Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: Trips we'd take again

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Last update: December 12, 2011 - 1:18 AM

LAKE OF THE WOODS

This monster border lake knows no bad season, and some of the best fishing I've had has been there, in winter as well as summer. With waters lying both in Minnesota and Ontario, Lake of the Woods provides fishing as productive and accessible as any in North America.

A visit last summer proves the point.

Primarily I was fishing for muskies out of Big Narrows Resort, which is owned by a Minnesotan, Charlie Ehlen, but lies on the Canadian side of the lake. Each trip from the dock produced multiple follows of these big fish, if not a hookup.

And when dinnertime approached, little effort was needed to jig up a few walleyes for the frying pan.

Fishing is no less enticing in winter, whether out of Baudette or across the lake, near the Northwest Angle. Walleyes, yes, and crappies, too. See www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com. Also, www.lakeofthewoods.com.

Opening day of fishing, Up North

Minnesota's first day of open-water fishing is a celebration that defines the state and its people. And while fishing in far northern Minnesota in spring can at times be cold, windy or worse, the north remains for me the go-to region for the season's first days.

Upper Red Lake, Lake Winnibigoshish, Leech Lake and Crane Lake provide great examples. Each is big, and each at times in mid-May can be wave-tossed and bone-chillingly cold. But each also has the capacity to produce rod-bending opening-day walleyes. And lots of them.

Cold Bay, Alaska

Difficult to reach, but equally difficult to forget, Cold Bay beginning on Sept. 1 offers silver salmon migrating up its many nearby rivers, and Pacific black brant flying over its vast saltwater estuaries.

A friend, Pete Iverslie, built a cabin in Cold Bay when he lived in Anchorage some years ago, and in 2009 I joined him there to hunt and fish. The town itself is (really) spartan (it's at the end of the Alaskan Peninsula and can't be reached by road) but arguably has all the amenities anyone needs.

The brant? Think of them as sea geese that decoy well and eat better. Contact a commercial outfitter at www.coldbayalaska.com.

North Shore in spring

Say what you will about the North Shore's beauty in September and October, when forests abutting Lake Superior are afire in autumn hues.

In April and the first week of May this country is no less stunning.

It's then that the Lester, the Knife, the Kadunce and the Brule, among Lake Superior's many other Minnesota tributaries, are flush with runoff from the high country that lies back from the lake.

Grudgingly in spring, these roiling river waters warm, and as they do, steelhead -- migratory rainbow trout -- swim in from Lake Superior, joined soon by specialized anglers whose pursuit of these trophies is tied inexorably to a love of landscape and season.

Yet spring visits to the Shore require no requisite interests, fishing or otherwise. The point is to be there. More at www.northshorevisitor.com.

Poohbah Lake, Quetico

On this oversized lake, camped on an island, having just finished a dinner of walleye or lake trout, with the sun disappearing behind tall pines, the Real World can seem a distant place indeed.

Poohbah casts that kind of spell. But be prepared to bow your back en route: Depending on the level of Poohback Creek -- a primary entryway -- this watery charmer can take some work to reach.

Sizable northerns lurk in Poohbah as well as walleyes and lake trout. Bring fishing and cooking gear aplenty. www.zupsresort.com.

Cumberland House, Saskatchewan

Cumberland House is the jumping-off point for two camps owned by brothers Murdoch and Solomon Carriere. Murdoch's place is call Niska (Cree for goose), while Solomon's is Big Eddy.

Duck hunting is the attraction at Niska (few geese are hunted there, despite the name), while at Sol's place, about 25 miles upriver, ducks, moose and especially huge whitetails are the big deal.

Duck hunting at Niska is done on the Mossy River, and hunters are placed by airboats in its vast delta, left there on their own to call and hunt mallards, pintails, gadwall and other fowl.

Big Eddy is more challenging to reach, but whitetail hunters in particular are happy to make the trip. Some of the biggest deer killed each year in Saskatchewan are felled there. E-mail solcarriere@gmail.com.

