Outdoor Wisconsin | Program | #3310

(chimes playing) – [Narrator] We’ve
come back once again to Riveredge Nature Center
here in Ozaukee County, where there’s plenty to do,
regardless of the season. In just a few minutes,
Jeff Kelm checks out an Orvis fly fishing school
on the Sheboygan River. And then we’ll head down to the Milwaukee Journal
Sentinel’s Sports Show for a look at three species
of native garter snakes with DNR naturalist
Randy Hetzel. But first, Emmy Fink
takes a kayaking lesson on Geneva Lake. I’m Dan Small, and
it’s time once again for Outdoor Wisconsin. ♪ Summer to Fall,
Winter to Spring ♪ From Green Bay to
where St. Croix sings ♪ From Kettle Moraine
to Superior Shore ♪ Outdoor Wisconsin,
Outdoor Wisconsin – The programs conducted by
the staff here at Riveredge include a variety of
outdoor activities, including kayaking right
here on the Milwaukee River. Last summer, Emmy Fink
took a kayaking lesson on Geneva Lake with
Clear Water Outdoor. Let’s join her there and
see what she learned. – We come to you today
from beautiful Lake Geneva, and I’m joined with Dave
from Clear Water Outdoor, and if you can’t
tell by our outfits, we are going to hit the water. Tell us a little
bit about kayaking, and how you start
your kayak lesson. – Kayaking in Wisconsin, we
got a lot of water around here, so it makes for a great
opportunity to be a paddler. And, a lot of folks
start with their lesson, or even our folks
put them on the water by teaching them a couple
basic things about safety, about what boat to choose. Generally, the folks,
your first time you’re going to be in
a recreational boat. So if we look at these
three boats in particular, you can see that they have
a bigger cockpit area. And they’re a little more
designed for comfort, with the seats that
are more adjustable and things of that nature. These boats here are
designed to actually be taken into bigger conditions of water and to also be able
to handle that safely. So some things on these
boats, they’re longer, the cockpit is smaller to not
allow more water in there. They’ve got bulkheads
are built in to keep the water from flushing
and filling the whole boat. Whenever we’re putting
somebody on water, the next thing we’re talking
about is safety gear. And one that we all know about is the actual personal
floatation device. So we should always
be wearing these, and I’m always teaching
that, and it’s scary, cause nine out of ten people
they find that are drowned, didn’t have one of these on. So it seems like the math says, “wear the PFD when
you’re in the water.” On the paddle side,
so paddles come in different shapes and
sizes, so the paddle here, this is a more
affordable one with an aluminum shaft
and a nylon blade. And then you get a fiberglass, carbon-fiber blended,
and a fiberglass blade. And then you get the
all carbon fiber blade. (uplifting music) My friend, Jack, he built
his own paddle, huh. This is the traditional
Inuit style paddle, and so they’re
going to be shorter. It’s a beautiful job, Jack,
this all your own, right? – [Jack] Yes – [Emmy] And how long ago
did you make this Jack? – About two years
ago, and it’s designed specifically for me, by my
wingspan and my hand grip. – [Emmy] That’s so cool, I’ve just never seen
a paddle like that. – That’s how they
first made them. So this sport is
thousands of years old, right, and the same, it’s really neat how
technology changes everything. – For sure – But the shape of
the boat that these, that we’ll be in today
is really the same that’s been around for
thousands of years. – That’s so neat. – So, they would wrap
seal skin around various, you know, frames that
they would build, and then even freeze
themselves in, that was their skirt back then, they would freeze it onto the
boat, so they would be froze in the boat when
they go hunting. Jack and I both have on skirts. And the quote of the day is
that “real men wear skirts.” And so this actually extends
over the top of his boat and keeps water
from getting inside. – That’s nice, that’s smart. Every man, and woman,
should wear a skirt when they’re kayaking. – Maybe not all the
time, but you can see if you’re getting out
there in bigger water, where its lapping
over your boat, it definitely is an
added safety feature. And in our waters, I
actually believe that, in most of the waters
around Wisconsin, having a phone on your
