Saturday, December 7, 2013

Esther Lake - III

     The spot we worked was a fresh weed patch.  To me green weeds meant fish.  As to whether or not that included trout might have been ignorance on my part.  Good thing it wasn't on Al's.  His first brookie wasn't large, but like all brookies it was colored like a chameleon in a jewelry box.  Damn they're pretty fish covered with all those squiggly greens and reds.
     The second was a twin of the first.  So was the third.  Damnation.  We were catching trout.  Woulda been nice to say we'd figured it out but dumb luck's not a bad thing either.  Not a one was over ten inches so we released them all.
     I don't recall why we then cut across the bay instead of working our way down the shore.  Maybe it was destiny, or my soul being drawn by the spirit of the Great Tout in the Sky (ain't that nauseating?).  Once out a few yards from shore we caught a light breeze, went into a drift and fished our way across.
     What I do recall was what passed beneath the canoe, ten or more feet down.  Seeing as how the water was clear as window glass everything below stood out in sharp detail.  Log upon log littered the bottom as though scuba diving lumberjacks had had a field day down there.  All of those logs and limbs were perfect cover for fish.  Maybe that's what the rainbows were hiding under.
     Though we could see our spinners from the time they hit the water I never saw the take.  Can't say who caught the first.  A solid foot long, the trout fought like the smallies we'd caught the day before.  At twelve inches, it was long enough to have wintered over.  In my mind that made it almost wild.  We put it on a stringer.  I'd eaten trout before, even fresh caught wild ones.  They're easy to prepare and fine northwoods fare.
     That rainbow was quickly followed by two more foot long fish.  Both went on the stringer.  Looked like this was gonna be our day but it turned out the third was the last.  Considering I expected nothing, six trout was a fine day.  Two hours on the water, we headed in.
     Had those been truly wild rainbows I suspect we'd have released them.  But come next Spring, the DNR would dump another few thousand in the lake.  Their idea was that Minnesota fisherman would catch and eat a few so that's what we did.

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