South Andros, Bahamas

Beachcombing is one attraction on South Andros. But bonefishing here is the real McCoy, with enough camps, guides and boats to get fly fishermen within reach of these consummately seductive fish.

When I fished Andros some years ago, I did it a la carte, renting a beach house over the Internet and hiring guides and their boats on a day-by-day basis. Worked great for me, and cut expenses, too. But most who come to Andros to bonefish stay at a specialized camp or lodge. More at www.bahamasflyfishingguide.com.

Boundary waters by dogsled

Traveling into the wilderness over ice and snow, with dogs ahead, might be as fun as winter gets in these parts. I try to make at least one trip each January, February or March into the boundary waters to fish for lake trout. But other cold-weather travelers might elect to skip the winter fishing and simply enjoy tooling around the wilderness for a day or longer. www.ely.org. Also, www.gunflint-trail.com.

Dennis Anderson • danderson@startribune.com

  • related content

  • Smith: West or north? Rivers or lakes?

    Monday December 12, 2011

    If there’s one addiction I can’t shake — one yearly trip that I absolutely relish — it’s the annual pheasant hunting excursions to South Dakota.

  • More exciting outdoors trips

    Saturday December 10, 2011

    GUNFLINT TRAILIn high school, my buddies and I would load our backpacks with camping and fishing gear and hitchhike from...

