Why We Love Fall in Walker

September 16th, 2019

The end of summer is a bittersweet time of year. There’s that feeling you get while sitting around a campfire in late August, watching the sunset on the last night of your family vacation. You feel grateful to have created so many wonderful memories together, but melancholy that the time together must come to an end. It’s easy to wish that summer could last forever, but we know that eventually, the kids have to go back to school, work will get busy again, and the days will grow shorter and colder.

Fall Colors in Walker, Minnesota

Photo Credit: MinnesotaNorthwoods.com

But the wonderful thing about life “up north” is that we get to enjoy everything that all four seasons have to offer throughout the year. We enjoy the peace and quiet of a winter snowfall. Soon, that snow melts away, buds appear on the trees, flowers begin to bloom, and the birds begin to sing. As the days become longer, it’s time for leaping off the dock and plunging into the lake, roasting s’mores around a crackling fire, and spending hours of solitude out on the water.

Which brings us to the wonderful season of fall! It’s certainly a special time in northern Minnesota. We love and enjoy all the classic fall traditions like sipping apple cider, carving a jack-o-lantern, and of course, walking among the trees as their leaves change to all shades of red, yellow, and orange. And for all of these things, there’s no better place to be than Leech Lake.

One reason we love fall in Walker is that there are hundreds of miles of wooded trails that provide a perfect opportunity for a hike, stroll, or bike through the trees. The rugged beauty of the Heartland trail is an ideal way to immerse yourself in the sights and sounds that nature offers around this time of year, as you hear the satisfying crunch of leaves beneath your feet and birds calling over your head as they fly south.

(Helpful tip for those who may not live in the Leech Lake area but love to make a trip to enjoy the fall colors: the Minnesota DNR provides a handy tool to track when the leaves change color around the state. You can even sign up for email updates! Check out the Fall Colors Finder here.)

Of course, fall isn’t just about enjoying nature, it’s about enjoying each other’s company, as well! Festivals, celebrations, and gatherings abound, from Fall Has it All and Ethnic Days to Oktoberfest feasts. A quick peek at the Leech Lake events calendar makes it obvious that there is PLENTY of merriment to enjoy in the months of September and October!

We enjoyed a wonderful summer here in Walker, and it’s always a little disappointing when we realize that a great season has come to an end. But it’s also a reminder why we love living in Walker, living near Leech Lake, and living in Minnesota: at the end of every season, we there’s another one right around the corner.

7 of the Funniest Fishing Lures

August 13th, 2019

Need a way to pass the time and enjoy a little laugh as you wait for a nibble on your line? We scoured the web for goofy, unusual, and flat-out weird fishing lures for your entertainment. Here’s the 7 lures that gave us the biggest chuckle.

 

#1 – Labatt Blue Bottle Cap Lures

 

 For those who really love their Canadian beers, give these bottlecap lures a try! Maybe you’ll find some walleye who share your taste in pilsners.

#2 – “The Floater”

 

It should be obvious why we chose to list this particular lure at this particular position in the list… Maybe it’s for catching “crappies”?

#3 – Spark Plug Lure

 

What do you need to drive a car underwater?
Your diver’s license!

#4 – Corn on the Cob Lure

 

For extra effectiveness, drench this lure with butter and salt first!

#5 – Submarine Lure

 

Keep an eye out for tiny torpedos!

#6 – Alien Fishing Lure

 

Maybe this little green man will help you “abduct” a big Northern or two.

 

#7 – Troll Doll Lure

 

“Dave, this isn’t what I meant when I said we should try trolling for fish.”

Bonus Pic – “Fish Eye” Fish Camera

 

It’s not a lure, but we had a good chuckle at this made-up prank gift box. Gives a whole meaning to the term fish-eye lens!

We’re not sure how well these lures will actually perform… for some truly helpful fishing insight, be sure to check out our weekly Fishing Reports. If you do want to give some wacky lures a try, you’ll need a place to stay — we’ve got you covered. Check out our Plan Your Trip tool to select all the amenities you need and find the perfect lodging venue for you.

Are You Up-to-Date on Walleye Fishing in Walker?

July 25th, 2019

 

If you haven’t yet had a chance to take a fishing trip to Walker, MN, you might need a quick refresher on the walleye fishing regulations that took effect at the start of the 2019 fishing season. These regulations only apply to walleye caught in Leech Lake, so if you’re fishing in a different lake in the Walker area, no need to worry! However, we do have some other tips and resources for walleye fishing no matter which lake in Walker you choose, so be sure to read on.

 

New Walleye Regulations for 2019

 

First things first: anyone fishing for walleye in Leech Lake should know the new regulations for 2019. Previously, anglers could keep up to 4 walleye, but were required to release any walleye in the 20-to-26 inch “protected slot.” As of 2019, this protected slot is removed. This means that anglers can still keep 4 walleye in total, but only one may be over 20 inches.

 

The benefit of these new regulations is that you’ll avoid the disappointment of netting a nice, big walleye for your fourth catch…only to find that it’s only 25 inches and needs to be released. It also makes the regulations for Leech Lake much more similar to the rest of the state, making it easier to keep track no matter where you choose to fish in Walker.

Fishing Tips & Resources

 

Of course, even with the updated regulations, you still need to get out there and catch those fish! We have plenty of tips and helpful resources to ensure you land that big catch.

 

First off, be sure to check our website every Thursday for an updated Leech Lake Fishing Report! The experts at Outdoor News provide detailed insights about the latest fishing conditions and hottest spots on the lake. You can find the Fishing Reports here — it’s a great page to keep “bookmarked” so you can easily check on the most recent reports.

 

In addition to our fishing reports, you can also find some general walleye fishing tips specific to Leech Lake. If you’re interested in catching other species in addition to walleye, visit our overall fishing tips page for tips and recommendations from everything from bass to bluegill.

 

Finally, for making your way around the lake and planning which spots you might like to try, we have a whole list of useful maps of Leech Lake. With information about everything from lake depth to vegetation, you’re sure to find a map that tells you exactly what you need to know. Check out the full list of maps here.

Upgrade Your Equipment

 

In case you missed it earlier this year, we wrote up some blog posts that reviewed some of the newest fishing gear for 2019. We covered everything from lures and rods to depth finders and tackle bags. Check out Part 1 and Part 2!

 

Already made your way out to Walker and realized you forgot something? No worries. Many of the available Leech Lake lodging options in the Walker, MN area have extra fishing supplies available if you need them!

With all this fantastic information at your disposal, you should be well-equipped for a successful fishing trip. Here’s hoping you leave Walker with plenty of walleye!

Our Favorite Things to Do in Walker, MN

July 11th, 2019

 

Planning a fishing trip or family vacation to the Leech Lake area and looking for the best things to do in Walker during your visit? We’ve compiled a list of all the best, can’t-miss activities for you and your family to check out while you’re in town!

 Hike Through the Chippewa National Forest

 

Home to more lakes and wetlands than any other National Forest, the Chippewa National Forest offers abundant opportunities to enjoy the sights and sounds of trees, birds, and woodland creatures, as well as bubbling brooks and splashing fish! In addition to all the natural wonders, you’ll find within the Chippewa National Forest, the activities and exhibits in the Visitor Center provide many hands-on opportunities to discover the cultural and historical history of the area.

 

Check out this interactive hiking map provided by the National Forest Service to plan your hike!

Catch a Show at the Minnesota Folklore Theatre

 

The Minnesota Folklore Theatre is a non-profit theatre dedicated to producing and promoting enriching, family-friendly shows for the Walker, MN community. In addition to the stage itself, the Theatre houses a gallery of works crafted by local artists and provides classes and camps for younger actors.

