James Card

Freelance writer and magazine editor based in Wisconsin
I finished my garage project on schedule before Labor Day. Conceived while cross-country skiing this winter. Materials rounded up in the spring. Designed, constructed, stained, varnished and assembled over the summer.

I finished my garage project on schedule before Labor Day. Conceived while cross-country skiing this winter. Materials rounded up in the spring. Designed, constructed, stained, varnished and assembled over the summer.

SOME BEAUTIES

"When are we going to go and catch some beauties?" asked my son.

"What do you mean?"

"That’s what I call northern pike. Beauties."

"Huh."

He caught his first pike last weekend and has not stop talking about pike and asking questions about pike.

So we wet waded a shallow river until we came to a deep hole. We caught northern pike (It’s a beauty!), smallmouth bass, bluegills, and redhorse.

*The landjaeger from Neimuth’s has become my must-have fishing snack. And while I’m there, I pick up a smoked cow knuckle bone for a $1.50 that puts my dog in heaven for the weekend. Best deal in the county.

Minor league baseball. No summer complete without it. The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (previously known as the Appleton Foxes), hold the most league titles (9) in the Class A Midwest League.

There was a smash-and-grab job down by the old train bridge. It was witnessed by a bald eagle, a wood duck and a whitetail fawn. The suspect was apprehended by a fly fisherman but later released.

City Limits: Milwaukee

Running for Home

Next to a parking lot of tailgating Milwaukee Brewer fans, a river comes back to life.

BY JAMES CARD

The Drake, Summer 2014

A haze hangs over Milwaukee, and it emanates from Miller Park. The area has the sweet stink of a backyard party on a sunny day—smoke rising from countless grills that tailgaters fire up in the hours before the opening pitch. The usual suspects and their props are here by the thousands: a blonde wearing aviator shades and a Brewer ball cap sips on a Miller High Life and smokes a cigarette, while her boyfriend ignites some charcoal with a blowtorch. A grandma slathers mustard on charred bratwursts tucked in sesame buns; kids wearing jerseys bearing the names Segura, Lucroy and Gomez play catch among the parked cars. People lounge in lawn chairs and work up a pre-game buzz with brandy Old Fashioneds and Leinenkugel’s while listening to Bob Uecker on pre-game radio. I’m the freak here with the fly rod.

Read the rest in the Summer 2014 issue of The Drake.

Reuben Sandwich

While eating lunch at a small-town cafe in central Wisconsin, there was a odd-looking vending machine near the door. While eating my lunch, I jotted down some notes about the machine. Later I did some research and came up with this story:

Winning On A Peel
Walter G. Bohrer Jr. took on state regulators when they decreed his vending machine business an illegal gambling operation — and he triumphed.

BY JAMES CARD

Milwaukee Magazine, July 2014

The spring ritual of packing away my hunting clothes until they will be brought back out in October. Lots of stories woven into these old ragged and blood-stained fabrics. The Duck Bay and the Drybak are my grandfather’s vest and field jacket he wore when hunting pheasants in South Dakota. The Game Winner is an upland jacket I’ve had since college and I’ve used it to haul gamebirds and to smuggle beer into places that do not allow beer. The Woolrich is a wool vest that is a constant reach-for, go-to garment. The Duxbak and Deerskin are a couple frayed shirts with the old-school duck hunter/frog skin camo pattern. The Filson is my favorite shooting shirt but it is too warm for summer weather. The Ridgeline is a fleece backpack I picked up when road tripping through the South Island of New Zealand and needed a small pack for exploring the backcountry trout streams. I later used it on every trip when I was a fly fishing guide in South Korea to carry back-up gear, lunches, and extra water.

"Smash-face football," was a phrase my high school football coach used often. It was to describe the kind of aggressive play he wanted to get out of us. I think he was inspired by smallmouth bass.

"Smash-face football," was a phrase my high school football coach used often. It was to describe the kind of aggressive play he wanted to get out of us. I think he was inspired by smallmouth bass.

B.T.S.I.K.a.L

Brook Trout Streams I Know and Love.

The continuing education of a young angler.