person is really important, and when we go out in the ocean, and you can see Jack’s pocket
that now has energy bars, but you would have a UHF radio, a short-wave radio
for out on the water. – [Emmy] Okay. – So, I don’t want to
beat safety down too much, but it’s super important. – Alright, all this talk,
I want to hit the water. – Let’s do it, let’s do it. (energetic music) The paddle is kind of
dipping up and down, but the elbows never bend. The arm is long here, and you
put it in up by your feet, and you extend this arm, and then you twist the
torso just a little and it comes out at the hip. Paddle in, twist. (energetic music) – What I love most about
kayaking is how you get people of all different walks
of life, and fitness levels, and they come out and, you know, they might not know the where
you have to have your hands to figure out your
paddle, or what to do, but they come out here
and they have fun. I mean, do you just
love seeing that? – [Dave] I think the reason is, cause it is a sport
for everybody. And, even somebody
who doesn’t know how to hold their
paddle and stuff, most people get the physics
and they can move around. So, on the first day,
you’re a paddler, and then it’s kind of depending
on how far you want to go. It’s a lifetime
of getting better. – So, Jack is truly the
king of Wisconsin waterways, from what I’m told,
tell me a little bit about your kayaking
– Those are kind of bad rumors I don’t think so. You have just gone everything
and traveled the entire state all in this kayak that you made. – Correct. – Tell us about some
of your adventures. – Well, the main paddling I’ve
been doing is in Door County, so, so many tremendous
places right there to paddle, I could look for another place. And them up on the
Apostle Islands also, which is beautiful, and it’s
just wonderful paddling. – [Emmy] What do you
like most about it? – [Jack] I guess the
freedom, and the quiet, not making a lot of noise, and you can just cruise
along at your own pace. Everything kind of is relaxed. – [Emmy] And you can do it
for the rest of your life. – [Jack] Exactly. – I believe I heard you are
recovering from an injury, and so this is one of
your first few times back on the water. – It’s about my
fourth time back, and it feels
really, really good. I had a torn quadricep
tendon in my left leg, so my leg doesn’t bend
as well as it used to, but it’s getting
better every day. – [Emmy] Wow, well I like
your attitude and your spirit, and lets go hit the water. – Sounds good to me. – [Emmy] Alright. – What’d you guys think
of the kayak adventure? – I thought it was pretty good, it was definitely an experience. I would love to do it again. – [Emmy] Now you haven’t
kayaked much in your life, maybe a couple of times, so
was it different than before? Did you feel sturdy? – I felt, it was
kind of up and down. At times, I felt like
I was going to go over, but nothing real bad I guess. It was okay, I liked it. The area’s nice, Lake Geneva’s
very beautiful out here. – [Emmy] Now how about you –
you have kayaked much more. So what did you think
of this experience? – It’s a lot more calm
comparatively to river kayaking, which involves a lot more
rocks and mini water falls, and things like that, that
can cause much more trouble than just hanging out
on the lake, so… – [Emmy] Yeah, definitely. Do you like more
of the adventure, do you kind of like,
– Definitely yeah, not sure if you’re going to make it out without
bruises or scrapes. – Yeah, you know, it’s more
of a challenge, why not? – So, Dave, overall
how did our group do, our good looking
group back here? – It’s always impressive,
this group here, they did everything
I asked them to do, and they all showed they could
do this thing for a lifetime. – Yeah, for sure. From beautiful Lake Geneva,
on Geneva Lake, I’m Emmy Fink. Dan, back to you. – Thanks Emmy, I can’t wait
for kayak season myself. And I try to get out
several times each year. Sometimes just to paddle,
and sometimes to fish. And speaking of fishing, my favorite way of going after
everything is with a fly rod. Let’s join Jeff Kelm on the
Sheboygan River in Kohler as he checks out an
Orvis fly-fishing school. – Lady and gentlemen, now
is the moment of truth. We are here on the
Sheboygan River. This is the uppermost dam
on the Sheboygan River. So, my number one
