South Branch of the Oconto

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This morning I got up early for my once-a-year trek to the South Branch of the Oconto River. The section I selected is catch-and-release only, and is the home to some pretty big brookies and browns.

The wading was easier than in past years. Someone has been busy trimming back the dead falls. Thanks to whoever you are!

I did see some large trout, but today they were not interested in taking my spinner. I did catch one brook trout and two brown trout, but they were nothing to write home about.

I fished for about four hours, and at the end I was anxious to get out. So I tried crossing at a place that was probably too deep. I went for a refreshing swim in my waders.

That was a great test of the waterproof pouch in which I keep my cell phone. Unfortunately, the test result was “FAIL” and now I’m trying to dry my phone out in a bag of rice. I think there is a new one in my future!

There was another angler gearing up in the parking lot when I got back to the car. Apparently, he has been fishing this stretch going back many years. He told me about the old days when this section was stocked and there were crowds of fisherman camped out on the river early in the season.

I always wondered why the parking lot was so big when I have never encountered anyone else there. I guess that explains it.

I headed into Gillet for lunch and was back home in Appleton by 12:30.

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