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Steve Foss

Fresh from the Echo Trail

23 posts in this topic

Hey all, spent the day (from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.) with a couple photographers. We headed up the Echo Trail and got as far as Jeanette Lake before turning around and making our way back to Ely.

Here's some of what we found.

Sunrise in the bog

Canon 30D, Canon 400 f5.6L, iso100, 1/500 at f5.6, monopod

2752567410_7036ee2458_o.jpg

Caught!

30D, Canon 100 f2.8 macro, iso100, 1/320 at f6.3, handheld

2752566610_84b8943c21_o.jpg

Spider web pearls

30D, 100 macro, iso100, 1/2000 at f2.8, handheld

2752564258_6eb4ff88f5_o.jpg

Small buck, towering pines

D-Rebel XT, 400 f5.6L, iso400, 1/200 at f13, monopod

2751729829_8028a32005_o.jpg

Fading bunchberry

30D, 100 macro, iso100, 3.2 sec at f16, tripod, remote shutter release, mirror lock-up

2751728309_be054b151b_o.jpg

Pitcher plant flower in late succession black spruce bog

Canon 5D, Canon 17-40 f4L at 17mm, iso200, 1/25 at f16, handheld, gold reflector disk underneath to illuminate flower and match temperature of sun on spruces

To capture this image, I was laying on my back in sphagnum, which flattened and allowed 4 inches of water to flow in around me. Wish it would have been the last pic of the day, but I had about 2 hours to go after this one. Yikes! shockedshockedshocked

2751732271_549167a613_o.jpg

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All cool stuff Steve! The pitcher plant turned out really interesting. It gives me the impression of being under a shower head waiting for the water to turn on! In your case the water was apparently creeping in from "all" parts of your extremities! gringrin

Good work!

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Hey, great series, Steve! I really like 'em all, though I think the mood in "Sunrise in the Bog" is my favorite.

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Another vote for the Spider Web pearls. But all in all a nice series. It's nice to get a feel for the lay of the land up in your neck of the woods.

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All great shots but I really think the spider web pearls is a "jewel"!

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Thanks, guys, for looking and commenting. Stu, if that pitcher plant flower would have made like a shower head and soaked me from above, it would only have matched the soaking I was getting from below! gringrin

I like the jewels myself, but my all-time fave is the pitcher plant. It's an image I could not have made with the 30D and 17-40, because the 1.6 crop factor of the 30D sensor renders 17mm as about 26-27mm, and that 10mm difference is huge in wide angle.

While I tend to emphasize vision over equipment when it comes to photography, equipment can impose limits upon imagination, and this is a case where having the 17-40 on a full-frame sensor so it was a true 17mm allowed me to accomplish what the bog inspired. I was laying there looking at the pitcher plant when I rolled onto my back to get up and saw the trees forming a concentric circle of spires pointing to heaven, and it occurred to me I could position myself so the blossom was in the opening created by the spires, like laying on the floor of nature's cathedral and looking up at God. Since one of the clients I was with is a serious Christian, we agreed it seemed like an appropriate sentiment. Considering the wilderness is my church (and the black spruce-sphagnum bog the most special place for me), it was even more appropriate.

And, luckily, the sun was at a cooperative angle so we didn't have to wait and wait and wait to make that image.

Considering how I love most to spend time in those bogs, it would be a great gift to have the time and resources to put together a book. A combination of essays and photographs capturing some of the many species within the plant and animal kingdoms, as well as the mood and weather, of the black spruce bogs in all seasons. What a rich and rewarding project that would be.

Anyway, enough of my silly philosophical meanderings, and thanks again for looking in and commenting, everyone.

P.S. -- Gotta get me one of those 5D bodies! But first, this photographer has to find me a benefactor, and those folks just don't grow on trees. gringrin

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All nice Steve but that pitcher plant is a dandy image...nice work on that one!...

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I will say, that I have actually gone back about 5 different times to look at that pitcher plant. I made a point to show the people at work, and some other people as well as I emailed a link to them to check it out. By Far that shot has to be one of my favorite shots I have seen posted in a long long time anywere. If it were not for the fact that I have way to many pictures on the wall as it is, It would be something that under different circumstances, I would purchase and hang on the wall. A true beauty. It also just goes to show we are willing to go through for a shot.

