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I have stated many times fall is my favorite season and nothing has changed in that department. The fall colors in the northern part of the state are getting close to peak in some areas and half of the state is at least 50% turned. Although the weather can always be unpredictable in the fall, and at times it can even seem to be the poster child for sudden change, it is still a great time to be outdoors. One thing I really enjoy in the fall is taking a drive in the country to enjoy the transition of colors. I have found it can also be therapeutic and a great way to get some relief from any stress you may have built up. Looking back a few years to a day when I had arrived home from work feeling a little stressed out, on the spur of the moment I decided to take a little drive with no particular destination in mind. As I pulled out of the driveway I decided to visit a few of our country roads I hadn’t driven on for many years. Along the way I spotted a fox in a freshly picked cornfield obviously digging for field mice or some other critter trying to avoid being its supper. After watching the fox I moved on and also saw a couple of red tailed hawks, the usual crows and an eagle. As I drove around the countryside observing the natural beauty of a nice fall afternoon and observing some of nature’s creatures at work, I got that “life is good” feeling that the simple things nature shares with us can give you. That was the stress reliever I was looking for and it worked like a charm.

There have been many fall fishing trips for this writer over the years and I have found this is when you really need to be prepared for change. Looking back, I am reminded of a time when a friend of mine and I took a fall trip to a little lake north of Marcell, not far from where I now have a cabin. On our first day of fishing it was cool, cloudy and a little rainy with temperatures in the low 60s. The fishing was good and we thought we’d hit it at the right time. The next morning we awoke to sunshine and calm winds, which helped the temperatures soar into the mid 80s. Guess what? The fishing followed the cold front out of the area and we were hard pressed to catch a fish the rest of the trip. I do believe fall fishing can be affected by weather more than any other season, or maybe I just haven’t figured it out yet.

Fall is also the time of year when I start to think muskies. The thought of having one of the “toothed ones” on the other end of my line still gets the adrenaline flowing. I love to troll for them, although I’ve probably caught more of them while casting; but both tactics can give a person the ultimate fishing thrill. I have always thought speed trolling a big lure and almost having your rod ripped out of your hands when a big musky hits it was the ultimate thrill. On the other hand, I can’t think of a better fishing experience than casting a lure and having a big fish explode out of the water at the exact time the lure hits the water.

I am planning a fall trip to the cabin with my grandson Dylan with hopes of maybe doing a little musky fishing. Like I stated earlier, the weather can always have an effect on outdoor activities in the fall, but it can never dampen the experience of spending time up north with a grandson. I have spotted quite a few grouse in the area of our cabin this past summer, so we may even get in a little hunting while we are there.

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The Southern Crossroads Chapter 54 of Muskies Inc. meets the second Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. at the Eagles Club in Owatonna. They include informative speakers, updates, raffle and door prizes and musky talk. You do not need to be a member to attend. Bring a friend and help improve musky fishing in Southern Minnesota.

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It’s just an observation:

Would there be a government shutdown if the folks in congress had to quit getting paid? I think not! Congress needs to start thinking about the good of the American people they represent and quit worrying about party lines.

Is it just me, or have the commercials on television actually gotten louder since the FCC said they had to tone them down? Have you noticed that in those E Harmony commercials, it looks like the guy who started it is now going on the dates with those couples?

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Until next time, this is a great time for hunting and fishing and to take a drive and take in the beauty of the fall colors in our great Minnesota outdoors.

Please remember to keep our troops in your thoughts and prayers because they are the reason we are able to enjoy all the freedoms that we have today.

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