Archive for June, 2013

Updates & PHOTO FEST!

June 27, 2013

So here I am again this week! It’s been a bit nuts but I’ve found enough time to put together a pretty good photo fest.

This week’s fishing has been pretty good overall. I know of four Conservation Award fish: 25″ and 27″ walleye, 36″ northern and 18.5″ smallie. Everyone seems to be eating fish which is a good sign. I know that John in Cabin 5 caught the first walleye of his life! Bob and Chuck said the walleye are one and done for them, so they went bass fishing today. Sonny and Kathy are back from the hospital which is the best news of all!

We’ve been having some rain. We had a HUGE storm Tues. night–complete with hail and lots of rain. We pumped boats for what seemed like forever yesterday morning. Today is cool with intermittent rain. It looks like a perfect walleye day.

“My guys” were here a couple of weeks ago. Aaron and Kevin found us at a sports show in Madison (they both live in Illinois?) five years ago. They came for two years alone, then added Dave for two years, and this year the three of them brought Doug and Tommy along. Aaron and Kevin are systematic kinds of guys. They wanted to learn the lake and get a feel for things before inviting others. They are now quite capable of hosting a near-perfect fishing trip that includes great fishing, good food, good beer and an odd blend of traditions. I’ve been going through Aaron and Doug’s cameras in my spare time and have put together a photo fest that I feel is a fair representation of “my guys.” Enjoy or be afraid–the choice is yours.

I’ll start with fishing pics. These guys catch a bit of everything. Aaron and Kevin both added a perch to the Conservation Awards Program; Dave added his second consecutive northern and a bass. Along the way they catch plenty of walleye for eating and to take home as well as various sizes of all our species and some oddballs.


Nice 'eye KB




Nice bass AG

Tommys northern

Whatcha’ doin’, Doug?


AG tiny perch



Daves big fish release

goofing in the boat



Whatcha’ doin’, Dave?


Now this sucks…

Aaron's sucker

AG has officially joined the ranks of John, Marie and Andrea with that catch!

Another very common theme for these guys is beer. They have what they refer to as “reward beers” and just regular beers. There seems to be a sense of ceremony about their beerness. They also have personalized beer glasses…

Beer glasses




Moments like this make me proud to call them mine:


From now on, you are Kevin Beer Ears in my book.

Beer drinking seems to lead these guys into odd nighttime activity. Last year there were photos of Aaron, Kevin and Dave with moose antlers–I referred to them as horny. This year’s evening antics centered around the dock I think. Here’s how it begins:

Steak night


Here’s Aaron holding the Three Guys Fishing sign (they’ll need to change that if they continue to grow):


Here’s Aaron taking a pic of Kevin a bit later–notice how things are beginning to blur?


A bit later they must have wandered down to the docks:


KB and Doug


Perhaps Murray was the bad influence???

Murray and Doug

Another tradition is our Wednesday night road trip! After potluck we go look for bears and moose. This year we were lucky enough to find a kind soul to take a “Grupe” photo:


We take the new guy(s) to see my favorite beaver dam:


We see at least one moose every year. Here’s this year’s (we almost drove right by it):

Our moose

These moth and merganser photos seem to belong with the moose pic:


Mama merganser

Here are some nice lake scenery pictures:

Tommy at the falls



scenery 8

scenery 7

scenery 6

scenery 5

scenery 4

scenery 3

scenery 2

scenery 1

I was trying to figure out what these clouds looked like–definitely like something flying:


Hey, I recognize this place!


How ’bout a sunset or three???



This one has a funky white something falling from the sky:


I’ll close with my favorite picture of them:) Hope to see you all again next year!

The trip begins

Still Trying to Catch Up!

June 23, 2013

I’m ba-ack! It’s been a bit crazy around here and I’m falling behind on my blog fodder. I had a new entry almost completely done this morning, then lost it in cyber space. I’ll try again now.

We had another fantastic week of fishing! Everyone was pretty darned happy with the exception of Jason, Matt and Daniel. Jason’s the poor guy who hooked himself in the face last Sunday and spent some time in the Dryden Emergency Room. By week’s end you could hardly tell it had happened. Anyway, those guys had a tough time with fishing; maybe his hook was cursed(?)

We added a lot of new fish to the Conservation Awards page this week! John and Shawn were a father and son referred to us by another father and son who visit for opener every year, Mike and John. John (of John and Shawn) managed to put three different species of big fish on our website: He added a walleye, a smallie and a perch! Shawn tried hard to outfish his dad but just couldn’t quite do it. He had many perch close to our 12″ award size but didn’t quite make it. He did send me some good pics though, that I’ll hope to post next week.

