Rolling Fields

Luke Wagner

The Northwoods are punctuated to the south by fields. Wisconsin can be split in two on a satellite map with the dark, forested north being held up by the fertile farmland of the southern half.

While on a ride through these fields this weekend I found something I didn't expect. I found awe. I found wonder. I found beauty. Most of all I found a sense of place I hadn't tapped into previously. There is a permeating feeling of history present in these fields. As I passed through the tiny town of Freistadt I had a trip which took less than a minute but lasted over a century. I was transported back to 1839 and the founding of Freistadt by some of the earliest settlers in the area, before Wisconsin was welcomed into statehood nine years later. The small farms and somehow smaller community was so tinged with quaint nostalgia that I couldn't help but to be moved. People making a living from the land and forming tight knit communities that have stood the test of nearly 200 years all while supporting eachother through the good times and tough. In this modern world it is so easy to isolate or search for community online. This trip through Freistadt reminded me that community is not just your tribe but local as well.

Barely a minute after rolling into town I crested the hill leading east out of town and glanced to my right. There through the morning haze I was able to make out on the horizon the city of Milwaukee, the Good Land, and my trip swiftly ended. Despite its short duration, I left with a feeling of place not unlike that experienced in the Northwoods and I came away better for it. And for that I am thankful.


Football Anticipation

Luke Wagner

In Green Bay, the coming of fall means a few things. First and foremost in our culture is Packer season. Nothing beats the vibe and the energy in this town of 100,000 than a Packer home game. Eight weekends per year (plus two preseason games) and any possible playoff games bring a life force to Green Bay like no other.

There is another reason to get excited tho with the onset of September in the North. The fall bite is on.

There is no better time of year to fish in Wisconsin than in the coming weeks. While the spring signals the first opportunity for open water in months with both numbers and size available, and summer to many has the best weather, autumn is in my mind at least, the pinnacle. Students are back in school and the lakes which were just a few weeks earlier covered in all sorts of vacationers become empty. Add in dropping temps, the colors changing, and a sense of urgency, and this time of year creates the perfect storm.


Urgency. Urgency in two ways. First is of course for the angler who can see dwindling light in the evening and the inevitable onset of winter. But more important to why I love the fall is the urgency of the our aquatic quarry. The dropping temps give rise to a primal urge, an insatiable need in fact, to feed. Like all animals in the Northwoods the fish, be they bass, pike, muskie, walleye, panfish or even trout, need to prepare for the coming harsh winter. The shorter days help to drive home the urgency. For someone who often struggles with patience on the water, fall is ideal. Moving baits be they trebled like lipless baits, jerkbaits or squarebills or bladed like a spinnerbait, bladed jig, or of course Moondancer all result in crushing strikes and flurries of activity that can at a minimum entertain and at their most extreme threaten to overwhelm, not that I'm complaining. If moving baits aren't your cup of tea, most presentations will put fish in the boat this time of year. Whether you are after size, numbers or just a good time, autumn in Wisconsin delivers.

So do yourself a favor. Get on the water this football season, put on the radio and enjoy the best fishing of the year. I know I will.


Welcome Back - Luke Wagner

Luke WagnerComment

Welcome back to Tamarack Fishing. I've been gone for a bit but am thrilled to be back writing and sharing the Northwoods.

I've spent the better part of the last two years learning what it is I want Tamarack to be. My intitial concept was to be a top tackle company playing in the bass fishing world but after a lot of thought, some hard learned lessons and many mistakes made along the way, I've decided to just let Tamarack be a reflection of me and who I am. Part of my aprehension in doing this before was a discomfort I felt being the face of the brand. Although Tamarack is still going to be the name (at least for the forseeable future), I would like the brand to be less of an exercise in marketing and branding and more an authentic (sorry about that overused word) reflection of who I am. Tamarack was a focal point in my life for the better part of two years and I got to the point where I was no longer enjoying it and actually no longer enjoying the fishing that went along with it. This wasn't because I no longer loved fishing but because I wasn't being true to myself and trying to be the perfect brand instead.

I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to those who have purchased Tamarack Moondancers to this point and I hope to see many more of you in the coming months and years. In addition to the Moondancer, I have been working on a few other tackle projects along with some things that I think will surprise. Well, they'll surprise until you all get to know me a bit better. Unlike I tried to portray before, fishing is not the only outdoor activity I love and prioritize. Among others, two of my biggest passions besides fishing are cycling and cooking and I hope to bring those aspects of my life into the brand as well.

You may have noticed in the first paragraph of this article a word which is going to be key to the brand going forward and is something that stirs something deep in my soul. Northwoods. It's home, it's wilderness, it's beautiful, it's brutal, it's the land of many lakes and winding roads. Most of all, the Northwoods are what truly inspire me each and every day. They inspire awe, admiration, wonder and a sense of adventure. I want to share all of the wonderful things of the Northwoods with all of you and hopefully inspire you to experience them or if you can't, to at least help you to explore your unique part of the world. I hope that the products and projects I bring out can be a part of your exploration of the Northwoods or be a peice of the Northwoods, wherever you may be.

Please, feel free to reach out via the contact page, or DM me on Instagram @TamarackFishing with any questions, comments or just to chat and share what we love about the outdoors.

I look forward to this adventure and seeing where the future will take this project. I hope you all will join me on this journey and become a part of the Tamarack family.