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This past week I have taken the time to do a little driving in the country to enjoy the fall colors and also that special feeling that only fall can generate. The farmers have been busy harvesting beans so we must be mindful of encountering some slow-moving equipment, and remember this is the time of year when they reap the benefits of the fruits of their labor.

As I have written many times before this is my favorite time of year to enjoy the outdoors. Last weekend my son Brian and my daughter-in-law Kim organized a little picnic with some friends and family. The picnic was centered around a friendly game of touch football of which I am now an observer instead of a participant. We had the picnic at White’s Woods County Park south of Twin Lakes. It is a beautiful little park with two pavilions, and rest room facilities. The park has trails you can walk that border Lower Twin Lake and with the changing of colors that were highlighted by a beautiful sunny day, it was a great time to be outdoors.

Now is the time to really enjoy the colors and in our area of the state we are about at 50% of peak. A few areas of the northern part of the state are past peak, but most are at peak right now. According to the DNR website the best is yet to come for our area.

For quite a few years I had a camper I kept year-round at Best Point on Lake Tetonka. I always enjoyed the fall there because the weekend campers were pretty much done, which left just the year-round campers. I liked going to the camper in the middle of the week to do a little fishing and at that time of year you could have the lake pretty much all to yourself.

There were also a couple of nearby lakes I would like to visit from time to time just to change it up a little. One of those lakes was little Fish Lake, which sits about three miles west of Lake Tetonka and had, at the time, one house and an area where the girl scouts had their canoes. This lake also had restrictions that didn’t allow a boat on the lake with anything larger than a 10-horse motor. There were many times when you would be the only boat on the lake. I never usually encountered more than one other boat on any given day.

This was almost like having your own private little lake. I found this lake to be one of if not “the” cleanest and clearest lakes in this part of the state. It made for some tough fishing on a clear, sunny day, so early morning or late evening were the best times to fish the lake. I never did really catch a lot of fish on that little lake, which is why my wife, Jean, called it “no fish lake.” This never kept me from coming back and when I did catch fish it was usually small pike, some few decent bass or eating-sized crappies. The thing that appealed to me the most about the lake was the lack of other fishermen and the beauty of this small little body of water. I haven’t visited this lake in many years, but I just may have to take a drive north to see if it has changed.

There are many lakes to fish in the Waterville area, which is why I found the idea of fishing and exploring many of those lakes so intriguing. As far as fish-producing lakes, I still believe that Lake Tetonka is pretty hard to top. I haven’t fished this area for a number of years, but the idea of trying it again gets the kid in me excited about doing a little fall fishing.

Even after we purchased our little piece of land on that small lake in Northern Minnesota that little kid desire to explore different lakes still exists. I guess this is part of who I am and as long as I can get someone to go with me or have the desire to go it alone, it’s what I will continue to do.

Fountain Lake has been a pretty good producer of fish this year and fall should be no exception. A few miles north are Beaver and St. Olaf Lakes, which have always been lakes to fish over the years.

Until next time; take a little drive in the country and enjoy the wonderful fall colors of our area of the state. Don’t forget that there is still a lot of good fishing ahead before the water hardens.

Please take some time to honor those who have sacrificed so much for the freedoms we enjoy today. Take a little time to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, those who served and those troops that are serving today.

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