School Days;)

September 8, 2018

Hi there!  Yes, September is here and school has begun.  My education began last Thursday when Gruper and I ventured out for a bit of fishing.  My hubby took all four points:  first, biggest, most and variety (one perch and one clam/rock).  He put four perfect 16-17″ eaters in the deadwell, two of which are in the freezer waiting to go to Iowa.  I was not skunked, however, and caught a gazillion 8-12″ walleye.  I think my last might have neared the 14″ range.  I also lost quite a few, and my coach pointed out a weakness of mine:  bringing the rod to my reeling hand after the hook-set instead of taking my reeling hand to the rod (I was allowing slack when I lowered the rod, giving the fish a chance to escape).

Gruper’s education soon followed.  We headed out again on Wednesday.  It was Windy (with a capital W).  We went no farther than Johnson’s Island for our adventure.  I caught first (a healthy 16″er for my dinner), biggest and most!  There was no variety point to be tallied.  I also caught smallest, a darling 5-6″er.  As for Gruper…skunked:(  He played the “guide” card and was rewarded with a pork chop while I enjoyed my self-caught dinner!

We decided to sneak out again today.  All of our guests are used and seasoned Wabaskang veterans, so we are taking full advantage!  We didn’t stay out long and struggled a bit, but Gruper put a fat 17″er in the deadwell for the freezer.  He took first, biggest and most (no variety point again) and I refrained from being skunked by catching one teenager.

The weather has been lovely.  Colors are not yet on, and I wonder if that’s due to our lack of rain(?)  I certainly hope the golds come out to create the contrasts we’ve grown to appreciate up here.

I apologize for not having pics from our fishing outings to share.  If you’ve followed this blog for any time at all, you know I have a bad history with cameras and water.  I’ve managed to kill two really nice cameras–one by salt water and one by rain water.  I do not need to take my i-pad or smarter-than-I phone out onto the lake.  Last year’s punishment camera was awful.  I miss having a camera but am obviously not responsible enough:(

Frank’s group had a good week!  Mike released a beautiful 36″ northern and Tim released an equally beautiful 26″ walleye!  The guys enjoyed plenty of shore lunches and took home their fish as well.  Photos to come.  Here’s a cool one, though, of Frank helping Mike’s big northern live on:


Bruce and Debbie were here for their annual visit a couple of weeks ago.  Bruce visits with the guys in June, then returns for a fun, relaxing week with Debbie.  Debbie does it all:  fishes, blueberry picks, dishes…


She is a two-handed, marginally dirty picker.  But let me tell you something:  the woman gets A LOT of berries!


She caught a cute fish!


You can really see the smoke in that pic.  We had several days of heavy smoke and red moons.  We have cleared up now, but during their visit we could smell smoke all day long. This merganser shot was taken on a smoky day:


It cleared up enough for some beautiful pics:


Check out these eagle shots:

I thought this cloud look eagle-like


and Kyle has a bird of his own…


Even though this sunset is nice,

I really loved the muted tones of this one:


For now, the moose, Bruce and I bid you adieu!




Almost There

September 17, 2018

Hi there:)  I was looking at the calendar and realized we are almost finished with our 15th season.  Where does the time go?  The strangest phenomenon is that I’ll think, “When such-and-such gets here” or “I can’t wait to show this to…” and then I realize they’ve already been and gone for the season.  Socially, it all happens so quickly for me.

I’ve been so busy with cabin closings that I needed to remind myself what else I’ve been doing for the last month or so!  Well…I certainly picked A LOT of berries this season!  Debbie, Diane, Mary (taking photo) and I enjoyed a GREAT pick one day:


I joined my Canadian galpals in Ear Falls for a LOVELY luncheon:


Jenny and Kraig had a bit shorter visit than usual, so she and I had to cram A LOT into, like, 9 days!  We took an acrylic paint pour class with Kathy and Susie (awesome fun);


she and Kraig came for dinner for my birthday (I made yet another cake roll);


and we experienced this year’s final potluck, featuring an out-of-this-world sunset!


See what I did there?