 

The Folklore Theatre’s Summer 2019 season features a wonderful lineup of shows! From June 26 – July 7, catch The Taffetas, “A Musical Journey Through the Fabulous Fifties!” The Taffetas pays tribute to the sounds of The McGuire Sisters, The Fontane Sisters, and The Chordettes.  Up next, from July 23 – 28, hear all your favorite musical theatre show-stoppers at “Two Divas Sing the Best of Broadway,” featuring Kelly Grussendorf and Heather Cruse! The summer season at Folklore Theatre wraps up with Neil Simon’s “The Sunshine Boys,” the tale of a retired vaudeville comedy duo who come together for one last show. “The Sunshine Boys” runs August 23 – September 1! To book your tickets to any of the shows at Minnesota Folklore Theatre, call 218-547-4044.

Hit a Jackpot at Northern Lights Casino

 

Featuring 900 slot machines, blackjack tables, daily poker tournaments, and specials, and weekly gaming promotions, there’s something for everyone at Northern Lights Casino! Of course, Northern Lights offers far more than just gaming. Stop by any of the three fantastic on-site restaurants, and there’s always incredible entertainment in the event center, from “Kickin’ It Old Skool” hip-hop jams to concerts by legends of country music. Best of all, you can book your stay in Northern Lights Hotel and stay as close as possible to all the action! Treat yourself to a two-room suite featuring a jacuzzi, fireplace, dining area, and more.

 

Check out the Northern Lights Casino Hotel website for more information and to book your stay!

female in hiking bootsThese are just a few of our favorite options for things to do in Walker, MN. For an even longer list of attractions, check out our Activities page!

Plan Your Family Vacation to Leech Lake

June 25th, 2019
Looking for the perfect place for your next family vacation? Here are a few reasons why Leech Lake is the perfect family vacation destination!

Take a Family Biking Trip on the Heartland Trail

With a paved, well-maintained pathway that winds through the natural beauty of Leech Lake’s hardwood forests, the Heartland Trail is a fantastic choice for a family bike trip! The 27-mile stretch between Walker and Park Rapids is fully paved and offers a number of rest stops along the way. If you have some younger cyclists in your group, the distance between many of the cities along the trail is usually about 5-6 miles — perfect for a ride of 30-45 minutes or so. Check out our Biking page for more information, as well as this handy trail map from the DNR!

See a Show at the Minnesota Folklore Theatre

The Minnesota Folklore Theatre is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting family-friendly arts, culture, and entertainment in the Leech Lake area! They offer shows throughout the summer, many featuring young actors in plays that other young theatre-goers are sure to enjoy. The Theatre also houses art exhibits and other events, so plan to stop by even if you aren’t seeing a show! Check out their website for more information.

Hit the Links with a Family Golf Outing!

Walker’s own Tianna Country Club not only offers a fantastic par-72 18-hole course featuring stunning views of Leech Lake, but they also offer three & four-day golf classes for younger golfers! The classes meet for two hours a day in the mornings, giving the older folks just enough time to get through a round of their own! Once everyone has finished up, head to the Clubhouse for a delicious brunch or lunch. With multiple sessions offered throughout the summer and rates as low as $50 for a three-day session, it’s a great way for younger folks to hone their golfing skills and enjoy the outdoors! Check out the Tianna website for more information.

Relax and Play Along the Shore

With so many fantastic resorts and lodges located right along the Leech Lake shoreline, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy what vacation is all about — some rest and relaxation! Many of the resorts and lodges in the Leech Lake area offer recreation areas, scheduled activities, game rooms, and more, so the older folks can rest assured that the younger folks are in good hands while they take their afternoon siesta. Check out our lodging page for a convenient list of all the available options!

As you can see, the Leech Lake area offers plenty of options and attractions that make it a perfect choice for your family’s summer vacation. You can find even more ideas on our Activities page, or request more information about specific events or attractions you’re interested in! Leech Lake MN golfer back lit

Treat Dad to an Unforgettable Father’s Day

June 16th, 2019

Father’s Day weekend is a perfect opportunity to say “thank you” to all the amazing men who have acted as fathers, mentors, role models, and spouses throughout our lives. The Leech Lake area is chock-full of ways to treat Dad to a weekend to remember! Read on for just a few of the many ideas.

