Who Are You?

This is a blog - by its nature, it is sort of a lecture, a one way "discussion". If you are a regular reader, you sort of know me. Of course many, I am sure, read because they already knew me before this blog. I try not to make the blog so much about me - it's not an introvert's way - but at times it is unavoidable. At other times, there are reasons to write autobiographically - such as posts about trips, mentors, and particular experiences that illuminate or illustrate larger ideas.

Me with a Lower Wisconsin River Smallmouth Bass
Your's truly with a Lower Wisconsin River Smallmouth Bass. (Kyle Zempel photo)

If there is one place I have failed to do what I wanted with this blog, it is that it has not really done much to build a community. Maybe that was a naive idea - after all, social media has sort of taken over that domain - for better or worse. Even the Wisconsin Fly Fishing Message Board, once THE place to "talk" fly fishing is - I don't want to call it dying but traffic is much less than it used to be. The Facebook page gets more attention today which is sort of the changes to the internet in a nutshell. I have resisted starting social media pages for the blog or posting too often to pages like the Wisconsin Fly Fishing Message Board or its Facebook page. I was hoping that the comments would get used more often and that I would maintain the message board but after getting spammed repeatedly, it just was not worth it.


I write enough about myself in different ways - who are you?


So who are you? I can see some things like where people are from (coarsely, not at a very fine resolution) but there is little else I know about you.

Below are a few poll questions that are set up so everyone can vote on - you don't need to be a site member but that does help alert you to new posts. They're also set up to be anonymous and so that everyone can see the results. I am doing this mostly for fun and to get a better idea of who reads the blog and what they read. You can answer as many - or as few - poll questions as you would like. It should take a couple of minutes at the most.

How many years have you been fly fishing?

  • Less than 5 years

  • 5 to 10 years

  • 10 to 20 years

  • 20 to 40 years


How many days a year do you fly fish?

  • 0%5 or fewer a year, on average

  • 0%Between 6 and 20 days a year on average

  • 0%Between 21 and 50 days a year on average

  • 0%Over 50 days a year on average


Do you tie flies?

  • 0%Yes

  • 0%No

  • 0%I used to but not now


What species do you fly fish for? (Select all that apply)

  • 0%Trout

  • 0%Bass (Large and Smallmouth)

  • 0%Musky (and Pike)

  • 0%Panfish

You can vote for more than one answer.


How often do you read TSFA posts?

  • 0%I read (almost) every post

  • 0%I read most of them but skip the ones I am not interested in

  • 0%About half or so

  • 0%Less than half of them - many topics don't interest me

These last few questions are about the types of posts and the likelihood that you will read them. To keep things as simple as possible, I am categorizing posts (less than perfectly) as:

  1. Scientific posts - these posts are about topics like streamflow, stream and fisheries ecology and management, and other posts where the intent is to convey scientific concepts. Examples are posts on optimal foraging theory, Wisconsin's panfish management plan, and human dimensions of fisheries.

  2. Wisconsin and Driftless specific posts - these occur within a rather large range, from posts about what the Driftless Area looked like before Europeans to posts about world class fisheries like the Driftless, the Lower Wisconsin River, and warmwater rivers of northern Wisconsin.

  3. Posts about fly tying and fly patterns - pretty self-explanatory, I enjoy fly tying and have been at it for over 30 years - I try to share some ideas about tying materials, fly patterns, and such. Examples have been posts about dry fly hackle genetics, an entire series on the Clouser Deep Minnow, and individual fly patterns like Andrew Grillos' Hippie Stomper.

  4. Fishing and "How-to" posts - I rarely write what I would think of as "how to" posts but there are posts on things like equipment - fishing shirts most recently, angling entomology and specific hatches (overlaps strongly with Wisconsin and Driftless specific posts), and how to get the most out of a guided trip.

  5. Social / Personal posts - this category is a bit of a "catch all" but I have written a fair bit about things like social media, the effects of COVID on angler numbers, and my experiences such as an early post about mentors.

Which type of post are you MOST likely to read?

  • 0%Scientific

  • 0%Wisconsin / Driftless specific

  • 0%Fly Tying

  • 0%Fishing and How-to


Which type of post are you LEAST likely to read?

  • Scientific

  • Wisconsin / Driftless specific

  • Fly fishing

  • Fishing and "How to"

The blog's name sort of gives away my interests in science and fly fishing. However, with some exceptions (see The Fascinating Sex Lives of Bluegills - I think my most read post), these posts, 1) take the most time to write, and 2) draw the least interest and while I don't do it for the clicks and this blog is a true not-for-profit, I do hope people read the posts. I will certainly continue to write them - for me, if nothing else because it helps me think about ideas. I am curious what your interest in posts about evolution, ecology, fisheries management, fluvial geomorphology, and other "sciency" topics.

Compared to other post topics, scientific posts, I am:

  • More likely to read those posts compared with others.

  • reading them at the same rate as other posts.

  • less likely to read them compared to other posts.

  • skipping those nearly 100% of the time.

I wanted to keep this pretty simple - any comments, suggestions, cheers or jeers - use the comments below. I always read them even if I am not always replying.


I am off on a little fishing adventure but I'll get back to you when I can...

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