Archive for June, 2011

Another week, another entry

June 26, 2011

Hi, all.  This should be a pretty long entry so get comfy!

As always, fishing first.  We had a nice mix of new and used guests last week.  Bruce and the Bear’s Den gang found plenty of fish as always.  We were glad to see Don’s shining face back with the group, and he commented that walleye fishing seemed to be better than before.  He also loves my footwear assortment so I tried to mix it up quite a bit last week.  We had two new groups in Cabins 6 and 7.  Both cabins did extremely well all week!  Mike and his brothers and dad are honestly impressive anglers!  They tackled the lake with precision and caught a nice variety of nice fish.  Kyle and his gang also did a great job!  It’s nice to see new people do well because it can take years to get to know a fishery.  Most everyone caught fish and was happy with their week.

2nd Lake continued to be the place to be, with Ruby and Keynote still producing for a lot of folks.  Bruce’s guys spend a lot of time on 5th Lake as well.  Crawlers are their bait of choice.  Our new guys took sampler platters of bait (leeches, crawlers, minnows) and drifted through the narrows between 2nd and 3rd Lakes.  We’re still shallow it seems:  8-10′ for walleye.  There are exceptions, with some finding fish in the 15-20′ depth.

Gary, Keith and their boys had the most fun with smallies!  Each and every one of their group of five released at least one for my Conservation Awards Program (18+”)!  I’ve posted a couple of their photos and await the rest (hint, hint).  Steve in the Eagle’s Nest released a 19″er as well!  Granted, all of them over 13 3/4″ have to be released until this Friday, but it takes an 18″er to qualify for my program:)

Speaking of Conservation Awards, yours truly finally made her own list!  Gruper and I were able to sneak out Thursday for a lovely morning of fishing.  We stayed between 2nd Lake and the narrows, tossing into shallows water and bottom-bouncing back.  My first fish of the day was a 24.5″ walleye!  We got a nice photo and put her back lickity-split!  Lee also released a 24″er on Thurs. and his photo is on our webpage as well:  I continued to do well with walleye the rest of the day.  We kept enough to make Sonny and Kathy their very first shore lunch!  We fished afterwards, and I released several.  Steve had a tougher day, boating a northern, a couple of nice perch and a walleye or two.  Suffice it to say I was the one to beat:)  I was using a chartreuse/grape jig and a minnow.

We had some close calls for big fish awards.  Rollo and Jan were newcomers who have decided to come back next year.  It might have something to do with Jan’s last day of fishing.  She caught a nice walleye, a nice northern (posing with Rollo below) and saw a HUGE bull moose (her camera malfunctioned, so she’ll get his picture next year).

I’m sure glad they’re coming back.  Jan’s potato salad tasted just like my mom’s used to!  She was also able to snap some pretty scenery:

I mentioned Gary and Keith earlier.  They’re from our area of Iowa, and we discovered some folks we have in common, etc.  The most exciting thing, however, involves fashion sense.  I’ve rocked some great looks at home and around Camp, e.g., tie-dye and plaid.  Keith pulled off a look I wish I had discovered first:

plaid and camo!

 Honestly, this worked for him unbelievably.  I plan to try it…I’m just not sure how it will work for me.

I was also able to get the last of Dave’s photos from a few weeks ago ready for posting.  Here’s a flock of pelicans and a single pelican…

The guys and I went driving for moose one night while they visited.  This young cow posed FOREVER for us!  She was so curious ’bout us.  Dave was able to take several photos:

We’ve had a little stress around Camp.  Gruper had to tow in our first boat in years:

Actually I could have reached it but I didn’t want to get a wet arse;)  My hero!

We’re experiencing weird bird activity as well:

Perhaps a meeting of the minds?

We think her babies are so big she doesn't fit in anymore!

I’ll close with the last of Marion’s photos.  See you next week!

Loon on nest

Loon in boat (her words, not mine)

phenomenal haloed sunset

Hey, I’m on time this week!

June 19, 2011

Hello, hello, hello!  Boy, did I catch some grief last week for not posting on Sunday!  Creatures of habit you are.  I think today I can post a fairly decent entry AND I’ve added some big fish releases to our Conservation Awards Page (  I was able to get Roger and Lee’s smallmouth bass photos on (thanks for getting those to me).  I also posted Bob’s so-close-I’ll-let-it-count walleye photo and an incredible 28″ walleye caught by Ryan Thursday night (it’s a doozie and he said it topped his 40+” northern of a few years ago).