 

Enjoy a Night at the Casino

Northern Lights Casino on Walker, MN features over 900 slot machines, live blackjack, and daily poker tournaments! Plan a dinner date at Dancing Fire Restaurant or eat your hearts out at the Northstar Buffet. With live entertainment, daily promotions and special offers, Dad is sure to enjoy an evening filled with fun.

If you’re interested in a more laid-back night of gaming and fun, check out either of Northern Lights Casino’s partner casinos, Palace Casino Hotel in Cass Lake or White Oak Casino in Deer River. Be sure to check out all the unique promotions, offers, and entertainment available at each casino!

Northern Lights Casino

Palace Casino Hotel

White Oak Casino

 

Plan a Fishing Getaway

Of course, what dad wouldn’t love a weekend of the best fishing spots that Minnesota has to offer? With a multitude of fantastic fishing resorts, campgrounds, and lodges nestled along the Leech Lake shoreline, there’s a perfect choice for anglers of all levels.

We know that different dads prefer to fish in different ways, so whatever type of angler you’re treating this Father’s Day, we have just the thing!

For those looking for all the modern conveniences that allow them to kick back in between trips onto the lake, try the fully-equipped fishing resorts of Steamboat Bay Resort, Woodland Resort, Acorn Hill Resort, Anderson’s Horseshoe Bay Resort, Hiawatha Beach Resort, Oak Point Resort, or Brindley’s Harbor Resort.

 

Book a Tee Time

One great thing about Father’s Day is that it takes place during a time of year that’s perfect for a few rounds of golf! The golf courses of the Leech Lake area feature breathtaking views of the lake and immaculately maintained grounds. In case Father’s Day weekend doesn’t work out for booking a tee time, you can also give a golfing gift certificate or tee time punch card!

These are just a few of the ways you can say “thanks” to the father figures in your life for all they’ve done. Still in need of some more ideas? Check out our Attractions page for other local highlights in the Leech Lake area, such as hiking trails, museums, and recreation areas. The Leech Lake Chamber of Commerce website features a database of restaurants, stores, and pubs in and around Walker. And don’t forget to check out our Lodging page to browse your options for your weekend stay.

Our Favorite Fishing Jokes Ever

May 29th, 2019

Lack of bites on the lake got you down? Need some ways to pass the time while you’re waiting for a nibble? We’ve got just the thing! We’ve compiled some of our favorite fishing jokes for your amusement (and possible groaning…).

 

It’s the Least He Could Do

Two old fishing buddies are fishing on the bank of a small stream, just off the side of the road.

As they sit and wait for a nibble on their lines, they hear the sound of several vehicles approaching. Soon enough, a line of cars in a funeral procession comes around the bend.

Upon seeing this, one of the men stands up, removes his fishing cap, and solemnly holds it over his heart until the entire procession passes by. He then turns back around, places his cap back on his head, and resumes his fishing.

His fishing buddy, taken aback by his companion’s unexpected display of reverence, comments, “gee, Bill, I’m impressed. Good on you for being so respectful.”

Bill shrugs and responds, “It’s the last I could do. We were married for 35 years, after all.”

 

Divine Intervention

After enjoying his usual pre-fishing routine of gulping down several beers at the local bar, Sven set out to do some moonlight ice fishing.

Upon reaching the lake, he took out his drill and began to cut a hole. As soon as he began to drill, a loud voice from above cried out, “There are no fish here!”

Though startled, Sven took it as a sign from above and moved to another spot on the lake. He began to drill again, and once again, a loud voice from the skies cried out, “There are no fish here!”

With growing concern, Sven crossed to the other end of the small lake. “This must be far enough,” he thought. “Surely there are fish here.” And so he began to drill once more. And, once more, a voice from the heavens cried out, “There are no fish here!”

In desperation, Sven cried out, “God, is that you?”

“No, you idiot,” the voice responded, “it’s the rink manager.”

 

Loaves and Fishes?

A young man was visiting a small woodland town that was known for its abundantly stocked lakes and delicious fish fries.

Excited to try some delicious fried fish for himself, he asked around town about the very best place for a meal. Everyone he asked told him of a small monastery deep in the woods, where lived a small group of monks known for their prowess in catching and cooking the best fish & chips anyone had tasted.

