Wednesday, December 27, 2017

In the Deep Freeze

Ben Aiona's LOTW haul!
The predicted chunk of cold air that "broke" off from Siberia finally arrived in full force this weekend with temperatures of -16 this morning with highs of just below zero for daytime temperatures, the good news is it's making ice like crazy.  5 hours north of here at Red Lake and Lake of the Woods (LOTW) the nighttime temperatures are reaching the -25 to -30 range.  My friend Ben Aiona decided to go to LOTW on Monday with his family with only his Polaris Ranger and some thermal portables.  Dang lucky he's young because I would have second thoughts about being in a portable at -25F, although it's not to say that I haven't been, just age has made me a lot smarter! Anyway, on Tuesday Ben texted me a picture of their catch, a nice mess of saugers, they kept 24 (their leagal limit) and caught over 55 for the day.  This is not a bad haul, especially considering the temperature.  LOTW has a nice population of nice sized saugers and walleyes, I will call him later to see how him and his family are doing.  Ben is a good fisherman so if the fish are there, he'll get them for sure.  Personally I really enjoy renting a heated house up there, I will never forget the time my good friend Mark and I rented a house out of Wigwam on LOTW, that was 5 years ago and the highlight was the sturgeon that Mark had caught.  You can see that post Here if you want.  Frankly it doesn't seem like 6 years ago but it was.  One day I would like to bring the wheel house up and stay for a few days of fishing, LOTW is a fabulous fishery and you can get some really nice walleyes there as well and the limits are 8 fish in which only 4 can be walleyes, which is more than enough fish.

Cousin Julie
On Christmas Eve my cousin Julie passed away.  Julie had just turned 61 but had some health issues that she simply couldn't shake.  Both her and her brother Paul were our best friends when we were young and without saying Paul and I are still quite close.  Julie's dad was my dad's brother "Uncle Keith" and growing up, their family was an important part of our family as we tended to do a lot of things together.  Julie eventually married Clint Eide and resided on a farm between Eleva and Strum.  Our paths didn't cross much these last few years however we often had some interesting discussions on Facebook that kept us ever close in our minds.  Her obituary is Here and she will be missed.  It is a difficult time of the year as my brother Jon died on New Years Eve last winter so I understand what my cousin's are going through.  Never the less I will be heading back down to Eleva on Thursday to say good bye but to also see my surviving cousins and her mother, Aunt Dorothy.  It seems like it's the old adage, you only see your relatives at weddings and funerals, rings true however I did send in my deposit for fishing with Paul next August, it is important to make sure those friendships stay alive.  Paul was the only boy in the family of 4 children so often times my brother Steve and I look at Paul as our brother as well.  You can't have too many of those.  God Bless you Julie and our prayers are with you.

So back to reality, after (like right after) the funeral Steve, my neighbor Lory Brasel, and myself will be driving up to Red lake to fish the weekend.  As stated, it's cold up there but it will be snug and warm in the house.  The usual suspects will be there, Mark Applen and his son-in-law and grandson, Russ Praught and his crew.  Russ has given me an ETA at JR's of around 9:00 PM on Thursday and with some pushing we should be there about the same time and be able to follow him out to where Mark is parked.  I do enjoy fishing together as it's easier to coordinate when we go in to eat, as well, often a good break from your existing company!  Hopefully the fish are still biting, at least enough to eat something each night.  I am sure we will go through plenty of propane this trip.

1 comment:

NeenahPete said...

My sympathies to you, Dave, for your cousin Julie and, belatedly for your brother Jon.