KUDOS.

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Thanks, Jonny and Paul. And Paul, you've darn near got me blushing. That's not easy to do. shockedshocked

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Last one for me too-gorgeous!

A little off topic-I have been hearing on all the west coast photography podcasts from the big time pros that crop bodies are on the way out. I have also heard this in passing from some folks at Canon. All DSLRs are destined to be full frame-in the not too distant future.

This made sense to me,as I always thought it would be cheaper to have one set of "tooling" for 1 sensor size. This may also explain the almost immediate price drop of the 40D's.

The majority of peeps say that 12-14MP is the magic number on full frame. This is backed up by many,many folks who say the 5D has the best image quality of any DSLR at any price. I was very suprised to see Ken Rockwell,who is a diehard Nikon guy,attest to the 5D's superiority over the D300 and the D3 when it comes to resolution/image quality.

The new 5D I had awhile back didn't impress me to the extent of the hype,but I wasn't shooting the good glass on it either. I just wish it was a few more FPS!

If the 5D's replacement keeps the image quality,same sensor size,and has 5 FPS-the wife will not be happy!

Sorry for the Hi-Jak.

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No hijack, MM. If the upgraded 5D incorporates the new pixel technology pioneered by the 1D Mk3 and included in the 1Ds Mk3 and XSi, it can stand another 2 to 4 Mp and still not sacrifice its current IQ. If it's already the class of the world on IQ, it'll be the NEW class of the world. I've no doubt it'll be 5 fps or better on the burst rate. And 5 fps is enough for anyone who doesn't need a stunning burst rate for sports or other ultrafast action applications. When you get right down to it, other than in a few specific genres, IQ is the ultimate decider.

Because Canon put that new technology in the XSi, I'm encouraged that it'll be adopted by all future Canon DSLR releases, regardless of the "entry level," "prosumer" and "pro" labels people put on the various models.

Pros will always look to the higher end of the spectrum, and so pro talk that crop sensors are on the way out isn't necessarily to be believed. Pro gossip is still just gossip. That being said, as full-frame sensors continue to come down in price, particularly now that Nikon has finally been able to incorporate them and the competition among top pros and serious amateurs with serious budgets is getting more fierce, it would not surprise me at all to see a total switch. One problem is size. Casual DSLR consumers, who make up the majority of the DSLR market, want them small, and it's harder to keep the body small with a full-frame sensor inside it than with a 1.5 or 1.6 crop sensor.

Plus, with the new pixel technology, crop sensors keep improving. I've sold 20x30 images with my 8 Mp 1.6 crop sensors that are simply stunning in their quality, and those bodies are now one generation old.

One factor that tells with me more than any other is that Canon isn't developing any more lenses lately that are specifically designed for the crop sensors. If the crop sensors were going to continue to dominate the casual market, I'd expect more lenses that cater to them.

It's an interesting thing to think and talk about, isn't it? At some point, DSLR marketing will have to move beyond the megapixel wars, because how many megapixels does a person actually need?

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Steve, that last shot is simply amazing. Sorry you had to get wet to get it but that is honestly one of the coolest photos I have ever seen. You never cease to amaze me. I wish I were 1/4 of the photographer that you are. Unbelievable capture.

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There goes that blushing thing again. shockedshocked

Thanks, Tom. You should come up here for a day. I'd show you around all right, simply as a friend, not a client. Your work indicates you are an excellent photographer. I wish you'd post more of your pics in here.

A day out in the wilderness, taking it slow and easy and in no hurry, sitting and watching and listening and smelling, waiting for inspiration to strike, well, it doesn't get any better than that.

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Quote:
One factor that tells with me more than any other is that Canon isn't developing any more lenses lately that are specifically designed for the crop sensors. If the crop sensors were going to continue to dominate the casual market, I'd expect more lenses that cater to them.

This is what the Canon guys kept sliding me off handedly. When I would ask them if there was any truth to the rumor,they would say something to the effect of "have you seen any new efs lenses coming out lately?"