And so, the young man followed their directions, which took him along a small, well-worn path far into the forest.

Finally, he came across a small, stone monastery. He knocked on the wooden door, and a rather plump man in a brown robe opened the door.

“Hello,” said the young man, “are you the fish friar?”

“No,” he responded, “I’m the chip monk.”chip monk

 

We hope you enjoyed our jokes! What are YOUR favorite fishing jokes to get a laugh (or a groan) out of your fishing pals?

 

Celebrate Mother’s Day at Leech Lake!

May 8th, 2019

We’ve always thought that spring was the perfect time of year to celebrate Mother’s Day. The sight of fresh, green grass, budding flowers and trees, and the sound of songbirds all remind us that “Mother Nature” has woken from her Winter nap, not to mention that many critters & creatures become mothers around early spring. So, it only seems appropriate to celebrate the motherly figures in our own lives by spending some time in the beauty of nature with them! To help give you some ideas for planning the perfect Mother’s Day, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite Mother’s Day activities — and of course, they’re all great ways to enjoy the outdoors throughout the season!

 

Spend An Afternoon at Forestedge Winery

Located in Laporte, MN, just outside the Paul Bunyan National Forest , Forestedge Winery offers 16 different wines, all crafted using local berries and fruits — including the rhubarb grown on-site at the winery. You can take a tour of the winery to learn more about the production and bottling process, stroll through the winery gardens, or simply enjoy the fruits of their labors on the serene outdoor patio! Sample their award-winning black currant wine, their rhubarb – raspberry wine, or their white cranberry wine — you really can’t go wrong.

Plus, the winery’s proximity to the Paul Bunyan National Forest make it the perfect starting or ending point before a lovely afternoon hike through the woods. Note that the winery is open for business from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Wednesdays through Saturdays, and 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM on Sundays, so plan your day accordingly!

 

Horseback Riding at the Pine River Riding Stable

Pine River Riding Stable offers private, guided horseback rides tailored to whatever kind of ride you’d prefer. So whether you and your group are novice riders looking for a new way to experience the great outdoors, or have some experience under your belt and want to feel the wind in your hair, the guides at Pine River Riding Stable will facilitate a horseback excursion that’s tailored just for you!

If you have a larger group, or are a little hesitant about riding horseback, the riding stable also offers hay rides and covered wagon rides. Both options include snacks and refreshments, including a brief stop at the bonfire to roast some s’mores during your ride! The stables are open year-round, seven days a week, and offer plenty of hourly options and specialty packages, so it’s a great option for any trip or day out!

 

Play a Round of Golf

For those motherly figures who enjoy some time on the links, the Leech Lake Area has no shortage of fantastic courses. From the Championship 18-hole course along the shore at LongBow Golf Club, to the gorgeous woodland setting of Tianna Country Club, a round of golf in the Leech Lake area promises a perfect blend of fantastic courses with spectacular views. Tianna Country Club features a full menu of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, and LongBow Golf Club has partnered with local lodging venues to offer stay & play packages.

 

These are just a few of the many great ways to celebrate Mother’s Day in the Leech Lake area. We hope our list gave you some ideas for planning your own Mother’s Day festivities, and you can always check out our Attractions page for even more fabulous options!mothers day

Is Your Fishing Gear Ready for Spring? – Part 2!

April 16th, 2019

After a particularly cold and snowy winter, isn’t the onset of bright, warm, sunny days such a relief? Finally, we can put away the long johns, extra-thick scarves, and hand warmers, and start looking ahead to time on the lake.

While we still have a few weeks until the opener, it’s never too early to ensure you have all your equipment and tackle in order. As you dig all your rods and tackle boxes out of storage, you might find that some of your gear is about due for an upgrade. We’ve done a little research to help narrow down your choices to the best in each category! This month, we’ll highlight different types of gear and equipment that are receiving great reviews from around the web.

