Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Opener

It has long been a tradition, like for well over twenty-five years, for a bunch of buddies to get together at a friend’s cabin for the opening of Walleye fishing in Minnesota. Now this really is a big deal, the Governor, Tim Pawlenty this time, goes every year and gets all kinds of news coverage, weather predictions for the weekend are studied, wives bemoan the fact that it almost always falls on Mother’s Day, the real deal. This year the Governor had a fellow that I know as his guide, a fellow named Mike “One Doggie” Lessard. Mike is a friend of Barry Woods who owns Woody’s Fairly Reliable Guide Service. I guess with so much coverage “Fairly Reliable” just wasn’t enough.

Our crew didn’t have to worry about such things though because, quite frankly, we don’t do much fishing. We are more into drinking and dining. And we are always successful at that and this year was no exception.

A View Of The Lake With Rico

The beer of choice this year was W.L. Logar Lager, a home-brew prepared by my friends Bruce McClellan and Jon Logar. Jon lives on Wolf Lake and claims that that is what the W.L. stands for. The rest of the crew maintained that it really stood for Wiener Licker.

Bruce And Jon Showing Off Their Beer

Bruce Pouring Bar Man His Beer

The Crew Having Some Brew

Inside The Cabin

This was a very hoppy beer, to say the least. In fact when it was first cracked open it was almost over-poweringly hoppy with a real harsh taste and smell of fresh green hops. There was some question about how drinkable it would be. Amazingly enough it quickly mellowed and became a very refreshing, although still very hoppy beer. Although it was named W.L. Logar Lager, I think that was taking a bit of poetic license because I am pretty sure this was ale and tasted like a very good IPA. Bruce, the master-brewer of the team, said if had a chance to age for another couple of months it would really smooth out.

Although we had plenty to eat and drink at the cabin, including delicious ribs fixed on the grill, collard greens and pork to go with it, a Junior’s Cheese Cake, all the way from Brooklyn, and Rico’s famous omelets in a bag for breakfast, we still found it necessary to make our way to the Blue Max for a few drinks. The Blue Max is in the process of changing hands and when Rico and I stopped in on Friday we got two-for-one drinks and even managed to walk out $37.50 in pull tab winning in our pocket. Woot.

The Crew Heading Into The Blue Max

My Pals Affectionately Saluting My Arrival

There were eight of us spending the week-end, or at least part of it. Aside from me, and moving left to right along the bar were Gus, Rico, Chris, Cubby, Jerry, Bruce and Jon. Cubby had recently returned from climbing Mt. Kilimajaro so he had some interesting tales to tell and pictures to show. Bruce also showed us pictures of his climb of Mr. Whitney.

Although there was no fishing except for a couple of lines with bobbers tossed in off the dock, a few of the hardier souls did partake in some water activities. We were, after all, in a cabin on a lake.

Jon, Jerry, Bruce, And Cubby On The Lake

Jerry And Bruce Paddling In The Puddle

All in all everyone had a very good time as we do every year. Oh, except last year when, for reasons we won’t go into, the owner of the cabin, Jerry, had to cancel. Otherwise the Blue Max and its neighbor, the Eagle’s Nest, would have been among the 1000 bars that I hit.


josh williams said...

Its been awhile and I don't know why? always a good read. I will miss Fishttivile this spring in Norhtern In. camping , trout fishing , beer tasting, beer sampling, tall tales , short lies and such. Your still bookmarked and I'll be back, I had a nice visit. JW

paula said...

I do believe you have a new name for a beer. I would love to see a beer labeled:


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