Archive for August, 2012

WHAT A DIFFERENCE

August 26, 2012

a week makes!  I need to say thanks to those of you who were worried about me after last week’s post.  It’s nice to know you care!  Rest assured, things are soooooo much better! 

Fishing improved 100% last week!  Both walleye and perch were PLENTIFUL.  The walleye have moved to their fall spots.  Many were caught on both 2nd and 3rd Lakes, as well as some in North Bay.  The depth went from 12-15 the previous week to 22-25ish now.  Perch were caught in several key places.  Tom and Carrie were new to us.  They wanted to get their limits in walleye and perch…they achieved their goal.  Here’s Carrie with some of their 100 perch:

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Here she is with a nice walleye as well:

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They had a nice catch of walleye and northern one day:

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Tom caught this nice northern;)

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Carrie proved to be the fastest, cleanest blueberry picker I’ve known.  Wayne and LeaAnn were hard pickers as well!  Not only that–they tent camped!  I always find that fascinating.  They set a fishing goal of 100 northerns released throughout the week.  They met their goal on Friday!  Tom and Carrie also showed them some of the finer points of walleye fishing, and they caught walleye! 

Mark and Donnie were back for their third year.  NOTE:  do not let Donnie make you a blueberry mojito!  Whew!  They really enjoy their vacation and time away:

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Kraig and Jen are hanging out.  Jen hunts berries; Kraig hunts bears.  Here he is in full garb:

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He likes to use beaver hides for bait (I’m guessing they stink to high Heaven).  Here’s a bear trying to get to a beaver:

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In a later pic, the hide was gone!  Mission accomplished! 

Tom and Carrie took a cool pic at the falls:

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The Thomas family was here a few weeks ago.  As promised, Katrina sent me some of their photos.  They travel as a pack and enjoy each others’ company to the max.  Here are a couple of fish pics:

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They enjoy berry picking and bear watching:

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They take in a lot of nature while on the lake.  Here’s a beaver hut,

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some gulls on a rock,

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a soaring eagle,

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a pesky cormorant among the gulls,

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a sweet mama duck,

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a sleepy golden eye,

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and Sean with a HUGE catch!

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They also caught a lovely sunset:

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Ron and Karna returned Friday to spend some fall time.  When they were here this spring, Ron took an incredible photo of Eldon sitting on a post in front of their cabin.  He returned home and had the good folks at Forbes Office Solutions in Newton, IA, superimpose a flag in the background.  Here’s the result:

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It turned out very, very cool!  Thank you!

Before I sign off, we need to say good-bye to yet another friend from home this summer.  Charles “Rick” Ricketts passed away last week of Lewy Body Disease.  Rick was far more than a friend to Gruper and me; he always made us feel like family and we loved him very much.  We have been regular attendees at their holiday tables and family celebrations for many years.  Rick was able to visit Tall Pines Camp a few times, and we will hold those memories dear.  Our love goes out to Pat, Rudy, Patty and Jay.

Tough Week at Tall Pines Camp

August 19, 2012

Hey.

There’s no gentler way to put it than that–it was a tough week ’round here.  We expect to be tired these days:  it’s been a long, busy season (a good thing); we’ve had trouble keeping any help, let alone good help (a bad thing); and we’re not getting any younger (a fact).  However, this is usually our favorite time of year.  Fishing is typically pretty darned good starting in mid-August, most of our guests are “used” (as opposed to new), and Gruper and I are able to enjoy ourselves a bit more. 

Last week presented some peculiarities.  The fishing was tough, tough, tough.  We think the lake turned over late the previous week.  We also now realize that the fish were transitioning to their “fall” spots.  That accounts for a couple of weeks of people reporting that the fish didn’t seem to be in the same places as previous years and not even from day-to-day.  Some of that makes sense ’cause everything’s been about three weeks ahead of schedule this year.  Anyway, everyone ended up catching some fish but it was awfully hard work.

Which made last week very hard if you were Gruper and Andrea.  We had a tough crowd ON US, to the point where I raised my voice to one man on Monday and invited him to leave.  I’m not proud of that–something any of you who know me probably realize (he stayed, by the way).  We also had some folks wanting more fish, bigger fish, etc.  Of this I am certain:  you’ll never catch fish in your cabin.  It’s also hard to learn a new lake in a few short days.  Folks may also have to change how they do things in order to catch more or bigger fish.  We do our best and most folks seem to appreciate that.

