Brute’s Bleat: June 25, 2014


A trip into Ottertail County Wednesday with George Palmer and our fly rods wasn’t a total bust, but we were facing a strong northeast wind which made fishing our favorite lake, Molly-Stark, a real challenge. Enroute to Molly-Stark, we stopped off at West Battle Lake to see if there were any sunfish in the pencil reeds along County Road 5. There weren’t, which was a disappointment, but that pretty much set the tone for the day. We stopped to visit with a fellow on shore who also came to fish West Battle, but changed his mind when he noticed we weren’t catching anything. He was from St. Cloud and was camping at Glendalough State Park. George and I managed to catch 16 keeper sunfish in a couple hours of fishing on Molly-Stark. When they seemed to quit hitting our Timberwolf flies we figured we’d have to try a different spot, preferably with the wind on our backs.  We stopped at the state park to fillet what we had and visited with a fellow and two of his kids who were cleaning their catch from Annie Battle Lake.  They weren’t impressed with the bite either and were more interested in how we filleted our sunnies. I always figured there isn’t a right or wrong way to fillet sunfish, it’s just a matter of what a person feels comfortable with.  We tried one other spot on Molly-Stark, but the high water and strong winds convinced us to take time out for a ham and cheese sandwich before moving on to Norway Lake, north of Underwood.  That lake has a five-fish limit, but we didn’t find any along the pencil reeds and weeds on the east access.  Several other anglers fishing from shore didn’t seem to be having any better luck.  We gave Molly-Stark another try, but we didn’t keep any sunfish. The few we caught were some plump females. I’m not sure if a spawn has happened this year or if 2014 will go down as one of those years when a traditional spawn doesn’t happen.  On the bright side I did see a nice catch come off Rock Lake last week and if it stops raining long enough for the road to dry up on Linden Ave. North so I can get my boat out, I’ll try that lake and Maple Lake. I happened to drive by Maple on Saturday when the parking lot was overflowing with activity, some fishing and others enjoying the beach.    .     .     
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Vanna and I had a pleasant surprize Thursday noon when a doe and fawn crossed the township road on our way to Ney Park.  The fawn apparently was several days old following its mother as it hopped across the road. Jerry Carlson had seen the pair earlier and a turkey when they crossed his yard. We’re hearing some pheasant roosters crow occasionally and two roosters flew out of the road ditch by the Malacek farm which surprized both of us.    .      .      I haven’t seen any of this year’s hatch, but they should start showing up soon. 
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On Sunday I stopped at Irish stadium and found many of the Lakers working to get the diamond in shape after a half-inch of rain that morning.  The 2 p.m. double-header with Montrose-Waverly was moved to 4 p.m. when it did get underway.  I got there in the top of the fifth inning to see Todd Fuller face three batters with Maple Lake leading 4-1. Then the rains came and the games were called. The Lakers and the Howard Lake Orphans, both undefeated in the North Star League, play in Maple Lake Friday night at 7:30.  They will meet again July 2 in a night game at Howard Lake. 
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Local TV has been busy covering the flooding conditions in Minnesota because of all the rain that has buffeted the Midwest. The most dramatic, at least in my mind, was the mud slide that happened in Minneapolis on the UM campus and threatened one of the medical buildings.  Without additional rain, rivers like the Crow should be cresting sometime this week.  Fortunately most of the communities along the Crow have taken flood preventive measures over the years which is helping to keep those communities relatively dry.  On the plus side the farm crops on the sandier soil, like around Silver Creek, are in great shape with the corn already more than knee-high.  There are still fields to be planted around Maple Lake and one fellow told me soybeans can be planted up to July 1, but there’s no guarantee they’ll be ripe if an early frost happens. In case you missed it, the days will start getting shorter now that the sun has hit its peak.