25 A bucket-list guide to the most Midwest ways to float in, swim through and chill out by the H20 near you. Summer is here. Drink it up. WAYS TO W5ter 1 CAST AWAY Fish come in all sizes, and all spirits too. Little bluegills hang out under docks, their curiosity piqued by nothing more than a bit of hot dog on a child’s hook. Walleye lurk deep in cold waters and fight back with Melvillean furor. Trout play coy, chasing feathered flies that flit on the surface of rippling streams. Catfish just seem dopey. But big or small, easy or tough, in a pond or on a Great Lake, catching them always follows the same arc. The bait. The wait. The tug on the line. The leap of the heart. The reeling in—a timeless battle of survival and will, energy coursing between two species along a single taut filament, the victor never a guarantee. You are a body of water—roughly 60 percent anyway. Or maybe more if you grew up in Michigan, the wettest state in the country (at least by one measure). Surface water covers 41.5 percent of Michigan, edging out Hawaii for the top spot. But you don’t need to live in a place made of peninsulas or islands to quench your thirst for summer fun. From Nebraska to Ohio, Minnesota to Missouri, storied rivers define our cities. Lakes shape our vacations. Waterfalls lure us up trails. (Heck, one of the best sailing spots in the region is in our driest state, Kansas. See #23.) This year, the therapeutic effects of spending time near water feel more important than ever. So here’s our entirely biased list of the best ways to do so, Midwest-style. WRITERS HANNAH AGRAN + TIMOTHY MEINCH ANYWHERE! 68 MWL J/A 2020
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