Peterson Creek

Thomas Young | Central Wisconsin

The year was 1967, I was 10 years old, older brother Steve was 11, my younger brother Jim was 9 and the family Black Lab named Tramp, would walk down to the creek to go fishing for the day. The creek was the Peterson and the walk was about 3 miles from where we lived on Smokey Valley Road.

It was not just a long walk as some may think but an adventure.

There were Chipmunks chirping at us in the woods as we walked and maybe wild Strawberries to eat when they were ripe, we had Red tailed Hawks in the open areas that caused great discussions making the trip seem much shorter. White tailed Deer when seen were always an amazement to three young boys and a dog.

We had previously dug worms but never had enough it seemed and we were lucky our grandfather, who lived in Great Falls, Montana, had tied us some flies to use such as the Royal Coachman, the name itself brought an added mystery to fishing.

The Peterson Creek was a world of mystery for us young boys and we would sneak up to the edge of the bank at a deep pool and watch the Brook and Brown Trout swimming about. This taught us a lot as we did not know there were that many fish in the creek as we always unknowingly spooked the fish with our inexperience. With this knowledge my older brother Steve developed a sneaky quiet approach that paid off in trout caught rather than spooked.

I will always remember how clear that creek was and as I got older and started to understand trout streams how important clear, cold and clean water is to not only for the trout but to the environment, including humans.

My brothers are gone to the best fishing grounds with our black Lab and whenever I fish the Peterson I think of them often and the times we spent and the adventures we had.

Support the protection of 5,000 new miles of wild and scenic rivers