While they visited, Kraig caught a fantastic SUNRISE and a huge northern!




Then, to wrap up this past whirlwind month, I headed to Evergreen, Colorado!


That’s a view taken from a hike to a glacier!  BEAUTIFUL!  I hiked there with my gal Sal, our buddy JoAnne and her hubby Joe.


Why Evergreen, you may or may not be asking.  ‘Cause Sal’s daughter Beth had a destination wedding there!  I was Sal’s “plus one”!  Here are Beth and Justin:


It was an INCREDIBLE wedding:)


I returned Saturday night to discover that it had finally rained (and rained, and rained) while I was gone.  Sunday morning we had a very hard rain accompanied by hail


There was bigger hail for a bit, but I chose to stay inside and not drown my i-pad or get pelted by ice.

Sandy and Eldon returned to TPC this year!  They had a wonderful time.  Sandy caught and released this 23″ walleye.  I think it looks bigger!


Eldon served as guide and therefore was rewarded with quality Gruper time;)


Bob released a 25″er as well.  He was fishing alone and had no camera, but if you knew Bob like we know Bob you’d believe him too!

We are at two cabins this week.  I’ve seen plenty of eater walleye and big, fat crappie so far in the buckets.

It’s time for a photo fest!  I’ll continue to share pics as I get through them.  I have some from you all on e-mail yet, as well as a couple of bigger folders, so be patient please!

Mitchell, Bob, Rob and Janelle were new to us a few weeks back.  They had a great time and caught plenty o’ fish!  They struck us as experienced anglers right off the bat, and we were correct.  ‘Twas Bob who caught the 42″ musky right in front of Camp!  Here are some of their trip’s highlights:

Bob and Mitchell found nice northerns!

Janelle found her fair share of fish, too!

Rob was in charge of boat operations, inuk-shuk creation and trying his darndest not to smile!


They group certainly enjoys themselves


and works as a team


They enjoyed a week of beautiful scenery as well:


Red “sun”day due to tons of smoke


Hang on a minute…what’s that along the shore???


I think it’s a moose.  Can we get a bit closer???

Cool!  Can we get even closer?



and just like that, where’s Waldo?


Perhaps this inspired Rob’s sudden animation?

Check out that smile!  Winner, winner


Take care!

Time for a Foto Fest!

August 29, 2018


Well, my birthday was Monday and I received the best present EVER–RAIN!!!  We had the most rain we’ve seen all season.  It was enough to perhaps make moving the docks a bit easier on Gruper.  We still need more but at least we got some:)  It had been a good month since we’d had more than a tiny sprinkle.  Thank you, God!

Last week was a good one at Tall Pines Camp!  We had a nearly mirror image of last year’s group.  We love it when all of our guests know each other.  We had one new group, and everyone else was well used.  Fishing was good and continues to improve.  1st and 2nd Lakes were producing walleye in their typical “fall” spots.  Depths started at 13ish’ and began deepening to about 18′ as the week progressed.  I added Jim and Bruce’s nice walleye to our Big Fish page.  I think I’ll put them here too (publisher’s prerogative):

Kraig is here bear hunting…cross your fingers for him.  We have one new batch this week (again), and everyone else is used.  Bucket reports indicate a lot of success on both eater walleye and keeper northern!

Curtis and Maggie returned a few weeks ago with their married Katrina in tow.  It scares me to think of Katrina married (and Sean engaged), as we first met these kiddos when they were pre-teens!  Katrina was a bit loon-y on this trip;)


They enjoyed watching the mergansers as well.  They’re doing that gathering thing they do…

This family always gets off to a slow start fishing.  Then they gather steam and end up just fine!



Thanks for the berry picking, reminiscing, and promise of another trip!

Fred and Bonnie were here several weeks ago with a large chunk of Fred’s tribe!


Bonnie gets crazy with the camera and knows it takes we a few weeks to sort the fodder:)  We’ll start with the kids and grandkids.  Miss Addison does it all in the boat!


Nice catch;)

That poor girl is the only female in a sea of males…brothers and cousins.

Aunt Karen and Uncle Dave are responsible for THREE of the boys…


All of the kiddos were looking forward to tubing!


Uh oh…where’s Rylan????


In a tree with Declan, of course…

Or hanging on the dock with Dad while Uncle Dave does an Irish jig…


They did see some rain during their visit…



Fred and Bonnie stayed two weeks this year.  That gave them ample time to enjoy the family and a second week to be retired!



I LOVE this picture:


Rain often brings rainbows!

Bonnie caught the merganser gathering too


It took me a while to figure out this one…duck butts!


Is it my imagination, or do these clouds look like kissing fish???


Just like this rock always looks like a fish (or a big nose)


They had their share of beautiful days:


Check out this glitter before and after the smoky hazes we’ve been getting:

More good scenery shots:

Check out these reflections!

Personal fave…


We’ve got sunset shots–going, going, gone!

And my favorite shot of all;)


Until next time…

The Adventures of Keegan & Declan

August 19, 2018

Hi there!  It’s beginning to feel a bit like fall here.  We’ve still had not one drop of rain but the ditches and fishing are looking more fallish every day.  I’ve added two walleye–Jeff’s 23″ and his wife Sue’s 25″–and one northern–Clark’s 36″–to our Big Fish page!  There were plenty of eaters as well last week.  Walleye were holding at 13-18′, with most being caught in 2nd and 3rd Lakes.  Our guests are still able to get everywhere they want to go, but the lake is about the lowest we’ve ever seen.

Potluck was small but delicious last week!  I whipped up some venison and wild rice stuffed peppers:


and another one of these evil blueberry zucchini cakes with lemon buttercream icing:


We had a very social group who enjoyed each other’s company.  They gathered for another “social hour” on Thursday!

This week’s group is all used except for newbie Brian’s threesome.  We think they’re off to a good start!

A few weeks ago, Keegan and Declan brought their mum and dad to Tall Pines Camp!  They are busy little anglers who found lots to do at Camp!  Of course they caught fish:



Sometimes they let their folks in on the fun:




They enjoyed all things boy!





They made friends (kids always find other kids)!  Hi, Rylan!


One morning the boys found a mysterious bottle washed ashore!


Its contents were odd:  a map and a key…


The grabbed their parents and headed to the island!  Using the map, they located the “X.”

Time to dig!

The found a treasure chest LOADED with loot!  They couldn’t wait to show their new friends!


We think if they play their cards right, the boys’ parents might get to come back…


and bring friends of their own!


Maybe Ryan will clean their fish…


and they’ll all sit on the grass and watch beautiful sunset after beautiful sunset!





Today marks the 8th anniversary of when we lost Mackenzie.  Special thoughts to my seester Rebecca, niece Jamie, and everyone else who still feels this loss like it happened yesterday.

Until next time…

A Great Week!

August 12, 2018

Hi there.  We just finished a very nice week!  Walleye are back in the swing of things which makes for happy campers!  We had nearly all used guests last week with two exceptions:  Bentley who is almost 1 year old (and our second Bentley in one season!) and Pam whose hubby and daughter finally succeeded in getting her to join them.

We continue to really need rain.  We had a couple of showers last week but not enough to help the lake level.  Luckily our guests were catching walleye on 1st and 2nd lakes.  They were able to reach all of the lakes, but weeds and grass made it cumbersome.  Hopefully we’ll get some much needed rain this week.

Last week’s anglers were finding walleye around 13′.  Minnows seemed to be the bait of choice, though some folks were using crawlers as well.

Pam, Katie and I attended an acrylics class at Helen’s.  There were seven of us in all, and I’m the only weirdo who brought a rolling pin to paint!  It had belonged to Gruper’s mum, and Matriarch Pat said I needed to do something with it…



I think Jenn and Brayton had some creative time on their hands this week(?)  I found a plate of fish and bear-shaped cookies in their fridge after they left!  I used to think I’d have time on Saturdays to provide fresh cookies for all of my guests…


Sure made for a delicious pre-breakfast treat!

