Denise Bornhausen

Denise Bornhausen is a volunteer instructor with Becoming an Outdoors Woman in Minnesota and is raising a hunting and fishing kid.

Posts about Fishing

Sports Show Memories

Posted by: Denise Bornhausen Updated: January 12, 2010 - 9:20 PM

Every year when I start hearing the radio ads for the Sportsmen’s Show, I’m immediately transported back to being 8 years old and anxiously awaiting ads for the Iowa Sports Show at Vets Auditorium. As the oldest grandchild, I had the privilege of being grandpa’s special guest at the annual Sports Show. It meant getting out of school early, McDonalds for dinner (back when McDonald’s was a treat) and a whole evening with my grandfather wandering the aisles looking at the all of the new fishing products, checking out possible resorts for future trips, maybe watching a seminar and then settling in with pop corn for the stage show – the retrieving dogs, log rolling and an act from the HeeHaw TV show. I always came home tired with a bag as big as I was with all of the colorful, exciting brochures for exotic sounding places like Lake of the Woods, Lake of the Ozarks and Canada.

My grandfather was a farmer, but as he got older his fishing trips became his passion. He purchased an old motor home and all six of us grandchildren took memorable trips in “the Dog House.” It might have just been an overnight to the lake for bullheads, or maybe a week at Lake of the Woods or Table Rock, but the memories made can’t be priced. Now that we’re all grown and have families of our own, we take to fishing trips to some of those places that seemed so far away and exotic in those sport show brochures of my youth. 

My own daughter has been going to the ice fishing show with her dad since she was a baby - she checks out the ice shacks and more often than not, is successful at the trout pond. Now that she’s 8, maybe it’s time for me to take her to the Sportshow and introduce her to those wonderful exotic places like the Lake of the Woods and Canada! I’m sure she’ll love Twiggy the Waterskiing Squirrel, too!

The Sportsmen’s Show is January 13-17 at the Rivercenter in St. Paul. Discount tickets are available at Take your child, collect those colorful brochures and plan a trip together and create some lifetime memories! 


Mother's Day gifts for an Outdoors Mom

Posted by: Denise Bornhausen Updated: May 10, 2009 - 12:04 AM


While I love flowers and manicures as much as the next mom, below are a few items that I’d love to receive this Mother’s Day and I’m betting may some other outdoor moms wouldn’t mind getting, too.

MN State Parks Annual Pass

For just $25, this is the gift that last until next Mother’s Day. Vehicle permits are good for a full year from the month of purchase and give access to a whole roster of outdoor activities and fun at Minnesota’s 72 state parks and recreation areas. Annual permits can be purchased at state parks, the DNR License Center, REI metro locations or by calling the DNR information center at 1-888-MINNDNR. The family vehicle needs one of these pronto!

Keen Waterfront Sandals

You would think after all my years of fishing; I’d have a good pair of non-slip, waterproof shoes. With my Canadian fishing trip coming up later this summer, I’d love to get a pair of Keen Waterfront sandals. I love their closed toe design, lug soles and quick dry features. Plus they look good après fishing, too! Nokomis Shoes in South Minneapolis and Crystal carry a nice selection and their personal service is some of the best in the metro.

Fishing with Bluegill “Bro”

I met Brian Brosdahl while working in the outdoor field and his panfish prowess is legendary. Time spent with a guide is always money well spent – not only will you learn tips and tricks, you’ll usually bring home a limit of fish. Bro guides around the Walker and Bemidji area and you’ll have a trip filled with fast action. Just be prepared to sign a blood oath not to tell what lake you were on.

Rapala Wear

I never go fishing with out a sweatshirt or jacket close at hand for those early mornings or windy days. I’ve always loved Rapala’s classic logo and their witty advertising slogans like “cast it out – fish bring it back.” I’ll take anything from – I especially like the soft green classic sweatshirt. 

MN BOW Workshop or Beyond BOW Event

As a mom so much of our outdoor time is spent watching over and taking care of our families, that we don’t get work on our own skills. A weekend workshop or Beyond BOW event is a way to try out a new activity or improve skills in a fun, supportive atmosphere. The fall weekend workshop is September 11-13 at Eagle Bluff in Lanesboro. Or register mom for one of these upcoming Beyond BOW events. June 27-28 is the Women’s Fishing weekend at the Baker Near Wilderness Settlement in the west metro and Introduction to Fly Fishing at Glendalough State Park is on June 13th.

No matter what my family gives me for Mother’s Day, the best days are ones spent together creating memories. One of my favorites is an early summer fishing trip where we spent the afternoon sight fishing for sunnies and going through a whole package for red licorice as bait!

To all of the outdoor mom’s out there – I wish you a happy day today and all of the days you spend afield with your family!



Why I Fish

Posted by: Denise Bornhausen Updated: April 29, 2009 - 11:33 PM

The Star Tribune asked their new bloggers to submit a couple of favorite fishing photos. As I looked through my photos, wonderful memories came flooding back and not all related to the size of the fish in the picture.

I grew up shore fishing for bullheads during family camping trips at the lake with basic poles and worms or corn for bait. I didn’t get “serious” about fishing until I moved to Minnesota and got a job in the outdoor field. All of a sudden, I needed to fish for work. (For many that would be a dream job!) I’ve had the opportunity to fish with professional fishermen and I definitely learned a lot, but the trips that remain at the forefront are the ones that include good friends and family, lots of laughter and sometimes, just the quiet time spent in beautiful surroundings repeatedly casting and retrieving a lure.

Through my affiliation with the MN Becoming an Outdoors Woman, I’ve meet women from all walks of life and through our shared love of the outdoors, a group of us have started taking an annual Canadian fishing trip. We spend all day on the water, catch and eat lots of walleyes; but the time away from the demands of work and being a mom and wife, with these friends in the pristine surroundings is more restorative than any massage. We start planning the next year’s trip on the way home!

But the best trip was the leisurely day on a small lake near Brainerd when my daughter caught her first fish. She had been sharing the boat since she was an infant. In those early years, she did lots of sleeping on the deck, “freeing” minnows, and holding the net. But this trip was special, after weeks of practicing with a plug in the back yard, she was finally big enough to cast on her own. She would cast and patiently watch her bobber learning that perfect moment to set the hook. Her excitement with that first small bluegill has translated into a love of fishing. She’s done the Mpls. Park district summer fishing club on Lake Nokomis and if she hears someone mention fishing – she has her pole and tackle box ready!

With her enthusiasm, I’m looking at outdoors sports through new eyes and taking the time to enjoy spending time together, teaching her skills that some day she will pass on to her own children.

(You’ll find my postings will have a definite child and family focus and I hope they will inspire you to shut off the phone and TV and step outside to explore the water and woods together.)