Another thing that made me suspicious was Canon 40D kits with the 17-85 EFS lens as a kit lens. Many had the 28-135,but I have seen alot lately with the 17-85. Hmmmm.

I would love to see an image comparison between a 100-400 at 400 on a crop,compared to a 70-200 2.8 with a 2x TC on a 5D.

Given the 5D's edge on image quality,I wonder if it would be a wash?

Sure is fun talking hardware!

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Thanks, Tom. You should come up here for a day. I'd show you around all right, simply as a friend, not a client. Your work indicates you are an excellent photographer. I wish you'd post more of your pics in here.

A day out in the wilderness, taking it slow and easy and in no hurry, sitting and watching and listening and smelling, waiting for inspiration to strike, well, it doesn't get any better than that.

I wish I had more time to get out and do some more photography. It is pretty tough right now as any time I bring my boy to the woods he runs off like a shot and goes bumping into things and tripping over logs. I really need to get out and spend some more time outside with the camera. This fall should be pretty good for me though.

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MM, at consistent iso, the 100-400 wide open at 400mm on a 40D would be sharper than the 70-200 wide open at 200mm with 2x on a 5D.

No contest. It's the lens or lens/TC combo that determines sharpness rather than the camera sensor.

No Canon zoom, even the nicely sharp 70-200 series, can handle the 2x without a noticeable degradation in image quality, and only a couple Canon tele primes can take the 2x in stride (300 f2.8L and 400 f2.8L based on my experience).

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I wish I had more time to get out and do some more photography. It is pretty tough right now as any time I bring my boy to the woods he runs off like a shot and goes bumping into things and tripping over logs. I really need to get out and spend some more time outside with the camera. This fall should be pretty good for me though.

Tom, Ely is only four hours away from the Twin Cities. Golly, I have three weddings booked in or around the Twin Cities this summer/fall. Take a man day and bring your gear. It's no different than a day fishing trip. We have paved roads and everything all the way up here to Ely. I can even give you GPS coordinates to help you find our wonderful little town if Ely doesn't show up on Google Maps. gringringrin

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Very nice series Steve, I liked the string of pearles best, until I came to the last one and it changed my mind in an instant. That last shot looking up is fantastic.

Thanks

Dan

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Very nice Steve. That pitcher plant is a real winner. It is a wonderful feeling when you put yourself through heck to get the shot and pull it up on the computer and realize you nailed it.

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WCS, Trust me, he didn't have to pull it up on the computer to know he nailed it. That shot had money written all over it.

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Well we did end up doing a little high-fiving when we looked at the images on the back of the camera. gringrin

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  • Posts

    • Lots of different fish to chase in that lake. Just switch up your target fish and try something different.


    • Minnesota DNR News
      For Immediate Release:
      July 21, 2017
      In This Issue

      Conserving Mille Lacs walleye population requires regulation changes

      Mille Lacs Lake Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for summer 2017

      Conserving Mille Lacs walleye population requires regulation changes

      Walleye fishing on Mille Lacs Lake will remain closed until Aug. 11 to protect the walleye fishery, and ensure its long-term health and sustainability into the future

      To extend the walleye fishing season through Labor Day, the state will allow for an additional 11,000 pounds of walleye harvest on Mille Lacs 

      New solutions are being sought to rebuild and sustain a healthy Mille Lacs walleye fishery

      New fisheries data collected by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources show the total safe harvest allocation for walleyes on Mille Lacs Lake (44,800 pounds) has already been exceeded this season. To protect the fishery and ensure the long-term sustainability of Mille Lacs Lake’s walleye population, the DNR announced today that walleye fishing will remain closed until Friday, Aug. 11.

      In order to extend the walleye fishing season through Labor Day, the state will allow for an additional 11,000 pounds of walleye harvest. Catch-and-release walleye fishing will run from Friday, Aug. 11, through Monday, Sept. 4, for the Labor Day weekend. Walleye fishing will then be closed from Tuesday, Sept. 5, through Thursday, Nov. 30.

      As these regulation changes were announced, Minnesota DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr reiterated the state’s commitment to rebuilding and sustaining a healthy walleye fishery in Mille Lacs Lake.