Fishing Rod: KastKing WideEye Walleye Fishing Rod

While walleyes usually don’t take much effort to reel in once you have them hooked, they also have an extremely soft bite, meaning the real challenge is usually detecting that a walleye is nibbling your bait in the first place. As such, a good walleye fishing rod is crafted from a lightweight enough material for optimal sensitivity while still offering enough power and durability to quickly and effectively set your hook.

With that in mind, we found that the KastKing WideEye Walleye Fishing Rod offered the best combination of functionality and value. With weights as low as 3.4 ounces, but with the strength and durability of their carbon-fiber construction, these rods will respond to even the gentlest nibble from a curious walleye.

Check it out on Amazon!

 

Fishing Net: Frabill Conservation Series Landing Net

Of course, getting a fish on your line is only one part of the process — you need to get that prized catch actually in the boat! Few things are more frustrating to have a prize-worthy walleye on your line, only to fumble with your fishing net at the last second as your catch wriggles its way free.

Point being, don’t neglect how useful a high-quality fishing net can be! It might make the difference between bringing home a trophy catch or a story about “the one that got away.” One such high-quality net is the Frabill Conservation Series Landing Net. With a super-strong CAM-LOK reinforced handle and a deep, flat bottom base, this net makes snatching walleye a breeze.

As one reviewer on Amazon put it: “This net doesn’t get the treble hooks tangled in very much and overall is a HUGE improvement in landing a fish. You don’t want to have errors when you have a big fish on the line and near the boat and the extension in the handle is fantastic.”

Check it out on Amazon!

We hope you enjoyed our recommendations! What are YOUR must-have pieces of gear for 2019?

Is Your Fishing Gear Ready for Spring?

April 9th, 2019

After a particularly cold and snowy winter, isn’t the onset of bright, warm, sunny days such a relief? Finally, we can put away the long johns, extra-think scarves, and handwarmers, and start looking ahead to time on the lake.

While we still have a few weeks until the opener, it’s never too early to ensure you have all your equipment and tackle in order. As you dig all your rods and tackle boxes out of storage, you might find that some of your gear is about due for an upgrade. We’ve done a little research to help narrow down your choices to the best in each category! Over the next few weeks, we’ll highlight different types of gear and equipment that are receiving great reviews from around the web.

Lures: Cotton Cordell “Wally Diver Triple Threat”

Fishing experts agree that the “Triple Threat” 3-pack is a must-have for walleye fishing. The distinct coloring of each lure provides you with a perfect lure for any season, and for the summer months, they can be trolled for when the walleye need a little extra encouragement.

Although we particularly recommend the “Triple Threat” for walleye fishing, the reviews on these lures suggest that they’re a great all-around choice.

Purchase them on Amazon!

 

 Fish Finder: Garmin Striker 4

We don’t have to remind you that there are some very high-tech fish finders out there, with price tags to match. For the average sportsman, a $1,000+ fish finder might be just a little too much, regardless of how many features and gadgets it includes.

So while it might be true that the absolute best fish finders are those high-end models, we instead looked around for the best balance of price and functionality. And from that perspective, the Garmin Striker 4 took the cake. As you can see in the graphic above, it does a great job of combining navigation assistance with fish-finding, making it easy to ensure you’re staying on course while not missing out on any good spots.

Do note that you’ll need a separate power supply for the Striker 4 — by scrolling down to the “Frequently Bought Together” section on the Amazon page, you can easily find the proper battery for the unit.

Purchase it on Amazon!

 

Utilities: Duluth Pack All Day Lumbar Pack

 

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of ways for you to carry your gear from one place to another — obviously, some are better than others. The reason we like the Duluth Pack All Day Lumbar Pack is that it’s so versatile — with all sorts of zippered compartments, adjustable / removeable straps, and waterproof lining, it’s sure to come in handy on both your fishing trips and your hunting trips. And, of course, all Duluth Pack products feature their lifetime guarantee, so it could very well be the last bag you ever buy!

Purchase it on Duluth Pack!

We hope you liked our recommendations for this week! Check back later this month for more ideas about the best fishing gear & accessories for 2019.