Traveling, it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller
Although my traveling is miniscule compared to Ibn Battuta, an Afro-Eurasia explorer, there is a story, whether short or long, to share and reminisce about. This is true with a recent trip I was on in northern and western Wisconsin. In this article, I share my 14-day trip with you that I made in late August 2022. It was a trip to remember, and a trip that makes me want more of this type of naturistic journey.
I prepare for this 14-day trip with my teardrop camper, kayak, photography equipment, fishing gear, and snacks. From previous experience, I attempted to keep this trip simple, only bringing things I need with the limited storage available in my truck and camper. And so I began this trip, starting at Flambeau River State park, making my way towards the Chippewa Flowage, then ending the trip along the Mississippi River Pool 6.
To sum up my daily routine all 14 days:
- 6:00AM: Wake Up
- 6:30AM: Head towards water
- 7:00AM: Launch
- 5:00PM: Return
- 6:00PM: Dinner
- 9:00PM: Sleep
I spent roughly ten hours on my kayak each day. I would find time throughout the trip to stand up, stretch, walk around if I find an accessible bank, and snack. Kayaking ergonomically is a thing!
Below is a quick recap of Day 1 through Day 14, along with some visuals!
Day 1-2: Flambeau River State Park
Prior to hitting the Chippewa flowage, I spent a few days at Flambeau River State Park. My brother, Xang, and I had a river float planned on the Flambeau River. The first and second day were spent exploring the surrounding lakes. It was a typical day, catching bluegills, shad, and prey fish in clear water. A highlight of these two days was experiencing four smallmouth bass feeding right below my kayak. Their feeding aggression was especially noticeable as they came after the bluegills I was catching nearby. I have never experienced this behavior in person, which just made the trip even more intriguing. On our way back to camp, I also caught out of the corner of my eye what I believe to be the biggest elk I have ever seen in person, thighs as high as my truck windshield. Or, I may have been tired. Nonetheless, a great start to the trip!
Day 3: Flambeau River
Xang and I voyaged the Flambeau River, one of the more calming floats I've been on. The fishing was plentiful with smallmouth bass scattered throughout the river. I disappointingly missed two attempts at landing two muskies after they went after the smallmouth bass I was reeling in with an ultra light rod. That river is home to some aggressive muskies! After eight hours of floating, Xang and I were not even halfway done with the float. We did have to paddle some distance without fishing to land before sunset, which we succeeded in doing. A highlight from this trip was experiencing a lone black bear cross the river right in front of us. I was fortunate to capture some distant shots of it— truly spectacular!
Day 4-11: Chippewa Flowage
I came to the Chippewa Flowage understanding that this area is 20+ square miles of terrain. Overwhelming, yes, but also great opportunities to explore both fishery and wildlife. The fishing was wonderful, catching walleyes, bass, pike, panfish, perch, and many other prey and predatory fish. Without a fish finder, I used my experience to identify probable fishing spots that I knew could hold fish. I did regretfully lose a muskie I hooked into on a 1/32 oz. jig head. After two jaw-dropping jumps, it bit off my line and swam off. Regardless, it's very cool to see. In addition, the wildlife was just divine, including the scenic nature/landscape.
Day 12-14: Mississippi River, Pool 6
I arrive at my final destination site exhausted physically, but not mentally. There are still great opportunities for fishing and wildlife photography. I visited a national park and wildlife refuge the last three days, in which I had a blast fishing, and the greatest opportunity to view and experience hundreds of migratory birds gathering before their migration. I left the trip satisfied, fulfilled, and wanting more.
Be sure to check out part 2 of Chang’s blog for his wildlife photography, including that photo of the bear that he promised us! He was able to capture quite a few stunning photos of wildlife along his two-week float. You won’t want to miss it!
Written by Chang Lor, Feelfree US Pro Staff Team Member
Edited By Bobby Ulrich, Feelfree US Pro Staff Team Member