Feature Photo Courtesy of Sparta Area Chamber of Commerce
Bike Fishing And The Fall Trails To Trout Fishing Tournament
Fall of 2021 will bring a new and exciting event to Sparta, Wisconsin put on by the Sparta Area Chamber of Commerce combining two of the city’s popular pastimes, fishing and biking. The first Trails To Trout Fishing Tournament is set to take place in early October and promote both biking and trout fishing on Sparta’s trails and streams, as well as area businesses. This event is for fishermen and bicyclists of all ages and skill levels and encourages everyone to get outdoors and enjoy the fall weather while taking in all the Sparta area has to offer from trails and streams to lodging and attractions.
First Trails To Trout Fishing Tournament
Many know Sparta is Wisconsin’s bike capital with over 101 miles of interconnected Rails to Trails biking trails. But fewer people know that Sparta is also a great place for trout fishing, with 39.5 miles of trout streams within a 5 mile radius from the downtown area. The Trails To Trout Fishing Tournament aims to bring those two activities together in a seemingly perfect location for experiential travelers, bicyclists, fishermen and families who enjoy both getting outside and enjoy the spawning season of trout and the cold water streams. The tournament is a catch, photo and release fishing tournament and has a primary focus on Sparta’s wealth of outdoor recreation, encouraging all participants to take advantage of the fall weather and explore the Sparta area in a new way. Taking place in the beautiful Driftless Region of Wisconsin, the tournament will present event goers with plenty of scenic bicycle rides before they find the perfect spot to cast their line.
The action of bringing together fishing and biking, or bike fishing, is not a new idea, but for those who haven’t heard of it and hope to participate in the Trails To Trout Fishing Tournament, here are a few recommendations and tips to help you get started. Bike fishing is associated with fly fishing, most often used for catching trout, grayling, and salmon, or spin fishing. The Trails To Trout event is a trout fishing tournament, so if you are unfamiliar with trout fishing, you may want to brush up with some research or reach out to a local fisherman or outfitter. In terms of gear, whether you choose to ride a fat or skinny tire bike is up to you, but it is helpful to either carry a backpack, wear a fishing vest, run a frame bag, or mount a rear rack for hauling your fishing gear. It will be beneficial to have as much weight on your bike versus your body, so the riding will be less difficult. Some gear items you may not think to bring are a bike repair kit and a warm, waterproof pair of boots. Once you have all your gear, you can take some time to plan your biking route and pinpoint streams you want to fish to prepare for the event.
Lodging & More
There are many local attractions, shops, and eateries that event participants can enjoy throughout the tournament. If you’re traveling from out of town, you could book a stay with Justin Trails Resort or Grapevine Log Cabins, two local lodging options, or pick from the area hotels. Popular Sparta restaurants and bars include Sparta Family Restaurant, Cotter Pin, Ginny’s Cupboard, the Franklin Coffeehouse, Rudy’s Drive-In Restaurant, the Foxhole Pub, and the Green Bar & Restaurant. There are also plenty of shops and attractions around Sparta to explore when you’re not participating in tournament events.
The Trails To Trout Fishing Tournament will take place October 2nd through October 10th in Sparta, WI, for a nine day fishing event including two weekends. The event will take place on the local Sparta Rails To Trails bicycle trail system and the trout streams within a 5-mile radius of downtown Sparta. The winner of the tournament will be awarded a Wyatt Bicycle Maverick detailed specifically for those who wish to further explore bike fishing, a prize valued at $3,000. The winner will be randomly drawn out of the top 5 positions in the stringer category. You can also sign up to win a trip to Sparta, Wisconsin during the tournament including a stay and a variety of gift certificates from local businesses by entering to win on the contest page. To sign up for the tournament, you’ll need to pay the $20 entry fee and then download the FishDonkey App on your phone. The FishDonkey App will be used to photograph, measure, and record every fish you wish to enter during the tournament. For more information, you can contact the Sparta Chamber of Commerce, visit their website, or see the Facebook Event page.