Archive for June, 2009

Hello

June 30, 2009

Meet Cam!  He’s from Dryden and joined us yesterday.  He seems like a good guy.  He just graduated from high school and plans to spend the rest of the summer at Tall Pines Camp.

Welcome aboard!

Welcome aboard!

The weather is awful this week!  It’s great for walleye fishing but horrible for all other purposes.  It is so cold today (high of 50 with wind) that I can’t get too excited about anything that involves walking out the door.  We’re supposed to get better later today and tomorrow.  I sure hope so.

Walleye fishing has been good at about 10-12 feet in the narrows between 2nd and 3rd Lakes.  One family was using yellow grubs for bait and caught some perch, walleye and northern!  Their kids ages 7, 5 and 2 all caught fish there.

Our buddy Eric from Kansas finally sent us some of his big fish photos.  You’ll find them posted on our website (www.tallpinescamp.com).  He also sent us some fun photos I thought I’d share here:

Justinsnortherncomp

This one is going to hang on a wall.

This one is going to hang on a wall.

 

Look at the mouth on that thing!

Look at the mouth on that thing!

Trevor took Dad to smallie fishin' school!

Trevor took Dad to smallie fishin' school!

Looks like he's taking some northern classes too!

Looks like he's taking some northern classes too!

Trevor and Michael found some rocks to climb in Aerobus Bay.

Trevor and Michael found some rocks to climb in Aerobus Bay.

Eric sneaked a shot of some loon eggs.

Eric sneaked a shot of some loon eggs.

Looks like 2 Justins = 1 Buoy.

Looks like 2 Justins = 1 Buoy.

Eric's walleye baconator sandwich:)

Eric's walleye baconator sandwich:)

Goodbyes

June 30, 2009

Well, Saturday was Adam’s last day.  We were genuinely sad to see him go.  He did a great job for us, had a great sense of humor and just fit in around the Camp scene.  Our guests really liked him, which is paramount in our book.  Despite our sadness, we wish him well. 

Congratulations on your new job...knock 'em dead!

Congratulations on your new job...knock 'em dead!

Anna (Da niece) leaves us this Saturday.  I’ll drive her to northern MN, where we’ll hook up with her folks at our youngest brother’s house.  She’s been good help.  She and I have walked many, many miles together too.  I’ll miss my walking buddy:(

Can't believe you'll be 16 on July 1!!!!

Can't believe you'll be 16 on July 1!!!!

It seems like we’re always saying goodbye around here.  When our long-time guests leave and we know we won’t see them for a whole year, it’s tough.  It’s really tough as well when the guests stay long enough that we get to know them, e.g., John and Marie were here three weeks this year; Larry and Ruthie just arrived for FIVE weeks; many guests stay two weeks; others, like Sandi and Eldon and Ron F. visit us a couple of times a season.  Then there are the newbies.  We get many new faces each year…some of whom are “at home” right off the bat.  We always hope we’ll see them again and that maybe, someday, they’ll be long-timers as well.

Thanks for choosing us; hope to see you again:)

Thanks for choosing us; hope to see you again:)

Full-Swing

June 24, 2009

When I started this blog, my good friend Linda R. from Iowa warned me about how difficult it can be to keep them updated.  Boy, was she right!  I went from daily entries because it was cold and nasty outside to trying to do a quality entry once a week.  And, as I’ve said before, what’s interesting to one person is not necessarily interesting to another.  I continue to receive positive feedback and will do my best to let folks know what’s happening up here in NW Ontario.

First, the good news.  Fishing has been very, very good.  The walleye seem to be on-track now after a bit of confusion about the weather.  Our guests are finding lots of good fish.  They’re also finding lots of smaller walleye (12-13″) which makes us happy ’cause those fish are going to grow up!  I’ll take a complaint about too many small fish any time:)  I tell folks to move out a bit deeper when they find the small ones, and they usually get onto some bigger fish that way.  2nd Lake continues to be a hotbed of activity.

Big northern and smallies were a hit last week with Eric’s guys in the Bear’s Den.  They all found big smallies (I love oxymorons…jumbo shrimp) and took lots of photos they promised to send my way.  Justin caught a 42″ northern…it was a horse.  Erik, one of our guys in Cabin 7 last week, released a super nice northern as well as a 25.5″ walleye.  Mike E., a buddy from home, released 24″ and 25″ walleyes too.  Make sure you check out our website for photos of the recent Conservation Awards Program fish.  We had some doozies last week.  I know that Adam G. of the Bear’s Den this week released a 44″ northern just this morning!  I can’t wait to see the picture.

More good news:  the weather has been lovely.  Yesterday (22nd) was quite overcast.  Steve and I had to drive to Dryden but predicted an awesome day of fishing.  We were right on!  We returned to a bunch of happy campers.  We’d been a bit sunny for several days and recommended that our guests low-light the walleyes–get out super early or later in the evening.  Folks can jerk some perch or play with northerns and smallies midday.  Temps have been hovering in the mid-70’s to low 80’s with the nights cooling off perfectly.