Last week’s weather was a drastic change from what we’ve been experiencing.  We went from unseasonably cool the week prior to mid to upper 70’s, bright blue skies, better wear your sunscreen weather last week!  I was delighted;)  However, those conditions often make fishing–especially for walleye–a bit trickier.  Early in the week we had no wind to speak of; however, we picked up a bit of breeze Tuesdayish and fishing improved for our serious anglers.  Our old timers all did well and were quite pleased.  We had Mark and Sandy here for the first time with us.  They cleaned up on piggy perch!  Jim, Keith and Dave had their best fishing ever, actually exhausting themselves by Thurs. afternoon (see what a little hard work will get you boys;)).  Dave, also new to the Lake, released a 12″ perch (I need a photo…).

2nd Lake was on fire by week’s end!  We had a slight wind out of the south and it really worked for the NW shoreline!  Walleye fishing was the best we’d experienced on 2nd Lake this time of year.  We thought the warm temps would move the fish deeper but depths still ranged from 8-15′ for the most part.  Leeches were the bait of choice last week–holy cow.  Word spread quickly and we even ran out for a bit!

I mentioned Ryan’s 28″ walleye.  His buddy Brett caught a nice 16″ smallie:

Those things look like footballs this year!

Brett also caught some nice wildlife photos.  Take a peek:

Their nests are always so precariously perched...

Tucker was captivated by yet another loon:

We received some nice photos that Dave took on his initial visit to Tall Pines Camp with Kevin and Aaron a few weeks ago (thanks, Kevin).

coming in for a landing

I LOVED these next two photos:


I think that’s good for now.  I have more photos…perhaps I’ll do a mid-week entry just to keep you on your toes!

Finally a moment to catch up!

June 14, 2011

Hola. We’re coming off a full week and have entered another!  This entry probably won’t be as long or as entertaining as some but I’ll do my best.

First, a photo I forgot to share.  Grant gave me this one a couple of weeks ago.  He said the only way the photo could happen this way was if the northern swam directly into the net.  Bless his heart, he did!

He came up on the walleye, intending to eat him...then spit him out!

Last week’s fishing was incredible!  Walleye and perch were both plentiful.  Smallies were also ready to play!  I’ll add two nice 18-20″ photos to the website today or tomorrow.  Good job Roger and Lee!

The weather has shifted significantly in the last few days.  We’re now averaging 70 degree temps after weeks of cooler-than-normal temps.  Fishing has been a bit tougher for a couple of days.  Some of our new guests are struggling.  We figured the fish would move a bit deeper, but Sonny and Kathy found them in about 8′.  Guests are all over the board with fishing reports:  some are killing them in Keynote, others are hitting 5th Lake and doing well, others are messing around with Doe Island and Devil’s Point out on 3rd…  Bait reports are similar.  I have guests buying leeches like never before!  I’m getting good reports from those using crawlers and minnows as well.  To sum it all up:  try anywhere from 8-15′, use some form of live bait, and try any place that looks like a possibility!

Ron and Bob were here last week and decided to stay for another!  They’ll be back with their wives in the fall for a couple of weeks as well.  Bob has mentioned that he does not care for the feet photos I post regularly.  I’ll try to keep that in mind.  He released a 23.5″ walleye.  I’ve decided it’s close enough to my conservation award size, so you’ll find it on our website.  Ron released this nice 22.5″er:

Always a pleasure to have you in Camp, Ron:)

I don’t want Bob to get jealous, so here’s a photo of him with a northern:

Brothers Ed and John were here last week!  They are always good to have in Camp, and it was especially great to see Ed after a few years’ absence.  Here are some photos from his camera:

Sean and his boys had a great time with grandpa!

Add Murph to the mix for even more fun!


Wouldn't be a fishing vaca without shore lunch!


John has a fish on....what's Nita doing?


Perhaps she's painting her toes!!!!

Sorry, Bob;)

Nita and I went into Ear Falls one day.  We saw a sow bear with at least two TINY cubs along the bush line.  We were not camera-ready and I was driving too fast to stop and photo.  The following day I was returning from Dryden and saw this scruffy bear:

I wanted to see if I could find the Pink Lady Slipper orchids that Rachel and I found last year.  Gruper drove me out to the spot and we saw this young fella’ on the way:

And yes, we were able to find many of those pretty flowers:

Jack and Marion are regulars in the campground.  Jack had fun with this northern:

Nice photo, Marion! Where's the loon photo???