Wayne and Shirley left today after almost two weeks in the campground. Wayne put a big smallie and a big perch on the Conservation Awards page! Here he is releasing his perch:

Waynes perch release

He also tangled with a slot northern:

Waynes slot northern

They saw TWO moose this year! The first was on their drive up and the second was out on Wabaskang:

Anderson moose 1

Anderson moose

Wayne and Shirley also brought a piece of Iowa with them. They left this in the central gathering area. I allowed myself to just admire, smell and enjoy it for a bit:


Thank you! Thank you also for the rhubarb. I used some of it, some of Nita’s and some of MY VERY OWN (thank you, John and Marie) to make these cupcakes week before last:


I mentioned in Tuesday’s quickie that Gruper and I were able to go fishing for a couple of hours last Monday. We had a good time. I caught first and thought I was doing well for most; however, he ended up taking biggest and most. That’s why I like “first”; no one can take it away from you. Check out my perfect (though unintentional) match:


I have beautiful new potluck footwear thanks to Debbie (and Bruce, but mostly Debbie). These are my Key West Kino’s and I absolutely love them!


Christa brought a group of 8 from way-out-east-Ontario last week. This group chooses a different lake and camp every year. They have a ball! They keep counters in their boats to help with their various daily and weekly contests. Ed and Dave each put a big walleye on the Conservation Awards page (24″ and 25.5″, respectively). The group’s total for fish caught–an impressive 1,512! Christa said 22″ walleye seemed to be her recurring fish of the week. Here are a couple:



They also brought along their labs who LOVED the lake. Mary snapped a couple of good pics:



They saw an eaglet in its nest. Look up above–Mama is staying close:

Strum eaglet and momma

This is a HUGE cow moose they saw on the lake:

Strum moose

We also had quite a week for friends and family. Pat, Rudy, Patty and Joy joined us for the whole week; Rebecca and our nephew Jesse arrived Wednesday; and Jim and Micki arrived Thursday. Rudy added a walleye to our Conservation Awards page and Jim released a 41″ northern (Jay, please send pictures). Jim said that Friday represented one of the best days fishing he’s ever experienced (and he’s fished a lot)!

Pat, Rudy, Patty, Jay, Jim and Micki had a very special purpose for this trip. You see, Rick asked to spend time in several beautiful places. We were fortunate to be one of those places. Gruper and I are honored and find comfort in the thought that some of Rick is right here with us all the time.


Just A Quickie

June 18, 2013

Hi there. I know I am grossly late and I sincerely apologize. I’ll try to smooth things over with a quickie.

Last week’s fishing was ON FIRE. Both 2nd Lake and Keynote were huge hot spots for walleye and perch, with reports also coming in from Gawleys (later in the season than usual), North Bay and 1st Lake! The walleye are still shallow according to Aaron, Kevin and the guys (7-10′). They said they were catching perch even shallower than that (5-7′). Everyone had a good week.

I added Dave’s big northern and smallie, Aaron’s big perch, Kevin’s big perch, Chad’s smallie (from a couple weeks ago), and Gary’s big northern (from a couple weeks ago) to the Conservation Awards page of our website. After last week, several people owe me pictures (Chad M., Wyatt, Dongot, Ted, etc.). I’ll try not to harp on you all but those were some spectacular fish and I’d like to show them off!

I mentioned Aaron, Kevin and the guys. I’ve got a ton of pics from them and will do a photo fest (hopefully) later this week. They call themselves TGF (Three Guys Fishin’); however, their group grew to five strong this year so they may have to consider a name change. Here they are:


That’s Aaron, Kevin, Dave, Tom and Doug:) Doug is a true outdoorsman who prides himself in living off the land. Here is just one of many pics of him with proof of his skill:


I’ll have lots more of their pics next time around.

I didn’t get around to doing an entry on Sunday ’cause I had to take a guest to the Emergency Room in Dryden! Jason had a hook stuck in his FACE (ugh, ick, etc.). It was just above his upper lip and wanted to come out just under his nose. We were not able to mess with it, so I took him to a professional. It looks very good now. No, we do not have a photo to share.

Speaking of hooks, Mary reminded me that her daughter and son-in-law, Lori and Ken, had finger hooks on consecutive days one season. Speaking of Mary, she had a visitor in her back yard in Wisconsin a week or so ago:



Wow! It’s a cute one but a little close for comfort, Mary! Mary and Ron are here this week and enjoying themselves as always.

