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John Nolan

The Yahara Fishing Club will be back to help kids catch fish at the Kids Ice Fishing Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 15 at Brittingham Park off Park Street on Lake Monona.

BEAVER DAM -- Ben Henning stood in a field surrounded by blinds and decoys. He was safely off a cart path being used to ferry volunteers and equipment around the Dodge County Fairgrounds, which last week was the two-day home to the Wisconsin Outdoor Education Expo. But the Beaver Dam man found himself -- by design actually -- in the flight path of a gaggle of third-, fourth- and fifth-graders.

Andy Kurth and Len Harris found what they were looking for. Kurth, of Verona, and Harris, of Richland Center, went fishing for trout over the weekend, wading in the waters of the Driftless Area of southwestern Wisconsin over the weekend.

This year, in the wake of the Winter Olympics visiting North America, Columbus' Doug Bussian and compatriots will host 10 nations on home ice when the WIFC's seventh annual showdown begins this weekend on Boom Lake, part of the Wisconsin River system, in Rhinelander.

The early catch-and-release trout season opens Saturday, March 6 with much of Wisconsin still covered with snow. That can make for tough sledding, but Department of Natural Resources officials hope a bit of advice -- and some video -- will help anglers get their footing in and out of the streams.

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Len Harris, 52, knows local trout streams. He grew up in Gays Mills and lives with his wife Barb and daughter Anna, 13, in Richland Center -- home to some of the regionally celebrated trout fishing locales of southwestern Wisconsin. He'll feature 105 slides to illustrate his love of the Driftless Area.

Bob Harrison and members of the Badger Fly Fishers will revel in all things fly fishing Saturday. That's when the club hosts The Spring Opener, its 22nd annual day-long fly fishing show and expo from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel, 517 Grand Canyon Drive on Madison's West Side.

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As they do while putting on a similar outing in the summer, about 30 members of the Madison club handed out 205 rod and reel combos at its Kids Ice Fishing Day at Brittingham Park. Trevor Geerdts quickly made good use of the equipment. He pulled up his first bluegill at 9:45 a.m., mere minutes after they arrived.

Southern Wisconsin has been blanketed by snow for five weeks. Ice is covering the lakes. Temperatures over the weekend dipped below zero. But Dave Sanders and fellow members of the Southern Wisconsin Chapter of Trout Unlimited have been warming themselves with thoughts of spring trout fishing.

Logan Bliss is committed to fishing. Then again, maybe the 21-year-old junior at UW-Stevens Point should be committed. After all, he and Cody Salzman, a senior from Keeler, drove 23 hours to participate in the Stephen F. Austin Bucketmouth Bass Tournament Dec. 18 and 19 on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Broaddus, Texas.

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