It appears the severe weather season is off to a slow start in the upper-midwest.
However, Wisconsin already has two tornadoes in the books. On May 9th, a system brought some low-end thunderstorms to southern part of the state that had enough energy to produce two tornadoes that day in Grant and Washington counties.
Fortunately, minimal damage was reported from both events.
Besides that it has been boring weather wise here in the state.
Don't get me wrong, this warm and sunny weather is awesome. But the itch to chase storms is starting to become overwhelming.
So, since severe weather season is taking it's sweet time waking from it's deep slumber, there are always other fun things to keep you busy.
I've been doing some trout fishing in some streams in Pierce county and searching for morel mushrooms.
Just last week I searched out a few areas and the morels were about thumb size. They should be ready to pick right now.
Southern Wisconsin should be past peak and the northern parts of the state should be right at peak, or close to it.
A friend of mine, who is a morel mushroom freak, already picked several here in west-central Wisconsin.
So if you haven't already been out looking yet, the time is now!
Trout fishing has been bountiful so far too. I been focusing on the beautiful gravel bottom streams in Pierce county.
The best time, in my opinion, to catch these fish is right at sun rise in the morning.
The water is cooler in the morning and the sun isn't beaming down in the fish for predators to see.
From my observation, once the sun starts to loom overhead midday those fish go deep and and shut down until the evening.
Sometimes, a few smaller trout will hang just below the surface and feed on fallen insects floating on the water, and they can be hard to catch unless you match-the-hatch with a fly rod.
I been pulling in 12-15 inchers almost everytime I been out.
I often leave the fly rod home and take my ultra-lite spin rod. My secret weapon is the Rapala original Float F5. Panther-Martin spinners work well sometimes, but not as effective as the Rapala.
I catch-and-release these beautiful fish. I remember a time when some of those streams in western Wisconsin were hurting for sizeable fish.
Putting these fish back will hopefully help the fish population in the long run.
I been noticing a dramatic increase in size and quality of the trout I been catching in recent years. I give credit to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for enforcing the increase in size limits, and other fisherman who practice catch-and-release.
Other than trout fishing, I will be out on a few local lakes in coming weeks pursuing crappie and bluegill.
I usually catch my limit and have a delicious fish fry a couple times in the summer.
Pan fish are pretty easy to catch and fun for kids too. So if you are a parent and pondering what to do with your kids this summer, take them to a lake or river and catch some sunfish.
Remember to check regulations before you hit the water this summer. Most lakes and rivers have special rules and regulations that aren't printed in the state's fishing regulations. I will usually check a local bait shop and ask if there are certain laws I need to be aware of.
Have fun, and stay safe out on the water this summer... -Joe