Archive for June, 2019

Longest Day Yet Fastest Week of the Year

June 30, 2019

Week 6 was a wonderful way to wrap up June.

With Week 6 falling on the longest sunlight day of the year, it was a little like Vegas time as this week’s campers were all on their own schedules- some getting on the water at 6 a.m. while others having a leisurely morning and taking advantage of the afternoon/evening bite. It went too fast!

As far as water temps, they are slowly creeping up (low 70’s), and Mayfly hatch came and went in Ruby and is now in North Bay. Good news, is that where one area of the lake may have them, there’s always another area that doesn’t. Ryan had some great conversations with our guests on areas to try as well as those not worth going to based on current conditions. Guests were finding out that they didn’t have to go into 3rd lake and beyond, as our first lake was producing quite well. The leech bite is on now too.

The Yarger group sure know how to fish and were such a pleasure to talk with. This week’s Instagram pic was sent by Zach. Check out Heath’s 40 incher tiger muskie he caught and released:

The Bear’s Den Segler crew took advantage of the late sunsets:

With some intermittent showers on Tuesday and the winds picking up, Fred reeled in this northern:

And check out this beaut of a muskie caught by Tom and sent by Pat:

Greg and Michelle’s family had a nice mix of fishing and relaxing at camp. One day Ben and Stephanie took a quick break from fishing to get a little peddleboat workout in- our first guests to take out one of our water toys this season:

John and his Dad Karl drove through the night to get to Tall Pines. Their relatives had a cabin right next to Tall Pines years ago, and so they both have some great Wabaskang memories going back many many years. We love how they are just soaking in the father-son time and no matter what the fishing outcome was on a given day, they were blessed to simply be here.

Due to their experience on the Wabby, their outcomes were usually pretty good- above is John’s 17″ smallie and below is Karl’s 21″ walleye:

Phil brought his dad and son. Hayden reminded Ryan of himself at that age as far as fishing every waking moment while up here. He’d be the first to the docks in the morning, and would want to be out all day, and then at night he’d wade on the shoreline flyfishing- for 7 days/nights straight! Dad and Gramps were basically along for the ride but also got into some nice fish. Hayden’s enthusiasm and dedication to fishing is remarkable!

We enjoyed hearing stories from our campground guests that have been to over 200 lakes in Ontario alone! We pray Jane, Dale, Mike, and Vern made it home safely as they had to cut their trip short.

Last week’s Connor nabbed this 26″ walleye-

Bill and Kaity who celebrated their one year anniversary, caught and released these guys:

Sandy, John, and Kerensa had a fun week exploring and catching some:

And sometimes it’s about the smile, and not the fish, that makes a picture priceless:

I’ve been missing Parkview Church back in the states, but took advantage of church on the water this Sunday:

After catching a number of eater size walleye, I was happy to have to release this one:

Excited to get a project crossed off the list; the teacher in me was so excited to organize the laundry house . Not a dime was spent on this “re-model” as Ryan re-purposed materials and I decorated with things already around camp:

To wrap it up, Earl has become an integral part of the Tall Pines experience. With his unique perspective, we are starting an “Earl’s Inspirational Pic of the Week”. Each week I’ll feature a new pic that, while others at camp may overlook, Earl finds inspiration in, and hopes you all do too. Thank you Earl:

Making Memories…

June 22, 2019

Week 5 was another great week at Tall Pines and on the Wabaskang. Guests, who were previous strangers to one another, mixed well sharing stories, tips, and helping each other out.

As I type this, I see Ryan and Earl in the fish cleaning house with numerous guests. What I’m observing is that they make the fish filleting an experience in itself- it’s almost like an entertainment show, especially with everyone’s sense of humor. It’s only June, so I can’t imagine what these two will be like by the end of season.

With warmer temperatures all week, the shallower waters are in low 70’s while the deeper water are upper 60’s. This meant that the walleye weren’t in 8 feet like last week, but found more often in 10-12′. Some guests this week focused on numbers while some zeroed in on size, and all had some success stories as well as some average days.

Shirley and her husband Wayne are Tall Pines veterans who stayed almost two weeks- here with a giant smallie and crappie:

Tall Pines regulars Ryan, his dad Dan, and the boys Brayden and Parker were so fun to watch. As the only kids in camp this week, they explored the shoreline, nature, found and released a turtle, as well as caught their own fish. During potluck, they donned their swimsuits and goggles to play in the water – not minding the mere 70 degree lake temps.

The Mele/Conway crew did their thing as Jerry estimates he’s been fishing the Wabby since 1955, his son Dennis started coming when he was 5 years old, and his boys “Ry-Con” now carry on the tradition. They are a 3 generation group this year- all true outdoorsmen.