  • Lake of the Woods at sunset can be a magic time for muskie anglers. It...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
Orlando
New York 6:00 PM
Indiana
Denver 7:00 PM
Memphis
Chicago 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Montreal 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Boston 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Arizona 6:30 PM
Toronto
Dallas 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Detroit 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Columbus 6:30 PM
Florida
Nashville 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Minnesota 8:00 PM
Calgary
Buffalo 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Anaheim 9:00 PM
San Jose
DePaul 72 FINAL
Providence 83
Michigan State 42 1st Half 0:23
Rutgers 34
Boston Univ 6:00 PM
Army
Fla Atlantic 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Youngstown St 6:00 PM
Detroit
East Tenn St 6:00 PM
Furman
Saint Louis 6:00 PM
George Mason
USC Upstate 6:00 PM
Jacksonville
High Point 6:00 PM
Liberty
Central Conn St 6:00 PM
Long Island
Western Ky 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Dayton 6:00 PM
Massachusetts
Chattanooga 6:00 PM
Mercer
Wofford 6:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
Maryland 6:00 PM
Ohio State
FIU 6:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fair-Dickinson 6:00 PM
Robert Morris
Mount St Marys 6:00 PM
St Francis-NY
Bryant 6:00 PM
St Francis-PA
Northern Ky 6:00 PM
Stetson
Coll of Charleston 6:00 PM
Towson
Western Carolina 6:00 PM
Va Military
Sacred Heart 6:00 PM
Wagner
Lipscomb 6:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Kennesaw St 6:00 PM
North Florida
Appalachian St 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Holy Cross 6:30 PM
Loyola-Maryland
Eastern Ill 6:30 PM
UT Martin
Jacksonville St 7:00 PM
Belmont
Connecticut 7:00 PM
Cincinnati
Rider 7:00 PM
Saint Peters
SIU Edwardsville 7:00 PM
SE Missouri St
Marshall 7:00 PM
Southern Miss
Tenn Tech 7:00 PM
Tennessee St
Middle Tennessee 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ill-Chicago 7:00 PM
Milwaukee
Weber State 7:00 PM
North Dakota
Denver 7:00 PM
North Dakota St
IUPU-Ft Wayne 7:00 PM
South Dakota
Louisiana 7:05 PM
South Alabama
Georgia State 7:15 PM
Texas-Arlington
Ark-Little Rock 7:30 PM
Arkansas State
ULM 7:30 PM
Troy
Portland 8:00 PM
Gonzaga
Kentucky 8:00 PM
Missouri
Eastern Ky 8:00 PM
Murray State
UAB 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Idaho State 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
UMKC 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Chicago State 8:05 PM
Utah Valley U
Colorado 8:30 PM
USC
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
UC Irvine
Hawaii 9:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Pepperdine 9:00 PM
Pacific
Santa Clara 9:00 PM
San Diego
Utah 9:00 PM
UCLA
UC Santa Barbara 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Montana 9:05 PM
Portland State
Montana State 9:05 PM
Sacramento St
Long Beach State 9:30 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Loyola Marymount 9:30 PM
St Marys-CA
San Francisco 10:00 PM
BYU
California 10:00 PM
Washington St
Louisiana 47 FINAL
South Alabama 57
Saint Josephs 51 FINAL
Saint Louis 52
Appalachian St 77 2nd Half 0:03
Georgia Southern 71
Niagara 40 2nd Half 3:56
Saint Peters 47
Old Dominion 38 2nd Half
FIU 25
Southern Miss 35 2nd Half 20:00
Marshall 28
Georgia State 15 1st Half 0:40
TX-Arlington 21
Ark-Little Rock 34 2nd Half
Arkansas State 35
ULM 10 1st Half 5:45
Troy 34
Pittsburgh 10 1st Half 9:32
(17) Duke 19
(6) Tennessee 6:00 PM
(10) Kentucky
(24) Oklahoma 6:00 PM
(14) Texas
Nebraska Omaha 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
UC-Riverside 6:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Army 6:00 PM
Boston U
New Orleans 6:00 PM
Nicholls
Charlotte 6:00 PM
Florida Atlantic
Towson 6:00 PM
Delaware
Hofstra 6:00 PM
Northeastern
New Hampshire 6:00 PM
Maine
Albany 6:00 PM
Vermont
Hartford 6:00 PM
Stony Brook
UNC-Wilmington 6:00 PM
William & Mary
Clemson 6:00 PM
Wake Forest
Alabama 6:00 PM
(1) South Carolina
(23) Syracuse 6:00 PM
(8) Louisville
Missouri 6:00 PM
Florida
Iona 6:00 PM
Fairfield
Manhattan 6:00 PM
Marist
NC State 6:00 PM
Virginia
(4) Notre Dame 6:00 PM
Virginia Tech
(22) Rutgers 6:00 PM
Purdue
(5) Maryland 6:00 PM
Michigan
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
Cleveland State
Wright State 6:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 6:00 PM
USC Upstate
North Florida 6:00 PM
Kennesaw St
Stetson 6:00 PM
Northern Ky
Loyola-Maryland 6:05 PM
Holy Cross
Lamar 6:30 PM
Sam Houston St
Fla Gulf Coast 6:30 PM
Lipscomb
Vanderbilt 7:00 PM
(18) Miss State
IUPUI 7:00 PM
Western Ill
Abilene Christian 7:00 PM
Houston Baptist
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
TX A&M-CC
McNeese State 7:00 PM
SE Louisiana
Oral Roberts 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
Louisiana Tech 7:00 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 7:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
UAB
Auburn 7:00 PM
Arkansas
Grand Canyon 7:00 PM
UMKC
Illinois 7:00 PM
(15) Nebraska
(20) Iowa 7:00 PM
Northwestern
Utah Valley U 7:05 PM
Chicago State
Green Bay 7:05 PM
Valparaiso
Ole Miss 8:00 PM
LSU
Portland State 8:00 PM
Montana
Sacramento St 8:00 PM
Montana State
North Dakota 8:00 PM
Weber State
Ohio State 8:00 PM
Wisconsin
Northern Colorado 8:00 PM
Idaho State
BYU 9:00 PM
San Francisco
St Marys-CA 9:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Pacific 9:00 PM
Pepperdine
Cal-Irvine 9:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
San Diego 9:00 PM
Santa Clara
UC Davis 9:00 PM
Cal Poly
Long Beach St 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close