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Outdoors/fall colors report: A Howe-to primer on doing it right


A maple in glorious color in late October.
Dale Bowman/Sun-Times

If you want to know how to file a fall-colors and general outdoors report, please read below. Christian Howe did it perfectly, touching the transition of fall colors, the fishing, “zombie” deer as the rut builds and duck movement.

Here is the report he emailed on Monday:


Hera my Fall colors report, from Morgan Park to Vilas County WI via I94/41 to US45 North. 

Cook county muted colors beginning to appear. Won’t be long before the various Maples become vibrant 

Lake county is nearing the big show. Colors near Illinois beach State Park vary with some spots nearing spectacular. 

Cheddar Curtain to Wauwatosa nearing-to at peak colors. Maples vibrant with oaks almost golden 

Wauwatosa to Oshkosh has oaks vivid, maple at peak to almost done and a few birch still colorful. Tamaracks just starting. 

Oshkosh to Antigo tamaracks nearly at peak,  oaks at peak, a few  birch nearing the end, maple just past peak, willows, alders and scrub going.  Ferns and grass brown already from early frosts. 

Antigo to the WI/MI border has the tamaracks at peak. The maples have dropped with the winds and snow the past few days, but oaks are still gold but dropping fast.

Here’s hoping the fish cooperate for me in between the fall duties.  Reports from the local guides have musky finally going for suckers and some bucktails.  Walleye taking redtails and xl fatheads on outside weed edges on 1/8-1/16 jigs. Crawlers still taking some perch and gils. Some walleye being taken over shallow weeds or wind swept shores in  6-10’ on #11 rapalas in blue and yellow, some days rattled work better.  Crappie are fair on jigs and Minnows when you can find them.  

Lots of duck movement up here too. Today I had nearly 50 stacked up in the bay behind the island, calling to others that we passing by. Mostly mallards, but a few others mixed in.  I’ve never seen so many at once here.  The Rut is in full swing, lots of “zombie” deer oblivious to everything. Nearly clipped a 6 pointer chasing a pair of does this morning going for bait. 

The weather up here has me thinking about hard water fishing already which was made worse when I walked into the local bait shop and she was bringing out the ice stuff. One step at a time!  

Thanks again for keeping us up to date and speed.  

No, thanks to readers like Howe my life is filled with wonder on a regular basis.