thing is safety. Never, ever, ever put
yourself in danger. If you see the
world’s biggest trout on the other side of the river, don’t put yourself in danger. He’ll come to you rather
than you go to it. – A couple simple wading tips. When you start wading, you always ake sure that you’ve
got one foot solidly placed, solidly placed, before
you move the other one. Don’t be walking and
fishing at the same time. The other key is, make
sure you can see the bottom when you get in. – Today, we are here
at the Orvis Kohler 2-Day School of Fly-Fishing. Orvis has a two-day school, which we teach
brand new students, some are a little
bit experienced, but we teach students
basically how to fly-fish on rivers
and ponds and lakes, pretty much anywhere
that a fly fisherman or fly fisherwoman would go
and have a good experience at fly-fishing. This two-day school is
really a pretty intense introduction to fly-fishing,
with everything from rods, reels, safety, which
I just spoke about, lines, it really
encompasses the whole thing. By the time you’re done
with this two-day school, you should really be hopefully
outfitted and ready to go on a trip to Montana, or even
a trip to Southwest Wisconsin, or even the Milwaukee
or Sheboygan River, which we’re on here. So, fly-fishing,
obviously within itself, is a learning
adventure as always. Every time I go fishing,
I learn something new. It’s one of the reasons
that we fly-fish. I’m going to show you how I
would fish a trout stream. If you recall, both
hands work together, but they work independently. So, I’m going to do a
traditional upstream cast, fishing for trout. I really want to think about
where a fish would live. In this case, what I told
you earlier, “foam is home,” remember, especially for trout. And what I’ll do, is
I don’t mind if my rod is back behind me like
this, but I’ll wait, and I’ll just wait for
that fish to rise, okay. I’ll get that velocity line
speed going, I’ll make the cast. I’ll do everything that
I wanted to happen. But, that trout is rising and I want to catch
him real bad, okay. So, he’s right in
front of the rocks, and that’s traditionally
where a trout will sit. I’ll have my hands correctly, I’ll have the right amount of
line, and I’ll make a cast up. Very simple, and now I’ll
strip with my left hand, and in doing so, I’m
tending the line. And when that fish strikes, remember how we spoke
about that excess line? We want that fish to have
this moment when he strikes. And we talked about
this excess line. And once he eats, we can either
strip it with our left hand or keep it tight with our right. – These classes are
very unique for Orvis. We’re one of the only
companies that has the ability to do a two-day school,
not only in the classroom, but on the water,
as you can see. And we think that this
adds an incredible amount to the experience
of the student. The 101 classes are free
two-and-a-half hour class, learning casting, knot-tying,
rigging, application of rod, local fishing opportunities, and then signing up
for a possible 201, which is a two-to-three
hour session on the water, on a pond. No waders, no moving water, real simple catching
your first fish. – It’s probably the oldest
fly-fishing technique in the book, and it’s
called the “wet fly swing.” And what the wet fly swing
is going to allow us to do is take a streamer, a streamer
is like something that swims. Here I’ve got a
crayfish pattern, okay, and today we’re
fishing for smallmouth. Smallmouth love crayfish. Okay, smallmouth, little
smallmouth might eat bugs, but the smallmouth we’re after
are going to eat the things that eat bugs. So long before there was dry
fly-fishing, our flies sank. How do you control a sunken fly? Well right now, you can see
it’s drifting over here, kind of floating around a
little under the surface. If a fish took that,
I wouldn’t know. Because I’m not
tight to the fly. So, I need to be
tight to the fly, but the fly has to
have some action to it. It has to look like
it’s doing something. And the way I’m going to do
that is, I’m going to quarter my cast downstream
and across, like this. And I’m going to move my fly, and you’re going to be
able to see it right there, tantalizingly moving my
rod it is leading it. And it’s moving
through the water, I can add a little bit of
strip to it if I want to, or I can just let
it get drift swing. It’s always taking a pie
