Sadly, mankind's broad march across Minnesota since statehood has resulted in the loss of big northern pike. Sure, hammer handles -- forearm-length pike -- are still found by the boatload. But big boys (more specifically, girls) are rare. Not so much on Basswood, the immense lake that straddles the Minnesota-Canadian border within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Here all year, but in fall and winter particularly, trophy northerns await anglers adventuresome enough to weather autumn's low clouds and rain. Please fish with an eye to the future: Cast, catch, measure and release. That way, Basswood's prize northerns will endure.