Weather-wise, we lost Thurs. to wind.  It ranked in the top five windiest days we’d seen in nearly nine seasons.  Our mornings and nights have cooled significantly (42 this morning when I awoke), but our days are still in the 70’s and low 80’s.  We continue to get a good rain regularly–most often at night which is perfect.

We had two bear hunters in Camp, each of whom took a bear!  Chris and Chris were new to bear hunting.  They are both archery guys.  Chris took his Thurs. evening, and Chris took his Friday evening.  Yes, they’re both Chris and–get this–they’re both Chris S.  Here’s a picture of Chris’s Thurs. bear:

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Nice job!  I should get a pic of Chris’s Friday bear yet this week (hint, hint). 

Kraig is back for his fourth consecutive hunt!  We’re confident he’ll get another.  He reported seeing three wolves last night (eek).  I predict that by this time next week I’ll be showing you his bear.  Go, Kraig!

We added two folks to our Conservation Awards Program this week:  Dianne released a 26″ walleye and Geoff released a 39″ northern (please send photo).  You can see Dianne’s fish from our website:  www.tallpinescamp.com  Here’s a nice northern she caught and a nice walleye her hubby Rick caught:

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Rick also got a nice pic of an immature eagle this week.  They’ve been very active:

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Jim and Mary returned with Carly and Hanna for a relaxing week.  Mary was trying out her new camera:)  She caught a pic of Emily and Derek fishing:

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and Jay and Bill’s catch:

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She got a nice photo of this butterfly (check out the symmetry):

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Check out the moss

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lichens (I think)

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and a close-up of an immature eagle:

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Jim and Mary took the girls out for retrieval practice:

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That’s Hanna…she’s Mary’s.  Mary went pickin’ with the girls

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and with these girls:

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She reports that they are dirty pickers.  I wonder where they get that….?

Mary got a couple of incredible reflections (the 2nd of which made me gasp):

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Isn’t that beautiful???  Thanks, Mary.  You brought a little color to a tough week!  I may do an entry strictly of Carly and Hanna pics as a thank-you.

I’ll close with a reflection sunset taken by Mary as well.  I think I’ll go pickin’ this afternoon and breathe.

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A special note to Mackenzie:  two years ago today I received the worst news of my life.  I still think of you every day, I still miss you every day, and I still love you every day.  Rest in peace and check in from time to time.  “Ant” Andy

 

 

The Fun Continues

August 13, 2012

Hey there.

Things continue to be a hoppin’ at Tall Pines Camp!  Bear hunts begin this Wed., so Gruper’s working the baits big time:

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Yes, that’s popcorn!  Think about how that smells….then sprinkle some Jell-O powder on top.  Ummm, ummm.  Chris and Chris will hunt this week.  I’ll keep you posted about their results.

In his spare time, Gruper has begun putting down the wood for Cabin 7’s new roof:

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Hopefully the metal will arrive late this week.  If so, this one’s ready!  We hope to put one on Cabin 3 this season as well.

My kitchen time continues; however, I’ve scaled it down a bit:

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That’s applesauce with blueberries!  I love chunky applesauce and it’s easy to make–something I didn’t know until Missouri Pat told me how several falls ago.  Now, whenever I have a bunch of apples I whip up some applesauce.  Too many pies were making too much Andrea!  I needed the kitchen time, though, because…

you guessed it:  Tyler quit last Thursday.  What a total waste of our time.  The only thing to blame his quitting on is lackawanna.  He did not want to do anything, something we realized quickly.  He made it fewer than four days.  Two of our three employees this year completely wasted our time and energy.  We think we’ll cut our losses this year and finish things out ourselves.  We may die doing it, but at least we’ll save ourselves some grief.  Maybe next year will be better…?

Our island friends are here for two weeks.  Nice folks.  They came to potluck for sweet and sour chicken last week.  I told the girls they could use the computer to check e-mail, Facebook, etc.  Here’s where I found them:

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Yes, they’re reading…books no less:)  Downright refreshing.

Our extended stays were all gone by Saturday.  Larry and Ruthie and Bob and Pat seemed to do fine fishing.  The comment continues that the fish are moving.  We think the lake’s been turning over this past couple of days which could slow things down quite a bit.  We added a nice walleye photo to the Conservation Awards page.  Jeff brought his two sons up last week.  They’re used to river fishing but switched gears for a week.  By week’s end they had tied into a couple of HUGE smallies and Jeff caught this on Friday:

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That’s 26″ of walleye!  The real photo is on the Conservation Awards page, but I liked this one as well.  Steve H. returned with his dad and two sons.  They did pretty well on walleye and northern for the week.  Andy and Becky (no, not me and my sister) returned with grandson Noah.  I saw them with some good eater walleye as well as playing basketball one evening.  What a concept…moving after eating;)  Doug and John were new to us.  They fish hard!  They felt they had gotten to know the lake by week’s end, which is saying a lot in such a short time.

