Archive for May, 2010

Good Weather for Good Fishing

May 30, 2010

Any true walleye angler knows what that title means:  it’s cold, windy, rainy and nasty!  Holy cow have we had some rain.  Lake level has visibly raised even more in the last few days.  There were a couple of rain warnings for our area, though we didn’t get hit as hard as possible.  Temps turned cold yesterday…50’s…with quite a lot of wind.  It is perfect walleye weather.

Last week’s groups did unbelievably well!  Our new group of 9 in the Bear’s Den had an incredible week of fishing, especially for being brand new to Wabaskang.  Everyone took home their limits, and the guys had a few nice fish fries as well.  Our group of 3 northern fishermen never got “the big one” but they did catch an amazing number of fish.  Two of them counted at least 150 northerns in under two hours of fishing Thurs.  They said they literally had a double on every cast!  Most of their fish were in the 20-25″ range.   They were throwing into very shallow water near grass (not weed) beds and reeling in slowly.  Two of the guys wanted to try their hands at walleye fishing so Steve took them out one morning.  Everyone had a blast!  They caught walleye, perch and smallies.

My campground friends are all doing well.  Sonny and Kathy arrived Tuesday while the weather was still nice.  When they returned from fishing on Wed. Kathy made the comment that they had thrown back more fish than they’d probably ever caught!  She was just tickled at a great day’s fishing; we were tickled at a great day of conservation fishing. 

John, Marie and Rachel have also reported incredible fishing.  John and Marie have fished this lake for a long time.  They like North Bay, Aerobus, Keynote and Ruby.  They will both receive their 6th year Conservation Award from Tall Pines Camp.  Marie released a 25″ walleye mid-week, and John–back to the wall and fearing being outfished by his partner yet again–released a 36″ northern a couple of days later!  I don’t have their photos yet but will before they go. 

I took a group to the dump Friday evening to see a bear.  There was one there.  On the way back we saw a cute spike moose.  They had also seen a cow and calf out on the Lake.  I saw a beautiful cow while I was walking south a few days ago.  She really was beautiful.  We watched each other for a bit then she crossed the road and went into the bush.

We’ve been busy around Camp as usual.  Steve put a new step and deck on the Eagle’s Nest.  I’ve been being M’Ingalls:

rhubarb pie and spinach salad with warm bacon dressing

I’ve since added another rock and another flower or two to the inuk-shuk area.  I found it all knocked down the same day I’d created it.  I thought one of our guests–who shall remain nameless–was suffering from rock envy and knocked it down.  He thought perhaps it was Stinky LaRue; she does like to rub up on things.  Anyway, I reassembled and it has remained intact.  Note to suspect:  there just might be a trail camera mounted out there somewhere…

Week 2

May 24, 2010

Hi there! 

First of all, I keep forgetting to tell you:  you can bring potatoes from the U.S. now!  How about that???  They must be U.S. Grade #1, in the purchased package (no loose potatoes), and no more than 10 lbs. per person.  Whoo-hoo…progress in motion.

I’ve posted Week 1’s photos on our website (  You can click on a thumbnail to see an enlarged photo.  Just a reminder that the program is optional but we love it when folks participate.  Only one walleye made the cut (24″ or larger).  We expect that early in the season as those cookie-cutter males are in abundance (16″ish).  Watch for larger releases in the next few weeks.

This week is quiet around Camp.  It’s the “extra” week that we get on a long season–between opener and Memorial Day weekend.  We have a new group of 9 in the Bear’s Den.  They are doing great!  They found walleye Saturday afternoon and have just kept finding more and better fish!  They went into Keynote today and returned with some nice walleye and smallmouth (under 13.75″ of course, until July 1).  They also found walleye and smallmouth right here in 1st Lake, within eyeshot of Camp!  One of their three boats had their limit of walleye super fast this morning!  It’s always nice to see Lake virgins do well:) 

John, Marie and Rachel are in the campground.  As always, John has navigated his crew into awesome fishing since they arrived Friday.  They have done well on walleye in Aerobus arm, North Bay and Keynote thus far.  They’ve also caught some very nice perch!  John and Marie are the two longest participants in the Conservation Awards Program.  This year they stand to get their sixth consecutive recognition prize:  a second patch to go on their fourth year duffel bags.  Marie usually outfishes John by the way.  Today, though, Marie was the net person for daughter Rachel who was unstopable!  Reports for walleye depth are still around 7′.

Our big northern guys arrived today.  They’ll do just fine.  I’ll keep you posted. 

We’re getting some more rain today and temps are considerably cooler than they’ve been for a couple weeks. 

Steve attended fire truck training today.  Hopefully the guys won’t need to use it, but it’s good to know how just in case. 

I’ll share some of Sandra’s photos now.  I mentioned that she and I went moose stomping the other day.  She took some good photos.  This beaver dam is built around a stand of trees.  It’s incredibly well constructed.

This little copper toad looked mean.

This was the tiniest toad I've ever seen.

Wolf poop

Those are teeth and bones in wolf poop...ick!

Yearling boy...see his spikes?

Eldon kept a watchful eye on Eldon.

We have two goose families with a total of nine babies.

10:00 one night

a bit later one night

I think this was taken specifically for me:) Thanks!


Moose love--is it wrong?


Wilma stayed in the cabin and created a beautiful gift! Thank you so much!

“Offishial” Fishing Report

May 20, 2010


Here we are, almost finished with week 1.  The weather has been downright hot!  I, of course, love it; others do not.  Temps have been as high as 80 but are probably averaging 75 for the week.  Lots of sunburns around Camp! 

I talked to two guys who’ve been fishing partners all week.  In the first two days they’d caught 125 walleye…and that’s with Ken napping quite a bit.  Other reports have been very similar.  We’ve seen some perch in the freezer as well as northern.  My Steve caught a big smallmouth just messing around this morning (yes, he released it).  Early in the week the fish were as predictable as any opening week; however, they had already begun moving a bit deeper than usual due to the bright sun and warm water.  Steve reported 61 degrees in fairly shallow water yesterday.  Overall, incoming guests should expect to fish a bit deeper than typical for this time of year.

With all this sunshine, Steve’s been busy getting more boats ready:

And I’ve been busy beautifying:

Critters are busy in the Lake:

I think Eldon was fishing. He sat there a long time.

Yes, Folks, the pets are back...we've seen as many as three.

These two moose swam across the Lake this morning:)

Critters have been busy in the house:

playing with her nut

taking a breather after all that activity

Sandra brought me a cool wine glass koozie, called a Woozie:

She and I went moose stomping (Sorry, Rachel) yesterday.  Sandra was wounded (knee injury).  We took some great photos, though, and I’ll pull them from her camera before they leave.  Teaser:  toads, poop, and moose!

We have had incredible sunsets all week!  Here’s a very colorful one:

Until next time!  I should have some fish photos after Friday.  A

’twas the night before opener

May 15, 2010

Well, here we go:  season 7.  Things are in pretty good order and ready for action.  Eldon, Sandra and Wilma arrived yesterday.  They just love to hang out and look at the lake, enjoy the quiet, etc.  Our Green Bay group is arriving as I type. 

It’s going to be unseasonably warm this week:  70’s.  I’ll let you know how fishing patterns fare.

We took a little road trip the other day.  I went exploring.  There was evidence of different types of life:





Here, let me pick that up and throw it away for you.  My gosh, people, leave it better than you find it…

I photographed some other stuff too:


a pair of content rocks

ants making a hill

evidence of a bad bird massacre

I saw a yearling moose earlier in the week when I went to Ear Falls.  It looked confused.  I figure its mom is getting ready to calf again so she told this one to venture on its own.  Steve and I saw a nice cow moose yesterday during a road trip.  We also saw two nice bears.  They must be waking up finally:

Sunsets have been lovely this week.  Here’s my favorite so far:

One Week ‘Til Opener

May 8, 2010


I can’t believe we open in one week!  It really sneaks up when you aren’t looking.  I hung shower curtains, cleaned coffee pots and added finishing touches to some of the cabins today (calendars, magazines, etc.).  Steve continued to get boats ready, kept a fire burning in our house and dinked around.  Speaking of boats, check out the newest member of the Tall Pines Camp fleet:

17', 40-hp upgrade

She was just delivered this afternoon.  That extra foot of length sure seems to look like a lot more.  She’s a nice looking craft.  We can now offer the three, 30’s and two, 40’s.

That pesky pine martin returned this morning.  Stinky LaRue alerted us to outside activity.  That critter tore open a large bag of garbage I had put on the deck:(  Then he ambled his way back to the same duck house he’s been haunting (we think there are starling/grackle eggs in there).  We’ll be sure to contact the proper authorities and follow proper procedures for dealing with this nuisance animal.

poking his head out

making his getaway

It has been quite cold overnight and in the mornings.  The afternoons hit about 50, though.  This afternoon was gorgeous and I figured I’d better get out and snap a few photos. 

shimmery lake at 5:00 p.m.