Marion wrote a cute little ditty (she refused to call it poetry) about Wed.’s potluck.  It was our first of the season and apparently quite inspiring!  I’ll close with that for today.  See you soon.

Tall Pines has a potluck of highest degree

All bring their specialty, share it for free.

Brie cheese and salmon spread first on the tables

Spagetti and stew, serve as the staples

Illinois ribs for our wonderful dinner

They take the prize. Wow! What a winner.

Guests gather for drinks, they laugh and they lie

‘Bout where to catch them, ’bout where to try.

Pines’ folks fish hard, they seldom get skunk-erd.

But rather they talk ’bout that 40″ lunk-erd!

Then to first narrows, that follows the feast

Fish for those walleys, perch at the least.

Maybe a northern will bump into your rig

You catch him on 6-test and your special jig

The sun’s going down, you head for the shore

A card game, a nightcap, who could want more?

The loons are a-callin’,  breeze lulls you to sleep.

Tall Pines memories are all yours to keep.

Grab some coffee and have a seat!

June 5, 2011

Hi there.  I have quite a lot to share, covering a lot of topics.  Get something good to drink, have a seat and (hopefully) enjoy.

Last week’s group did very well fishing-wise.  I’d say everyone who wanted to take home their limits, did.  Walleye are pretty consistent at 6-8′.  Both minnows and crawlers were getting fine results.  The water temp is hanging right around 60 throughout the Lake and everyone is liking it.  Perch were still plentiful, with average keeper sizes around 9-10″.   Walleye hot spots included Keynote and 2nd Lake.  Perch continue to hang out in Ruby and have appeared in the 2nd narrows.

We added 10 photos to our Conservation Awards Page ( with another yet to come (hint to Ken and Eldon).  That northern we added came from Jon T.–41+!  He brought his dad and brother-in-law for their first trip.  His brother-in-law made the Awards Program twice!  His dad retired a day or two before they came to Tall Pines Camp.  He celebrated by just missing an award for this 35″er:

You should've squeezed the tail, Bill!

Jon had a great time and huge success with his own product: Lucky Dog Lures.  His team even donned his schwag:

Fishing was great last week because the weather was somewhat crappy!  We’ve had high winds off and on.  It’s been unseasonably cool and even downright cold!  Everyone was bundled up late in the week:

We awoke Friday to an incredible storm.  It rained buckets, and boats had to be pumped a couple of times!  It hailed in the wee hours of the morning and again in the afternoon:

What the hail!!!!

There was a great advantage to the rain–I was able to break out some new footwear!

This whole look was quite attractive.

I had a very cool experience this week.  Steve called me and my camera up to the shed.  He had seen a hummingbird sitting on a shelf.  It was gone when I arrived but soon it flapped behind us and fell to the ground.

Its passenger-side wing was messed up–stuck in the “out” position.  I talked quietly to her, said I was there to help, and she let me pick her up with no trouble at all.

I thought maybe John V. would know what to do so we started heading toward his motorhome.  On the way, I gently folder her wing back to her body.  She sat for a second, let me pet her, then….flew away!  I think I’m the Bird Whisperer.  Pete, who witnessed the whole thing, has decided I am a healer.  Either way, it ranked right up there with cool events in my life!

Speaking of John V., Happy 40th Anniversary to him and his better half Marie:

Good people and a good dog, Dora (named for the famous explorer).

They left us today, heading back to Indiana.

John thinks that sucks!

We had them for 16 lovely days.  They promise 18 next year!  We always enjoy seeing them, spending time with them, and giving each other as much grief as possible!  Marie has my back, though, and captured a lovely reflection for me:

This cold weather finds me spending time doing a few of my favorite indoor things.  I made scalloped parsnips and rhubarb streusel for potluck.  John V. made an incredible pinto bean stew.  It was a hit!  A couple of other indoor projects:

A gift from Sandra--not always empty;)

Of course, others prefer napping while I’m slaving away over wine and pie.

He's got one eye open...

so does she--my baby catching a sunbeam:)


We are full to the brim this week–even the campground!  We are grateful to be so busy and count our blessings daily.  Max continues to be a tremendous contribution to the Tall Pines Team.  He has become quite the fish-cleaner and offers his services readily.  He has a lot of energy–way more than us–and impresses our guests as well as us.  I’ve told him to hold on to his britches this week:)

That’s it for now.  More soon…I promise!