shape, like a piece of the pie, out of the water. I get done, I fire it out
again, get that reel timed. The last thing I want
to do is cast too far. When I start out, I start short. You can see that
crayfish right there. You got polarized glasses,
going over that folder, getting sucked behind
it. I’m ready to go. I’m done, there’s no slo-mo. Take out a little bit of line. I don’t need to walk anywhere. Take out a little bit of line. Throw out another cast. Immediately, I’m tight
with the line here, and I’m swinging the
fly, again, leading. That fly, with the fly rod
tip, keeping it nice and tight. If something hits,
I’m gonna feel it. That’s called the
“wet fly swing.” Once you’ve gotten
to your actual length that you are worked out,
so if you’re comfortable in casting this much distance and that’s as far
as you need to cast, then once that wet
fly swing’s completed, you take two steps downstream,
or a step and a half. And you do it
again, very simple. – I’ve always been
intrigued by fly-fishing, and I really wanted
to start out right by getting some good
training on the front end before I try to do it on my own. This is really a good class. – [Interviewer] Now how much
experience do you have fishing? – None. (laughing) My father was a big fisherman, but he was a
regular, in the boat, sit for three hours fisherman, and that was always
boring to me. And this is so much different. This is almost an art compared
to that type of fishing. And I always like to
learn things that ae new. And this just
really caught my eye and thought we’d come
out and give it a try. – How’s your casting
coming along? You doing well today, or,
have you seen any fish rising? – No. – No, okay, are you
fishing this pool in here? – That’s what I’m
trying for over there. – Okay, what are
we fishing with? Are we using a popper or… – We’re using a popper. – Okay, good, now
you’re rod tip down, and you can keep
your rod tip down. or you can swing it
like that, that’s fine. And now you’re ready
for another cast, very very good, perfect. Great casting, good,
good, good, perfect. From there, I want
to have your rod tip downstream a little bit, and you can strip it
with your left hand, so let me show you real quick
and we can do it together, if that’s alright. – Okay. – So, we’ll make a cast,
we’ll go up and over, and we’ll have that rod tip down and then we can strip
with our left hand, to give it that action. There you go. Perfect. Rather than bringing
– Oh without, rather than using you the fly rod up
stream, like you were, now you’re ready to cast again. And that’s perfect, go ahead. Great cast, perfect. Now rod tip downstream, and
then strip with your left hand. That’s great. On this next cast, let’s
let it drift downstream just a little bit, and
point the rod to where the fly is in the water, just
like you’re doing, perfect. And now, strip it back
up, so quick little strips with your left hand, fantastic. That’s great, that’s
it, you got it. – Thank you! – You got it. I love it when people
have that ah-ha moment. I love it when they
come to me and say, “Gordy, what you
said was, I got it.” – We’ll tell you
how to learn more about the Orvis fly-fishing
classes in just a few minutes. Right now, I’m
here with Riveredge Executive Director,
Jessica Jens. So Jessica, you’ve got
some exciting programs coming up this Spring. Why don’t you tell
us about them. – We certainly do. We’re coming to the end of
our maple sugaring season, which is a very special
time at Riveredge. This Saturday, we’ll be
having our maple sugaring open house, and followed
by, in early April, our outdoor pancake
breakfast by the evaporator. So, that’s a lot of fun, but all through April, May,
and into the Summer even, almost every single weekend day, we have something going
out here for families, and adults, and
kids of all ages. Everything from wildflower
hikes on Mother’s Day to our Earth Day Service Fest,
and for the adults out there, we have an event called,
“The Frothy Forage,” coming up in May, which
is a microbrew hike through our trails, and it supports our land
preservation efforts here. So there’s all kinds of
things to come out and do. We go out in our
communities as well, and host family nature clubs
in Ozaukee, Washington, and Sheboygan counties. – Well that’s really exciting. I’m glad to hear you
have so many programs and I’m sure people will
