Friday, January 8, 2010

Perch Express Day Two

Perch Express Day Two started at 5:30 am with a wake up call from the lovely staff at the Days Inn St. Paul. After an amazing continental breakfast consisting of donuts and frosted flakes, Justin and I spent the next 2 hours locating the very last SUV in the Twin Cities available to take up to Grand Forks, ND. By 8:30 am we had that little Rav 4 loaded to the absolute maximum weight and carrying capacity and were battling the Minneapolis traffic. Thank goodness we were headed North out of town and not South into town!

Anyhow road trip with Dad, Justin and Chef Todd was smooth sailing all the way until we stopped at the Big Chief in Fergus Falls for Buffalo Burgers. They tasted amazing!!

For the last two hours up to Grand Forks occasionally someone would dramatically say ‘aahh man’, someone else would then smirk or chuckle to themselves a bit uncontrollably and then all the windows would rapidly go up and down to exchange the air in the vehicle. You do have to realize that we were traveling in -10 degree weather and you better have a darn good reason for rolling down the window traveling 75 mph in that kind of weather!! At times we had no choice but to choose to freeze in order to breathe!

Really the trip was fairly uneventful and North Dakota was so barren and boring that Chef Todd was actually at a loss for words for several consecutive minutes. Then about 30 minutes from our destination I looked past the steering wheel and saw the low fuel light on. I hadn’t been paying attention to the fuel due to the steering wheel being about a foot low for a guy of my size and blocking my view, and we were in the middle of nowhereville, North Dakota!!! There wasn’t an exit or gas station in sight and we could be out of fuel any minute. Jokingly we were thinking of ways to convert all the methane freely flowing into usable fuel. By the time we found a pay at the pump unattended fuel station from the 1980's, we had just .09 gallons of fuel left!!! Just getting out of the car to figure out how to operate this fuel pump, about froze me to death; I cant imagine having to walk any sort of distance outside.

We made it to Grand Forks just as Chris and the Woodland transportation van showed up- perfect timing! We loaded up, headed the last 2 hours to our destination and absolutely drilled Chris with a million questions about Devils Lake, fish, and fishing stuff along the way. Boy did we hit him with a strong dose of Chef and Greg!! Finally after 36 hours of traveling in the absolute worst conditions possible we made it to our destination! Upon arrival we snooped around a bit, bought our licenses, talked with some guides, checked in on the days fisherman cleaning their catch, and then headed to dinner.

Restaurant and Food was really nice! Cheff thought the chicken cordon bleu pizza and the buffalo chicken pizza was a nice change of pace from Peoria style pizza, and Justin said the prime rib was by far the best cut of meat he has ever had! The moose, elk and numerous pheasants, ducks, and taxidermy fish decorating the restaurant are also a nice change of pace as well!

We have an awesome 3 bedroom cabin overlooking the Lake:

Here are some pics from the days catch. The fishing was actually pretty slow with the temps so cold, but everyone thinks as the temps rise the next few days that the fishing is going to heat up real nice!

A 10 lb northern was the biggest catch of the day

Here is a one of the famous Jumbo Perch

Tonight I met up with Tom Hudson from Lincoln, Nebraska. He is a friend from the Pond Boss web forum and is up here fishing with a group of his friends as well. They drove up here and made it in time for fishing today. They started out by catching some huge perch right off the bat, but then the bite was really slow all the way until the evening. No limits today, but tomorrow is supposed to be 20 degrees warmer!

Biscuits and Gravy, Potatoes, and Scrambled Eggs are on the menu for breakfast in the morning! Its still gonna be cold at -18 when we wake up, but it warms up nicely from there. I’m guessing the bite will be pretty slow in the morning, but should pick up in the afternoon. Devils Lake is 140,000 acres of water, and actually keeps on rising! Over the last 10 years it has tripled in size causing over 700 million dollars worth of damages by flooding 1000’s of acres of farms, buildings, roads, houses, lodges, etc. The lake just keeps on getting bigger!!!

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