So far this week, we’ve seen some walleye and perch.  We have folks back who haven’t fish Wabaskang since prior to our being here!  We also have some brand new faces as well as some used faces.  Temps are dropping nicely, and we already need a jacket in the evening and early morning.  We could warm back up, but it feels like fall is closing in on us. 

Several weeks back, Jeff and co. visited us for the first time.  They managed to get a couple of picks for the Conservation Awards page.  Here are some other photos from their cameras:

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Yes, Randy caught that.

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Yes, Tyler caught that.

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John from Indiana has some serious competition in the Red Horse category:

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Here’s a nice reflection:

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I love it when you can’t tell which way is up.

These guys like their sunsets:

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Speaking of sunsets….here’s one I got:

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See you next week.

 

 

It’s August Already?

August 6, 2012

Wow!  It’s hard to believe it’s already August.  I’m not sure where the time goes…

Last week’s group ended up doing pretty well!  Tom and family had a great time and caught a lot of fish.  Grant’s walleye made the Conservation Awards Program, and I hear he had a bass as well (hint, hint).  Good for him!  I checked the time stamp between the photo of him with his 24″ walleye and this photo of his release:

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There is only a one-minute difference!  That’s the way it should be.  Also, Grant is releasing his walleye horizontally, which is also how it should be done!  Sometimes it’s not just that the fish was released; it’s that it was done quickly and correctly so that fish can live:)  Thank you so much, Grant!

Roy and family were new to the lake.  We think they did pretty well for first-timers.  Fred’s group were also Wabaskang virgins and couldn’t find fish the size they wanted but they found fish.  I like it when brand new people find fish–it’s hard to know a lake in just a week’s time.

Our “used” guests–as opposed to new–are doing just fine.  Larry and Ruthie have fished more this year than in previous years combined;)  Bob and Pat always find what they want, and Sonny and Kathy have done well this summer!  They did well this spring, too! 

Curtis and his family returned this year.  We have a couple of traditions–here’s one now:

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Yes, that’s blueberry.  So is this decadent piece of work:

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That beast is 510 calories per slice!  Kathy has been searching high and low for a blueberry cream pie.  She supplied the stuff, I supplied the hands:)  Here are cute peach-blueberry handpies I made for potluck last week:

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I made 22 of the little buggers.  Where is Rebecca when I need her???  By the way, she had a birthday Saturday and our oldest brother has one today (Happy Birthday, Dan).

Larry and Ruthie usually stay a while.  We always have them in for “Larry’s Shrimp.”  This year I decided to make a chocolate cheesecake:

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That thing was too rich even for me!  My gosh…

OK.  Some of you are thinking I’m spending way too much time baking.  Some of you realize that means something’s going on around here.  Everybody meet Tyler.  He started working for us today:

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And that’s ’bout all I have to say about that.

Our island friends arrived Saturday.  The girls found me a just right gift:

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I’ll pair my glass’s tutu with the shoes Sandra sent:

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(see the dragonfly?)

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and be all set for potluck this week!

Bear baiting continues.  Here are a couple of good shots:

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I’ve actually caught a couple of sunsets lately:

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I think I have time to do Karen’s photos from a couple of weeks ago.  I had completed this entire entry earlier today,  just to have it disappear and not publish:(  I was not happy and went blueberry picking for a bit to clear my head.  OK.  Brett and Karen brought their children up for their first visit.  Brett had been here many, many years ago (before us) and wanted to share the beauty with his family.  Trent became a smallmouth fishing fanatic (Rebecca pronounced it “fan-a-tick” once and I loved it!).  That’s him on the Conservation Awards page holding two nice smallies (the smaller one was dad’s)!  Mom caught a smallie, too:

Tricia caught her first perch!

and stole a perch (making her a dirty picker of a different sort):

At least she didn’t steal Daddy’s perch:

The family roadtripped one day.  The kids liked this moose (as does Sandra):

They also enjoyed guided berry picking with Andrea:)

 

With fewer geese around, the ducks have been visiting.  Karen got a cute shot:

I still have good pics from Jeff’s group a couple of weeks ago; however, I think I’ll quit while things are going well!  I’ll close with a nice sunset from Karen’s camera: