Archive for August, 2017

Happy Birthday to ME!

August 28, 2017

Greetings and welcome to my birthday week!  Sure, I still have to get some work done around here, but Gruper and I have fished a bit TWO DAYS IN A ROW!  We’re staying in 2nd Lake to maximize our time and we’re doing quite well!  Yesterday we fished for about two hours.  Gruper was ahead 3 walleye to 0.  Then I went on a rampage and was ahead 4 to 3.  We ended with him taking first, biggest, most (9:7 walleye) AND variety (on my birthday…).  His variety point was for this insanely fat 19″ smallie:


100% of my fish looked like this:


We ended up keeping three 16-17″ers:  one for the freezer, one for my dinner last night (honey walleye) and one for my dinner tonight (broiled walleye).


Today we caught more fish but much smaller (10-12″).  Gruper took first, I took biggest (15″ish), and we probably tied for most (lots).  Variety was also a tie as he caught a teeny, tiny bass and I caught two just-under-bartering-size northerns.  Both outings were a blast and long overdue:)  Both days 17′ seemed to be the magic number.  We were using minnows and fishing rock piles.  I started with a too-small jig head yesterday and finally switched to 1/8 oz.  Today I switched up again to a 1/4 oz.  Gruper used a 1/4 oz. pretty much all of the time (I must be more of a finesse anger).

I apologize for the crappy quality of the first two photos.  Having killed two very nice cameras with water (one salt, one rain), I am punishing myself by using the absolute cheapest digital camera I could purchase at Walmart.  It is awful.  For obvious reasons, I am reticent to take the i-pad on the boat.  I will use it for around-Camp photos and the crappy camera for on the lake photos.

This was found in a fish last Wednesday.  We had those who thought it was a fish, others who thought it was an eel, and still others who thought it was an eel poult or mud puppy.  It was gross whatever it was:


We had another Andrea in Camp last week!  Guess what….she has incredible taste in footwear!


She and Colton took, like, a gazillion pictures but I’ll share them in due time.  The recently-engaged couple had a great first-ever trip and are thinking about a pre-honeymoon in 2018!  We certainly hope to see them again.

Kraig and Jenny finished out their two weeks with good fishing and lots of socialization!  Our island friends were here as well, so it’s been a very “social” spell for us.  Jenny and I made two batches of ceviche during her stay (thanks to Bruce D. and Kraig for making the 2nd batch possible):

Jenny and ceviche

Check out this incredible beet salad Jenny created:


and we shared berry desserts (fresh raspberries and blueberries):


She and Kraig both released big fish this year!  Jenny had a 24.5″ walleye, and Kraig released both a big bass and a big northern.  Photos to come (I’m sure).

Wayne and LeaAnn were here a few weeks back.  They come for the perch (837) and the blueberries!


They get so many because they are obviously dirty pickers;)  I don’t think they keep any perch but they sure bag the berries!  They enjoy their time on the lake:



I sure hope Wayne’s not holding my pet in that picture!  Eek.  I liked this pic of a beaver hut:


But this photo of a bear in the wild (vs. the dump) is great!  It makes me think of Planet of the Apes:


Grant caught this fish down in the U.S.  He told his dad that they needed to throw it back:)  I guess he’s learned something along the way;)


Speaking of throwing back…this is funny!  Todd caught this beautiful 25″ walleye and his buddy Ken netted it for him from another boat!  That’s what friends are for!

Steve and Katie were here about a month ago.  It is always a pleasure to have them around.  Katie is a great kid and her dad’s a super nice guy.  They are pretty good anglers:

especially Steve:


They were all about the birds this trip…mergansers, eagles:

That last bunch is having a meeting of the minds, just like Katie and me!


Maybe we were discussing what to make in painting class?

or where she and her dad would fish (I LOVE this pic)?


They got a good pic of a bear!


Maybe when it was too foggy to go fishing one morning…


They certainly had some nice sunsets to enjoy, as has everyone this season!


See you guys next year…and hopefully Jake can come along;)

Aunt Phyllis only made it to be 98.5 when she passed last year.  Tomorrow would have been her 100th birthday!  Party hearty up there!

aunt phyllis

It Rained Pigs Last Week!

