From "The Angling Report"

Early Spring Hatch Attracts Trout Anglers
Article Date: February 1997

Now, here's some good news for anglers who want to get in some early spring fishing for brown and rainbow trout. Seems the state of Wisconsin recently announced that they are moving up opening day from the end of April to the first of March. The important news here for fly fishermen is that fishing during March and April will be catch-and-release, artificials-only, a nod to residents of the southwestern part of the state whose streams were inundated with hardware fishermen when an early season was opened in this part of the state in years past. Although this year's early season will be statewide, anglers will likely still flock to southwestern Wisconsin, and in particular to the spring creeks of Grant County that flow to the Wisconsin River, where an early baetis hatch is the main attraction for fly fishermen.

These lovely pasture streams hold healthy populations of browns, rainbows and even brookies and are easily accessed from the town of Fennimore. Angling Report subscriber Jameson Campaigne of Illinois frequently heads up to the Fennimore area, and in a note e-mailed to us last month says he highly recommends the fishing here. He often goes out with Orvis-approved guide Jim Romberg of Fly Fisherman's Lair (*), who fishes the Big Green and Little Green rivers, as well as Castle Rock Creek and the Blue River.

Romberg charges $225 for a full-day trip for two people, which includes lunch and use of custom-tied flies. Campaigne says Romberg is "...a superb guide for the area, as he is trustworthy and knows his stuff." 


I have fishing with Jim for multiple years. His knowledge of the streams in southwest Wisconsin is superb. He is flexible with stream selection and fly presentation in adapting the trip to the skills of the angler. He is always friendly and cheerful, a true conservationist and outdoorsman.
For trout fishing 3 hours from Chicago it is well worth your time and effort.

FROM CLIENT Ed Inderrieden

Mequon, Wisconsin

I have fished with Jim numerous times over the last seven years.  He has a unique 

ability to guide the experienced as well as the novice fisherman.  He is extremely 

knowledgeable as well as tremendously patient—traits not often found together.  I 

always look forward to the opening of the early trout season because I know that I 

will get to spend a day looking for fish and trading stories with Jim—what could be