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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. .

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
Kringle has too many calories
By Will Maines

NEVER, I REPEAT, never take a woman fishing.
I don’t care if she is beautiful, has been a close friend for more than 40 years and makes a pecan pie to die for, don’t take her fishing.
All she will do is catch the most fish and the biggest fish, and make you eat way too much raspberry-cream cheese kringle to boot.
On the other hand, kringle tastes pretty good and having a beautiful woman for a fishing partner

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 2:00 PM
There is a reason for tomorrows
By Will Maines

Can you imagine Christmas morning for a 10-year-old boy with no tree, no presents and no Santa Claus? It happened to me.
Oh, there were presents and a tree after Santa stopped by to visit Christmas Eve, but when a kid has chicken pox on Christmas those things were hardly noticed.
But now — worse yet — imagine an old-timer, a guy who hasn’t missed an opening day of fishing since Hector was a pup, and picture him laid out flat in his recliner, each breath sounding like the

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 2:24 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, May 10, 2011 3:42 PM )
Window opens to sounds of spring
By Will Maines

EACH WINTER, we know a magic day will arrive when we will be able to proclaim spring is here. It might be July 4, or it might be tomorrow, but when it is here, we know it.
There are several rites of spring I follow, sometimes before spring arrives, or so it seems, and during the past week I have observed a few of them.
On one of what have been precious few beautiful springlike days this year, I got my bike out, pumped up the tires, found my helmet, riding gloves and, most importantly, my thickly padded

Tuesday, May 03, 2011 1:48 PM
Illinois turkeys pretty smart, too!
By Will Maines

If anyone tells you that turkey hunting is an easy business, you have my permission to whop them upside the head with the first two-by-four that comes to hand.
Sometimes turkey hunting is easy, but not on a regular basis.
I should know. I just spent parts of two weeks in two states trying to fool just one turkey. Not only did I not fool a single turkey, they pretty much all made a fool out of me.
For week one of Wisconsin’s turkey season, I headed for Eau Claire and a “sure bet.” As you

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 12:35 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, April 26, 2011 12:37 PM )
Pumpkin pie without whipped cream
By Will Maines

THERE IS something to be said about getting up at 4:30 in the morning. Nothing good, mind you, but still something to be said.
When rising at that time means a hike across a nearby farm field to woods where wild turkeys make their home and, when additionally it is the opening day of wild turkey hunting season, 4:30 a.m. is, however, something almost good.
Two hunters push themselves out of bed and in hushed tones talk of what is soon to come — a

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 12:31 PM
Just look at this country

WE HAD A big birthday bash last Saturday. About 150 people showed up for a party celebrating the 100th birthday of the town of Plum Lake.
There were tables covered with photos dating back to 1911 when the town of Plum Lake was formed, breaking a big chunk off the town of Arbor Vitae.
There was a time capsule with many items ready to be placed in it, to be opened 50 years from now when — unless I am a freak of nature — I will not be around.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 1:57 PM
It's hard work being a genius

Trails & Tails

By Will Maines

IT’S TOUGH being a genius. Take it from me, it ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. Most of the time it’s just hard grunt work, but the way I look at it, someone has to do it.
Hard as it is, even for a relatively minor genius like me, sometimes it can be made to look easy.
I have found, in dealing with fishermen, it is usually easy to appear a genius, even if the fisherman is a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011 12:22 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, April 05, 2011 12:27 PM )
Every fish is my favorite fish

The other day I was watching a fishing show on one of the outdoor channels while only half-listening to the wild-eyed, wild-voiced host gush about the latest big fish his guide had put him on, and how they would provide memories to last a lifetime.
Flipping back to the basketball game I was watching during commercials, I paid little attention to East Podunk State whipping up on West Siberian University and instead got to thinking about fish that have provided lifetime memories for me.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 12:30 PM

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