We also have “family” in Camp! Pat, Rudy, Patty and Jay are here this week:) Gruper and I went fishing yesterday (we did well), we enjoyed dinner with them last night, and we’re having a girls’ day in Dryden today! Rebecca and our nephew Jesse should arrive Wednesday as well! I love shots from home.

Here’s a pic of Doc from a couple of weeks ago with a long, skinny (?) northern:


Doc also sent a cool silhouette that I like a lot. I’ll close with that for now (I told you it’d be quick).


Trying hard

June 15, 2013

to keep my word to you! Technically it’s still last week since I usually don’t post until Sunday. We’ll do a fishing report, etc., tomorrow. I’m going to shoot for a Tim photo fest today. Tim was a newbie week-before-last. He joined his father-in-law Roger, uncle-in-law Bob, and three other guys during that very tough walleye week. Doug and Wilfred had been here before; Glenn, like Tim, was a newbie. Gruper and I figured these guys would do fine and they did.

Let’s start with some fishing pics. Whatcha’ got there Rog?

whatchagot Rog


or was it this?



How ’bout you, Bob. Whatcha’ got?



Wilfred…how ’bout you?




Looks like they had enough for supper!



They can’t all be keepers…we need some seed in the lake:



Here are a few more fishin’ pics:

doug with northern

doug with walleye


tims northern


When they’re not fishin’, they’re packing a lunch or just playing with the camera timer!

guys making lunch


I liked these pics of beaver trees and an eagle visiting a beaver hut:



Perhaps a father-son talk in the tree?



Tim does birds very well. Here are some great heron shots:

heron takeoff

heron flight

heron flight2

heron flight3

Where’s Waldo?

peek-a-boo duck

As much as we dislike pelicans, it’s hard to deny these are cool shots of take-off and landing:



Here are a couple shots of a male merganser. I don’t think he likes having his foot wet(?)

wet foot merganser

wet foot merganser takeoff

Here’s a bit ‘o scenery for you:

falls out

falls out2




and a sunset, too (notice the critter swimming in the foreground of the second shot):




pink clouds








I’ll close with a series of great loon shots. As the adult realized she and her nest had been seen, she began dancing–similar to a duck who pretends to be wounded, the loon wants to draw the attention to itself and away from the nest.

loon over there

loon over there with nest

loon over there just nest

loon over there lookatme1

loon over there lookatme2

loon over there lookatme3

loon over there lookatm34

loon over there lookatme5

A Great Week….for Perchin’ and Hooks

June 9, 2013

Bonjour, Mes Amis. If it weren’t for the calendar saying June 9, I’d swear it’s about July 20. We have been having waaaaaay too nice of weather for early June. It’s been over a week of 70+ temps, bright blue skies, no wind, and no rain. Of course, that does not bode well for the majority of our guests: walleye guys. Many of our used guests did OK last week–though they were quick to say they’d never seen such a tough walleye week; however, our new guests had a very difficult time with walleye.

Perchers, on the other hand, had a pretty darned good week! Eugene and his boys returned for their annual trip. I share pics of their perch every year–unbelievable the fish they find! Here are a couple of this year’s:


perch on table

Check out this piggy!


Nice job, Dennis! Here he is with a nice slot northern as well:


Mark and Sandy were back for a third year of perchin’. By the way, Sandy was our only Conservation Award winner last week; I added a photo of her with a nice, 36″ northern to our website ( I fogot to give her her decal, though:( Watch for it in the mail, Sandy, and thanks for understanding. This couple knows how to jerk some perch. Here are a few nice pics of their catch (yes, they limited out):

Sandy perch1

Sandy perch2

I called this one “Sandy Twoperch.”

Sandy twoperch

Mark and Sandy went moose driving one night and saw 9 moose! The “moost” I’ve ever seen is 8 (with Ryan and Laura on her first visit to Camp). Here are a couple of nice moose shots:

Minta moose 1

Minta moose 2

Mark had never seen a turtle in Canada. Well, his first was a dandy:

Minta turtle 1

Minta turtle 2

I think the only downside of their trip came on Friday. Mark got a hook in his finger (ick). He opted to remove it himself:


Believe it or not, Mark’s was not the only hooked finger of the week. Tim–enjoying his first trip here with his seasoned father-in-law Roger–got a good one earlier in the week.

hooked finger

Here are the tools he used for removal:

hook tools

I don’t think we’ve ever had two in one week before(?) I hope it’s not a trend for 2013. I am worthless with that stuff.

I have a photo fest worth of Tim’s pics. I promise to put it together yet this week–honest. I just have a ton of work to do yet this evening.

