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Lord Fletcher's

Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota

Okay. We can't resist the temptation to inject a bit of friskiness into our Fishing Bars guide. We need to talk about skin. Like in skinning – filleting– a walleye?

Um, well, no.... Let me tell you about it.

Here's the deal. You're out in your boat on Lake Minnetonka, just west of the Twin Cities, on a blistering July afternoon. You're fishin' bass. You've been pounding the waters of the "Best Bass Lake" in the upper midwest all morning, since that beautiful Minnesota sunrise at 5 am.

You've caught exactly one medium sized crappie, snagged somehow by accident. You haven't caught any bass, not a one.

You've thrown every single bass lure you own, ranging from black plastic worms to Roland Martin spinnerbaits – even Jimmy Houston's famous helicopter lure. And you've even stooped to going back in history with that Johnson Silver Minnow that emerged somehow from the tangle of spinner bait skirts in your tackle box.

Skirts?

Hmm..... Speaking of which, it's time to take a break!

So what do you do? Get yourself to Lord Fletcher's just as quick as your boat will take you.

Lord Fletchers Boat Dock

And just why am I so hot to pack you off to Fletcher's?

Here's what you get: there:

  • To begin with, free parking for your boat at one of their slips, with cheerful assistance in tying up from one of their comely young "dock girls,"(don't be intimidated by those battle cruisers) and
  • All the beer you can possible drink(for a price), which
  • Comes in 12–ounce plastic glasses with their "Marching Ducks" logo, that you can take home with you and use for all kinds of things.
  • You get the "Ducks" themselves, see below,
  • You get their superb Bloody Mary's. Now I have to concede their BM's can't really be up to the world–class standard that Kelly concocts at Floyd's. But hey, these beat anybody else's that you may find anywhere in Minnesota.
  • But, and this is probably the most important, you get scenery, oh man do you get scenery, sights for sore eyes like nowhere.

How to get there?

You've probably been fishing the milfoil beds around Goose Island (which by the way has a nice handy Satellite facility as well as picnic areas). Stow your fishing poles, put the boat on plane, and head up into Spring Park Bay, off to the left of the boat launch, under the bridge into Black Lake, heading toward Seton. But be sure to observe the "No Wake" zones throughout the trip. I've got some stories, which I won't get into, about what happens when you don't.

Bare right at Seton and go through the narrows, under another bridge, turn right onto West Arm Bay, boat back on plane, and then to Fletcher's. You'll know you're close when you see the stream of "Minnetonka Battleships" – those huge cabin cruisers that infest the lake – making their parade past the No Wake Zone docks.

Lord Fletcher's Patio Bar

Pull in, tie up your boat, with the help of that "dock girl" I told you about, grab the first vacant spot at the patio bar, order a Bloody mary,and just sit and look for a while. Just look....

Yeah, I know. This is a family–oriented web page, after all, so we can't proceed any further on all that. But you won't be sorry.

Let me comment on the "Marching Ducks." I don't have any idea where their name comes from, but they're certainly one of the nice attractions of Lord Fletcher's. They're a four-person band, with a sax player, a trumpet, a trombone, and something else. They wander around, playing jazz and classic pops, and just about anything else that you can think of, or request from them.

I was there early one Sunday afternoon, before the crowds arrived, and they came by me. I requested "Amazing Grace." They gave me a personal serenade for fifteen minutes, in such sweet rhythm and harmony that I almost cried in my Bloody Mary. I gave them $20 when I left. And it was worth it, it really was.

Lord Fletcher's on the Lake – one of our different but favorite Fishing Bars....

Post script

What I've told you about is summertime, when the livin' is easy. But there's another side.

Just last week, this February, I happened to be out for lunch with Marie. For some spontaneously unknown reason, we decided to get a bite to eat at Fletcher's, which we've visited so many times with my boat.

We drove there, parked in the deserted parking lot, and wandered the patio. We were alone. The falling snow, those large, gently dancing, fluffy flakes that Mother Nature sometimes awards you for living in Minnesota, blurred the frozen lake into a gray haze. The snowdrifts on the empty boat slips came up over the docks, and we couldn't tell where the lake ended and the board walkway began.

We stood there for a while, watching the drifting snow, and then went back to the car, leaving the bar to the ghosts of summers gone, when the Ducks played and the boats paraded past the docks and the Bloody Mary's flowed...

Can't wait for open water and warmer weather to peruse this most "dubious" of Fishing Bars....

One that has all of the usual distinguishing characteristics, such as:
  • Hardly small and off of the beaten path. If anything, patrons beat a path (by land, boat or seaplane) to it. Consider yourself lucky to find a boat slip; All the while feeling inferior about your 16–foot "dingy".
  • It is THE place to be and be seen, (with your yacht – you know!)
  • Doesn't have pull–tabs – pollutes the water and dock area.
  • Has several large screen T.V.s constantly blaring in your ear. And "Ducks"? I know the geese act like they own the place.
  • Doesn't have a pool table, but if it did, it wouldn't have any tears in the felt. But does have darts.
  • Did someone say Bloody Mary's? Instead of beer?
  • Is patronized by great numbers from every surrounding suburb and then some.
  • The patrons only look at you if you're wearing a two piece swimming suit.
  • The bar top is weathered by mother nature, not scarred and stained by generations.
  • The bar tenders are too busy to listen to your foolish fishing sob stories much less pour you a beer.



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Date Created: February 21, 1999
Last Modified: March 27, 2004
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