After I had attended this years Governor’s fishing opener in Grand Rapids I headed back north to enjoy a few more days at the cabin which is a little over 30 miles from there. I guess I could almost call this my “quality time” with only the critters for company I got some work done and was able to go fishing on one of my many “favorite” lakes in the area. With so many beautiful little lakes to choose from it is hard to single out just one. The one I chose to fish has a small rustic camping that has been area set aside by the Forest Service. It is first-come first-serve with no fees charged. Going there on a weekday can pretty much ensure that you will have this little lake to yourself. It is pretty much a northern lake but then that’s primarily what I fish for most of the time. There are plenty of small pike to be had and occasionally you will have a “big one” on. The day that I was there I did have two fish break my line and I was using a leader, which I don’t normally do.
Spending a few hours on this quiet little lake wasn’t without its challenges. After trolling for a short while I noticed something trailing the boat that looked just like my anchor rope, just then my motor quit and, of course the rope had slipped out of the boat and tangled in the prop. With the rope fastened securely to the front of the boat and tangled in the prop there was no way to lift the motor. Alas, I had to cut the rope from the front and slowly untangle the rope from the motor. Finally it was free and I was on my way again in search of another challenge.
Even with a few minor glitches the time spent up north was indeed my quality time. I have a couple of bird feeders set up outside the cabin that Brian and his family gave me for Christmas. I have never considered myself a bird watcher but without television bird watching at the cabin has replaced the need for that electronic pacifier. Sitting on the steps watching all the different birds plus a couple of red squirrels and an occasional chipmunk I almost felt like I was doing an imitation of Grizzly Adams.
I awoke one morning to a different sound than what I usually hear coming from our lake. Normally it is the sound of the resident loons or even a beaver slapping its tail on the water but on this particular morning the sound was strange and loud. As I walked towards the lake I could see them as the flapped their wings and flew just above the water across the lake. It was a pair of Trumpeter Swans which was great to observe and also to hear. I had hoped they were going to nest on our lake but after spending most of the day they moved on.
Yes, watching wildlife is an important part of my life and there is always something fulfilling about observing nature at work. I guess that is what I like most about being on the edge of the wilderness – you never know what you will see next.
The one thing about enjoying wildlife is that you don’t have to go way up north to observe it. I like to take early morning walks because there are less people out and about at that time. I used to walk after I had finished work and I even walked on the Blazing Star trail when it was still a gravel path. Once it was finished and the trail was made “user friendly” it became like it is today a place for roller bladders, bikers (non-motorized), walkers and joggers. What a great asset to have in our city. We have since expanded and added a trail by Bookside that extends behind Pioneer Park and is a great addition for those that walk around the lake.
With all the improvements comes more and more traffic which is what you want to see, people taking advantage of all these opportunities. I am a person that likes things simple and sometimes walking on one of the trails in the afternoon can be crowded with an almost mall-like atmosphere. This is why I like the early morning walks which have another advantage, wildlife. The waterfowl abound at this time of year and there are many little critters to been seen. Over the years I’ve seen of course the usual squirrels and rabbits but even an occasional woodchuck. Just the other day there was a whole flock of turkey vultures down by the access at Frank Hall Park. When I saw one of them circling overhead I was hoping this was not an omen, as you get older you start noticing those things.
The fishing in the area has been less than great and we can attribute most of that to the unstable weather we have been having. Not too many walleye have been caught so far and the crappies bite was pretty good early but is in a bit of a holding pattern right now. Hopefully we will get some stable weather and normal temperatures to get the season shifted into high gear. Bass fishing opens on Memorial Day weekend and musky season follows a week later.
Until next time; lets get out and enjoy the great Minnesota outdoors and do a little camping and fishing!
Remember our brothers and sisters who are proudly serving our country so that we can keep enjoying the freedoms that we have today.