Rare sighting highlights a day on the ice on Saganaga
Mar 23, 2018 06:57AM ● Published by Editor
SAGANAGA LAKE, GUNFLINT TRAIL — We must have noticed the animal at about the same time. Two of us were riding two-up on a snowmobile, heading back to our cabin last weekend after a day of lake trout fishing.
The late-afternoon sun was bathing a bay on the U.S. side of Saganaga Lake in buttery light. We were about 60 miles north and west of Grand Marais, traveling on the Canadian side of this big border lake.
The creature was simply sitting on the lake, like a dog would if he were waiting for someone to toss him a treat. At first, I thought it was a fox, but, no, it seemed somewhat larger than a fox. We idled the snow machine and shut it off.
The animal was perhaps 100 yards or so away, catching the rich afternoon light. The March day had been warm, topping out near 40 degrees. We quickly discerned that the animal was not a fox. It had to be a bobcat or a lynx. Both of us quickly noted that the cat appeared to have the elongated ear tufts that indicated a lynx. A grainy iPhone photo would later confirm that.
A lynx. The first either of us had ever seen.
Already, it had been a fine day. A long snowmobile ride. A 40-minute ski to our lake trout spot. More exploratory skiing and hole-drilling to prospect some new territory. We had put four lake trout on the ice and had kept two — our limit in these Canadian waters.
But this — the lynx — made the day.
Read more of Sam Cook's column by following this link to The Duluth News Tribune.