August 21, 2017

Hi there and welcome back.  First up:  an eclipse report.  Nada.  We were cloudy and drizzly all day, ergo no glimpse of the eclipse.  We need the rain in the worst way, though, so I’ll not complain too much.

It was crazy ’round here last week!  Holy buckets did we have some bodies running around!!!  Between guests and friends, I counted 47 forks after potluck!  Wowzer.  Needless to say, Gruper and Andrea are enjoying a more “normal” week.

I wish I could tell you how many walleye over 18″ were released last week.  The fish had transitioned to 15′ and deeper, and our folks were finding them in lots of places.  “South Bay” was just one of many places producing big pigs.  I’ll share a few pics here that I’ve put on the Big Fish page.  I’ll try to catch up in the next day or so (blueberry guiding is devouring my work time;))  Warren released a 23 and a 25!

Joel released a beautiful “24.5”:


Chuck released a 25″


Early (do you not LOVE that name???) released a 19″ smallie


I have several more that I could post.  It was a really, really good week!

Kraig dropped by to shoot a bear…ho hum;)  Yes, opening day, still daylight, old hat:)  That’s what Gruper likes about Kraig’s hunt!  It’s another nice one and has a bit of white on his chest.  Good job, Kraig!  He actually got to just fish for a week and a half!


Let’s share some photos!  Chris and Finn were here waaaaaay back in early June for their first visit!  They had such a good time that they plan to return in 2018!  Finn’s the kind of kid who enjoys pretty much everything, including a snack on the boat:


He “caught” on to fishing pretty quickly!

Dad caught a huge bass:


and Miss Clio, well, she’s just huge!


See you in the spring, Finn!


Next up, Scott and Luke!  Actually, they were three generations with Wally:

Ulbricht Boat 7.29.17

Wally nailed a nice bass!


Luke had nice variety fishing!

and he and Caleb had a good time together


Caleb’s the poor kid whose first-ever walleye was a 25″er!  Perhaps it’s one that was caught and released this week???  That, my friends, is the beauty of catch and release:)

Caleb-25 in walleyecomp

Here’s a nice shot of Scott, Luke, Wally, Caleb and the other nine members of their group!  Maybe we’ll see them again…


Brett and Karen returned for their umpteenth visit and we’re delighted!  Those darned kids of theirs are getting so busy with extracurriculars that they almost didn’t make it this year!  However, our schedules were able to sync and we enjoyed a nice visit.  Tricia is becoming quite the angler:



If pressed, though, I think she’s cite duck feeding as her favorite Canadian activity;)


Trent continues to LOVE fishing!

This picture may make its way to the sports shows…


or perhaps this one will…


Love it!

Karen’s duties include snack patrol, bait handling and maybe some fishing in between(?)


She also gets some great pics!


Brett tries to spend some one-on-one time with each of his kiddos and seems to fully enjoy this week of family harmony!

Just like I’ve now come to understand the importance of catch and release, this family has taught me a bit about tradition.  Here they are for the first visit and for their most recent visit:

I now understand the annual photo!  Thank you:)  I can’t wait to see next year’s picture!

Blog fodder continues to arrive, so I’ll keep blogging:)  Next up:  LeaAnn and Steve and Katie!

Until next time…


August 14, 2017

That’s the best way to describe last week.  We had a nice mix of new and used guests, and everyone caught fish!  There was painting, picking, lovely weather, and just plain fun!  I picked some raspberries for Gruper’s favorite pie.  Talk about a labor of love–oy.  I’m sticking with blueberries from here on out.

Wayne and LeaAnn were back.  They come for two things:  perch and blueberries.  The funny thing is that they don’t keep their perch, they just count them.  This year’s total was OVER 800!  As far as berries, they had more in a week than I’ve gotten so far (about 6 gallons for me…more for them).  They (Wayne) are serious about their perching and picking:)  They were fishing cabbage weed edges and casting for northerns.  The perch wanted to join in the action!

