Posts Tagged With: Outdoors

Camping Trip at Nicolet National Forest – May 24th, 2013

The Plan:

Camp, fish, and explore the Whisker lake wilderness area of the Nicolet National Forest just west of Florence Wisconsin.


My friend Joe and I arrived at Perch Lake the morning of the 24th of May and planned to camp overnight. As soon as we stepped into the forest I noticed a plant I had read about and seen a couple of times in my childhood. Trillium. The forest was littered with it. (Littered is definitely not the best choice of words for this beautiful flowering wild edible.) I was fairly convinced it was Trilluim, (which was one of Euell Gibbons favorite wild edibles) so I started munching on a leaf. It tasted like spicy lettuce.


Joe exhibited ALOT of trust in my judgement and was snacking on Trillium and other wild edibles with me. (Caution: Properly identify and prepare wild edibles before consuming).

Before long we were thinking, ‘why did we bring food with us?’ It was all around us, free for the taking.

I soon spotted what looked like wild leeks, but with so many look alikes, I wanted to be sure. Eventually it was the smell that gave it away. The forest was tinged with the aroma of onion. I ended up collecting a bit to bring home and made a dinner of a white bass and wild leek.

fish and wild leek(I must mention that this was perhaps the worst fish filleting I have ever done. Not only did it take me forever to fillet the 13 inch white bass, but I managed to somehow include every bone possible. Other than that it was quite tasty – Ellie liked the wild leek too!)

Our campsite was really nice on the west side of Perch lake. I was right in thinking we’d beat the Memorial day crowd to the five campsites by getting there so early on Friday.

Here is the view from our campsite:


and at night:



After setting up camp we went on a hike around lake Lauterman. We sampled some cattail shoots and had some great conversations.

The fishing at Perch lake was not what we expected. Apparently some ice fisherman with way to much time on his hands emptied the lake last winter of the massive Bluegill we had been told about. Or they were just avoiding my big and very obvious yellow canoe.

The cons of the trip:

1.) Ticks! We pulled off dozens of ticks while we were there and I spent the first few hours in my sleeping bag removing ticks and throwing them out the tent. The first thing I googled when I got home was “how to remove a tick” as I found that two had attached to my leg.

The highlights of the trip:

Joe Roberts1.) My friend Joe. We laughed a lot and had a great time. I am glad to call him a friend and am thankful we get to spend eternity together as brothers – all thanks to our big brother Jesus.

2.) The wild edibles. It was cool to enjoy God’s bountiful provision of wild foods all around us on the trip. We ran into a couple who had an interest in wild foods as well and they asked me about which fern fiddleheads were good to eat and how to prepare them (by the way, fern fiddleheads must be cooked and avoid those covered with fuzzy hairs – otherwise enjoy like asparagus).

3.) The workout. Who needs P90X when you are lugging backpacks, hiking, portaging canoes and paddling around a lake. It was great!

Next time we’ll bring nothing but a knife, flint and a few survival essentials and survive a week in the rugged remote wilderness… or not.


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Canoe Trip on the Wolf River – May 9th 2012

The plan:

Canoe from New London to Weiland Landing and fish for walleye and white bass along the way. This is a 12 mile journey by car and, I guestimated, 21 miles by river. If we made excellent time with the flow of the river, we would continue on to Freemont.

Walleye had been running the river for a few weeks and their were many male walleye who would be there for another couple of weeks after the females had already returned to their respective lakes of Poygan or Winnebego. The white bass had been just starting to flood the river on their annual migration to spawn and I’d read reports of people bring home 80 to 100 or more white bass a day. There is no limit on this particular extremely prolific fish and it was neat to see entire Hmong families lined up along some of the public access points along the lower Wolf river taking advantage of this annual feast.

943171_10151649708067930_1989990025_nMy friend Nick and I arrived and put in the river at the boat launch at around 5:30 a.m. We wanted to get in the river before dawn to take advantage of that peak few hours of increased fish activity (especially the walleye who, with their excellent eyesight, excel in this low light situation to feast on minnows). I got our poles baited up and dangling in the water off the sides of the canoe and even before we stepped into the canoe a twelve inch small mouth bass jumped on our line! It had to be 14 inches to be legal so we threw it back but this excited me about the fishing conditions. I would soon be disappointed by the lack of fish from that point on.

As we passed a place where a man was fishing from shore, I snagged his line. As I brought it up I saw the smallest catfish I’d ever seen dangling from the end of his line. “You have a fish!” I told him and asked him kindly to throw my line back in as I held on to a rock at the shoreline. He called back, “Great, a baby catfish. Just what I don’t need.”

We stopped at a few spots along the way that looked promising, but no luck. No matter. We were really enjoying the river and the conversation and eventually caught a few fish. Two walleye, and one white bass.

Daniel & Walleye

I love this photo. Picturesque Wolf River and a bloody walleye.

The highlight of the trip was when I had fish number four on the line. “Grab the net! Grab the net!” I told Nick excitedly. I swung the large white bass up into the boat, apparently a little too close to Nick. He dodged the fish and went straight over the side. The next moment I was upside down under water thinking to myself, “How did this happen?”

We both were laughing so hard as we swam with the canoe to shore. As I stepped on shore I said, “I’ve got an idea. Let’s start a fire!” It had been sprinkling off and on for some of the day already but now it started to rain more consistently and the temperatures were plummeting from 60’s down to 50’s.

We quickly gathered dry grass for tinder and kindling but our lighters were damp and would not light. So I grabbed my flint and steel and sent showers of 1500 degree sparks into the “dry” grass. Nick said, “I’ve got an idea”, and came back with bug spray. “This is flammable” he said and started to spray down the tinder.

fireThe next shower of sparks lit the whole thing ablaze and soon we had a fire and were drying our clothes and warming ourselves. What an epic Bear Grylls moment. It was awesome!

(By the way, it isn’t a good idea to set a lighter next to a fire to dry out.)

It seemed that everyone else had given up on the river due to the weather. We didn’t see another boat the entire time we were there. I was determined to press on to our goal, but Nick was in shorts and T-shirt and wet and wisely chose to call it quits at the next boat landing at Guths landing next to Pigeon Crop Lake. (Guths is pronounced like and probably often mistaken for “Goose”. I was corrected a few times by the locals.)

Even though I lost my pole, my filet knife, and broke another pole, we had a great time and made some great memories.

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