Newbies to us, but definitely not the Wabaskang, Kay and Ken didn’t let a mechanical boat issue stop them from having a great time. Look at Ken’s head angled just like the walleye’s:

They took their three dogs out with them every day- and I think they were good luck charms, cause they crushed it with these monster walleye, northern, and smallies:

And the Johnson group was a mixture of Tall Pines veteran Horace along with his son and what I nicknamed the three stooges. They grew on me fast and were hilarious. Junior got some cool drone footage so can’t wait to see his finished product. We hope they had a good time.

The co-host of FOX’s The Big Outdoors Show (who interviewed us back in March) came with his cousin Roger. Ken has a lot of experience guiding and doing tournaments on different waters, so he was testing it out and Ryan enjoyed going out with him Wednesday. Shout out to the Fox Valley Angler’s Club!

My best friend Amy visited this week all the way from Alaska! Her facial expressions were priceless as she was exposed to new things.

We had a great visit and we made a fun day out of buying and then planting flowers around camp. Better late than never, right. Now I just hope I can keep them alive 🙂

While on a scenic boat ride, Amy got this one:

Last week’s Andrew pulled in this nice stringer and enjoyed fishing off the dock as the sunset:

Lots of ducks and baby chicks on our shoreline right now:

We had a couple relaxing evenings this week where we were able to have a nightcap while hanging out with our campers. The smell of the Pines, crackle of the fire, and glistening sparkles of the sun bouncing off the water made for some pretty good memories!

Thanks to all who contributed to this week’s fodder. May and June dates are filling up fast for next year, and we have a few last minute openings for this July, so email us at to plan your trip to Tall Pines. Take care everyone…

Happy Father’s Day!

June 16, 2019

Week 4- I need to sigh as this was quite a week. Camp was filled – cabins and campsites- with guests. Some anglers were old-timers fishing the Wabaskang with plenty of years under their belts, and a handful were brand new guests that were eager to learn the waters. The nights were super fun as we saw guests fishing off the dock, hanging out watching the late sunsets, some smores being made over campfire, and a general happy ambience.

Water temps are pushing the mid-sixties. Smallmouth are on their beds, and the perch are done spawning as well as the crappie. Sanctuary zones are lifted as of Saturday, so guests are excited with even more spots to fish.

Ryan and Earl were super busy helping our guests with their boats, bait, and of course filleting fish. I, in my first full week at camp, jumped in where needed, and attempted a few organization projects (attemped being the operative word). I’ll have to wait for a slower week to unpack lol.

Guests were having success in Ruby, Keynote, Gawley’s Bay, the Fifth Lake, right out in the first lake- basically all over; locations varied throughout the week, and while not every venture out produced, numerous guests said the fish were basically jumping into the boat! One newbie crew to Wabaskang reeled in over a 100 walleye on Friday alone.

The above was the norm for groups: this was a new group from the Illinois (Thanks Carter for referring them; we enjoyed having them despite them being Cubs fans)

Anne and Jerry, a fun couple we met at the Madison fishing show and who were so nice in bringing up some Wisconsin cheese for us, caught these nice crappie:

Scott sent this pic of Brennen with a 35″ northern:

Some wildlife pics:

So Ryan’s first “business” as a 12 year old kid was mowing lawns with a riding mower similar to this- thought his Mom would get a kick out of this one.

Here, newcomer Ryan leads his Dad and sister to epic days and a shore-lunch on the Wabby:

Here Dan a Wabby newbie is living the dream.

Mark and Sandy killed it with this crappie and perch bunch!

Bridget captured this one of the fun Bruce, Wayne, and Scott’s crew staying in the Bear’s Den as they enjoyed a nightcap while watching the sun set:

Ronan, an incredibly positive young man, caught this beauty, a 26″ walleye:

I believe this bucket came from Ryan, Kerry, and Danica’s boat- some entertainment during potluck!

We had previous week’s Fin send a pic to add:

And John sent this one of Marie with a 25.5″ walleye!

Below, Carol’s pic that is the Instagram pic of the week:

Gone are the days when I could start and complete a blog in one sitting from home. Now, I start it one day, and four days later I’m trying to finish- with I’m sure a few mistakes. So, I’m putting a disclaimer now that it is what it is. What I’m learning is that being at camp beats just writing about it, even if there is less time to try and make it perfect.

And we are making a point to make sure this new lifestyle has some play-time too:

I will say a huge thank you to Erin and Ronan for helping Bridget set up new router- Erin has a bright future in computer engineering. We are optimistic that internet may be a little faster at camp now (or at least work well enough for me to do this blog- last week’s took forever to upload!) And thanks to Scott from Week 1 on his generosity with tech advice and equipment!

