"Sometimes, you just need to go downstairs and waggle a rod..." - Scott Hanson

"Write what you know. If you don't know, make it up..." - Scott Hanson

"A dude can't live on just two fly rods alone..." - Scott Hanson

Man, I have some deep thoughts...

Monday, July 8, 2019

Camping Trip #4

I know this is going to be hard to believe, especially if you are a native Minnesotan like me, but I have lived here in God's Country all of my 45 years, and up until this long weekend which just ended, I had only seen Lake Mille Lacs twice. And not only had I only seen it twice, I had never fished it ever.
Our first view of Lake Mille Lacs, on the night we arrived.
Our home for the weekend. 

To put this into some kind of perspective, for as long as I can remember, Lake Mille Lacs has probably been the most popular fishing lake in a state that is completely crazy about fishing. The walleye is the State Fish of Minnesota, and Lake Mille Lacs has historically been one of, if not the, best walleye lakes amongst the 10,000 or so lakes in our state. And I have been a crazy fisherman since I was a little kid. But I have always been a trout guy, not a walleye guy, so despite its reputation, Lake Mille Lacs has never been on my radar.
A lovely Mille Lacs evening.

Until this week, when the family and I took our 4th camping trip of the summer, at the beautiful Father Hennepin State Park on the south shore of Lake Mille Lacs. Father Hennepin is a wonderful park, with great hiking and biking, and a nice beach to sprawl out on, on hot summer days. And, if you can't find something to do in the park, there are a million other things to do in the area. In fact, there is so much stuff to do, fishing might get pushed to the back burner.
The Wife and the Youngest, walking on a trail. 
The Wife and the Boy both climbed to the top of this fire tower. The boy was scared but did it any way. I was scared, and watched them from the ground...

Swimming before the fireworks on the 4th of July.

A beach that goes out forever...

The kids found this rock. At first I thought it was a piece of play-dough they had rolled into the shape of a worm...

Sometimes you just need to sit around the fire in a chair that is way too small...
Morning in the campground.

Sunset by the lake.

I didn't get a chance to fish until the morning of our last day. I was hopeful to join the millions of other anglers who can say that they have caught a fish or two or several out of Lake Mille Lacs. But, alas, it wasn't to be. Despite a great, fishy-looking bay that I was fishing in, I caught nothing in the half hour or so that I fished. In fact I didn't even get a bite. I was skunked on Lake Mille Lacs, but at least I could take solace in the fact that I am sure I am not the first person to say that.

How could I not catch any fish here...?!?!
At least my gear worked well. Berkley Para/Metric 8' 6wt.

And I still had plenty of time to haul the family and the camper home and set out to the in-laws' lake, which I have wired in such a way that I almost always am able to catch a few. Which I did. Nice ones, too!

Nice bluegills back at my home lake.

Head to Father Hennepin State Park if you want to have a great time. Just make sure you bring plenty of bug spray. We slathered ourselves in the stuff, but still came home covered in bites. It was the only downside to a wonderful weekend of family fun!
We did not see much wildlife this weekend, other than millions and millions of tadpoles and toads. Here is a cute little guy that had just lost his tail and was crawling around on the beach. He had thousands of similar friends nearby, and millions more legless buddies still swimming around in the lake.

The Wife took this photo because she knows I am such a buggy guy. Looks like a nymphal husk from a Hex nymph to me...
A typical Mille Lacs area mosquito. They grow them big up there!

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