Trips & Outings

Guided Fly Fishing 

Obsessive Compulsive Fishing Disorder or OCF is a disorder characterized by uncontrollable thoughts  and desires that lead you to repetitive behaviors (compulsions) preparing for or participating in fishing rather than engaging in typical human social activities.  These symptoms are as numerous and varied as waves on the water.  What follows are some of the indicators of OCF (with apologizes to Jeff Foxworthy for bastardizing his work):

 If __ , you might be OCF.

- the sign for a great Rock Bar causes you to think of submerged boulders, not Def Leopard and Jag shots
 - you have ever jolted yourself wake in the middle of the night by setting the hook on a fish in your dreams
- you have started fishing at first light, later heading in for breakfast only to find that lunch ended an hour ago
- you can name at least three physical differences between northerns and muskies
- taking a bite from your sandwich moments after putting a fresh leech on your hook does not give you pause for thought
- you know that no banana should ever be taken on a fishing outing
- you have fished hard all day, not caught a thing, and sincerely felt "what a great day"
- your Bucket List consists of more bodies of water than bodies of people
- you know that the expression "fish of 10,000 casts" is bull because your average is closer to 3600
- it's OK that she drives your car, but she is toast of she lays a hand on your Sage One
- you have gone back to your favorite fishing holes with a mask and snorkel to find out what is really going on down there
- you know stuff about how muskies behave because you have raised them in your aquarium
- you keep a "Species List"
- you have more fishing rods than fingers and toes
- you have been to a huge aquarium exhibit and known for a fact that the Esox Lucius exhibit was in fact Esox Masquinongy
- you have gotten up early enough to drive three hours to be on the water at first light
- the term Stacked Blonde causes you to think of a fly
- you have gotten out of bed at 3am because you Had to tie that fly
- you have ever tied a fly from "road kill"
- the difference between Tricoythodes Stygiatus and Hexagenia Lambada is obvious

Why "Fly Dog"

Hello, I am Peter Garretson.  If you have known me for more than five minutes, you know that I am an Obsessive Compulsive Fisherman*.  This has been true for my entire life.  My earliest memories are of catching bass and panfish with my father and grandfather on Farm Island Lake near Garrison MN.  I love to be on or in the water in pursuit of most freshwater and several saltwater game fish.  I am first and foremost a fly fisherman who loves to fish with beginners and veterans alike.  I have a home in Birchwood WI from which I have been pursuing bass, muskie, trout and steelhead in the surrounding waters for the last 30 years.

My goals when fishing with a guest are to:
- have fun,
- teach and learn together, and
- catch some fish.

I mostly fish Wisconsin rivers including:
- the St. Croix River near Grantsburg and Danbury, WI (including the lower Namekagon),
- the Chippewa River near Ojibwa (east of Hayward),
- the Flambeau River near Oxbo (a little further east).

Why did I chose the name Fly Dog?  The name Fly Dog grew from the fact that I am not dedicated exclusively to fly fishing.  Please understand that I love fly fishing.  The vast majority of my fishing time is devoted to fly fishing.  But if I have a guest who does not like or "get" fly fishing, they are welcome to throw a Mepps spinner or Rapala.    There are fly guides and fishermen who will not approve. They will make excuses to avoid (or simply refuse) being in the company of a spin caster.  They look down their noses at the uneducated masses tossing jigs and minnows into good streamer waters.  I was once told that "Fly fishing is the only form of fishing that can engage the mind of a truly intelligent person".  In the words of  Paris Hilton...."Whatever!".  

Fishing is meant to be fun.  If punching a  Dahlburg Diver into a stiff head wind is not your definition of fun, put away the Sage and grab a Fenwick.  The world won't stop turning and the fish won't laugh at you.  Personally, I love throwing big Puglisi flies for muskies, but sometimes I still enjoy tossing jerkbaits the size of your foot.  A jig and twister tail is like crack cocaine to smallmouth.  Who are we to deny them their addiction?

If this makes me a dog in the eyes of the fly fishing purists, so be it.  They can glory in their artistic niche while the rest of us tumble through the arcade that makes up the rest of the sport.  

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About Peter Garretson