I’ll be out of the office and on the road for a few days next week testing the waters of a handful of lakes across northern Minnesota.
Monday, I’m scheduled to join Northwoods fishing guide, promoter and all-round outdoors character Brian Brosdahl somewhere in the vicinity of Chippewa National Forest. I’m not sure where we’ll be fishing yet, but knowing “Bro” — as he’s known in the business — there’ll be fish to catch along with plenty of lively conversation. Pick up just about any fishing magazine these days, it seems, and you’ll likely see pictures of a burly guy with a reddish-colored beard holding a fish. That’s Bro.
Monday night, the road leads me to Waskish, Minn., where a couple of friends and I are scheduled to fish Tuesday with Tyler Brasel of Bear Paw Guides on Upper Red Lake. Right on schedule, there’s a cold front in the forecast, with highs Tuesday predicted to be in the low 60s. Cold fronts, in my experience, usually mean stiff winds from the northwest, which can be disastrous for anglers on the vast expanse of Upper Red because there’s nowhere to hide. We’ll see what happens.
Wednesday morning, we’ll be heading to the Red Lake Indian Reservation to fish with Darwin Sumner of Seven Clans Casino in Red Lake. The casino this spring began offering guided fishing packages on more than 25 small lakes within the reservation boundaries. The lakes offer the opportunity to fish everything from panfish and bass to trout and walleyes. Just the other day, Sumner emailed me a photo of a monster walleye caught from one of the small reservation lakes. He didn’t weigh the fish before it was released, but says it was considerably larger than 10 pounds.
I fished two of the small reservation lakes in 2008 with Al Pemberton, director of the tribal Department of Natural Resources. We caught lake trout up to about 12 pounds and scads of pike up to 37 inches. The beauty of the lakes within the reservation, besides the variety of fishing options they offer, is they’re small enough to access in most kinds of weather. The portions of Upper and Lower Red lakes within reservation boundaries remain off-limits to nonband members, but the small lake packages now available stand to be a hit among visiting anglers.
The plan right now, Sumner says, is walleyes in the morning and trout in the afternoon. I’ll keep you posted.