Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Family Time: BWCA Summer 2012, Homer Lake

Tae and the last fish of the day

No people, no problems, no worries

Flying BWCA style

Yup Tae is up there

Looking forward to buying a Minnesota Three!

My wife the best backcountry cook in the world.  Serious.

Blueberries for Sal!

Evidence of berry snatching....caught blue tongued
After the flood life has been pretty hectic to say the least.  So much so that a week before our annual BWCA trip, we were close to canceling.  In the past we have done a very simple one lake trip to Slim Lake, just north of Ely.  However we were stressed enough that we put off looking at a permit.  Well three days out I realized that there was NO way I was going to let the flood screw up my yearly BWCA experience and more than that the best weekend of family time I have all summer.

Of course all permits were gone, eaten up by the myriad of paddlers that love the BWCA so much.  So we explored some USFS options, but realized that many of those were suspect at best.  So literally last moment I pointed a finger at the screen and picked the lake that came up.  It was Homer Lake, just south of Brule Lake.  So we quick packed up the gear and loaded up the Minnesota Two.

 It was perfect.  We saw one person in three days, had the full lake to ourselves and the pick of the best sites on it.  We swam a lot, fished a bit and just hung out with the family.  What a sweet trip, I am so glad we rallied and made it happen, but then we knew it would be like that didnt we.

I wrote a quick thank you note to my friends at Wenonah Canoe for the great experience provided by the Minnesota two, and related that next year, we are going to need a Minnesota Three!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Fly Rods and river logs: Pike on a fly in Minnesota

Kerplunk....here fishy, fishy, fishy.

Local knowledge is key

Perfect hot summer day outing

Big boy in velvet, we will look for him again come fall!
I had a great fishing outing the last weekend.  My brother in law and his family were in town from Salt Lake City.  Elmo was an old friend before he became family and we have had many adventures together in the past.  However now that he comes to MN regularly I am trying to give him an idea of the fun things that we have around here.

Elmo loves to fly fish so I asked some of my friends for a fun, river float adventure that had some good warm water fishing.  Luckily one of my buddies (who will remain nameless) had a great stretch of water (Which will also remain nameless) that he likes to fish smallmouth and pike on.  He really hooked us up as the river was awesome.  We floated and fished for the full day and had some amazing action on the fly rod, mainly with pike.  Bike pike.  At one point I had on easily a 30 plus inch fish, which was really exciting as I had a 5 weight with an 8lb tippet and no steel.  Needless to say it was a really fun epic battle.

The day was perfect and I think that Elmo was inspired to do it all over again next year he comes to visit!

Sunday, July 08, 2012

"Bassin" as Flood therapy: Smallmouth style!

Carving turns in my Wenonah Advantage, looking for smallies!

Eric shows off a hawg

Daves canoe and Thomson Res Fireworks
While the res and the river have changed dramatically due to the flood, one thing has at least stayed constant.  Good fishing, good people and good times.  Thanks to my luck stars for that.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Andrew Shandro's and Aaron LaRocque's Copper Harbor Visit on Pinkbike.com

First time visitors to Copper Harbor, life long fans.

The boys looking at Pictographs

Old school graffiti


Man I guess when it rains it really does pour.  First a cover shot for Cuyuna and next a Pinkbike story on line!  A pretty un-tasteful analogy after the past week I know.

However because I was so caught up in the floods I did not realize that Pinkbike has posted a story on Andrew Shandro and Aaron LaRocque's visit to the Harbor.  Oh those were fun times and they seem so far away.

Thanks to Aaron and Andrew and of course A-Rog and the folks in Copper Harbor for a very memorable week.  To illustrate this post I actually had found a bunch of files that I had yet to download from the week.  We took some time (after shooting guns) to visit some remote beaches and were also able to see some really cool pictographs as well.  We also ate at the Harbor House of course...

My first cover shot: Lake Country Journal Cuyuna Lakes Story


Eric Carter on the front page again!
Wow, did this Lake Country Journal story turn out amazing.  Thanks to Andrea Baumann for her awesome layout and photographic skills!  Also huge kudos to Chris Godsey for his writing!  Lastly,  huge thanks to the insane amount of work that the Cuyuna Lakes Crew has been putting in this summer.  They have had THREE count em 3, huge storms whack their trail system.  Without the hard work and dedication that the CLMBC we would be looking at very little riding this summer.  Man, what a crazy season we are having here in the northland.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Life in the "D" zone: Thomson, MN Flood 2012

Water and sewer are almost back on line
Tae playing in the water storage tanks on Dalles ave, Thomson MN

Marg and Tae having a swim

Hot sauna bathroom love.  You wont be missed
Man I have had my share of water this month.  First way too much of it, then not enough of it.  Once the waters receded we were left with no water or sewer.  Because of that huge clean water storage tanks were put on the street.  Mainly for washing.  Porta Poties were also put on the street as well.  So we had the ability to rinse stuff and also to use a toilet.  Bottled water was what we were using in the house for cooking and drinking.  This weekend, they were able to get the sewer and water temporarily on line.  However the water in the lines is full of chemicals and is as of yet, still not able to be used for health reasons.  However we do have the ability to use our sewer system.  Ah, what a luxury that feels like now!  Something about Porta Potties in 90 degree heat...  Since the water is now on line they are removing the storage tanks and because of that, Marg and Tae had a celebratory swim!

Minnesota Governors Office Press Conference: Thomson, MN Flood 2012

Nice close and flood debris

Promises amidst destruction

Engineers explain the loss of our water and sewer lines to the river

Meanwhile, despite the lack of a disaster declaration:  Thomson residents clean up
To get Federal assistance a region must first be declared a disaster zone by the state legislature and the Governor of Minnesota.  In order to make that happen, state representatives need to view the damage and report the costs of the loses due to the disaster.  Thomson, MN became the site of the reporting of those damages last week.  It was interesting to see suited folks wandering the disaster zone, amid the debris and waste caused by the flood.  People just kept cleaning while the state reps and the Lt. Governor walked around almost as though they were in a museum, pointing, nodding and exclaiming oohs and ahhs as they put together what had happened to our town.  It seemed very unreal and although it was meant to call attention to Thomson's plight, it actually made me feel like we were even more on our own.