Isaac and Steph were new to us.  They had a great week!  Self-described “river rats,” they tackled Wabaskang and did a great job.  They were celebrating 20 years of marriage and the honeymoon they never took:)  They liked Aerobus Arm a lot.  They used #5 Mepps spinners and a Beetle Spin (our guy Duane would be proud!).

Steve and Katie returned as well.  I received some nice pics for them which you’ll see in a week or two.  I’d like to thank everyone who has been sending blog fodder!  I have a nice batch and will always take more!

Most of Fred’s family returned a couple of weeks ago.  It’s always nice to see them.  They’ve been coming since long before us and were part of the welcoming committee when we started here 14 years ago.  Bruce and Steve, two of Fred’s sons, are a bit competitive which adds to their fun.  Grandson Aiden added a nice walleye to the Big Fish page while they visited this year which was exciting.  Here are some other pics from them:

Addison likes to mix it up while she’s out fishing (she’s also a good picker!):

Brennan holds a northern like I do;)


Here’s Aiden’s nice walleye:


I loved this pic of three generations!


Bonnie likes to get into pike of size!


I can only hope that Diane was doing this for Jean’s class(?)


Bruce had the long and the short of it a couple of times:

He had a pretty good week of walleye…




BUT, his brother Steve did note that his “was the largest the group caught. 22″. Bigger than any of Bruce’s.”


I was floored by some of the incredible sky and reflection pictures I received this year!  Besides our very mild temps this summer, we have had endless beautiful, colorful sunsets!  I’ll start with a few here:



We’ve had about one foggy morning each week…pretty in its own way:

These pics both stood out to me:

I really liked these sky reflections as well:


The simplicity of this reflection made it my second favorite “pic” of the crop;)

great reflectioncomp

My favorite pic has a spiritual feel to me.  I just love it!  Thanks for sharing all of these pics, Guys!  See you next year:)


This seems like a good stopping point for now.  See you all soon!

Looking Good!

August 7, 2017

Greetings and Welcome Back!

Our crazy-busy week last week was GRRRRRRREAT!  We had bodies in every cabin, and every cabin had a good week:)  Our newbies took a day or so to get acclimated but found their footing, caught fish, enjoyed some lovely weather and went home begrudgingly.  We added four fish to the Big Fish page of our website (  Cody released a 39″ northern, his Uncle Ron released an 18″+ smallie, Aiden released a 21″ walleye, and Caleb released his first-ever walleye…you guessed it…25″:

Caleb-25 in walleyecomp

He’s ruined for life!

Trent and Brett reported walleye starting at around 9′.  They did a lost of fishing on 2nd Lake and put some never-before-seen dots on the map!  Thanks, guys!  They brought Karen and Tricia along as well.  Tricia enjoys fishing and mom Karen is in charge of snacks as well as fishing and blueberry picking:)  They promise some pics in the near future.

A lot of slot northern were reported last week.  We had some hard-core northern anglers here and they had a ball.  Eater walleye were not a problem either, with lots of catches reported on 2nd Lake and Keynote.  Perch continue to be in high demand.  I have some serious perchers here this week but get this:  they only keep count…they release them all!  They caught 200+ on Sunday!

Gruper and I went fishing yesterday morning before breakfast.  We stayed on 2nd Lake.  I caught the first and biggest (walleye); he caught most and variety (walleye, perch, smallie).  We fished for about an hour and were pleased that the “fall spots” are starting to produce.  I then enjoyed TWO blueberry picks after breakfast!  I had guided a ton last week and did a bit of scouting as well.  I enjoyed one pick all by myself yesterday, then enjoyed a second with new and used guests:)


The berries are “berry” nice this season!  Look at that bunch at the top.  I told Gruper some looked like bunches of grapes, so I brought one home to show him.  I’m on my fifth freezer gallon which bodes well for Pat and Sally.

We did turkeys for potluck.  I had enough blueberries to make a big blueberry-banana cake with lemon cream cheese icing.  I took its picture but can’t find it:(  I liked it better than the bundt-style cake I made a few weeks ago.  There was a nice assortment of side dishes and everyone left stuffed.

Kevin was here several years ago with a large guy group.  He liked us enough to return with his wife, daughter and parents this year!  It was a quiet week…a bit too hot…but they had a lovely time and vow to return next year.  They shared some pics (thank you)!