Here comes the bad news.  Adam’s last day is this Saturday.  He gave us notice last week.  He’s taking a job with Rushing River Provincial Park which should fit well with his Eco-System Management degree.  He’s done an excellent job for us and had become very independent in his routine.  A mid-season departure is hard on us though:  we don’t know whether to re-train someone or just finish out the season on our own.  It takes so long to get someone to the independent level, and we really have only a couple of months left.  We have an 18-year-old from Dryden coming up next week to meet us and talk about possibilities.  I’ll keep you posted.

The only other bad news is that we had to order a new riding mower and a new ice machine all in the same week:(  Eek.  Yes, we are finally replacing the ice machine altogether.  We thought it was fixed well enough this winter when we took it to Iowa, but it just can’t keep up when the weather’s hot.  We just decided to bite the bullet. 

Anna (Da Niece) has another week with us.  She continues to be a good help–especially to me.  Now that the weather’s nice, she’s really enjoying her time.  We talk long power walks that she refers to as “death marches.”  Our longest walk is 7.6 miles–her idea last Sunday.  It took us about two hours but it was good.  She was able to blare her trumpet to wake up this week’s guests in the Bear’s Den!  Al, the dad, has a tradition of banging pots and pans to wake his adult kids.  This year we gave him Anna.  It was hilarious and greatly appreciated by Al. 

I’ll close with some more of John and Marie’s photos–mostly scenery.  I received a ton of photos last week from guests and will start on them next.  It is so good for me to see the sights through my guest’s eyes.  I think it helps me realize how fortunate I am. 

Marie and Dora 'Splora (named by their granddaughter)

Marie and Dora 'Splora (named by their granddaughter)

Busy beavers

Busy beavers

TIMBERRRRRRRR

TIMBERRRRRRRR

I love this funky reflection!

I love this funky reflection!

Then there's my odd fondness for moss...

Then there's my odd fondness for moss...

mossy hillside

mossy hillside2

There's somebody's nest in that rock formation.

There's somebody's nest in that rock formation.

Rock on

Rock on

rocky shore

shoreline

Summer?

June 16, 2009

Wow!  We have had FIVE consecutive days of sunshine and temps in the 70’s and 80’s.  I think we went straight from winter to summer.  While I am pleased as punch about this development, bright blue skies do not bode well for walleye anglers.  Folks are still finding them but they’re having to work harder.  They had come on strong toward the end of last week; however, this weather change has slowed them down a bit.  We know they’ve moved deeper–from 8-12 feet last week to 15+ feet this week.  We also know the water temp has warmed considerably–from mid-50’s last week to 60’s this week.  Using that info we should be able to get on them as soon as the blue skies cloud up a bit.

I have heard of a 24″ and a 25.5″ walleye released this week.  Can’t wait to see the pictures!  Also, we’ve continued to have HUGE northern and smallmouth reports.  Rumor has it the huge northern can be seen sunning over in North Bay…

I thought I should catch you all up on our pets.  The baby geese are still cute.  They haven’t quite hit the geeky teenager stage yet.

They'll ugly-up in a couple of weeks.

They'll ugly-up in a couple of weeks.

We have at least six northerns hanging out at the dock waiting for dead minnows.  Here’s one now:

Northern friend

My girl is loving the sunshine.

I love her so much it's wrong.

I love her so much it's wrong.

I took Rachel, an annual guest from Illinois, moose stomping a few weeks back.  We had a blast–she’s a little “wrong” herself when it comes to moose.  We saw two that day.  She sent me a couple of photos:

Rachels moose

This is how we see most of them--running into the bush.

This is how we see most of them--running into the bush.

Rachel also caught some nice sunset photos:

Rachels sunset

I called this one a rainbow sunset--beautiful.

I called this one a rainbow sunset--beautiful.

Given my odd fondness for reflections, I LOVED this photo!

Given my odd fondness for reflections, I LOVED this photo!

Thanks Rachel!  See you guys in Rock Island and again next year:)

While we’re here, let’s take a look at some more of John & Marie’s pictures.  I miss them, and this way I can still enjoy them long after they’ve returned home.

Do you see what I see?

Do you see what I see?

How about now?

How about now?

How cool is that?

How cool is that?

Loon Stretching

That light green moss is awesome.

That light green moss is awesome.

Hey Lady!  You gotta' nice bass

Hey Lady! You gotta' nice bass

and a nice guy:)

and a nice guy:)

Misc.

June 12, 2009

First of all, a couple of shout-outs to some folks we sure missed this week:  Charley & Nancy Twilley, Jim & Janet Bachnick, and Dan & the Daves.  We hope things are improving for everyone and that we’ll see you all in 2010. 