Brett, Karen and the kids returned to Camp two weeks ago!  They are a great family who thoroughly enjoys their week away from busy schedules.  This was their sixth trip to Tall Pines Camp!  Fishing is the number one item on Brett and Trent’s agendas (agendi?)!


While Trent has apparently outgrown the blueberry picking, he’s still a wonderful big brother who will hang with his sister…


Yes, you;)


Karen and Tricia have multiple items on their to-do lists…

I’m super grateful for the blueberry item!  Tricia is a crafty one!  Now I know who added Inuk-shuks to my planter!!! Thank you!


She made a great friend in Addison (and together they created the time capsule alluded to in last week’s entry and found this week by Brayton!):


All this adventure makes a growing girl tired!


Tricia usually befriends our ducks.  Lacking them this year, she instead found a nice crawdad:


She’ll touch just about anything…


Her mom…notsomuch!


However, Karen takes lots of beautiful pics while she’s here!


And allows me to take the best pic each year:)  Here’s her lovely family during their first visit in 2012


and this year!


Thanks for sharing your time away with us!  See you next year!


Thank Goodness for Blog Fodder

August 5, 2018

Hi there and happy August!  I’m outside in the office as I work on this entry.  It is a mild day temp-wise, and we’ve had a bit of rain off and on since last night.  We continue to do rain dances; the lake is as low as we care to see it.  We’re supposed to get more rain throughout today and are crossing our fingers.

Life is returning to normal!  We had a nice crew in last week–nearly all used guests–and we saw terrific improvement in both fishing and weather.  Fred’s annual visit included most of the usual suspects.  This year three of his kids and six of his grandkids visited along with a couple of outlaws.  The guys were excited to collect fish for a decent fish fry:


They were able to collect perfect eaters:)  Bruce released a beautiful 20″er:


and added a nice 18″ bass to the Big Fish page!  Thanks, Bruce:)

Everyone switches off kids throughout the week–sort of a yours, mine, ours arrangement.  Steve had one of his and a couple of spares one day:


His son Rylan caught his first-ever walleye!  Check out his face!

At some point Dave and Karen were able to get away with NONE of their three kiddos!



Five of Fred’s six grandkids at Camp last week were boys.  All but Liam had their version of shore lunch on the dock:


What’s a girl to do?  Addison waited until she could read quietly:)


Not that she doesn’t get out and fish


or make a great friend and create a time capsule (that has been placed somewhere in Camp)

Uncle Bruce and Aunt Jean have no kiddos.  Why…because Jean teaches kindergarten;)  They love their nieces and nephews and this nice “Flat Stanley” type of classroom mascot:


Jean always gets some beautiful scenery shots.  Here’s a plane coming in,


a couple of trees for Gruper to get out and trim,

a Where’s Waldo (I count three frogs…do you?),


and some simply lovely shots of our world

I really liked this one…beautiful!


We had some awesome sunsets as well last week.  Jean caught this one!

Projects continue around Camp.  Mark made a nice new lakeside door for the Bear’s Den, and Darlene continues putting a fresh coat on anything she can!  I was kitcheny this week.  Potluck’s entree was meatsloaf


I made a blueberry zucchini layer cake with lemon zest buttercream for dessert


Yesterday I made a crustless blueberry/raspberry pie for dessert with our friends Ryan and Bridget:)  I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t good!


I have been promised blog fodder from two other parties!!!!  That should get me back on track with entries.  Have a FABULOUS week!

Back to Work!

July 25, 2018

Hi there!  After a few small weeks–due in part to multiple cancellations–things are beginning to get back to normal around here.  We are still somewhat small this week, but the gradual increase will prepare us for next week!

Rod and family left Friday after two weeks with us.  They took home all of their limits (maybe not perch) and had an enjoyable time.  They mix fishing with pleasure!  Rod hooks the tube to his boat, and the kids get to enjoy some water sports on the hot days.

We’ve had a couple of scorchers over the past two weeks.  We are now downright cool (61 as I type) and cloudy.  These conditions have contributed to much improved fishing overall.  We’re seeing walleye in the buckets again and hearing about some nice ones!  Dennis released a 24.5″ walleye yesterday.  Diane had stayed in, so he wasn’t able to get a pic.  Luckily, I can use his brother’s picture from June;)


Thanks, Don!

