Anderson: At sunrise or sunset, Lake of the Woods calls

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 11, 2014 - 7:01 AM

Lake of the Woods’ best times of day entice and, again, reward

view larger photos

  

– We backed the boat into the water about 10:30 on a recent night. The moon had risen as a slim crescent. But Lake of the Woods itself, all 1,700 square miles of it, was black, save for its nether reaches just offshore, which bore the muted reflections of Kenora, Ontario.

We were running late, and quickly loaded the boat with two coolers, our duffels and our muskie and walleye gear. Jan, my wife, was along, and also our son Cole, and while the outboard idled astern, Cole overlaid our position on a digital lake map, fine-tuning the GPS on the boat’s console.

Then he laid down a route, and we shoved off.

Destination: Big Narrows, 26 miles distant.

“We’ll have to take it slow,’’ I said.

“We’ll be all right,’’ Cole said.

Soon on plane, the boat banked between buoys and islands, a neat wake trailing behind, as Cole felt his way through the darkened maze by watching our changing position on the map; this while Jan and I peered ahead, looking for other boats and also deadfalls.

Lake of the Woods was flooded, and debris was scattered randomly on its surface.

“I wonder if Charlie will be up?’’ Jan said.

“He might be,’’ I said.

Charlie Ehlen is a retired physician who owns Big Narrows Resort.

In July and August, the part of Lake of the Woods near Big Narrows gives up a muskie or two, and on many past summer evenings, Cole and I, and his older brother, Trevor, while headquartered at Charlie’s place, have cast until night enveloped us, or until the mosquitoes ate us up.

Sometimes we’d fool a muskie. Sometimes not. Either way, we’d be up again at dawn, and cast some more.

Sunrise. Sunset.

Most of our Lake of the Woods memories are bathed in their soft glows.

But Trevor hasn’t been muskie fishing since he left for college in Montana three years ago. A fly fishing guide in summer, he’s busy in July and August.

Now Cole would soon leave for his freshman year of college, and I worried that in years to come, muskie fishing, or any kind of fishing, might not be the same.

Ten miles of the trip were behind us when Cole throttled up, and the outboard aspirated fuel hand over fist.

  • related content

  • State officials question federal duck harvest survey showing big drop in hunters

    Monday August 11, 2014

    Data says hunters in state dropped by 33 percent in 2013 — hard to believe.

  • Waterfowl season dates, limits

    Saturday August 9, 2014

    Minnesota’s waterfowl season will open a half-hour before sunrise Sept. 27, under a similar season structure to last year.

  • Plane crash kills 3 Minnesotans on Ontario fishing trip

    Sunday August 10, 2014

    Three northern Minnesota outdoors lovers who were on a fishing trip in Canada died when their Cessna 182 float plane...

  • A cast for muskies on Ontario’s portion of Lake of the Woods in low light, hoping to trigger a strike.

  • Dennis Anderson with the second of two muskies he caught in about an hour in late evening last week. The fish measured 41 inches. An earlier muskie topped 45 inches.

  • Fishing amid beautiful surroundings is a benefit to casting for muskies on Lake of the woods. Here Cole Anderson circled his lure boatside after a retrieve, hoping to entice a fish that might have followed the bait to bite.

  • As the sun rose over the treetops lining Lake of the Woods, a boat carrying anglers to favorite fishing spots carved a picturesque wake.

  • 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

Oakland 8 Bottom 12th Inning
Kansas City 7
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
NY Islanders 5 FINAL
Boston 3
NY Rangers 2 FINAL
Philadelphia 4
Ottawa 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Tampa Bay 5 FINAL
Dallas 1
Colorado 0 FINAL
Calgary 2
Los Angeles 3 3rd Prd 12:53
San Jose 1
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
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