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It's your place for engaging stories of the people that make Wisconsin feel like home.

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Man with Dog

Many of us see the same people on the bus, in our coffee shop, at the gym, or walking to work each day. They are a part of our lives even if we don’t know their names. Patti See tells us about the regulars in her life. 

Patti See is a writer in Eau Claire. 

Photo: Doug Sharp

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Spear Fishing

The Ojibwe have spearfished for centuries, traditionally at night. Jason Bisonette of the Lac Courte Orielles Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe learned to spearfish as a child. He continues to fish for his community and his heritage.  

This episode was produced by Finn Ryan for The Ways

Image: “Fishing by Torchlight” Paul Kane (c. 1865)

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Night Crawler Love

Opening day for Wisconsin’s fishing season is this weekend. Ron Davis has taken part in this annual angling ritual for decades. Today he tells us how his weekend usually begins.

Ron Davis teaches English at UW-Stevens Point.   

Photo: Ron Davis 

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The Hazards of Fly Fishing

Catching a fish is just part of the fly fishing experience. The avid fly fisherman also crafts his own flies. Writer and fisherman Kevin Searock tells us what happens to many of those flies. 

Kevin Searock teaches high school science in Portage and is the author of Troutsmith: An Angler’s Tales and Travels.

Photo: Kevin Searock

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Summer Days on the River

Long and sunny summer days are what childhood memories are made of. Writer Ron Davis remembers his days on the Wisconsin River.

Ron Davis teaches English at UW-Stevens Point. 

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The Art of Fishing

Trout fishing is both a sport and an art. Wisconsin boasts more than 10,000 miles of trout streams, creeks, and rivers. Writer Kevin Searock has devoted his life to fishing and shares some of the wonders he’s seen wading in. 

Kevin Searock teaches high school science in Portage and is the author of the Troutsmith: An Angler’s Tales and Travels.

Photo: Kevin Searock

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Lake Superior’s Smelting Tradition

Along the northern Wisconsin shores of Lake Superior, smelting is still a strong tradition. But this year, with a winter that wouldn’t end, the smelting season was turned on its head and the traditional means were useless. WPR’s Rich Kremer went to Superior and stumbled upon a secret society of fishermen who used a different method to beat the ice and get the smelt.

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Rich Kremer went to Superior to reconnect with his childhood memories of smelting but instead stumbled upon a secret society of fishermen who used a different method to beat the ice and get the smelt.

Photos copyright Rich Kremer/WPR

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Trout Season:

Father’s Day is this weekend. Writer Susan Lampert Smith reminisces about her father and a 65 year tradition marking the opening of trout season.

Susan Lampert Smith is a science writer with the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health.

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Trout Caviar:

The word “caviar” conjures images of opulent luxury and the crashing waves of the Caspian Sea — not the lakes and streams of Wisconsin. Yet in the fall, Wisconsin waters yield the jewel-like egg sacs of freshwater caviar. Commentator Brett Laidlaw shares the story of his favorite local delicacy.

Brett Laidlaw is the author of Trout Caviar: Recipes from a Northern Forager as well as the Trout Caviar blog. He and his wife life divide their time between St. Paul and an off-the-grid cabin on 20 acres in northern Dunn County.

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The Big One:

Musky season is here and many Wisconsin anglers are obsessed with catching the big one. With its dorsal fin, needle-sharp teeth and impressive size, the musky is Wisconsin’s very own Moby Dick. This fishing season, commentator Michael Fedo is hoping to complete a family quest.

Commentator Michael Fedo is the author of several books including A Sawdust Heart, The Lynchings in Duluth, and The Man from Lake Wobegon.

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