Posts Tagged With: Recreation

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.

Categories: Fishing | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Drunk Canoeing

This story has got to be from around ten years ago. I’m glad I no longer feel like I’m at odds with God as I did then. After a canoe outing tonight with a friend and our children, I thought I’d share this piece of comedy from my past:

So this little story came up in a Bible study the other week. We were discussing our “perfect steak” experiences. This reminded me of my “perfect steak” experience, which also happened to be the first time in ten years that I got drunk. I wonder if the two were related… hmmm… I share the experience because, not only is this story quite comical, there is also a lesson in there… somewhere.

I was on a canoeing trip with some friends. On our drive up, we stopped to pick up some steaks – the best that money could buy, and a bottle of vodka. That night, as we were cooking them over the grill, I imagined that all the bears and wolves in the area smelled our delicious and savory steaks and were licking their chops just out of reach of the firelight. (I later learned that the area we were in is home to wolves)

wolf with no coffeeDid I mention that wolves terrify me? Yes, I know that God controls all the creatures of the forest including wolves but this is not exactly a comforting thought when you feel at odds with him (which, at the time, was how I felt). God could in fact lead every wolf within a hundred miles right to you if he so desired.

After having my perfect steak and a few drinks, I continued to meditate on the fact that God could kill me with a wolf attack, and attempted to go to sleep. It was no use.

Imagine lying there in a tent hearing all sorts of noises outside, staring at the thin wall of the tent conjuring up in your mind images of a wolf ripping through it and into you. I panicked. I grabbed a flashlight and ventured outside for a look. I was so badly frightened that I ran down to the water, got into the canoe and paddled out to the middle of the lake. So there I sat, in the middle of the lake in the middle of the night, safe from the big bad wolf. And then… it began to rain.

‘Just perfect’, I thought.

You hear a lot about drunk driving but I have never heard anything about drunk canoeing. There is no slogan that says “don’t drink and canoe”. Not very catchy. It dawned on me that I was definitely a high risk for a drowning that night.

Disclaimer: Drunkenness is in fact not advisable under any circumstances but especially while operating vehicles whether it be it a car, tricycle, skateboard, or canoe.

and remember: Don’t drink and canoe! Get a designated paddler.

Categories: Alcohol | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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