      “Improving the walleye population in Mille Lacs is a top priority for the DNR,” Landwehr said. “We deeply regret the hardships these new regulations will cause for anglers and business owners. But they are essential to protect and enhance the future of walleye fishing in the lake for future generations. We will continue doing everything we can to understand the challenges facing the walleye fishery, and take whatever actions we can to resolve this very difficult situation.”

      Landwehr and DNR fisheries chief Don Pereira noted that allowing for additional catch-and-release fishing in August is essential for area anglers, businesses, and Mille Lacs area communities. The decision to allow for this additional harvest was made with input from the Mille Lacs Fisheries Advisory Committee.

      “We want to allow as much walleye fishing on Mille Lacs as possible,” Pereira said. “So even though state anglers already have caught their quota of fish, the DNR will dip into the allowed conservation overage to reopen the season on Aug. 11.”

      Through the closure, anglers on Mille Lacs Lake may fish for all other species in the lake including bass, muskellunge and northern pike. When fishing for other species, only artificial baits and lures will be allowed in possession, except for anglers targeting northern pike or muskie, who may fish with sucker minnows longer than 8 inches.

      A prohibition on night fishing will remain in place from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. through Nov. 30. However, anglers may fish for muskie and northern pike at night, but may only use artificial lures longer than 8 inches or sucker minnows longer than 8 inches. Bowfishing for rough fish also is allowed at night but possession of angling equipment is not allowed and only rough fish may be in possession.

      Understanding walleye fishing quotas on Mille Lacs this year, and why that quota was reached earlier than predicted
      The DNR and the Chippewa bands that cooperatively manage Mille Lacs Lake agreed this year to harvest quotas of 44,800 pounds for state anglers and 19,200 pounds for tribal fishing. They also agreed that up to 75,000 pounds of walleye could be harvested from the lake from Dec. 1, 2016 to Nov. 30, 2017.

      That agreement allows the state to use a built-in buffer – the 11,000 pounds difference between the 75,000 pounds conservation cap and the 64,000 pounds combined harvest quotas – in an attempt to allow catch-and-release walleye fishing through Labor Day, following the mid-summer closure. Bi-weekly creel surveys show that state anglers already have reached their quota.

      “The DNR is using its full allotment to maximize opportunities to fish for walleye on Mille Lacs without violating our agreement,” Pereira said. “The DNR, just like area businesses, would greatly prefer to not have fishing restrictions in place. But sustaining and stabilizing Mille Lacs’ walleye population is our primary obligation and public responsibility.”

      Continuing the walleye fishing closure will reduce the number of fish that die after being caught and released, a condition known as hooking mortality. The likelihood of fish suffering hooking mortality increases as water temperatures warm.

      High walleye catch rates on Mille Lacs have increased DNR fishing projections. A hot walleye bite attracted more anglers to the lake, resulting in angler effort that is about double what it was in 2016.

      “Cooler than normal temperatures kept hooking mortality rates low, but more anglers fished Mille Lacs, particularly catching walleye longer than 20 inches,” Pereira said. “That increased the poundage of fish caught and put us over our walleye quota.”

      According to the DNR, bigger fish are biting, in part, because there is a shortage of food for larger walleye. Last fall’s assessment showed that larger walleye were thinner than average.

      Mille Lacs’ hot bite also reflects the findings of studies done in many other fisheries that show catchability actually increases when fish population drops. In Mille Lacs, walleye congregate in preferred spots rather than disperse evenly throughout the lake. Fewer fish in the lake means there is more room in the preferred spots for fish to gather, creating a situation where a larger percentage of the population is in position to be caught rather than gathering in a less preferred but less fished area.

      More information about Mille Lacs Lake, the regulation adjustments and management of the fishery is available on the DNR page at www.mndnr.gov/millelacslake.

