Fishing for StoriesFishing for Stories
Minnesota is home to more anglers and more fishing opportunities than just about any other place in the country. The Department of Natural Resources estimates 15,000 miles of cold and warm water streams and 5,493 fishable lakes are available to anglers. Minnesota also leads the nation in per capita sales of fishing licenses. Which means, we should have plenty of good fish stories.
It's been said some of the best fishing takes place not on the water, but in stories. Probably more has been written about fishing in its many forms, than on any other sport. Maybe it's the story of a son's first fish, a favorite piece of gear or the famous big one that got away. It might even be a story of spiritual renewal on a trout stream.

We asked Minnesota Public Radio reporters Dan Gunderson and Chris Julin to collect some good fish stories.

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We want to hear your fish stories, too. Submit yours here, and we may add them to our collection.

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Audio First fish
A child's first fish can produce a memory that will last a lifetime. Doug Leier, a biologist with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, shares one such memory.

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Audio The big one
Fly fishers in our region typically fish small flies for wild trout. Like Ron Miller, they sometimes land the unexpected.

The good gear
Ron Miller, like a lot of anglers, loves fishing gear. Maybe too much. When Miller is not flyfishing, or talking about flyfishing, he practices pediatrics in Fargo, North Dakota.

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Audio Fishing is family affair
Julie and Brad Mackinaw often fish on the Rainy River along the Canadian border. The Mackinaws, both registered nurses, live in Duluth. They like big fish — sturgeons and muskies. In their home, the basement wall is covered with pictures of fish.

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Audio Boat troubles
Gary Hasse enjoys getting out on the water and wetting a line with friends and family. He finds it's better to get the boat in the water first.

Audio Hitting the beach
Gary Hasse tells about finding his way in unfamiliar waters. Hasse is vice president of a publishing company in West Fargo, North Dakota.

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Audio Peace from a river
Luck is a big part of fishing. No luck, no fish. But for fly fisherman and MPR deputy news director Mike Edgerly, luck on a trout stream doesn't necessarily have to involve catching a fish.

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Audio The catch of his life
Eamon Mackinaw, the son of Julie and Brad Mackinaw of Duluth, was only 6 years old when he caught the fish of a lifetime.

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Document A family tradition
MPR reporter Bob Reha and his family fished the Red River for catfish for decades. (Reha died on June 9, 2007)

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Audio Fishing with grandpa
It's been many years since MPR online editor Melanie Sommer went fishing with her grandfather, but the memories are just as vivid as ever.
Fishing facts and figures
How many people actually go fishing each year in Minnesota? How many species of fish can be found in Minnesota waters? See the answers to those and many other fishing questions, courtesy of the DNR.