Here’s the good news: Bill and Roz limited out on walleye and northern by noon today; Ted and Don released 26″ and 24″ walleyes today for Conservation Awards (Ed played guide); Dave released a HUGE northern today for a Conservation Award; Kevin, Aaron and Dave introduced Doug and Tommy to wonderful fishing of all species today; and Jack, Linda and Wyatt brought in a nice batch of eater walleyes and perch! Only Sunday and already better than last week! We had good cloud cover today and a hint of chop:) It really does make a huge difference.

I’ll close with Bentley:) He’s not even 2 yet and has visited Tall Pines Camp twice! Here he is with Grandma Nita at potluck (I made moose and wild rice unstuffed peppers):


Here he is with some other guy:


Stranger Danger, Bentley…

Getting into the Groove

June 2, 2013

Hey! Come on in!

For some reason this season has felt funky. I don’t know if it’s the 10-year itch or what, but I’m having a tough time getting into the swing of things. We’ve begun our third week and it’s finally starting to feel familiar. Thank goodness for patient, understanding guests!

Last week (2nd week of season) was one of the toughest we’ve seen for walleye fishing. A couple of factors were obvious: way colder than normal water temps and an odd easterly wind (as opposed to our prevailing westerly wind). We also had some ups and downs with air temps–everything from 70 down to 50’s during the days. Our “used” guests did well for the most part. Bill’s group returned after a three-year hiatus and brought in enough for dinner Saturday! I know they had at least one shore lunch during the week and (I think) another dinner. Doc’s group never struggles for fish; they ate well and everyone took home their limits. Our new and slightly used guests, however, had a pretty tough time with walleye. We had them fishing 6-8′ for the most part. Some discovered that sitting shallower, tossing into 8′ or so, and bottom-bouncing back worked for them. Everyone said the northerns were a pain in the butt! We added six new fish for Conservation Awards: 3 nice northerns, 2 smallies and 1 walleye. Check them out at

I had a request for a shoe pic:) I’ve been waiting for just such a moment. I’ve declared these to be my Saturday Shoes:


I love them–comfortable and fun!

We did not have an official potluck last week. We had social hour. Kenny wanted to bring his dirty rice and a few other guests wanted to be social. I did a couple of appetizers: Asian grouse lettuce wraps and northern/crab cakes (thanks Bruce and Debbie D. for the recipe). Both items were declared edible:


Official potlucks begin this week. We should have a pretty good bunch o’ people. Speaking of this week, Brett returned yesterday for a week of fun. I talked with him yesterday evening, and he said “When you can go fishing at 3:00 and bring back dinner, I think that’s pretty good!” We’ll take that as a sign that walleye conditions are improving. I’ll keep you posted. Rachel’s here with Bentley again this year. You might recall that last year she made the ADORABLE button fish(?) This year she brought zucchini bread and this beautiful garden stone:


Sandra sent Eldon’s big bass release, which I’ve added to the Conservation Awards page. She also sent a couple of other photos. Here I am saving her and Wilma from a spider opening week:


Certainly not my best side but I’m a hero nonetheless! Sandra took a pic of their last night’s sunset (entitled “As one week ends…”)


and their departure morning’s sky (entitled “Another begins”):


OK. Let’s close with a Justin photo fest! I know he’ll appreciate it and so will all of you! He’s been coming, like, forever, and he still has a great eye for our beautiful world up here. I’ll begin with a series of general scenery:

beaver hut

keynote entrance

nice camp perspective



weeping cliff

Shore lunch is a big deal with this opening week bunch! There was work to be done when they arrived at their spot this year:

clearing the path

I couldn’t tell if this was roots to that tree, a den for large critters, or both, but I liked the photo a lot:

Roots or den

On to the business of enjoying a shore lunch (fish or burgers or whatever–it’s a tradition):

lunch fire

shore lunch cookers

Just like fathers and sons who take a fishing trip to Canada every year:

Fathers and sons

In order to have a traditional fish shore lunch you have to have fish, right??? This group does plenty of fishing all week, rain or shine. Here are some fishing photos:

bucket o perch

fish follow

justin with walleye

Justins 2 perch

nice northerns to clean

nice walleye double

northern double

walleye and perch to clean

These are the best fishing pics–Justin’s successful release of a big northern!

Justins release 1

Justins release 2

Justin knows what I like: sunsets and reflections:) Let’s finish off with a few faves I took from his camera:

blue reflection

dark reflection

green reflection

justins silhouette

reflection into Mud

slight reflection

sun just setting

sunset skyline

yellow skyline