enjoy coming out here and doing some of those things. – Oh, most definitely. We invite everyone to come out and have a little
but of fun outdoors. – Well, thanks a lot, Jessica. – You’re welcome. – One of my favorite
things to do in Spring is to go to the Milwaukee
Journal Sentinel Sport Show. And if you go to the DNR area, you’ll usually find naturalist Randy Hetzel there with
some interesting animals. Here’s Randy, to give is a
look at three different species of garter snakes. Well Randy, what
have we got here? – These are three
species of garter snakes that occur in Wisconsin. And in addition to
two Ribbon snakes, there’s five garter type snakes
that occur in this state, and they all have
slightly different ranges and different biologies. These are, these are all live-bearing
snakes that feed on prey alive. They all constrict and
they’re not venomous. And kind of variable
habitat for most of them. The big difference is in
looking at the yellow stripe, the lateral stripe on
the side of the body. This is sirtalis, or
the common garter snake. This is the most common species, and it has a bigger
head, you can see. And then this is a Plains
Garter Snake that’s found more in the South-Central
part of the state, in more grassland habitat. And this would be a
Butler’s Garter Snake. Now the Butler’s and the
Plains can hybridize, but the common garter snake
is a distinctive species. Now the key difference is, if
you look at this lateral line on the side of the body, you can see what scale
rows it occupies. The common garter snake,
sirtalis, Thamnophis sirtalis, would be on scale rows
one, two and three, but not really going on
to the fourth scale row. The lower part of the line
is kind of blurry like this. On the Plains and the Butler, it tends to be a little cleaner, and look more like
it’s airbrushed. If you look closely at
a plains garter snake, the yellow stripe
would be centered on scale rows three and four, and on a Butler’s Garter
snake, it would be centered on half of two,
centered on three, and spilling over to
the fourth scale row. Another difference is
that the Butler’s Snake, it averages smaller in size. It has a smaller
head, so you can see that it’s almost like
your pinky finger where the head and neck are
about the same diameter, this is kind of an
earthworm specialist, and it also feeds on
leeches along creek bottoms. So, it’s a smaller snake and there’s a difference
in behavior, too. Butler’s Snakes never bite, where the other two
species can bite, especially the females,
which are a lot larger. So it partly depends on
the individual as well. So you really have to
give early naturalists a lot of credit. They were looking
at garters snake and scale rows and figuring
out what species were what, but there is some confusion too, because the Plains and the
Butler’s will cross-breed and they have features
of both in some areas, so they do hybridize,
these two species. – Now the common garden
snake is abundant, right? – What about the other two? – The Butler’s Garter Snake has been real controversial. It lost it’s threatened status,
but it actually is unique, in fact, even
populations in Wisconsin might be different with
Northern versus Southern parts of the state. And its, they’re found
in areas where the land is worth a lot, like in
Milwaukee and Waukesha counties, and we’ve also found some
up along the Sheboygen and Fond du Lac county lines, so we we found them a
little bit farther North, but there’s
difference in biology and studies have shown
they’re genetically different than Butler’s Garden Snakes, even just to solve from
the Illinois or Indiana, so there seems to be
speciation going on, and from the short-headed
garter snake, from the Allegany Plateau,
which is all so closely related, so there’s differences
in biology. Some kind of
speciation going on. Like any species, there’s
variation in color, especially the common, this can sometimes have
bluish markings on the side, there’s red sided forms of it, some of them can be
more brownish, some
are more yellowish, so there’s a lot of
variability like any species. These garter snakes,
they’re real adaptable in terms of hibernating. They can hibernate
in shallow wetlands and they can actually
move around under the ice, and although they would
drown in summertime, these snakes can actually
