Friday, September 9, 2016


First fish of the Day
Seems like the older I get the more challenging it is to get everything done!  Last weekends long Labor Day holiday found me trying to get caught up on a number of things.  It has been raining alot in August, the garden looks terribly neglected, the grass needs mowing every 4th day and to add insult to injury, the days are getting shorter to boot!  This was the last weekend to legally fiah walleyes on Mille Lacs but the strong south winds that persisted during these days all but took the incentive to fight that battle away.  Because of the sorry state of the garden, Saturday found me driving to Cambridge to meet a person selling cucumbers and dill for making refrigerator pickles.  I still us Bernie Konters old Fall Fest Pickle recipe from years ago, have doctored it up a bit but they are still very good.  Sunday the wife and I headed south to the Farm Fest in Fountain City, Wisconsin and it is always very interesting.  They do old time threshing using a threshing machine and a steam powered tractor, pretty interesting.  That pretty well took all day so this left fishing to Labor Day on Monday.  Amongst other things the grass needed to be mowed so it was decided that my neighbor Tom Olson and I would head down on the Mississippi River behind the house and see if we couldn't find some walleyes in the current breaks.  Besides I had just put in new boat seats into the jon boat so it would be a good chance to test them out.  We headed out about 4:30 that afternoon and hit the first eddy pool just up river and on the other side.  I started with a jig and some rubber with a half a crawler while Tom chose to throw a brightly colored #7 Shad Rap.  On our first drift while bouncing the bottom I nailed a nice 16 inch smallie on the jig.  Hoping it was a walleye, I guess i'll take whatever hits.  I figured bouncing a jig would be the best way to entice one but in the river one never knows what will hit your bait, especially when it's tipped with a crawler.  The river is still very high for this time of year as we are at least 7 inches over normal rainfall for the year.  I feel that the fish tend to be scattered more when the water is high yet there are still a number of spots that tend to produce.

Tom's 18 inch Smallie
There is an area just on the downstream side of Cloquet Island that tends to be pretty good.  It has a  deep hole and a defined current break that makes it easy to fish.  I tend to like to bottom fish that area but searching for walleyes had me dragging the jig on the bottom.  It was a little more loaded with snags and because I was using a braided line was able to retrieve my jig along with a number of tree branches that were scattered on the bottom.  In the meantime Tom kept throwing his Shad Rap and one cast into the area where the side channel met the main channel he nailed a beautiful 18 inch smallmouth that really put on a show.  I really couldn't believe that it hit from the area that he was casting but what the heck!  About the only thing I got was a small channel catfish and a bunch of timber.  We finished the day back at the first spot we fished where I decided to soak some nightcrawlers while he stayed casting,  All I ended up with were 5 very small channel cats, about 5 - 8 inches in length.  Tom did get a few more smallmouth and I think for the day we ended up with a total of 6 smallies and 6 very small catfish.  I was surprised I didn't get anything more interesting than the small catfish but that's the way it went as I was expecting at least a larger carp or redhorse.  Oh well, after a small light rain shower we headed back to Blair's landing before it got too dark.  I am not sure if this would be my last trip on the river this year as fall is coming fast and the rain is predicted to keep the river high.  Maybe a trip upstream from Monticello would be in the cards.  I also have my annual trout fishing trip with Bill Lundeen coming up. So much to do, so little time! Still the river fishing is a fun time and doesn't require such a long commitment as going to Mille Lacs or some other lake.  As well, it reminds me of the fishing I used to do with my friend Kevin, fishing the back channels of the Mississippi or simply fishing the Buffalo River that flowed through Eleva.  Doing the jon boat really keeps things simpler than the production needed of bringing my Ranger out, driving somewhere, removing the cover and launching, loading up, replacing the cover, and driving home....does it sound like I am getting lazy? Nope but do enjoy the chance to throttle things down a little bit!

Well I have been canning my salsa these days as it's pretty good.  One of the thing is that I don't take short cuts and spend a lot of time processing the final product.  I would have to say it pays off as I have done 15 quarts so far.  With a lot of tomatoes, onions, and peppers it's a shame to see them go to waste so somewhere I find the time to make a few batches.  It is a special treat in the middle of ice fishing season to have my salsa in the ice cabin on Red Lake in January. I tride pints at one time but it seemed as though I would always empty it fast and then need another jar but now it is hard to finish a quart but I can tell you, it's a lot faster canning quarts!  Tuesday will finally come as I head up to Lac Seul with my friends Bruce, Pete, Dan, and Wayne.  This is a trip that I really look forward to and I am so lucky that this will be my 3rd trip this year.  It's nice that Bruce lets me keep some of my stuff up there so I don't have to haul a sleeping bag, pillow and other essentials. Dan is towing my boat up there which is nice.  Interesting as my 2015 Boat definitely has more miles on Lac Seul than it does Mille Lacs, a sign of how things have changed in the last few years.  I am getting pretty good at navigating Lac Seul and have all the trails on my Lowrance down to the point where I am pretty self sufficient.  Still, I carry a spare prop with me and I pray to the Lord I'll never have to use it.  This time of year the water is at it's highest level so it doesn't mean there isn't any hazards, but those area's that are marginal in May are now covered by an additional 4 feet of water.   The weather forecast shows highs in the lower 60's and lows in the 40's, it will be nice after the hot and humid August we've had in Minneapolis. Because I leave Tuesday and back on Saturday I may not have a post next week.  They do have internet and maybe I will post something from there.  I return on Saturday the 17th and have been invited to the Vikings home opener in their new stadium where they are playing the Packers.  Bruce rearranged our trip so I could make this and I am really excited to be with my friends who are treating me to this experiment.  At least one of them is a Packer fan like me!


Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service said...

How are your apples doing this year?

Dave Anderson said...

What apples, they all froze!!!

Laura said...

my mom might be interested in your salsa recipe. we've tried a couple different ones out of books and none of them had any kick at all.