Brute’s Bleat: May 27, 2015


The Memorial Day weekend was the first three-day holiday of the year and if Friday night’s traffic going west on Hwy. 55 was any indication of what’s to come this summer, the traffic will be jamming that highway. I suspect the lower price of gasoline plays a part in the increased travel and I’ve noticed there seem to be more cars on the road even during the week.  Most everyone seems to be in more of a hurry and if a person doesn’t hit the gas immediately when the light turns green you’re liable to get honked at for not paying attention.  When it comes to traffic, my pet peeve are those drivers who neglect to signal when making a turn.
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Parting shot: If Jack in the Pulpit wild flowers were Morel mushrooms, I’d be starting on my second bushel basket!
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I spent a couple hours on Lake Mary last Thursday looking for spawning beds and didn’t see any. I was in my boat and had the fly rod along to test the shallow water. Lots of little fish which I felt was a good sign. I had five keepers in the live-well which I pawned off on a group of Mexicans fishing off the dock when I decided to call it a day. They were pleased to get them and I was pleased I wouldn’t have to fillet them, so it was a win-win situation. Our Lake of the Woods group lost a couple of anglers when Mark, an electrician, had to bow out because of work pressure; and Jake, a student at ND University in Grand Forks, had to cancel, too. We still have seven left and that’s a house full, most of whom share in the cooking, and those that don’t get dish washing or KP as it was referred to in the Army.    .      .      Daryl Hennen and I decided to test the Rock Lake waters Saturday evening about 6 p.m. when we put our fly rods and spinning rods in his boat, along with some worms, artificial bait and some extra flies. It seemed like a good plan, but when we arrived at the Rock Lake access and were undoing the tie downs, Hennen asked me where I put my fly rod.  I was dumbfounded when it wasn’t in the boat where I had put the reel end against the boat’s transom and the tip of the 9 footer toward the front, or bow, if you’re Navy savvy. The obvious answer was that it flew out of the boat as we were heading south on County Road 8 even though he was driving the speed limit. Anyway, we decided to run back to Maple Lake and see if the fly rod was on the road. It wasn’t on the road or shoulders and I assumed someone stopped and picked it up or it flew into the ditch. I looked again Sunday morning driving slow (there was little traffic) and concentrated on the ditches, but to no avail.  The fly rod is still missing and if anyone comes across it, I’d like to have it back. It was the first one I’ve ever owned and while the monetary value is small, it does have some great sentimental value. My phone number is 612-836-3576. I might even muster up a reward!    .      .      .      It was still early enough for us to try angling, so we picked up a spare fly rod that has been gathering dust in my garage for eons, but this time we went to Maple Lake.  We tried some shallow water on the south end of the lake and found out the sunfish haven’t moved in yet, but they seem to have started. We both were in a catch-and-release mode and I’d guess we released about 10 keepers as well as quite a few small ones.  On Sunday I put on the waders in the afternoon and fished on the same end of the lake.  I couldn’t find any spawning beds, but managed to move around enough and quit after I had 12 males in the basket. They didn’t seem to be in the same spot as the previous night, which seemed strange, but it was raining and the north wind was getting stronger which could have played into the equation. My guess is it will take a few sunny days for the shallows to warm up to spawning temps (68 degrees). Hennen’s thermometer read 62 Saturday night. Hennen’s sporting a new electric trolling motor which is out of this world. He controls it with a hand-held remote that has an anchor feature on it as well as speed and direction. Press the anchor button and the GPS keeps the bow of the boat on the spot without manually tossing out a cast iron anchor.  If I sound impressed, I was! Besides, there was no anchor to pull in when we decided to move.
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Maple Lake’s Memorial Day program, which was at the Legion Hall because of threatening rain, attracted a nice crowd of people whom I suspect were pleased it was indoors. Mike Yanish, a Vietnam veteran, gave a moving talk on some of his experiences in that war, and how important it is to remember the veterans of all of the wars for the freedoms provided by their sacrifices. He also explained the various symbols on the black POW-MIA flag and noted the flag had been designed by World War II veterans.