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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. .

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
Old-timers are my heroes
By Will Maines

WHERE HAVE YOU gone, Joe DiMaggio? Where have you gone, all you old-timers?
I don’t know, even after watching the movie a bunch of times, whether Dustin Hoffman ever did find Joe DiMaggio, but last Saturday I know I found and enjoyed a visit with one of the true — and few — old-timers left in Sayner.
I stopped by his cabin to razz him a little about two northern pike expeditions he and I shared separately the day before.
I was headed for a favorite pike lake about three o’clock Friday, about to turn into a two-rut road

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 10:16 AM
Coho salmon the best of all
By Will Maines

I PRIDE MYSELF on being a fair-to-middling chef, especially when it comes to wild game, so it was with anticipation last Sunday that I looked at a pair of wild turkeys on my kitchen counter just waiting for me to get them on the smoker.
Never mind that it was a couple of good friends who each killed their first turkey this spring and had the audacity to bring them to a turkeyless hunter to be smoked; the looks of them on my counter almost made me forget I have no turkey of my own.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 11:31 AM
You'll never see my vote changed
By Will Maines

I have never thought of myself as being a politician, but over this past weekend I discovered I might very well be just the type to seek political office.
Technically speaking you could say I am already a politician as a supervisor on the Plum Lake Town Board, but in my town, we hardly qualify that as being a politician.
Quite frankly, the town board is as high as I am ever likely to aspire, although if I want to have really big power, I suppose I could someday run for the — gasp — county board.
As I discovered last weekend, I now believe I possess the one ingredient, the one character trait

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 1:58 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, June 14, 2011 2:02 PM )
Everyone has a bear story
By Will Maines

DO YOU REMEMBER your first bear story?
Chances are, the very first fairy tale was the one about Goldilocks and her three furry buddies, but how about your first real live bear story?
I don’t think I heard a bear story before my first introduction to live bears, so, in essence, my initial meeting with “Blackie,” a tryst shared with many other people parked in cars around the town dump one summer evening, would be my first bear story.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011 1:37 PM
Spring is a pretty good season
By Will Maines

A person could make a case, should the person so wish, that each of the year’s four seasons is the best.
Each has its own special qualities, things about it that are unique to that season, and for every four people one queried, one would likely find a champion for each.
Personally, fall is, always has been and always will be my favorite, primarily because that is the season when the wild ducks and geese fly, when good hunting dogs stand as sentinels at the

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 2:06 PM
Brook trout make a man rich
By Will Maines

TO SORT of quote an old friend of mine from Alabama, “Beauty is as beauty does.”
To be honest, I never quite understood what Forrest meant with that “Stupid is as stupid does” stuff, and I’m not sure I know what I mean by beauty is as beauty does, but I do know that I know beauty when I see it.
When we’re talking beauty, there simply is nothing more beautiful in this world than a native brook trout.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 1:55 PM

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