In spring, the sight of open water is welcomed by just about everyone in the Northern Wilds. After months of frozen fun, it’s great to make a splash, whether you are paddling a creek, opening up the cabin or stepping in a puddle along a hiking trail. Open water also means fishing. Nowhere else can match what the Northern Wilds has to offer anglers in the spring. From steelhead and brook trout in creeks to walleyes and northern pike in lakes, high quality angling opportunities are endless.
In this issue, we celebrate fishing. Shelby Gonzalez takes us along on an adventure as she learns about an ancient form of Japanese fly fishing called tenkara. Canadian angling wizard Gord Ellis shares some of his fishing plans for this season. We also offer some tips for teaching kids to fish and a basic guide to popular game fish species.
Of course, not everyone who ventures near water is carrying a fishing rod. Cliff Langley, for instance, carries a paddle. What he does when he gets near water with a kayak may strike you as plumb crazy, but it makes for incredible pictures. Eve Wallinga always heads for the nearest waterfall, which happens to be Kakabecka Falls by Thunder Bay. Michael Furtman brings a camera.
We are pleased to introduce you to Dyke Williams, a writer with a long history in the canoe country, who tells us about the many youth camps along the Gunflint Trail. Ely’s Iron Mike Hillman spins a tale about Old Harry Homer, "who reached the point in life he didn’t care what color the stoplight was." Elle Andra-Warner gives us the lowdown on Thunder Bay’s pastry delicacy, the Persian. Joan Farman explains how plants get along—or not—in your garden.
We must also tell you this is the last issue where Shelby Gonzalez will be on the masthead as managing editor, because she’s becoming marketing manager for the Cook County Visitor’s Bureau in Grand Marais. We’re happy to say she plans to continue contributing Northern Wilds. She’s a valued member of the great team that makes Northern Wilds possible.
—Shawn Perich and Amber Pratt