A Morning Chasing Brookies

Reflections on a Morning Spent Trout Fishing

Trout Fishing

Travis Schuh shares his reflections of a morning that he spent trout fishing in Wisconsin

The alarm goes off before the sun comes up. My body jitters with excitement, yet my hangover screams at me to go back to sleep. I can’t sleep now…the stream is calling. I climb down the bunk and make my way to the car. Within minutes, I am parked on the side of a back country road. I avoid the bridges…they are always overfished. It’s funny, from where I am parked, you couldn’t even tell that the stream exists. I venture my way through the thick bogs and sticks. I am motivated by my passion for finding that legendary fish that is sitting in a hole yet to be found this year. I fall a few times, but I eventually make my way to the water and get in. The sun is just coming up now, and fog hangs over the water like the smoke from the campfire that I was at last night. The only sounds I hear are the doves and the water that I am stirring up. I round the corner and spot the first hole. Patiently, I string the leaf worm onto my tiny, size-12 hook. I breathe in…and I cast.

brook trout fishing

Travis Schuh shares his reflections of a morning that he spent trout fishing in Wisconsin

The worm lands perfectly on the edge of the grass. I watch my line as it floats in the current. I see the line tick. This is the moment I’ve been waiting for. I set the hook and reel in the fighting trout. I swing it on the bank and rush to look at my prize. It is a nice 12 inch Brown. It is full of blazing red speckles. I clean it quickly and stick it into my wicker creel. The morning is still young, and I already have a prize to show for my efforts.

As I round the next bend, I am amazed at the silence that surrounds me. A crack of a stick would sound like thunder right now. My attention is on my surroundings. Suddenly I spot it…a young fawn, looking at me from the grass on the side of the bank. The grass is taller than he is. The morning dew hangs heavy on the blades of grass, and they dangle all around the fawn. It might be the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. This moment has captivated me and made the adventure all worthwhile. I peacefully move on to the next hole.

I come to the bridge about an hour later and pull myself out of the water. I have not found that legendary fish, but my creel is full of nice eating Browns. This morning has reminded me why it is always worth it to get up. The stream is a place above all others. It is a place to reflect and a place to dream; a place to chase adventure one winding bend at a time. Tomorrow will find me back in the stream, chasing a new adventure.

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Travis Schuh

My name is Travis Schuh. I am a Middle School Language Arts Teacher. I have had a love for the outdoors since I was old enough to walk out on the dock and cast a line. I am an avid trout fisherman, walking many miles of streams each year. I also love to bow hunt and spend time in the woods. Writing about nature is a way for me to channel my passions and share them with others.