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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. .

I could have been a TV star
By Will Maines

IF YOU ARE of a certain age you probably remember Art Linkletter, a congenial television personality who hosted a show called, “Kids Say the Darndest Things.”

On the show Linkletter would surround himself with little kids, ask them questions and listen to their answers. Most of the time their answers were hilarious.

The funny thing is I and the characters I hung out with as a teenager should have been on a TV show too. Ours would have been, “Teenagers do the Stupidest Things.”

As examples I cite not only Exhibit A, but B and C as well. I could

Tuesday, July 02, 2013 1:50 PM
May the court have mercy on me
By Will Maines

THERE OUGHTA be a law.

Oh wait, there is a law. It says that if a person fishes on a given lake and can’t keep the fish from attacking his hook, and then that same person takes a friend to the same spot on the same lake with assurances that the fish will be snapping, by official decree it is mandated that the person of the first part and the person of the second part — his friend — will catch absolutely no fish.

There is even a sub-clause which states that if two or more people clobber the fish on any given lake, that a return trip to that lake one day hence by one or more of the successful party will result in a fish-less outing.

As examples of the above law and its clauses,

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 4:22 PM
Don’t get shorts in a bundle
By Will Maines

IF YOU STOP to think about it, it’s amazing how people will find ways to get their shorts in a bundle.

Take walleyes, for instance. This fish, long renowned as table fare — though northern pike are vastly superior for eating — is arguably the fish that has been the magnet for out-of-area anglers since tourism began in the North Woods.

It used to be all harmony and bliss when it came to walleye, as they were relatively abundant in many of our lakes, and fishermen coming here specifically to fish for them were able to keep five a day of any size and take home 10.

I enjoy fishing walleye, and not to throw a controversial subject

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 2:30 PM
Man, dog and fish a good mix
By Will Maines

IT TOOK A while, but late last week we finally found some sunshine to smile down on this north Wisconsin country of ours.

After a period of time that seemed like it might not ever end, a spell of cold, wind and rain let up and gave us a wonderful weekend in which to play outdoors.

Before I could get in on the playtime, there were a few chores to be done, but with my flower beds finished — except for mulching — for the season, foot-high grass mowed for the first time this year (no sense in jumping into things too early) and assorted other little tasks done, it was time to go fishing Saturday evening.

My lovely wife was off carousing somewhere —

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 3:04 PM
Molly has her own day off

FERRIS BUELLER had the most famous one. You and I, the working folks of America, usually get at least one of them a week.
But dogs, dogs never get a day off. Dogs never get a chance to rest from their labors. Take my dog, Molly, the wonder golden.
Her labors never cease. There are chipmunks and squirrels to chase. There is virtually every part of her anatomy to scratch daily, especially with wood ticks out.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013 4:19 PM
Another camping season is here
By Will Maines

RIGHT NOW if you asked someone what season it is, they would likely say spring.

If not, they might say wood tick season, which, after picking off nine of the little buggers yesterday after an hour of working in my flower beds, I would certainly attest to.

Mainly, I would tell you it is now officially camping season. There was ample evidence of that over Memorial Day weekend as almost all the state campgrounds in my neck of the woods were chock full of people.

I won’t be far behind them, as my lovely wife and I,

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 3:03 PM
It’s late, but spring is here

By Will Maines

JUST WHEN WE thought it might never happen, spring finally sprung.

In all manner, shape and form, spring has arrived with warm temperatures, a little rain, greening grass and a markedly better mental outlook for nearly everyone who lives or plays in the North Woods.

It was different last weekend to see so many fishermen coming north for the first time this spring, treating their expedition as though it were the opening weekend of fishing season, which as we all know opened with every lake still ice-covered May 4.

But as they say, all good things come to those who wait, and for those of

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 1:38 PM
The hare loses again

By Will Maines

IN LIFE YOU meet slowpokes and speedsters, dawdlers and racehorses, tortoises and hares.

Last week I met a hare, perhaps the fastest one on earth, and as was the case in the old fable it did not end well for the hare. The introductions were rather lengthy, taking a good 45 minutes to complete, but once completed our relationship was cemented in a matter of just two or three minutes.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on whose point of view you look at, our relationship ended abruptly at the conclusion of those two or three minutes.

I must say I am pleased that it ended quite happily

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 2:07 PM
Beautiful is the trout stream

By Will Maines

THERE IS PERHAPS no more pleasing sound than that of a trout stream roistering its way over rocks and around logs in early spring.

I must confess I have gotten away from trout fishing on the few area streams which harbor native brook trout in my own bailiwick, but given that there was no available fishing on any lake for 40 miles around for this year’s opening weekend, I found myself back in the water where I cut my fishing teeth, that of Plum Creek.

I failed to fish for even a minute on opening day, but Sunday evening, unable to stand it

Tuesday, May 07, 2013 4:17 PM
Maybe spring is springing

By Will Maines

THERE’S AN OLD saying about better late than never, and never has that been truer than this spring.

I was among the lucky of the North Woods this April, at least getting to experience spring for five days in Kentucky where I hunted turkeys on days when the temperature went as high as 83 degrees.

That said, the weather we enjoyed here over the past weekend, while late in coming, was a welcome reprieve from weather that has been, with no better words to describe it, plain, awful drudgery.

Even though there is still a ton of snow piled up in the woods,

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 4:03 PM

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