Lake Sagatagan

I have several "favorite places on earth" that range in location from gardens in Germany to cliffs in Hawaii to some crazy peacock ranch in Lubock, Texas, but one that is closer to home is Lake Sagatagan. Apart from its beauty, it's one of the only lakes I know (outside of The Boundary Waters) that has both a no development and no motor policy. There are a few St. John's University buildings, including the chapel, but other than that, the lake is surrounded by light and dark greens: maple, oak, birch, elm, pine, lily pad, bulrush, water iris. The water is a perfect cold, a perfect clear. And canoes are king.

Two weekends ago, I went canoe fishing on Sagatagan with my Dad-o. It was an overcast day, but that made the sunnies easier to see, and I've always loved being choosey with the fate of my worms. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven -- up they came, energetic and yellow-bellied and big enough to eat, and I wondered aloud why I'd let a year pass since I'd last made time for the canoe, for fishing rods and nightcrawlers and an afternoon at the lake I've come to for most of my life.

The best part of the afternoon was when Pop hooked a bigger fish with his rapala. It took ten minutes of struggle, of detangling the line from the weeds, of waiting the bugger out, before a monster big-mouthed bass emerged, and I am not ashamed to say I screamed! for the sheer joy of it! the shock! because I've never been witness to such a big fish being pulled from such shallow water. My lack of restraint made my dad grin, which made me grin all the more, because--hey--life is sometimes so right you've just got to shout.

Where are your favorite places on earth, friends? 
I have a few extra shouts in my belly, just waiting...   :)


  1. tell us more about that peacock farm in west texas!

    a few of my favorite places:

    1. swains cove, little deer isle, maine
    2. ghost ranch, abiquiu, new mexico
    3. a waterfall somewhere in the mountains west of oaxaca
    4. my backyard

  2. Well, the peacocks were as pervasive as cats on a Midwest farm, they roosted high up in trees, and their cry was one of the eeriest sounds I've ever heard (part baby, part other world, part pain, part longing). It was one of the strangest places I've ever been, and therefore the most memorable and exotic. Hmm...I probably should use those details in a story, huh? :)

    Thanks for sharing your list. What I want to know is, does ghost ranch mean "abandoned" or "haunted"?!

  3. What a sweet post! Yes, unaltered lakes have a mystique and beauty all there own. Now that you have remembered the joys of a canoe and fishing rod please don't wait for another year to pass. You express such joy about this!

    Nice catch by your Dad, by the way. Went bass fishing with me youngest son yesterday and caught some mighty fine small mouth bass. I also had a lovely day on an undeveloped lake.

  4. Thanks, Bill. I was just in the canoe this past weekend, so I took your advice! My cousin-in-law even deep-friend some walleye. Delish!


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