Brute’s Bleat July 6, 2016

The Fourth of July has been a symbol for years that summer is sliding into autumn and I suspect that all came about because the days are getting shorter. Regardless it was a great weekend with all the patriotic marching music like “76 Trombones” to mark another Independence Day in the United States. There were lots of families enjoying Maple Lake and the swimming beach attracted anglers and sun worshipers all three days. Boat trailers were parked from the beach along the west access road to St. Tim’s Cemetery on Sunday when we noticed a family of geese stopped the Highway 55 traffic to get from the lake side across to Mud Lake. . . I was fishing for a couple of hours on Saturday for sunfish which was good, but required lots of sorting. Also on the lake was a huge flock of Cormorants and Pelicans (about 500) which was something I hadn’t seen this year and I hope not again! They weren’t in a feeding frenzy, but they have to eat someplace. Daryl Hennen and I fished sunfish on the same lake Sunday morning and the Cormorants didn’t show up. Fishing was good in about 11 feet of water for the three hours we spent on the lake. We ended up with 17 in the live well throwing back the smaller fish, pregnant females and one 9 incher. We fished with an assortment of bait, live and dead leeches, artifical minnow heads, and some Northland Tackle jigs and reactionary bait which the sunnies found palatable. Hennen’s remote trolling motor comes with an anchor control through the unit’s global positioning system (GPS) which kept us right on the spot without using the traditional rope and anchor. A slight breeze and the wake from passing boats gave us some movement that the fish liked. . . The fly-fishing trip to Molly Stark Lake last Wednesday for George Palmer, Gene Wadman and myself wasn’t a total bust, but we figured we were a week or two late for fly-fishing sunfish on the spawning beds. We ended up with a few short of 40 fish, but they didn’t measure up to what’s available there on a good day. Regardless it was a great day for fishing and as the late Ed Raiche, one of Maple Lake’s barbers, used to say, “If they’re running small, you just have to catch a few more!” After filleting out the fish at the Glendalough State Park we took a quick look at Anne Battle lake where another fly-fisherman was working an area near some pencil reeds. On the way home I took a detour through Vining which boasts metal sculptures created by the father of Karen Nyberg, one of the astronauts presently serving with NASA. He uses a lot of scrap metal in the variety of images he puts together with a welding torch. One of his first efforts was called Big Foot which shows a cowboy’s huge sore big toe. He made a large elephant out of lawn mower blades, an endless cup of coffee, apparently for the Scandinavian heritage of Folden and Nidaros Twps., and a large watermelon complete with a large knife cutting off a piece, commemorating the town’s popular Watermelon Festival, as well as numerous other items large and small that make Nyberg Park a nice tourist attraction for the community. His handiwork is also prominent in Parkers Prairie where a black panther is positioned at the high school; a Lion in Henning’s park; an Otter in Ottertail; and also a sculpture in New York Mills to identify that communities metal park.
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The Laker vs. D-C game Friday night was a barn-burner which ended up 2-1 in Maple Lake’s favor over the North Star League leader. Maple Lake out-hit the visitors 11-2 and Jeremy Schmidt was nearly untouchable on the mound. . . Also at the game was David Erickson, a MLHS grad and a walking baseball encyclopedia. He laughingly commented the Lakers First Base Fan Club didn’t think the soda he was drinking fit the criteria for those bleachers fans when he invaded their ranks. He’s in his 38th year at Liberty Carton in Mpls. and is looking forward to retiring when he hits 65. He has taken up bicycle riding and looks as “fit as a fiddle”. He said he’s really impressed with Mpls. bicycle trail system which ranks high if not number one in the USA. He’s also looking forward to the Minnesota State Amateur Baseball Tournament set for 2019 in ML.