We are still dry and the lake is low.  I’ve been doing rain dances regularly.  We get just enough to keep the crop thriving…


I have about four gallons in the freezer already!  I plan to check out raspberries this week too.

With the slower Camp comes project work.  Darlene has been painting everything she can get her hands on!  She’s into cabin doors and the cabinets under the kitchen sinks right now.  We’ve been doing some staining and trim work as well.  Gruper and Mark did a log replacement on Cabin 4:


It turned out great!  Gruper discovered a funky little dude while working on Cabin 4:

I didn’t see an angry thorn on him but still was leery.  He has been released to the wild.

I found a picture of the paintings from Doug’s stay a couple of weeks ago:


Helen brings out the artiste in everyone!  Good job, Guys!

I’ve been getting in some kitchen time:)  I made another of those cake rolls:


I found that recipe on facebook.  Here’s another one, the caprese-stuffed avacado:

Look who was here!!!!  Matriarch Pat and bff Sal!  They roadtripped together to bring some love from home!  Pat also brought cow steaks for them and tuna steak for me!


We had a lovely visit!  Sal met a new man!!!


I hope he can take care of her…


our steps came off our deck, and Sal fell and dislocated her shoulder:(  I drove her to Dryden (like the wind) where she received excellent care and left with a souvenir gown and sling!  She’s a trooper, though, and we were picking two days later!  So glad she is strong and healthy!

Sal shared some nice pics from her stay…


I liked this big hole in the sky…


super hazy day


lovely sunset

an end to a lovely week, except for the shoulder of course!  We can add that to our endless list of stories…see you in September, Friend!

Have a good week, All!

Still Breathing:)

July 14, 2018

Yes we are.  Camp is small again this week, and Gruper and I continue to take it easy.  Becky, Mackayla and Emily all left late last week.  The girls both wanted to make their own souvenir–an acrylic painting:)  Check these out!


I’d love to say they got their creative talents from me…but…

I drove Emily into Minnesota, handed her off, and returned to Camp all in one day (500 miles)!  Our visit was nice, and Emily was able to experience a taste of our “other” life.  The drive was quite pretty:


The girls enjoyed their plane ride, as did Mr. Bentley!  We told him he could climb on board and look around.  Unbeknownst to him, he was going up with his mom and grandma!  His enthusiasm after the flight could be summed up in one word:  joy!



As you can see, he was “flying high”!

This adventure with his mom and grandma was significant:  his papa (Big O, John O’Neill) passed nearly a year ago, and this family needed to return to Tall Pines Camp.  Gruper and I honestly felt it was very important to help with closure.  The ladies did a great job!  Nita operated a tiller–something I don’t care to do–and both she and Rachel provided multiple opportunities for Bentley to fish, frolic, and heal.


That boy caught that fish 100% on his own!  His papa is so proud!  Bentley left a picture that is hanging on our fridge as I type (and get teary):


Enjoy Alabama, Buddy (drive your mum nuts with the sand)!

Doug and his beautiful family returned last week, and brought friends!  The boys spent a lot of time fishing, in spite of mayflies and warm temps.  Warren released this northern


and Evan released a walleye seed!


Erika and Monika took advantage of massages(!), and the boys all took a painting class!

The ladies also joined me for what I thought would be a “pancake and muffin pick.”  I was very wrong…folks, I have 1 gallon in the freezer already!  #banner season


Doug was with Duane when he released this BEAUTIFUL fish!


Yes, he could have kept that walleye as his 18″+, but he CHOSE to return her to the lake!  Thank you, Duane!  We look forward to seeing you and Jan again next year!

Gruper and I sneaked out for our first fishing session this week!  He boated two bass and a perfect eater walleye for me; I boated nothing.  I was plucked repeatedly, lost a small walleye (I think) before it reached surface, and had my line cut–most probably by a northern.  Surface temps were around 74, and flies–not may–were most active.  We still had a very nice time!