This, to me, is what it’s all about. Jon Pickelmann shared this recently with me- a pic of his family hanging out on the porch of one of the old cabins. Tall Pines Camp is where families have been coming for generations, and though owners change, the memories and traditions can last a lifetime:

This pic is not from Tall Pines but is a homage to all the fathers out there, and particularly my Dad as this is Father’s Day Weekend. Here, my Dad is teaching my nephews to love fishing in Indiana, and I’m hoping for the family to make it to Tall Pines next year to continue the fishing tradition. Fishing is one of the best hobbies to pass down from father to son and grandson. I am so grateful for my Dad and late Grandpa for sharing their passion for fishing:

And folks, that’s a wrap…

June Fishing

June 9, 2019

Week 3 at Tall Pines Camp in a nutshell; guests reported some success in Keynote and in the first lake. Groups were bringing in a mixed bag this week- Lots of crappie were caught too. (We gave our Saturday arrivals all the details on current patterns and specific techniques that are working) The kids were on fire this week:

Finn holding this fun stringer, and it must have weighed a ton !

And look at that 12 inch jumbo perch above caught by William!

Above Jayden’s 38″ fat Northern!

And this 13″ perch made Skip’s day!

walleye and baked potato anyone?

The Streu Crew does shorelunch every day while at Tall Pines. They have been doing this for years and have a system on how to do it right.

The Streu Crew has been doing Shorelunch every day of their stay for as many years as they’ve been coming. They have a system down- Troy was able to get a picture of a bald eagle up close and personal from Doe Island where they made lunch- go to the Instagram page to see a picture of it!

Speaking of Instagram, check out the pic of Tony’s 40.5 Northern (from week 1) as a correction from week 1- I had posted the wrong pic. This is it guys- no cheating- he won fair and square on your big northern contest

Some pics from week 2 came in:

Gary (above) caught a 5 lb smallie

Eric was just one walleye short of tying (June, above) his mom’s count of 23! Great stringer of eaters below:

And our first footage sent of moose spotting:

Ryan captured this sunset picture from our cabin:

This was a monumental week as I finally got to join Ryan at camp. Many didn’t realize that I was putting out “fodder” while working remotely from the states. I finished teaching and immediately headed North. It’s been a long seven weeks, and I can finally be immersed in this way of life now too. Our campers even moved potluck back a night to welcome me.

Our new island friends captured this pic of our re-uniting and finally experiencing a sunset together.

We were taken care of as Jennifer made some amazing meatballs for potluck with all our guests providing delicious sides. We were able to celebrate John and Marie’s 48th wedding anniversary, and the guests congratulated us on being crazy enough to buy this place 🙂 Thank you to all of this week’s guests for being generous with tipping our staff, welcoming of Bridget, heckling the heck out of Ryan, and the delicious meals you made for us. The reciprocity of hospitality of this group was humbling.

While week 3 is a wrap, we welcome our next round of avid-fishermen. Camp is completely booked, so it should prove to be fun and interesting. (you may want to say a little prayer for us)

As I said good-byes to friends and family over the last week, I am humbled and grateful for all the support. It is emotional ending one chapter and starting another. And thanks to all who sent pics this week- keep ’em coming!

Week 2 at Tall Pines

June 1, 2019

This week the Wabby was a little finicky- there were many fish caught, but a couple days the weather was a little too calm (like the above picture) which made it a little more challenging than typical. Fortunately, most got into the pike and walleye especially. By mid week, the wind picked up and numbers increased. It’s been getting better each day. As the perfect storm is building, we think the Wabby is about to get insane here real quick.

Our weekly potluck was going to officially start in June, but the guests decided they still wanted to do something, so we did an appetizer night- it was a success (we may do this again occasionally), with Ryan making pike-cakes, and guests each bringing an app.

Loved the pics of some wildlife like this pair of bald eagles…

Sherry caught this wildlife and sunset combo:

Dave got a nice smallie and released a gorgeous walleye:

while Kevin was not to be outdone:

I like this new trophy tradition that Emma posed with Gramps for:

Ryan was impressed with Ruth’s top notch fishing knowledge:

No words on this one…

From week 1, the pictures came in:

Wow- (above) Jim reeled in this monster walleye!

And guests kept Earl busy filleting…

John netted these two bad boys:

Mike caught and released this beauty:

Paul boated this 26.75″ walleye:

Tony caught this 40.5″ Northern:

Karl’s face here is priceless:

And arguably the pic of the week is Dennis’ pike:

Terry (above) and Hunter (below) bringing in some keeper crappie

And I love the stringers so famous in Canada:

Steve sent some phenomenal pics of him and the young-ins:

And this video is also now on Facebook and Youtube:

the first minute is so calm…and then…

These reflection sunsets are Andrea’s favorite:

Finally, Paul captured this view that made the new cover of the Facebook page…

We can’t believe May is over already. Thank you to all our week 2 guests who were so fun for Ryan! Looking forward to June as the fishing continues to build, and we will be meeting many guests for the first time.

Summer is finally here, and what better way to celebrate than booking a trip to Tall Pines Camp. We still have room for you, so give us a call or shoot us an email so your pictures can someday be featured here. ,, and 888-413-3454.