Catching fish is only a small part of what makes trout fishing enjoyable; there is the splendid scenery, the sound of the water over the rocks, and the challenge of walking through nature’s obstacle course. I felt I did good not to fall down any banks, get stuck in the soft bottom and only trip over one log in the tall grass. The only problem I had was my hip waders are leaking, for some reason about a year of fishing and this happens. To compound to this after getting the wet waders off when I sat down in my car I heard a faint noise, it was my pants ripping.
When I returned to my car there were a husband and wife getting ready to fish. They had come all the way from central Wisconsin and had fished here for many years while camping at a nearby campground. We swapped stories about how it was so much better in the past but also admitted there are days when the fish do not want to bite on anything. If you have been trout fishing for a number of years it is obvious that the water level is lower and many of the deep holes are not near as deep now. I could tell like me, they really enjoyed walking the streams.
Lunch was at a small café in a small town on the way back home. I ate at the counter and one of the local regulars began talking to me almost immediately. He had done some fishing in his day when the streams were really full of fish. He had lived in Winona also and talked about the railroad and the hobos that were looking for a free meal. Back then he said people were so poor they had to catch fish to have enough to eat, I am glad I didn’t have to depend on my catch for lunch.
Satisfied I had a good day goofing off, it was easier to get some work done around my house when I returned. Just before dark I thought I would just try fishing a new spot for me along Lake Winona which is only a few blocks from my house. After about four casts from shore I felt a really solid tug, as I reeled in the fish it looked too skinny to be a largemouth bass, it was a small northern pike. Now I didn’t have my forceps along and a couple of hooks were deep in the mouth. Northern pike have teeth and will bite given the chance, somehow I managed to get the hooks out and release the fish.
Crystal Springs Hatchery Website