absorb oxygen form the water. And no reptile is
a gill-breather, but some species, like
some turtles and snakes, can actually get enough oxygen
through the mucous membranes when their metabolic
rates are low, that they can actually get
enough oxygen to survive and move around under the ice. They can also hibernate
in holes in the ground, in fissures and
cracks and burrows, when they below the front line, they’re pretty
adaptable in terms of where they can hibernate. They also are
communal hibernators, like some other snake species. And sometimes even mixed
species will hibernate together, and this facilitates breathing. In fact, sometimes
people describe big balls of garter snakes breathing, and
disbursing into the habitat, and then they disburse
into the habitat and go about their
business for the season. Sometimes, disbursed
quite a distance from where they came from. Now this group of snakes, together with the
Northern Water Snake, which is loosely related,
are live bearers, and a term called,
“ovoviviparous snakes.” The female actually hatches
the eggs inside of her body and this is considered
a survival advantage because the snakes
can actually speed up the incubation of the eggs by
moving to warmer locations, so there’s an advantage
to having live young and the eggs are not vulnerable because the female
travels with them, and then moves to
where it’s warmer and speeds up that incubation. So, I can actually smell
them, they’re kind of musky. These just came
out of hibernation, they haven’t eaten
since November, so they’re not used
too being handled. They’re kind of skunking
me up a little bit. – [Dan] What is the
ecological significance of of these snakes? They’re important because
they’re kind of in the middle of the food chain. They’ll feed on smaller animals. The circalis, or common
garter, especially, this species is one
of the few animals that will feed on toads. It’s not bothered
by the histamines or the distasteful
chemicals in toad skin, so it’s kind of in the
middle of the food chain, it’ll be eaten by hawks and owls and all kinds of
other predators, but it’s also, it eats things
that are smaller than it, like frogs, toads, other
things like that, earthworms, so they’re kind of right in
the middle of the food chain, and in some areas, they can
get pretty good densities where they’re food for a
number of other species. – For more information
on garter snakes, Riveredge Nature Center or
this weeks other features, visit the Outdoor
Wisconsin Facebook page, or log on to milwaukeepbs.org and click on Outdoor Wisconsin. I’ll be the Wisconsin
Deer and Turkey Expo at the Alliance Energy
Center, in Madison, March 31-April 2,
so if you’re there, stop by and say, “hello.” Well, next time I’ll join a DNR fisheries
crew as they survey Walleyes on Lake Kegonsa. Jess Kellen rides
a pedal-assist bike on the Ozaukee bike trail, and we’ll get a close
took at a deer mouse with DNR Nautralist,
Randy Hetzel. Saying goodbye from
Riveredge Natural Center Here in Newburgh, I’m Dan Small. Join us again next week
for Outdoor Wisconsin. ♪ Flash of a white-tail
movin’ thru the pine ♪ The long vowel of
the owl in the evening ♪ Loon on the lake,
a muskie on the line ♪ Outdoor Wisconsin ♪ Free yourself like
an eagle in the air ♪ Feed yourself like a
bear in the blackberry ♪ Like a hawk, perch and stare ♪ Outdoor Wisconsin ♪ When the workin’
life is way too much ♪ You’re in too deep,
way out of touch ♪ Lace up your boots,
get out of town ♪ Take a walk in the wild
or sit down and listen ♪ Listen to the sounds of
the critters of the night ♪ To the wind in the leaves
and the little river run ♪ Coyote brother
howlin’ in the moonlight ♪ Outdoor Wisconsin ♪ Hike, fish, hunt,
camp, sail, canoe ♪ Ski, photograph, laugh,
do what you want to ♪ Stick your nose where
the wild rose grows ♪ Outdoor Wisconsin – Fly-fishing’s a lot of
fun and it’s a great way to catch fish, and next
time on Outdoor Wisconsin, Jeff Kellen checks out an
Orvis fly-fishing school on the Sheboygen River in
Kohler, Emmy Fink takes a kayak lesson on Geneva Lake,
and we’ll get a close look at three garter snake species
at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Sport Show with
DNR naturalist Randy Hetzel. I’m Dan Small, join us for these
features and more this week on Outdoor Wisconsin.

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