday

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Photo by Lem Fillyaw of Painting With Light.
I will be one of Amy’s matron of honors, so I won’t be able to shoot her wedding, but we sure had a great time up at Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, in their gardens. Take a peek!

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It is amazing how time flies. I remember when we were too young to drive… and look at us now.
Congratulations, sweetie… we can’t wait to celebrate with you two next year!
That’s all for now. I have a lot of photo shoots this week, so stay tuned for some super cute stuff!

Miles this year: 355.25

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