Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring Trip

     It's in the planning. Or at least the serious thinkin' about it stage. My son-in-law and daughter just sold their house. My first thought wasn't ain't that wonderful? It's not pretty but it went more along the lines of oh shit! There goes the fishin' trip. Maybe I wasn't raised right. But their closing's not 'til the end of Summer so all's well that doesn't stop the fishing.
     Smallmouth bass and trout. Four new lakes. Hard to believe there's still lakes up by the cabin I haven't been on. Truthfully, I have been on one of the lakes we'll fish. But the Iowa and Dakota boys haven't. So they'll all feel new.
     New lakes are always a crap shoot. New water has to be learned. I'd like to get up there and hit each before the big trip. The trout ones are tiny. Would be no problem to figure out if they weren't trout lakes. Twelve and eighteen acres. Up two tracks off gravel. Not too hard to find. Google Earth shows the way most everywhere. And I say I don't use fish electronics. Have to admit I like looking at the satellite photos. Almost as good as flying over. Better than maps. And about on the same level for brewin' daydreams. And I do like to daydream.
     But, you see, trout are weather snobs. Bluebird skies and they get mighty shy. Always a cast and a half away. I've seen 'em surface feeding on such days. Little pops and ripples. Tried to dead drift their way with no luck. Once chased a pod of them all around a ten acre lake in the Boundary Waters.
     However, should the weather be overcast, maybe even a little sprinkle on the surface, then we'd have a chance. Back when Allan was twelve, the two of us caught a half dozen rainbows and brookies when the old farts were skunked. Got 'em on tiny spinners. Spinners, is there nothing they can't catch?
     New lakes, new fish and, of course, new rods. Or at least one new rod. Five and a half foot ultra light. It was cheap beyond cheap. Fifteen bucks. So I conned my son-in-law into buying me a Christmas present. If I wanna get fancy, there's always the fly rods. Maybe break down and buy a few real trout flies. Or set up an old Minnesota standby. Nine foot fly rod, spinning reel, split shot sinker, spinner and fly with worm. Slowly paddle and troll the lake. It ain't pretty but I've heard the old timers, real old timers, used that rig to put a lot of fish in the black pan.
     So I've got the rods. And started making spinners last Fall. Itty-bitty ones. Never caught a trout on a home made. Wouldn't kill me if I never did. Though I have to admit, the thought of a successful home made does have its appeal. As a backup, there's good old fashioned slip bobbers and micro jigs tipped with Power Bait or even, God forbid, worms. For now, I'll keep making spinners.
     If the gods smile upon us we may even kill a few for dinner. These are stocked lakes. Not a trout was ever born in one. They're DNR babies and will be replaced every year. No worries about fishing the lakes out. If we catch 'em, we'll kill 'em and have some fine eatin'.
     The bass will be more civilized. In lakes with cabins. Now I don't think of smallies as being civilized. Don't want them to be. They were my first wilderness canoe fish. And the ones I went back to the wilderness to find. See if they were still there and doing fine. They were.
     Around the cabin there's still some undeveloped water. Neither house nor dock. And most of those lakes have shoreline that looks right. Fist sized rubble where the crayfish the smallies love to gobble should be hangin' out. Probably are. Not disrespect to the largemouth we catch but they're not the fish I'm looking for when I see those rocks. So it's a conundrum. If I want the right water and the right bass, it ain't happening near the cabin. So be it.

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