Eldon the Eagle wouldn't hold still, so I got this little red guy instead.

On our way up this year we saw a bear in northern Wisconsin.  We still haven’t seen one here yet.  Neither of us has seen a moose yet either (odd).  I became hopeful when I saw this track down by the Lake:

Then I looked around…it was the only deep track.  The rest looked like this:

duck? duck? goose?

On a walk earlier this week I slid down into a ditch and fetched some moose jaws.

this was a young 'un

I’ll get the teeth out and bleach them.  Kids (big and little) love the teeth as souvenirs.  I take some along when I substitute teach as well–makes me an instant hit!  I have a bag with a bear tooth, moose teeth, various feathers, etc.  I tell the little kids that I had to wrestle the bear to get the teeth out!  I have the best behaved students all the time.

I checked the rhubarb crop ’cause Sonny and John are coming soon:

Thank you, John & Marie. See you soon:)

 We have two great-nieces due in July!  I made an afghan for one while we were still in Iowa.  The M’Ingalls in me wanted to try something new last night, so I found a pattern for a sun hat:)  I’ve never made anything but afghans.

I used one of Stinky's balls as a model...don't tell my nephew...


"Give the ball back or I'll let the cat out of the bag."


May 6, 2010

Hey.  Holy cow it was cold last night.  Steve drained all the cabin water ’cause the forecast said we’d be down to freezing.  It’s supposed to stay cold through the weekend, then warm up again.  At least the sun is shining today:)  Yesterday morning we had some chunky-looking rain.  I about freaked out.  The Lake has risen even more given the days of rain we had. 

I drove to Dryden yesterday for a meeting about the changes to our current tax system.  Everything takes effect July 1.  My mind reached the saturation point about five minutes into the presentation!  Seriously, though, they stuck to their timeline and it did get me out of the house.  I met with a couple of other camp wives for lunch and ran a few errands; it was good for me.

Well, I warned you that I might be sharing some of my “How I Spent My Fall/Winter” pics with you.  I did substitute teach a lot this year–mostly elementary but a bit of middle school (those poor boys should get a free pass…it’s like being in a room full of deer in rut).  I did a fair amount of my favorite teaching:  special ed.  I had one LONG week with a 5th grade class that pushed me to my limits.  I continued my crazy exercise life of visiting the Y with Steve, Jazzercising, and walking with my friend Cheryl and niece Jayme.  All in all, I stayed very busy and very social. 

I got my tragas pierced in Winnipeg in October:

My talisman to mark our 15th wedding anniversary.

Here are some photos from a week in Longboat Key, Florida, with my friend Patty.  Please keep in mind that I’m not much for sightseeing, especially the fall trip when I just go to heal in the sun:)

This was the view from the friend's condo where we stayed.

Change the tree to a pine and we'd be in Canada!

That's a dolphin playing one morning.

 It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t have some type of bird for you to see.

Steve and I spent Christmas on Cozumel.  We always go away for the holidays…have for the past 13 or so years. 

Feliz Navidad


I can smell the ocean right now...

Our cleaning staff was very talented in the field of towel art.  Here are some of my favorites…I killed a really cute sheep before I could get its photo:(





Stinky LaRue, My Girl!

Here’s a cool wasp-type bug:

That red butt probably means he's mean(?)

I absolutely LOVE iguanas!  Check out this monster:

They were everywhere!

I found a friendly pelican…

Where was Gruper all this time?

While home–between teaching and sports shows–I hung around with some interesting characters:


a ladybug and her mama...

a princess...

the Easter bunny...

and my seester:) I miss you:)

Monday, Monday

May 4, 2010

Greetings!  Wow…three days in a row.  It must be cold/rainy outside–yes it is.  After such beautiful weather last week, this week is more than making up for it.  The Lake has come up visibly which is good.  Temps have been in the low 50’s; today may have been in the 40’s.  Steve’s had a fire going in the house for a couple of days…nice and toasty. 

These cold days bring out the Ma Ingalls (M’ingalls) in me.  I made some delicious (if I do say so myself) coconut shrimp the other day.  Tonight we’re having a lovely roast and, for dessert, banana cream pie.

No doubt these are scratch crusts--not very pretty.

The small pie on the left is for our postmaster, Pat.  Yes, I made a smiley face on it.  It will tickle her pink.

