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Rob Kolakowski

River Falls, Wis.

Signing Off


Proud youth with a good speck - Photo by the late Thomas Kolakowski

Proud youth with a good speck - Photo by the late Thomas Kolakowski


Thanks to all involved, Club Outdoors has been running successfully for over a year now. Writing and blogging has been a whole new experience for me. Most of it good. I understand now what writers have to go through to come up with material every week to fulfill a contract.

In my writings I have made it a point not to bore everyone with my day to day life. Hopefully I have achieved that goal by writing about things that benefit everyone. I enjoy reading the poetic literature and story telling of our sport, but have not had the nerve to take on that sort of writing. Teaching literature was something I could easily do and folks could find the writing useful.

Writing the blog has been fun, but unfortunately this will be my last post. I need to reduce my workload. I have a fly fishing business along with a flexible fulltime job. I also belong to several clubs and organizations. With the break neck pace I have been going at for the last several years I have found increasingly less time for family, friends and myself. It turns out I can’t do everything and I’m not invincible.

Thank you to everyone who has read my blog. Hopefully you've learned a few things from my writing. Thanks to Dennis Anderson and the Star Tribune for giving me the opportunity. Thanks to Bob Nasby for talking me into doing the blog. Lastly, thanks to my friends and people I’ve met along the way for unknowingly helping me with ideas.

There’s a chance I’ll blog again in the future, but for now I’ll be seeing you around. Hopefully on the water.  Take care.

Rob Kolakowski

Fun In The Sun


An angler well protected from the sun - Rob Kolakowski photo

An angler well protected from the sun - Rob Kolakowski photo


    Sometimes the ideal time to fish is when the sun is high.  It makes spotting fish so much easier.  Sometimes you just fish when you have the chance and there may not be a cloud in the sky.  As most of us know, the sun is good for our health, but too much can cause serious problems.

    There are plenty of sunscreens that help minimize damage to exposed skin.  The instructions will tell you how to apply them.  Typically they will need to be applied several times through the day.  You’ll also want some lip balm that has UV protection so you don’t get burned lips.

    Since I’m not a fan of sunscreen I use it only when there‘s no other choice.  An option which I like better is to cover up with protective clothing.  Pants, long sleeve shirts, waders, hats all will block sunlight.  The tighter and heavier the weave the more it will block.  You can buy fishing clothing that is light weight for staying cool and it has very tight weave for sun protection.  Wide brim hats will cover your neck and ears.  You can also tuck a handkerchief under your ball cap so that it drapes over your ears and neck.  Sometimes you have to tuck it into your shirt so it does not spook close fish when it flaps in the wind.  There is something called a sun mask made of light cloth that you can wear over you face and neck.  There are also sun gloves.  I’m sure there’s more ways to cover up than I mentioned here.  And don’t forget sunglasses to protect your eyes.

    If it is hot along with the sun you’ll want to stay hydrated so you can go all day.  I once got very sick from dehydration, only once.  I didn’t feel thirsty and it wasn’t even that hot out.  I can tell you it will never sneak up on me again.  Drink plenty of water.

    It’s also a good idea to take periodic breaks.  Find some shade if you can.  Also don’t forget to eat to keep your energy level up.  You’ll really be dragging butt by the end of the day and probably leave early if you don’t refuel.

    Another trick to stay cool is to dunk your hat in the water.  The evaporation will help you bare the heat.  You could dunk your whole body if your so inclined.  I’m not so inclined myself, but it’s something I’ve done by accident.  You’ll definitely be cooled off.

    The longer you are out the better the protection you will need.  Make sure you  plan ahead, sunburn can sneak up on you.  Don’t wait until it’s too late to cover up.  A buddy of mine once had to wear a piece of paper tucked under his glasses and over his nose to protect the severe sunburn he got the day before.  The rest of us thought he looked quite funny, but he wasn’t laughing, especially with several more days of fishing ahead.  Use these tips and a day in the blazing sun can be enjoyable without getting beat down.