Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Connecting a British rock band & ice fishing in Minnesota February 11, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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The rock band name on this shed leaves the unanswered question, "Why?"

The rock band name on this shed leaves the unanswered question, “Why?”

IN A SOUTHWEST FARIBAULT backyard rests a shed emblazoned with the name of an English rock band, Led Zeppelin.

This might be more than a shed. It looks like an ice fishing house. For those of you from warm weather states unfamiliar with such a shelter, here’s the deal. In the frigid cold of winter, anglers walk or drive onto frozen lakes to fish. Yes, you read that right. Drive. Once there, they hunker down in the open air or in mini houses to fish through holes drilled into the ice.

Houses can range from mass-produced collapsible fabric to homemade from plywood to massive homey shelters resembling mini cabins.


Led Zeppelin name on shed 61 close-up


I’ve only ever fished in an ice house similar to the Led Zeppelin one. That was decades ago when I was in my late twenties, newly-married and slightly interested in the sport.

But many Minnesotans take ice fishing seriously. This past weekend, thousands of anglers converged on frozen Gull Lake in northern Minnesota for the Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravganza, the largest ice fishing tournament in the world. The winner, a Chaska man, hooked a 5.33 pound walleye to land the grand prize of a GMC pick-up truck. Not bad for a day of fishing.

See how thoughts thread together, how the name of a rock band on a shed in Faribault can lead me to expound on ice fishing in Minnesota? Yes, winter is growing long.

Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling