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Continued: Star of the North: Late-summer trek to BWCA is family tradition

  • Article by: DOUG SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Last update: August 30, 2014 - 6:12 PM

And when the stars align — as they did this year — the fishing can be out of this world.

The smallmouth bass and walleyes were voracious. A friend from Ely came in and fished with me for the day, and it was one we’ll long remember. We caught bass and walleyes, one after another, pretty much nonstop, using jigs and leeches or crawlers.

“Oh baby, what a fighter,’’ Steve exclaimed as a smallie leapt from the water. “Oh man, I love these bass.’’

We caught walleyes, too, 16- to 20-inch beauties, more than enough for a fish fry that evening.

S’mores and more

My wife always brings fixings for s’mores, never mind that our kids now are 20-something adults. We toasted marshmallows over glowing embers, sandwiched them between graham crackers and a chunk of chocolate, and gobbled them. Then, as the embers died, she and the kids retreated to their tents and I laid on the flat granite rock near shore, listened to the waves gently lap the shoreline and stared up at a sky full of stars — the only night they were visible.

After 40 years, I never tire of the place. In fact, its allure seems to grow stronger with each passing year. Perhaps, at age 62, I realize I don’t have an infinite number of trips left, so I cherish each one even more.

I pondered that, lying in the darkness, as loons called in the distance.

 

Doug Smith doug.smith@startribune.com

Twitter: @dougsmithstrib





 

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  • There was plenty of reading and relaxing time on the annual family trip to the boundary waters, and five days of cool, cloudy weather didn’t dampen spirits.morephotos onlineFor a gallery from the trip, see startribune.com/outdoors.

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