It's a lake within walking distance of my son and daughter-in-law's house. Forty acres with game fish. Nothing more than a cut in a valley that gathers rain, runoff and lawn fertilizer from the lawns of a couple of uphill houses on steroids.
My three year old grandson and I paid it a visit this morning to check out the lake for the first time. Pretty water. Half black ice and half open water. Get rid of the houses and boat launch and it would be a little bit of heaven. But, in the city a man's gotta take what's available. And it's an excuse to visit my son and family. Or maybe just park in their driveway, say hi and portage me and my gear down to the water. Dirt paths wind their way over and down the wooded hills much like a real portage. Close enough so I can pretend. But, like I said, I'll take what I can get.
The half mile carry also has its appeal as a means of exercise. I like that. I'm into exercise and might even hump the boat down there and back without even stopping to fish. Almost zen like. Carry that logic a couple of steps farther and I might as well set off on a portage to Seattle to get a cup of coffee or watch them sling fish at Pike Place. Sure I'd be skunked but would be in damned fine shape out on the west coast.
Down south the lakes never freeze. Neat to see fishable lakes in January but it's not the same as moving water where two days before there was only ice. Ice out in the northland is cause for celebration. T.S. Eliot thinking April as the cruelest month of all must not have been a fisherman. Or if he was, must have been from a place like Minnesota where bass, pike, walleyes, lakers and muskies are off limits till mid-May or later. All that open water and it's only bullheads and sunnies. Just not fair.
Up and down sides: I'd someday love to take my grandson to the Boundary Waters or points north. Got three of the boys so the possibilities are great. Problem is I'll have to wait till they're big and strong enough to carry an eighty year old man out of the woods. Carry him in also. And all the gear. Plus his oxygen tank and walker. In case you haven't guessed, the him is me.