I have often heard it said that the sound of rain at night can have a soothing effect. Take that thought and throw in a tin roof on a cabin in the woods and the feeling is magnified. There have been so many times I can recall when I’ve been at the cabin during a rain where it almost seemed like I took a sleeping pill. When we had our pickup camper it was hard to beat the cozy feeling you got during a rain storm.
There were a few times when I took our camper to Spider Lake in the fall with my old neighbor Gene and the weather was less than cooperative. I would let the furnace run on pilot and after spending many hours on the lake we would return to find a warm camper waiting for us. It didn’t take much to heat that pickup camper so it was a great place for a couple of half-frozen fisherman to return to. Those were fun times I enjoyed for quite a few years and after spending so many years tenting, the luxury of having a place to warm up and dry your clothes almost made it seem like I was staying at an expensive hotel.
I don’t think you can beat the smell of the outdoors after a rainfall because to me it means wiping the slate clean and starting anew with everything fresh and clean. It’s the same fresh smell you get whenever the bedclothes are brought inside after hanging out on the line to dry. Few odors of the outdoors can compete with that except for maybe the smell of freshly mown hay or bacon frying on a camp stove. It’s funny how that same bacon fried in a pan on the stove inside just doesn’t quite have the same effect on me. Then there is the unmistakable smell of pine trees as you enter the forest, which definitely tells me I am in the north woods. I don’t know how many times I have had to cut up a fallen pine tree and ended up with pine sap on my hands. After I wipe off my hands with my handkerchief it turns into an instant air freshener. No air freshener that you can buy in the store will ever compare to the real thing.
When I was an aspiring young fisherman my Uncle Ben and my Aunt Marcie would sometimes take me Up North with them on vacation. As we drove further north and I got the first whiff of a pine forest in my nostrils my heart would race with excitement in anticipation of the fishing adventure I was about to have on a Northern Minnesota lake.
We have had our share of warm weather already this summer and that is not a bad thing. If you are feeling a little hot and sticky just close your eyes and envision the times you found yourself shoveling the sidewalk or driveway in the dead of winter and wishing for weather like this. I hate to be a stick-in-the-mud type of guy, but we have already had the summer solstice which means we have already passed the longest day of the year and are on the downhill run. To me this means I want to make the most of summer and enjoy any outdoors activities I am able to.
With the early onset of warmer weather this year some area lakes are seemingly more weed infested than usual. Pickerel Lake is looking pretty sad right now and fishing it is getting to be more of a challenge. I have fished it a few times this year and each time it was a little harder to find open, weedless areas to fish. Albert Lea Lake is also looking pretty funky right now, which is not earth shaking news to most folks, but just by looking at it I know we have a long way to go in our efforts to clean up our watershed. Fountain Lake is also jumping into the act and some of the bays and formerly prime fishing areas are also getting weed choked and harder to fish. These are all observations made by me and talking to other folks who fish these lakes.
Most Southern Minnesota lakes are susceptible to various weeds and or milfoil. I know that Lura Lake west of Minnesota Lake for years has been a tough lake to fish after mid-June because of the weed situation. This lake holds a nice variety of fish with some nice bass and it also has a good walleye population.
Summer is still going full tilt so try and find a little time to get out and enjoy the outdoors. It’s a great time to take in one of the many nice parks we have available for our use. One thing about this area is that if you want to have a picnic, there are many parks with access to water where you can also do a little fishing. When our boys were young we would go to Edgewater with some friends and fire up one of those barbecue grills to roast a few hot dogs. While there we would do a little fishing and as evening set in we would catch some descent bluegills and crappie. The good thing about living in this area is that you don’t have to go too far to enjoy a family outing that includes a little fishing
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