First You Have to Get There

First you have to get there, that starting point upstream on the creek.

That’s what the picture at the top shows. Sure, there are other ways in, but after years of getting to the starting point, this is the easiest way in. The path is there, right down the middle. See it? If you ever see me put up photo’s like this, I always try to make it easier on people by putting the path dead center.

See that little spot of sunlight back there? Head for it. After that, you’re on your own.

Once in the creek it seems like nothing has ever changed, probably for hundreds of years. Quiet, sound of water over well worn rock, trees that look like they’ve been standing there forever and you wander down without a thought or care in the world.

Till you get to the spot where Mother Nature decided to rearrange the furniture over the last few months.


I’m at the point when I’m confronted with this need to rearrange things, the only thing running through my head is… I’m getting too old for this shit.

Stuff to climb over, all of it dumped in the best spot on the opposite side of the creek. If you look, no point climbing up there to shore fish. Not much of a shore to fish from.

This used to be such an easy wade.


After a couple of hours or so, you’re at the end of your trip. You’ve gone nearly three quarters of a mile down the creek and now it’s time to leave.

Good luck with that.


The path, it’s right there.

Right down the middle.

I’m assuming this explains why I never see anyone where I go on the creeks. I rarely see another set of footprints. It should also explain why I never wet wade. First you have to get there and when you get back, do you really want to be bleeding profusely and be covered in a poison ivy rash?

I didn’t think so.

After all these years I think of these creek adventures as normal. When confronted with a wall of woods when I want to get to a creek, I just look around a little bit and there it is.

The path, it’s right there in front of me.

14 thoughts on “First You Have to Get There

  1. Howard Levett

    I used to love to bushwhack my way to the water. Older, wiser and an easy bleeder has taken that away from me. I hope when I finally find those golden years that I’ll just be able to float above the hubris.

    1. Ken G Post author

      I still do Howard, that’s the relatively easy part. Climbing over those logs is getting to be the hard part. Going under them is not an option. I also love puncture resistant waders. I’d rather be a bit warm in them than bleeding like a stuck pig.

  2. RK Henderson

    It’s easy to neglect the unstoppable force of water. It looks so supple and yielding. But those of us who live with it know that it always wins. Water — even a little water — can turn everything upside down in very little time.

    Somewhere in there is a life lesson.

    Awesome creek, by the way.

    Rusty Ring: Reflections of an Old-Timey Hermit

    1. Ken G Post author

      It’s a very beautiful creek Robin. You’d like the quiet and solitude.

      I’ve got to watch over the last 20 years how water can completely rearrange anything it wants. One year a big gravel bar is in one spot, a couple of years later it’s on the other side and a 100 yards down. I saw one, in one flood event, fill a big pool five feet deep. The massive amount of rock now stands 3 feet above the creek. The creek made it look easy.

  3. Justin Carfagnini

    Great looking stretch of water. Well worth the ticks and poison ivy. Ha I love blazing my own trail and never seeing any foot prints upon my return. There’s always a way. Some just look for the easy route. Others, like you and I, we make them. Good on you, for continuing to do so!

    1. Ken G Post author

      What I hope you can see in the photo’s Justin is the critter paths I follow. They seem to have paths they use consistently.

      This can pose a problem. I once thought I was following a deer path. When a deer puts it’s head down it’s about 4 feet tall, no problem kind of. The path then turned into a critter path used by much shorter critters. I wound up crawling through the dense brush on my stomach for a good 50 feet. No small achievement while wearing waders, wading vest and carrying a 6.5 foot rod.

      I never did go back there.

  4. snorkel

    Very nice, I have been doing the same type of fishing on the Root river in Wisconsin.
    You seem to have been doing this type of fishing a lot, what is your opinion on where the fish go after a heavy rain and the creek/river rises and is kind of dirty?
    I went out today and the water on the root river was like that and all I caught was a dinky pike. When the water was clearer and lower I was catching Large Mouth Bass, Rock Bass, Bluegills and crappie as well as pike, now I only seem to be getting pike.

    1. Ken G Post author

      Dirty makes for the toughest kind of fishing. It’s usually a little high at that point too and on the Fox, that pushes the fish right up against the shore line to get out of the current. If the shore or rocks or trees are breaking the current, they’ll be sitting real tight to any of those. We call it dabbling. You’re not even really casting much, just moving things around along the shoreline. Hope that helps.

      I haven’t been up that way in years. I used to go for the salmon runs.

  5. Snorkel

    I figured they must be hunkered down someplace,
    This is the first time I have fished a small river like this that has so many different species in one place 😁
    I primarily fished trout streams in the U.P. of Michigan and that’s all you caught was Brook trout.

    Nicest fish I got on the root

    I release everything I catch on the root, I have some real dummies keeping everything they catch even if it’s not legal…

  6. snorkel

    Ken, I am assuming the Fox river you are fishing is the same one that flows down through the Burlington Wis area?
    Have you ever caught white or yellow bass on the Fox?

    1. Ken G Post author

      It used to have a big population of yellow bass 20 years ago, but something killed most of them off and now it’s rare to see one. White bass still do pretty good. I think I’ve caught about 20 different species of fish.

      I never went above Milwaukee and there I would fish the Milwaukee River. A friend still does that every year and does pretty well up river and more out of the city. I am surprised at the fish you’re getting out of the Root. Most people only know it for the salmon runs.

      I saw you tried to sign up on my forum. That thing is dead in the water. I just leave it up because I don’t know how to deal with all the info on it and I don’t want to just delete it all.

      See if this link works…


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