Rod and family are here for two weeks.  They enjoy the northern hunt as well as chilling!  We are excited that my gal Sal and our matriarch Pat will be here today!  Our third quiet week will be filled with love and relaxation!  I’ll close with Doug and Erika’s definition of perfection (I think)!



Time for a Breather

July 3, 2018

Hi there!  Yes, it’s that time of year when Camp is smaller, the pace a bit slower, and the owners a bit more relaxed!  The temps have been downright cool in the evenings, making for nice sleeping.  We are still seeing a few pesky mayflies but not big herds of them.

Last week was a bit tougher for the anglers.  We began seeing a few walleye by week’s end.  Reports were that they were starting at about 8′ and moving deeper.  Folks were having success in the narrows between 2nd and 3rd Lakes as well as on humps.  I added a big walleye and northern from Dave as well as a big walleye from Ryan to our Big Fish page (

This week has started slow.  Reports are that the tried and true walleye spots and “one and done.”  Two of our cabins are folks who have fished this lake for YEARS, and they are still trying to hit their stride.  I believe they will:)

Mike, Pete, Ron and the boys were here a couple of weeks ago.  They had a blast and did a fine job figuring things out around here!







I’m not sure what their bait of choice was…


Kirk and Wendy were here a couple of weeks ago too!  They returned for a week of rest and relaxation.  They thoroughly seem to enjoy themselves during their stay.  Here are a few of their pics:



Nice perches, Kirk!


You, too, Wendy;)


Here’s a great sunset from the deck of Cabin 4:


So with a smaller Camp we usually get a bit o’ family!  Becky and Mackayla returned and brought our youngest niece Emily from Minnesota!  Emily turned 15 during her visit!  Remember when Anna turned 16 here so many years ago!  It must be a thing:)  Anyway, the girls were able to spend some time in the lake:


and I tried to make pancakes that said “15,”

and best of all:  the girls got to take a scenic ride in a float plane!


All in all, it’s been a great visit!  They still have a couple of days left but the time has “flown” by!

Hard Work!

June 26, 2018

Oh, summer, she is upon us!  Last week’s mayfly sightings and hot, humid temps were our first signs.  We began this week with a 40-degree drop in temps overnight and a huge electrical storm.  Add to that the continued mayfly hatch and you have your work cut out for you if you are an angler this week!

Last week’s guests were the most diligent we’ve seen!  They got out there and worked it!  I posted big walleye from Jeanine, Ryan C., Johnny and a late one from Jim Q., northerns from Johnny; and bass from Johnny and John.  I think I’m doing pretty well at keeping up with the photos–if not, please forgive me!  The hatch had walleye anywhere from 2-10′.  Johnny left a great report:  he was using a #18 floating Rapala jerk bait.  Smallies were on topwaters (one specific product was a Whopper Popper).  Johnny’s 47″ northern was caught while fly fishing!  Again, everyone was out there hustling.

Tony decided to fish off the dock a few times.  This was nice!


Wayne and Shirley returned for their annual adventure.  They saw the North Bay Moose


and THREE of these on their way home


On the lake they saw a few things as well:



That might be a sport show pic;)  Thanks for bringing friends, too!  We’ll see you next year!


John and Tony brought wives and friends!  Rich was new to us and has a nice bass:


John found a bigger perch than Wayne’s…


He got to hold his wife Jeanine’s 25″ walleye too!


What a beautiful fish!  Thanks for putting her back, Jeanine!

Ryan R. and his boys returned for another great year!  Laura stayed home, leaving Ryan to tend to his sons’ angling needs.  I guess I should mention that Brayden and Parker are 7 and 5; bear in mind that this isn’t their first trip to Tall Pines Camp…which means this isn’t their first rodeo AT ALL…





They can’t all be giants (but it’s bigger than Wayne’s)…


Sometimes Dad gets to fish…

but what to do with the boys????


or you can just let them be boys…



and that’s a big part of the secret to making them want to fish forever!  Thanks for sharing them again–they are certainly something!  Hopefully Laura will join you guys again next year:)

OK…time to go.  I loved this pic John took last week so it’s my closer!