Scientific Anglers offers “Cast Like a Pro” fly casting videos

Fly rod anglers from beginners to the well experienced can improve their casting techniques by viewing a “Cast Like a Pro” video series offered by Scientific Anglers.

Fly Fusion field editor Jeff Wagner and fly-fishing icon Bruce Richards cover various topics in this informative and educational fly-casting series packed with cast-changing tips.

For more information, search “cast like a pro series” on the Scientific Anglers’ website www.scientificanglers.com.

FROM THE DNR

DNR warns of license scam

The DNR is urging the public to beware of online hunting and fishing license scams. It is aware of at least two websites appearing to offer fishing or hunting licenses. After paying a fee, consumers only receive information on how to apply for a hunting or fishing license. The sites also collect sensitive personal data as part of the transaction.

“You will not receive a valid fishing license from these misleading websites,” says DNR customer and outreach services director Kimberly Currie, “and will be charged non-refundable fees, despite the money-back guarantee declared on the site.

“The best way to make sure you do not fall prey to these scammers is to purchase your license directly from the DNR or authorized agents.”

If you think one of these sites scammed you, file a complaint with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection by calling the hotline (800) 422-7128 or email datcphotline@wi.gov.

Bonus antlerless deer authorizations on sale Aug. 19

Bonus antlerless deer harvest authorizations (formerly known as tags) for the 2019 hunting seasons go on sale Monday, Aug. 19, starting at 10 a.m., through the Go Wild website and license sales locations.

Hunters can purchase one authorization per person per day until sold out or the 2019 deer season ends. The cost is $12 for residents, $20 for non-residents and $5 for youth ages 11 and younger. You must know the deer management zone and unit where you will hunt and if on public or private land.

The first three days of sales are zone-specific and available as follows:

Aug. 19 — Northern and Central Forest (Zone 1)

Aug. 20 — Central Farmland (Zone 2)

Aug. 21 — Southern Farmland (Zone 2)

Aug. 22 — Remaining authorizations for all zones.

Farmland (Zone 2) antlerless authorizations are now available for distribution. A Farmland (Zone 2) antlerless authorization is included with the purchase of each deer hunting license in units offering them.

Each day at 9:45 a.m., an online queuing system will manage the volume. At 10 a.m., all online users receive a randomly assigned number and place in line. There is no advantage to enter the site before 9:45 a.m. Customers entering after 10 a.m. join in the order they arrive.

Hunters accessing the Go Wild site should follow the prompts to reach their personalized dashboard. To purchase a bonus antlerless authorization, click “Buy Licenses” from the dashboard and look for “Bonus Antlerless Harvest Authorization” at the top of the list.

For a list of bonus authorizations available, search “bonus availability” on the DNR website.

DNR seeks input on ruffed grouse management plan

The DNR is hosting a series of public meetings to gather public input on a ruffed grouse management plan to guide management from 2020-30.

A local meeting is Tuesday, Aug. 20, from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Spooner DNR Service Center.

The draft management plan is available on the DNR website through Aug. 26.

For more information and to submit comments, search “ruffed grouse management” on the DNR website.

DNR hosting public meetings on waterfowl management plan

The DNR will host a series of public meetings in August to gather comments on a proposed waterfowl management plan to guide waterfowl management for the next decade.

The public meeting nearest Hayward is 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13, at the Eau Claire DNR Service Center.

The DNR will accept written comments through midnight Friday, Aug. 16. Mail to Taylor Finger or Jeff Williams, WI DNR, P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707; email Taylor.Finger@wisconsin.gov or Jeffrey.williams@wisconsin.gov; or call (608) 261-6458.

For more information, search “waterfowl” on the DNR website.

DNR announces stamp design contest winners

The DNR received 28 pieces of artwork from 16 different wildlife artists for the 2020 Wisconsin wild turkey, pheasant and waterfowl stamp design contest. Judging took place July 24 at the Natural Resources Building in Madison.

Brian Kuether, Greenfield, won the 2020 Wisconsin wild turkey stamp contest with a painting of a gobbler and hen along a field. All turkey hunters must purchase the $5.25 Wild Turkey Stamp to hunt turkey in Wisconsin. Proceeds bring in more than $775,000 annually for wild turkey habitat management.

Kuether also won the 2020 pheasant stamp design with a rendition of a hen and rooster pheasant hiding in the grass. Pheasant hunters must purchase the $10 Pheasant Stamp to hunt pheasants in Wisconsin. Proceeds bring in approximately $500,000 annually for pheasant management and for raising pheasants stocked on public hunting grounds.

Robert Metropulos, Arbor Vitae, won the 2020 Wisconsin waterfowl stamp contest. Duck and goose hunters must purchase the $7 Wisconsin Waterfowl Stamp to hunt waterfowl in the state. Revenue from stamp sales generates an estimated $350,000 for waterfowl and habitat management in Wisconsin and Canada.

Electronic “stamp approval” prints on the licenses of wild turkey, pheasant and waterfowl hunters at purchase, but hunters can receive the actual stamp by request.

For more information, search “wildlife stamps” on the DNR website.

Celebrate Smokey Bear’s 75th birthday at Flambeau River State Forest

Flambeau River State Forest will celebrate Smokey Bear’s 75th birthday Saturday, Aug. 10, from noon until 1 p.m. at the Connors Lake picnic area.

Forest staff will offer educational programs, programs for children, games, cake — and a visit with Smokey!

For more information, call (715) 332-5271.

FISHING REPORTS

Happy Hooker (Pat): Quiet Lakes. Musky action is improving, with anglers still seeing many following fish. Mid-size baits with varied retrieves work best. Fish weed edges and mid-lake humps. With water temperatures in the upper 70s to low 80s, it is increasingly important to handle released fish with care. Walleye fishing is good, depending on the time of day. Early morning and late evening hours into dark when fish come shallower to feed are best. Leeches, crawlers, minnows and small crankbaits are all taking fish. Back bays still provide some northern pike and largemouth bass action. Panfish anglers are seeing a nice mix of crappie, bluegill and perch. Slip bobbers with leeches or small minnows fished over drop-offs, weeds and mid-lake humps in 12-17 feet are producing some nice fish. If you see a funny looking vessel with paddlewheels, it is our Eco-Harvester harvesting invasive milfoil. Please give them room to work. Pull plugs and thoroughly clean and drain your boat, and clear any vegetation from trailers, boats and vehicles before exiting the launch.

Hayward Bait (guide Steve Genson): Fishing remains solid with the stable weather patterns. Musky action is improving with the cooler nights and bucktails and topwater are getting some nice fish. Focus on deep weed edges and bars. Walleyes are relating to deep weeds, humps and cribs. Slip bobbers and jigs are the best way to target these fish. Leeches and crawlers in 10-20 feet should get some bites. Some fish are relating to mud flats – try trolling crawler harnesses or crankbaits to cover water. Jigging Rapalas work great once you locate fish. Bass action remains quite good and wacky worms, swim jigs, creature baits and topwaters will get some bites. Focus on cover and weed edges for largemouth bass. For smallmouth, focus on gravel and rock bars. Crappie and bluegill are biting, with bluegill reports slightly better than for crappie. Weed edges, cribs and bogs are all producing decent catches at the right times.

Jenk’s (Mike): Chippewa Flowage. Musky action is getting better, with success on various techniques. Anglers trolling Mattlocks and other larger crankbaits are catching some fish, as well as a few on suckers in deep water beneath bogs. In early morning and later evening hours, both bucktails and surface baits are working. If the water is calm during those hours, Creepers and Hawg Wobblers are a very good idea. Walleyes are active, though fish size is somewhat lacking, and leeches are still the go-to for live bait. Bigger fish are on the deeper side of breaklines, such as 8-14 feet. During the day, try multiple fishing techniques in deeper water. Trolling Flicker Shads, 3-way crankbait rigs and bottom bouncing crawler rigs are all good techniques over deeper cover. Northern pike are unusually slow and anglers who are catching pike are fishing the usual spinnerbaits and spoons in the weeds. Crappie action is primarily on the bogs in the evening with crappie minnows, Gulp! and Crappie Scrubs. Make sure to try various depths under the bogs.

The Wolter Report (Max Wolter, DNR fisheries biologist, Hayward): The Namekagon River, particularly between Hayward and Cable, supports a fantastic brown trout fishery. The DNR has stocked trout in this reach of the Namekagon in the past, but in recent years, natural reproduction has exclusively supported the population. Each year during July/August, DNR fisheries crews conduct electrofishing surveys from Tag Alder Road to Larsen Road to check on abundance of both adults and “young of year” trout born in spring. The 2019 survey found 461 young of year per survey mile, more than three times greater than the long-term average and nearly double that of 2010, the next highest year. The 2018-19 fall/winter conditions were apparently very good for trout spawning and egg survival. Anglers excited about a super abundant trout fishery should do so with caution, however. There are many bottlenecks where small trout can perish before reaching adulthood. Cannibalism can diminish large year classes of brown trout, since little browns are currently one of the most abundant food items for larger browns. Any number of environmental factors could limit survival of this year class as well, including summer heat, extreme winter cold, drought, or sustained high flow events. Competition for food and feeding areas among this abundant year class will be fierce and many that lose out will perish. Still, despite the long road these trout must travel to get big enough to take a large hopper fly, it is exciting to see such a big year class coming into the mix.

For comments, questions and suggestions, email ssuman@sawyercountyrecord.net.

(Copyright © 2019 APG Media)

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