      New solutions are being sought to improve and sustain a healthy walleye fishery
      The DNR announced in June that a new external review team of scientists will take a fresh look at Mille Lacs Lake’s walleye fishery, using all of the best science available to gain a better understanding of the lake. This new review, led by walleye expert Dr. Chris Vandergoot of the U.S. Geological Survey, will provide additional recommendations to improve fisheries management of the lake, and contribute to a long-term solution to improving and sustaining a healthy walleye fishery for future generations. The group’s report is expected in time to help guide and inform fisheries management decisions for the 2018 season.

      DNR encourages Minnesotans to fish for other abundant species on Mille Lacs Lake
      As today’s walleye fishing regulation changes were announced, the DNR encouraged all Minnesotans to visit Mille Lacs Lake to fish the other abundant species that the lake has to offer. Mille Lacs Lake’s other opportunities for top-notch fishing will not be affected by the regulation adjustment.

      Bassmaster Magazine named Mille Lacs the nation’s best bass lake in June and will send 50 of the country’s best anglers to the lake In September for its Angler of the Year tournament. Northern pike abound in Mille Lacs, along with muskellunge. In early July, a woman from southern Minnesota caught and released in Mille Lacs what may have been Minnesota’s largest-ever muskellunge.

      To learn more about Mille Lacs Lake and its many great fishing opportunities, visit the DNR page. To plan visit to the Mille Lacs area, visit the Mille Lacs Area Tourism Council page.

      ###

      Mille Lacs Lake Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for summer 2017
      Q: What is happening with the walleye season this summer on Mille Lacs Lake?

      A: The closure that began July 8 and was set to end July 28 is being extended by two weeks. That means walleye fishing will reopen at 6:01 a.m. on Aug. 11 for catch-and-release only through Labor Day. A night fishing closure also will remain in place from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. through Nov. 30.

      Q: How does this affect fishing for other species?

      A: Fishing regulations for other species such as smallmouth bass, muskie and northern pike remain the same. During the night closure, there is an exception for muskie and northern pike anglers using artificial lures and sucker minnows longer than 8 inches.

      Q: Why did the DNR extend the closure?

      A: While the DNR wants to allow as much walleye fishing on Mille Lacs as possible, the state is also required to abide by cooperative agreements made with eight American Indian Chippewa bands. The two weeks of additional closure allows the state to abide by a harvest quota set earlier this year with the bands.

      The DNR and the bands agreed to harvest quotas of 44,800 pounds for state anglers and 19,200 pounds for tribal fishing. They also agreed that up to 75,000 pounds of walleye could be sustainably harvested from the lake from Dec. 1, 2016 to Nov. 30, 2017 in order to conserve the population

      That agreement allows the state to use a built-in buffer – the 11,000 pounds difference between the conservation cap of 75,000 pounds and the combined harvest quota of 64,000 pounds – in an attempt to allow catch-and-release walleye fishing through Labor Day, following the mid-summer closure.

      The latest creel survey data shows that state anglers reached their quota of 44,800 pounds of walleye caught from Mille Lacs in early July. Even though state anglers already have caught their quota of fish, the DNR is dipping into the allowed conservation reserve in order to reopen the season on Aug. 11.

      Q: Why has the walleye population in Mille Lacs declined? What is the DNR doing in the long-term to try to conserve the population?

      A: The vast majority of walleye that hatch do not survive to their third autumn in the lake. Walleye numbers have declined to the point that it has become important to protect spawning-sized walleye, particularly the class of walleye that hatched in 2013. It is important to protect the large 2013 year class to replenish aging spawning stock.  Most males from the 2013 class are now mature, but females will not start to contribute in large numbers until next spring. The state is committed to conserving the population of walleyes born in 2013 to improve and rebuild a sustainable population for the future.

      Q: Why do we count hooking mortality during a closed walleye season?

      A: The amount that state anglers can kill (as spelled out in state-bands agreements) also must include fish that die as a result of hooking mortality, the fish that die after being caught and then released back into the water. During the closure, some anglers still catch walleye incidentally and some of those fish die after being released. Under the state-band agreements, those dead fish must be calculated and counted against the state’s allocation.

      Q: How did this cooperative management between the state and the bands of Mille Lacs Lake come to be?   

