Friday, September 7, 2012

Leveling Up

The first thing I like to do when my family moves into a new area is find the closest body of water and come up with a list of achievements to "unlock" on said body of water; like playing video games.  Looking for special "ITEMS" to add to your "Inventory" is also fun.  There are two bodies of water within walking distance of our current apartment, the Menomonee River, and the Washington Park Pond.  My achievements to unlock and ITEM pickups are listed below, I'll list the conditions that need to be met to unlock these achievements as I complete them.

Menomonee River
  1. (*) Blue Heron (locate three areas likely to hold fish)
  2. (*) Eagle Eye (visually locate fish)
  3. (*) Bronze Hook (catch a fish)
  4. (*) Silver Hook (catch a game fish)
  5. (*) Gold Hook (Catch a game fish over the minimum length requirement [Achievement unlocked 10-1-2012]) 
  6. (*) Cleanup Crew (catch a rough fish)
  7. (*) LATFH (catch a fish on the fly)
  8. (*) Elitist (Catch a fish on a dry fly [Achievement unlocked 09-02-13])
  9. (*) Baby Bear (Catch a member of the family: Salmonidae [Achievement unlocked 10-1-2012])
  10. (*) Mama Bear (Catch a member of the family: Salmonidae that measures over 30" [Achievement unlocked 10-3-2012])
  11. ( ) Papa Bear
  12. ( ) Hungry Bear
ITEM Pickups

The stretch of the Menomonee River that I live by is very urban, right on the edge of the Menomonee Valley.  People might ask, "Why are you gonna fish in there?"  Because it's there!  It apparently has decent salmon and steelhead runs, and in the past it was stocked with rainbow trout, bass, and pike.  It's too tempting not to fish, and it's a fun place to hang out.

Very urban.

The Menomonee is kind of tucked away and
out of view to most.

My brother Shane throws a golf ball.

After a little rain, it muddies right up.

Looks like dirty dishwater.

As you go upstream, it becomes more natural looking.

So pretty in this stretch.

It doesn't seem to take long to clear up after the rain.

Beautiful remnants of an old bridge

Nice undercut bank.

I found these beautiful flowers.

So pretty, I couldn't bear to pick
one for my wife and daughter.

Some kind of shiner.

Bluegill on a beadhead scud.



Washington Park Pond
  1. ( ) Garden Hackle
  2. ( ) The Conqueror Worm
  3. ( ) It's Super Effective!
  4. ( ) For Beginners 
  5. ( ) Pond Scum
  6. ( ) Matador
  7. ( ) Pot O' Gold
  8. ( ) Pond Lord
Washington Park Pond is stocked with some gamefish and catchable trout.  The urban ponds have some different regulations, they're posted around the pond on big yellow signs.  I've never fished it, but I have noticed a lot of surface action in the evening when walking around the pond.  It gets pretty crowded at certain times, but now that kids are back in school, a mid-week fishing stroll might be in order.  When I finally do get a chance to fish the pond I'll post some pictures.

Coming up with lists of achievements is a fun way to fish.  It gives you a goal, something you can check your progress against.  Each time you unlock an achievement, you'll level up for that body of water!  I know it's super nerdy, but I'm a pretty nerdy guy.  My wife calls it "Karping," like Larping-- get it?

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