James Card specializes in guided fly-fishing trips on waters that were shaped by the last Ice Age in central Wisconsin. He mostly focuses on brown and brook trout and also smallmouth and largemouth bass, northern pike and panfish.
The Waupaca/Tomorrow River runs through James’ backyard. Everyday he is studying the river, fishing the river, or observing the river while eating breakfast, lunch, or dinner. He guides trips on this river and also on some nearby creeks.
Trips can be by kayak, walking and wading, or a combination of both. Each trip is custom tailored to what kind of angling you would like to experience. Beginners will learn on the fly (heh) and walk away with enough knowledge about the sport that they should be able to confidently fly fish on their own. For advanced anglers, we can focus on everything from small brook trout streams that requires a stealthy approach and precision casting or go after aggressive bass and toothy pike in a freestone river.
James will outfit you with rods, reels, and flies, along with waders depending on the circumstance and weather (in the summer, “wet wading” or simply wading in pair of shorts is the way to go). Feel free to bring your own rod/reel and tackle if you prefer.
You should bring a valid Wisconsin fishing license, polarized sunglasses (not necessary but it really makes a difference), camera, and clothes that are appropriate for the weather.
Full day trips include lunch. For morning trips, there will be some coffee to start the day; and for trips that end at dusk, there will be cold beer chilling in the water.
Email ahead for scheduling a trip. Once the time and date are figured out, we will make plans on where to meet in the Waupaca area. Also this a good time to discuss what kind of species you are after and what kind of angling experience you prefer (instructional, adventurous, lots of fish, one big fish or a bit of everything).
Cancellations: let James know as soon as you can if a trip will be cancelled. Likewise, he will be in touch with you about weather conditions and unsafe water levels that might force a cancellation.
Full day with a single angler: $225.
Half day with a single angler: $150.
Full day with two anglers: $300.
Half day with two anglers: $200.
James grew up near La Crosse, Wisconsin and went to college at UW-Platteville and has fished many of the wonderful spring creeks in Wisconsin’s Driftless Area, along with chasing warmwater species on the backwaters of the Mississippi and Black Rivers. He is the son of John Card, owner of Three Rivers Rod & Reel Repair and James grew up surrounded by every conceivable form of rod, reel and fishing tackle.
Passionate about angling literature, James has written about fishing for The New York Times, The Drake, ESPN Outdoors, The Stonefly, Yale Angler’s Journal, Earth Island Journal, Men’s Journal, and Midcurrent.com. He is also the editor-in-chief of Ice Fishing magazine, which is published once every winter.
James was a fly fishing guide in South Korea. He can read about that experience at Field & Stream.
If you are interested in fishing in South Korea, contact James’ friend Matt Awalt.
Besides South Korea, he has fished in Japan, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, India, and Thailand.