      A: Recall that in 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld lower-court decisions that allowed the Mille Lacs band and seven other Chippewa bands to exercise off-reservation fishing and hunting rights. The lower federal court also set up guidelines, known as stipulations and protocols, for both sides to follow. These stipulations and protocols provide a framework for how the bands and the state must work cooperatively to manage shared natural resources, including Mille Lacs fish.  In their agreements, the DNR and the bands are required to annually establish the number of walleye that can safely be harvested from Mille Lacs while ensuring sufficient remaining walleye in the lake for a healthy fishery.

      Q: If the walleye population is in decline, why are anglers catching so many?

      A: Fish are biting for two reasons. First, there is a shortage of food for larger walleye. Last fall’s assessment showed that larger walleye were thinner than average. Second, studies in many fisheries show that catchability actually increases when fish population decline.

      In Mille Lacs, walleye congregate in preferred spots rather than disperse evenly throughout the lake. Fewer fish in the lake means there’s more room in the preferred spots for fish to gather, and anglers find these spots where they can catch a larger portion of fish. Finally, while the walleye population has decreased considerably (by half or more), the amount of fishing pressure has declined by a lot more. This means that there are more walleye per angler fishing Mille Lacs today.

      Q: How is the DNR using science and research to help the walleye population?

      A: Mille Lacs Lake is the most studied lake in Minnesota. It is also a complex and changing system. The agency conducts a large number of surveys on the lake annually. These surveys include assessing the abundance of young walleye; setting 52 nets to assess adult abundance; using fine-mesh nets each summer to determine abundance of food (prey fish) for walleye; and using interviews with anglers around the lake (called creel surveys) to estimate the number of fish anglers are catching. The DNR also periodically tags walleye and other species to provide actual population estimates. We are tagging bass this year in cooperation with angling groups, and will be tagging walleye in 2018 and 2019 when the 2013 year class will be reaching full maturity.

      Q: What is the purpose of the external review the DNR has initiated?

      A: The DNR has asked Dr. Chris Vandergoot to lead an independent review of the DNR’s scientific approaches to manage Mille Lacs Lake. Vandergoot is a key member of the international team that co-manages a very significant walleye fishery in Lake Erie. He works for the U.S. Geological Survey in the Sandusky Lake Erie Biological station in Ohio. His review report will be available to the public in early 2018 and will help inform fisheries management decisions for the 2018 season.

      Q: What does the future look like for Mille Lacs walleye?

      A: It is unlikely that Mille Lacs walleye production will return to the levels that state anglers enjoyed over 20 years ago.  The ecosystem of Mille Lacs is going through extreme change, starting with increased water clarity in the mid-1990s, to impacts today from aquatic invasive species such as spiny water flea and zebra mussels. Longer growing seasons are also helping some species such as smallmouth bass but may be hurting others. While walleye will still be abundant, the future fishery will be more diverse, offering angling opportunities for a greater variety of fish.

      ###
    • Lots of politics.  Probably more info in the mille lacs section 
    • Great info!  I haven't done much trout fishing outside of lake trout, so can you tell me if you're allowed to keep any or all of these fish or is it a catch and release fishery only?
    • So what is going on with Mille Lacs?
    • Anyone have any experiance with these?   http://northernlightsrattlereel.com/    
    • Anyone have any experiance with these?   http://northernlightsrattlereel.com/    
    • They were on right. Just rusted up. I took a sander and cleaned up the blades and auger touched up the flighting with some rustolem gloss black.    What I'm trying to figure out is if the blade mout on this jiffy jet is bent or normal. I'm thinking they are fine/correct. They look like they should be a flat blade, but are curved slightly......It looks like a hybrid between a shaver blade & a lazer blade.    Once I cleaned up the blade I turned them on a sheet of plastic and it cut in well. Guess I'll have to wait until ice to see. 
    •   No just got stickers and stuff sent when I bought stuff. A few years ago I emailed some companies asking for stickers and they sent them free of charge. Used them on my Ice rod case, vexilar pak, and stuff so I could tell which one was mine since others had some of the same gear. Those were leftover stickers so I put them on the Mini fridge. Salmo sent some sweet stickers that were measuring tapes. Put one of those on the counter to measure fish & has a lot of info on it.
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