I forgot to mention that we helped with dump clean-up last week!  Wow, what a mess.  In my former life I was a crew leader for Adopt-A-Highway for two years.  Folks don’t much like to pick up trash is all I can say.  Honestly, though, our Canadian version isn’t too bad–it was mostly empty plastic bags that fly up into the bush after the bears have had their way with them.  I think it’d be great to design an edible bag. 

I promised some great eagle photos, so let’s get to it.  Last fall Steve and I were out fishing when we noticed a couple of predators hanging out.

We crept in for a closer look.  We got nice shots of an eagle taking flight.

S/he was joining the party on some dead thing…

Check out these individual photos:

Doesn't it look like a caped villain in an old movie???

This one’s doing the funky chicken…

Here’s one coming in for the attack:

Those talons are incredible.

I think this one had seniority–definitely an authoritative look:

Hope you enjoyed those photos.  I had a gazillion and had to winnow them down to the cream of the crop.

Hey, have you noticed the website’s new look (  I have plenty of changes to make yet but you get the idea.  I regret that I did not put on the big fish of years past, but that would have been A LOT of work.  We’ll just have to start fresh this year! 

Stay tuned.  Who knows, maybe tomorrow I’ll show you how we spent part of our time off…

Last Fall’s Moose Camp

May 2, 2010

Last fall we had an invitation to visit an outpost moose camp.  It was–literally–in the middle of nowhere!  We drove and drove out in the middle of the bush.  We came upon a beautiful spot where we got out and explored. 

I liked this rock.

There it is again from an old iron bridge.

I loved this two-toned rock as well.

A lone daisy among rocks...

I'm still crazy for reflections.

So what was Gruper up to while I photographed?

What else?

Catchin' and releasin'.

Moose camp was ROUGH.  Those guys aren’t kidding around.  The worst part for them was that it was unseasonably hot and the moose weren’t moving during the day, so the guys just had to hang around, play cards and wait for evening.

The insides of their tent


Their view was awesome!

Tune in soon.  I’ll have some great eagle photos.

Happy New Year (2010)!

May 1, 2010

Welcome back!  As promised, the Tall Pines Camp blog is officially up and running in May, 2010.  Thanks for your patience.

I need to begin with a brief-but-necessary comment.  I alluded to a problem with the blog in our fall newsletter.  It seems that Big Brother took some of my fun and creatively-licensed blog entries a bit too seriously last year.  The blog was used against us to lend support to some other, more serious allegations that are still pending.  Suffice it to say that I will have to keep entries a bit more to the point.  I still plan to be entertaining…just not as colorful.  I will have to be looking over my shoulder at all times. 

OK.  Now let’s get on with some weather news.  We arrived Thurs., 4/22.  Temps have been in the low 60’s during the day and conditions have been sunny and beautiful.  Ice was out long before our arrival; no snow anywhere.  How totally different from last year!  The Lake is a bit low–though not as low as in some years past.  It rained most of yesterday and promises more this evening through Monday.  No worries for our early birds.

Spring cleaning officially began today.  The Bear’s Den is the first to get done.  Steve has all the docks down to the main station and just needs to separate them and get the smaller set hooked up.  He’s begun getting boats cleaned up and in the water.

Unbelievably beautiful conditions compared to last year.

I saw my first pine martin yesterday–right on the steps of our cabin!  I’m sure you know who spotted it first…ole’ Eagle Eye herself, Stinky La Rue!

My Girl Shasta--sharp as ever!

Steve was quick to follow her lead, then he pointed it out to me.  I’ve never seen one before and had begun to think it was a mythical creature.  It left our deck and scampered up a tree.  We think it was stealing grackle/starling eggs from our duck house (we have the most confused bunch of birds up here).  Steve went out and got a photo:

I’ll never forget one day last season.  Bob Hartter, a good friend of the Camp, said he was at his kitchen window and noticed movement.  He said he looked into the tree outside their window and a monkey was looking at him!  I guessed at the time it was a pine martin but couldn’t be sure as I’d never seen one.  Indeed, this thing kind of looks like a monkey.  It was smaller than I’d imagined; Stinky could take it I think. 

We had a little beaver activity right in front of the house a couple of nights ago.  Steve spotted it:

You can really see his tail here.

Back in Iowa we had a cool critter experience right outside our kitchen window in broad daylight:

He was so beautiful...and so close!

I plan to catch you up on some late fall activities…including big eagle action and a visit to moose camp!  I also have a few boring photos of how we spent our fall/winter vacation.  Look for another entry soon…maybe tomorrow???  Again, welcome back!