Emma turned out to be a good picker AND she made me sand men!



She LOVES nature and being outside!

Her folks and Grandma and Grandpa enjoy the outdoors as well.  They fished from the dock several evenings…catching a couple of nice perch out there!



She was a bit freaked out by the fish but did it!

Her mom and dad caught a couple of NICE bass:

Grandpa found a walleye:


Thanks again, Kevin, for sharing your family with us!

In our family news, our Navy nephew Jake is currently deployed to the Persian Gulf.  His ship is the USS Nimitz.  Please keep him, his shipmates and his family in your thoughts and prayers.  His Navy wife Jessi is home with their two boys, Jack and James:

Jack and James comp

Great-niece Emma turned 4 yesterday!  She shares a birthday with her papa, my brother Dan who passed away in April.  I like to think he’s riding his motorcyle in Heaven, so I created a piece of glass for him:


I call it Dan’s Highway:)

Until next time…

In Like A Lion

August 1, 2017

Happy August, Everyone!  Can you believe it’s August already???  We just had a pretty fast-but-furious rainstorm, our second since last night.  Last night we had big, big wind and lots of rain with a bit o’ light show for fun.  We really need the rain; the lake has dropped visibly in the last week.  I thought I was going to have to water flowers but should be good now for at least a few days.  We had been quite humid for several days–unusual for up here–so Gruper and I knew we were in for a good thunderstorm.

We were pretty quiet last week.  I was able to pick a couple of times as well as catch up on some camply duties.  Kevin has already sent some pics from their trip.  I plan to share them next week.  Fishing was tough but they didn’t give up!  It was way too hot, way too sunny, way not windy enough, etc.  They were great sports, though, and are planning a 2018 trip!

The quiet week allowed for more project work.  Gruper and Mark replaced the floor in Cabin 3’s bathroom and it looks very nice.  Staining continues always.  Mark has dismantled our cabin’s porch swing and will begin taking a part of the deck apart as well (did you see what I did there???).  

We are anything but quiet this week!  The nice thing is that we are nearly all used people, so I have only 16 new faces to learn.  Fishing results have been pretty good as well:  young Aidan released a 21″ walleye and young Caleb released a 25″ walleye (his first ever).  We all know the problem with setting the bar that high;)  The buckets are showing lots of nice eater-sized walleye and northern, some HUGE smallies and some good piggy perch as well.  

I added two bass to our Big Fish page.  Sean and Kyle from two weeks ago each released 18″+ smallies!  The pics are very nice.

Sean and Kyle were part of Ryan’s group two weeks ago.  These guys were fun guests but serious anglers!  Jeremy had upside-down lake maps on their shirts so they could consult the map without removing their shirts.  They came in with a plan and figured things out during trying conditions.  I think North Bay ended up being their best spot but they were exploring and conquering!  I have some pics from Jeremy to share (thank you)!

Kyle not only released a big smallie, he also gave a nice northern back:

and caught walleye!


Looks like nearly everyone got into walleye:  Mike, Jeremy, Ryan, Ryan…



Ryan found himself a big ‘ol bass


as did Jeremy


These guys weren’t messing around with tiny perch.  Check out Jeremy’s pigs among their mess:

This looks like the makings of a nice dinner:


What’s that you say???  Shore lunch featuring northern cakes and walleye!

Hopefully they had room for steaks later!


Sean might be the oldest but I wouldn’t depend on him to feed the troops (btw, I LOVE this pic):


Not to add insult to injury, but the sleeve makes me think Sean caught this as well (?)


It was GREAT meeting all of you!  We certainly hope to see you again:)

I captured some nice sunsets this past week.  However, I’d rather close with a few nice words about a very nice man.  Tall Pines Camp lost a good friend on Sunday.  John (The Big O) O’Neill passed away surrounded by his family after a tedious battle with brain cancer.  John welcomed us when we took over Camp and always had a smile, a “comment,” or a story to make folks smile.  Our condolences go to his wife Nita, daughters Rachel and Tara, grandsons Andrew, Bentley and Charlie, and his siblings including Ed with whom he used to fish up here.  Gone too soon.