Brute’s Bleat by Harold Brutlag

What started as Bed and Breakfast in 1998 on the Northwest Angle, this huge 7520 sq. ft. log structure has evolved into living quarters and a couple of apartments for owners Bill and Linda Knight. The Knights have been living there for several years and Bill gave us a rundown on building that type of structure. They found the spruce and balsm logs about 5 miles from Roseau where they were cut down and transported to the Angle, mostly via river, where they were left to soak over the winter which tends to loosen the bark. Ironically Mike Muller and I were at the Angle and visited with Bill as he was peeling the bark off the logs on an inclement day and gave us a lesson on the method he used. We each peeled two. The tool he used was called a sput which was pushed rather than a draw knife which is pulled. He figured he spent $800 for the logs and the building has been under construction ever since. It’s massive and the interior also has a lot of logs, staircase steps, doorways, and massive timbers to hold up the roof. They also have a chandelier suspended from the highest point of the great room.

Bill, who spent many years in the log home building business in Minnesota, designed their home and jokingly said he had to make one change when his wife wanted their bedroom window to face Lake of the Woods rather than the woods. Both Bill and Linda are helping her mother, Grace Prothero, operate her fishing resort this summer. They also have eight grown children and Bill is active with a five piece band, the Knight Riders, who play on the Angle as well as in the other communities on the border like Roseau, Warroad. He is a self taught musician who gave the Prothero guests a brief one-man concert Wednesday evening which we all enjoyed. He was playing a guitar and singing county songs. He also plays the banjo, his favorite!

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Now back to my annual fishing trip which included seven senior citizen, my brother Charles, his neighbor Wayne Rustad, David Robins, David Thompson, all from the Ottertail and Leaf Lakes area; Mike Muller, Maple Lake; George Palmer, Plymouth; and myself. It rained most of the way on June 2, but nothing this group of eager fishermen couldn’t handle. That evening we had to finish a game of 31 by candlelight when the storm knocked out the power which came back on at about 4:30 a.m. On Sunday rain and a cold strong wind kept us off the lake so we played some more 31 as well as touring Bill and Linda’s home and visiting with Grace who is rehabing from a knee replacement. On Monday Mike caught the first fish between the three of us and won a buck a piece. Chuck had the largest walleye (25 in.) in his boat between him and Wayne. We enjoyed our first shore lunch on a wind blown island which we have appropriately named Lunch Rock. We left some of Muller’s red pails there to sit on several years ago which were still there. We all caught walleyes and David and David felt charitable and gave Bill and Linda the fish they caught that afternoon.

Mike took another buck off George and myself on Tuesday while we were fishing off Pirates Gove and I landed a 38 in. Northern in the same area when I thought I was hung up in the rocks. D and D found a hot spot off the Rowan and Martin hole not far from us. Unfortunately Chuck burned out a voltage regulator that morning just as we were leaving the dock and was unable to continue fishing with his rig when the needed part didn’t arrive. We had shore lunch back at the resort that day with Chuck and Wayne. Later in the day Dave Robins caught a 20 in. Walleye near a weed bed when he was fishing with a crappie jig and a piece of night crawler. Brush Island was hot for us that same evening.

On Wednesday I was fortunate to win the first contest and also caught a 23 in. Walleye which I returned to the lake. D and D, and Wayne caught lots of nice sized Walleye in 15-17 feet of water using Lindy rigs with a colored bead ahead of the hook. D. Thompson had a 25 1/2 in. Walleye, above, and Wayne a 34 in. Northern. On Thursday D Robins had 23 1/2 in. Walleye which he said felt like a Northern when it hit his bait.

Mike had the first fish on Thursday plus this 25 in. Walleye, edging Harold’s 24 incher. After another shore lunch we fished a familiar spot called Dick’s Hole where George’s rod came alive and we had lots of catch and releases. D and D and Wayne and Chuck left Friday morning while Mike, Geo. and I stayed another day mainly to fish for crappies. We found some in the weeds where I caught one for the first fish money. Palmer had a 14 1/2 in. Crappie and we all caught Walleyes before the day was over, plus some huge Perch which we kept.

As far as the 31 games, which often were close contests, the winners were: George 3, Chuck 1, Wayne, Mike, D. Thompson and Dave Robbins, 2 each (unaudited). You’ll notice my name isn’t in there and it wasn’t because I wasn’t playing! Regardless it was a good trip.

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