Blue Water Business Consortium Member Spotlight: Driftless Angler
“Being a fishing business, water is obviously crucial to our success”
“My family and I fish on our days off,” says Mat Wagner, who owns and runs Driftless Angler, located on Viroqua’s historic main street. Situated within the Driftless Area’s thousands of miles of spring creek trout streams, Mat and his wife, Geri Meyer, are about to mark 10 years as one of the region’s premier fly shops and guide services.
Driftless Angler has been a member of the Blue Water Business Consortium since its inception in 2014. “Being a fishing business, water is obviously crucial to our success,” says Mat. “The most important thing is that people understand that water sustains our business – the clean, cold spring fed creeks of the Driftless are the reason we exist. If the creeks are pumped dry or polluted, our business and the tourist business will be gone.”
Driftless Angler offers a huge in-store and online inventory of flies and some of fly fishing’s finest gear to help outfit anglers for trips on local streams including the West Fork of the Kickapoo or Timber Coulee. The Wagners also serve as guides for fishing trips throughout the area to help people improve their skills or unlock the secrets of some lesser known creeks. Three additional independent guides help meet customer demand, especially during seasonal peaks.
“We appreciate all that the Driftless area provides and work hard to make sure that everybody has a chance to enjoy the unique fishery we have, and we encourage any business who realizes that water is essential to do the same,” says Mat. “The larger the voice, the better results we can have to protect our waters. Our vision for the future is not so much for Driftless Angler as it is for the Driftless Area: We will continue to work to increase the ability of the public to fish our water, as well as work to keep the creeks here healthy for years to come.”