I must properly acknowledge the winners of Last Man Standing from the Katers group in the Bear’s Den 3rd week:  John, Chad, Bill and, sadly, Andrea.  We decided there is no shame in sharing this prestigious title four ways.  Hey, guys, just so you know:  I’m still on the cure:) 

OK.  Down to business:

Holy cow!  The fishing on 2nd Lake and Keynote has been phenomenal this week!  When we get windy days where 3rd Lake and 5th Lake are rockin’ and rollin’, 2nd Lake, Keynote, and Ruby offer wonderful bays and inlets where folks can dodge the wind.  During the windy days, the bait fish get pushed against points, so the following days are great fishing for walleye who have followed the bait fish. 

Joe caught this northern on 1st Lake, within sight of Camp!

Now there's a happy camper!

Now there's a happy camper!

Joe’s buddy Bob caught this 20″ smallie in Ruby!

The biggest I've actually laid my eyes on!

The biggest I've actually laid my eyes on!

I promised some photos from our friends John & Marie.  They were here almost three weeks and left us Tuesday until next year:(

NOW THAT SUCKS!

NOW THAT SUCKS!

We’ll miss them dearly.  That sucker is the only fish Marie caught while here (John paid me to say that…).  Here she is proudly displaying that fish:

Another happy camper!

Another happy camper!

Quite honestly, Marie is an incredible angler.  She and John fish in almost any conditions and seem to thoroughly enjoy Wabaskang.  Here are some of their cool photos from this year’s trip.

This loon is fishing...

This loon is fishing...

and comes up with a northern!

and comes up with a northern!

Dunking it repeatedly...trying to drown it(?)

Dunking it repeatedly...trying to drown it(?)

GULP!  Got 'er down!  Deep throat...Canadian style!

GULP! Got 'er down! Deep throat...Canadian style!

They’ve also located some petroglyphs along the Lake.  One can only speculate about how long they’ve been there and what they mean.  Most likely they were a form of communication.  I’ll leave you with these to ponder.

This one looks like a man.

This one looks like a man.

A variety of symbols.

A variety of symbols.

A hand among some symbols.

A hand among some symbols.

Campground for Joe

June 9, 2009

An incoming guest requested a couple of campground photos.  For those of you who’ve never been here, our campground is small–about seven sites.  We have 30 amp electricity, water and sewer at each site.  We also have a shower house with separate his/hers facilities. 

That's Sonny and Kathy's coach from Georgia on the driveway side.

That's Sonny and Kathy's coach from Georgia on the driveway side.

John and Marie from Indiana end their 3-week stay tomorrow:(

John and Marie from Indiana end their 3-week stay tomorrow:(

As predicted, fishing has been very good this week!  We expect the “hotness” to continue for a couple of weeks.  We’re supposed to get rain for the next few days which should help as well. 

I’ll post some good nature/scenery photos later this week.  Marie got a bunch of good ones!

Week 3

June 6, 2009

Well, our third week has come and gone.  We had about 34 rowdy folks in Camp.  It was definitely a very social group!  I prepared moose roasts using my new electric pressure cooker for potluck.  They turned out pretty good.  We had quite a spread.

The weather has really not improved much.  I think I’ve worn shorts twice this year since arriving in April.  Our anglers had a windy, rough week.  Wabaskang was a rockin’ and rollin’ most of the days.  Wednesday was fairly sunny and mild, but the rest of the week still felt like winter.  I haven’t planted flowers yet, but the rhubarb is in and doing fine.  Maybe we can get the flowers in this week.

Fishing was slow early in the week.  The water temp is 55-60 degrees.  Folks began finding the walleye later in the week in the warm, shallow pockets.  Most were fishing 10-15 ft.  Perch fishing was pretty good.  We had a couple of nice ones released for the Conservation Awards Program as well as a couple of very nice northern.

I promised some nature photos.  Here are some taken by Jon, one of our Week 2 guests.  He and Rick ran into (not literally) some pelicans.

They sure are goofy-lookin' birds.

They sure are goofy-lookin' birds.

--not so goofy to each other apparently.

--not so goofy to each other apparently.

They also found some terns and a loon.

Whose tern is it anyway?

Whose tern is it anyway?

The light is shining off the tip of its bill.

The light is shining off the tip of its bill.

They got some incredible eagle photos.

Jon's eagle

Jon's eagle2

It swooped down--probably for a fish.

It swooped down--probably for a fish.

They also passed a pair of mergansers.

mergansers3

During Week 3, Ryan and Laura spied an osprey.

Laura's osprey

They found a lovely reflection–one of my personal favorite sights.

Laura's reflection

Our wood duck house was open the other day.  We’re not sure how it happened.  You may recall that some golden eyes are residing there.  When Steve fixed the house he counted four eggs in the nest.

Duck house

 

I spied some crazy boaters on the lake.

It's not as warm as they make it look.

It's not as warm as they make it look.

That’s our niece Anna and her new friend Kelsey (Kelsey’s little sister Audrey is tucked in the back of the boat as well).  Anna is staying with us for a month or so.  The guys from Kaukauna Week 2 referred to her as Denise (Da Niece).  She is a young lady of many talents.  She plays the trumpet and juggles (not simultaneously).

Juggling Anna

Some folks say she looks like me; I can see it here.