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Will Maines

Trails & Tales

Will Maines is a native of the North Woods and an avid outdoorsman.
He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Don't need no stinking calendar
By Will Maines

I will be the first to admit that every year the day I get home from North Dakota duck camp I start planning for the next year’s trip.
The time of year doesn’t matter from that day forward — be it January, April or July, my dreams each night are of North Dakota ducks and geese.
I may have to look at the calendar to find out, for instance, when my daughter’s birthday is or the day when my wife and I celebrate our anniversary, but I don’t need no stinking calendar to tell me when it’s the first of September.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011 1:51 PM
It only took 62 years to find
By Will Maines

It’s funny how you can live in a place all your life and yet take 62 years to finally find and explore a new place that has been right under your nose all those years.
I figure that in my day I have explored — or at least casually looked at — a good share of Vilas County, although I must admit there are a great many superb fishing lakes which I have never even sampled.
Within 25 miles of my house, there are storied lakes like North and Big Twin, Big Arbor Vitae,

Tuesday, August 30, 2011 10:22 AM | Updated ( Tuesday, August 30, 2011 11:01 AM )
Watch out for the bear traps
By Will Maines

THERE IS an old saying concerning idle hands. It’s so old, in fact, that I cannot recall the exact saying, but giving it my best guess, I would say it probably has something to do with lazy people and idle hands not being a good combination.
I am unabashedly lazy and all to willing to go through a day with extremely idle hands, so at this time, lacking the ambition to do so, I have not gotten around to looking up the exact quotation, nor do I expect to find the ambition to do so anytime soon.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 12:57 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, August 23, 2011 1:34 PM )
It's just six weeks away
By Will Maines

IT’S POP QUIZ time. Quick, can anyone tell me what is six weeks away?
I’ll give you a few hints. First, it is essentially a large rectangle. How large? It is a rectangle containing 70,665 square miles. You may want to quibble on a tenth of a mile or so, but it is roughly 360 miles wide and 230 miles high.
Lewis and Clark passed through it at one time, as did Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, Sieur de la Verendrye. The former you are probably familiar with, the latter quite likely not, although there is a provincial park in Quebec which bears his name.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 1:38 PM
Checking out the other half
By Will Maines

I HAVE never been much of one for wondering how the “other half” lives because, essentially, I’ve always been pretty happy with the way I live.
Last weekend, though, I got to look into the lives of the other half — twice.
It began Saturday morning with Greg Harmston — he who was the lousy turkey guide this spring — and Case Harmston who, at age 8, is a budding orator and professional fisherman.
As you all know, almost all of my fishing time is spent working quiet waters with my Old Town

Tuesday, August 09, 2011 1:42 PM
It doesn't get any better than this
By Will Maines

A LIGHT BREEZE rocks the boat as you drop a small anchor overboard just outside a lily pad bed where slab bluegills are stacked up and waiting for you.
You pick up your 5-foot ultralight rod with 2-pound test line on the reel, clip on a tiny bobber above a bright orange jig, pin a waxie on the hook and make your first cast.
Within seconds, the bobber is bounced under and the first hefty bluegill of the day is hoisted aboard.
It doesn’t get any better than this.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011 10:40 AM
Mental tricks beat the heat
By Will Maines

THE DAY WAS hot, brutally hot. A good thermometer read 93 degrees, and it was all of that. The humidity matched the heat, and the sum total added up to a day no self-respecting north-Wisconsin native could take.
It was, in short, the hottest day of the year.
So, what, you may ask, was this north-Wisconsin native thinking about on that particular hottest day of the year last week?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 10:39 AM
There's something about Mary
By Will Maines

THERE’S SOMETHING about Mary. Actually, that goofy movie in which Brett Favre made his first — and hopefully last — feature film acting performance has nothing to do with the Mary of this story, but in my inimitable, goofy way, I thought it would make for a good-humor introduction.
Last weekend, I had a chance to fish with Mary — not she of the aforesaid movie, but she of Freeport, Ill., who is a co-worker and friend of my great friend, Dr. Greg Harmston.
Mary and I fished together last Friday and, among other things, it took me a while to get used to Greg being referred to as Dr. Harmston, as I have only known him as Greg since he was a

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 10:56 AM
Lazy, hazy days are no more
By Will Maines

THEY CALL these the lazy, hazy days of summer, I guess for good reason.
Until last weekend, I had been very, very lazy about getting on my bicycle this summer, but that’s all changed now, and will stay that way at least until September.
Some people, you see, ride bikes for fun. I am one of those people. Some people ride bikes to race. I am not one of those. Still other people ride bikes because they really need to or they will become the human version of the Met Life blimp. I am one of those.
So, I ride my bike for fun, and I ride it to try and keep my bathroom scale from exploding every

Tuesday, July 12, 2011 11:10 AM
There's no way we can fail, he said
By Will Maines

I think there is a law that says when you fish with someone you don’t care for that you will have the best fishing day ever, and the day you fish with good friends and you hope will catch many, many fish, you will catch little or nothing.
That’s the way it was Sunday when I fished with Scott and Valerie, good friends from Alabama. I should clarify that to read, Valerie is a native Alabamian, while Scott is merely a Loyal, Wis., transplant who has been in Alabama only since 1989.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011 11:52 AM

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