Archive for September, 2019

Fall Finale

September 29, 2019

Well we are officially wrapped up for fishermen this season at the Tall Pines. A few hunters will remain as the days up here are dwindling. With water temps in the 50’s and outdoor temps about the same, we are bundling up more than ever now. If one can bear the weather though, the sights are pretty outstanding. On a clear Friday night with a new moon phase, Van Gogh would have had a field day with such a starry night. Glimpses of the Northern Lights appeared too, making it one of Ryan’s favorite nights to be in Canada. There’s also more wildlife signs- an eagle reclaiming its territory on our tallest pine, lynx tracks on the driveway, and a mink down by the docks. The fall foliage is absolutely beautiful this time of year down the Highway 105.

This past week the walleye were sure to be had, but they took patience. After getting some babies, and adjusting depth and techniques, fishermen got into some good sized ones. There’s still been two bites going on- the deeper bite as well as some shallow spots. Ryan is still catching nice ones between 12-15′.

Here, Bob caught and released a gorgeous walleye:

And check out Kevin’s beauty he reeled in:

New guest Eric and his fishing buddy Barney were up for the challenge of taking on the Wabby and caught some nice sized walleye as well as smallies:

Another Tall Pines newbie, Ed, didn’t hold back in nailing some quality walleye:

This might be the biggest smallie caught this season at just under 20″:

Fly Fishing success:

and a grouse or two…

On a sunny afternoon, Ryan got out for a quick shorelunch:

On a colder day, he caught and released this 19.5″ one:

Fall at its best:

Now that we can say we survived our rookie year as new owners, I’m deciding to share a few happy moments from earlier this summer:

And cheers to the two guys who made it all happen:

This week’s sunset pic was sent in by Eric Peele and took advantage of the panoramic scene:

As we are in transition, new deposits can once again be sent to our fall/winter address which is P.O. Box 1028 New Lenox, IL 60451. The direct camp line number will work for a couple more weeks, but feel free to reach us at or 888-413-3454 now and all winter long. I’ll continue the blog, though not weekly anymore. Please send any pics you may still have that you want to share, and thanks as always for supporting Tall Pines!

Autumn Anglers

September 22, 2019

Sorry I left you hanging last week! I’ll try and make up for it this week. As we are already wrapping up our first season at Tall Pines, I found this quote appropriate: “Don’t cry because it’s over; Smile because it happened.”

Those that took advantage of our fall fishing and hunting definitely came back smiling:

So these three nicknamed themselves “F.L.O.W” for Fishing Ladies on the Wabby:

Sue, Sue, and Cherie sure knew how to fish:

As well as have a good time at the Whiskey Jack:

And a few nights of games and drinks in their cozy warm cabin:

They also took advantage of seclusion with shore lunch:

And sure had some fun with Earl:

They also had some good laughs with Ryan:

And enjoyed the evenings’ full moons and sunsets:

Andrea and Colton, last year’s honeymooners who returned for an anniversary trip, fared pretty darn well with the walleye:

While fishing, this couple really soaked in all the wildlife as well:

Observing multiple bald eagles together is not an uncommon sight up here:

Looks like filming for Hitchcock’s The Birds:

Love this loon washing himself:

Colton and Andrea also shot some amazing scenery pics:

This one looked a little scary to me:

I love this camp pic as you can almost feel the crisp yet clean air, and the angle shows how we really are nestled in the pine trees:

Guest Houly had so much fun earlier this season, he had to come back for some fishing and grouse hunting. As a farmer, this was a silver lining in the late planting of crops- he’s usually in the field harvesting by now, but not this year- this guy is one true outdoorsmen:

And here Houly tries our version of “farm to table”:

Glad Earl got a chance to fillet with a change in scenery that day! Ryan, not wanting to be left out, caught and released this healthy walleye:

Holy Cow Gruper! Steve and Andrea returned one more time this season, and they didn’t mess around:

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And this non-edited beauty that Ryan took is Earl’s Inspirational Pic of the Week, as I believe he was on the boat with Ryan and they were having a moment 🙂

(This is where the sappy melancholy song would start playing) This was Earl and Patsy’s last week for this season. They are returning to their other home in Newfoundland after making a stop to visit their grandbabies and daughter, Gina. We are filled with gratitude that they answered a prayer, when there were so many unknowns about what this year would bring. We had faith, and God sent us these two amazing people. Many may not know, but Patsy worked all season up in Ear Falls at Trillium’s restaurant on the morning shift. Since Earl worked many a late night, that didn’t leave much time for the two of them, but they never once complained. We thank Earl for his dedication in going above and beyond, and Patsy for her support as being a wife in this business is one of sacrifice.

Though we are wrapping up the “official” 2019 season, I am sure to have some more blogs as pictures continue coming in, and we have a few stragglers visiting still. And Ryan will remain at camp, saying this is his favorite time of year up there, so we’ll keep you posted.

September Food and Fun

September 8, 2019

With a smooth turnover into week 16, Ryan and Earl were able to do some fishing on Saturday. No one was counting or anything, but Earl outfished Ryan 13 to 8- nice job Earl! So you know what that meant for dinner:

This is actually a fish fry pic from the Duckworths

Those two knuckleheads got out later in the week again and caught 50 walleye between the two of them- Earl outfished Ryan yet again. Poor Earl was complaining he couldn’t finish a smoke because of all the activity, lol.

So, guess what they had for dinner, again:

Colors are starting to change at camp, and the crisp, cool nights are coming along with it. Many heard how the Northern Lights were showing magnificently this week. I told Ryan to wake his #ss up for it- he spent 20 minutes on the dock Sunday night just watching it; said how beautiful it was but pictures didn’t turn out, so sorry to report that. Water temp is dropping to around 60 degrees and fish are starting to move deeper. Though temps have been cooling down, walleye fishing has been heating up both in numbers and size! Check out just some of the fish caught and released by Tall Pines guests this week-

Look at this 26.25″ bad boy that Russ reeled in:

Nice hat too:

Dave caught and released this nice 24 incher:

and a 25 incher:

Tyler’s 25.5″ beauty:

Mike wasn’t to be outdone by his buddies:

And, though the pic doesn’t do it justice in my opinion, the motherload caught by Tim (look at those clouds behind him) was this guy measuring at 27.25″:

Hope everyone is enjoying the opening week of Football. Ryan loves to eat snacks for dinner during football season. So all guests who were Bears fans were invited to come over to watch the game in lieu of traditional potluck this week. Then he (begrudgingly) invited Packers fans over too. Tough game- but good heckling and fun on both sides.

Some fall projects are starting to get underway- I can’t wait to share what cabin Ryan began working on this week- but you’ll just have to wait for now. I love the great responses to last week’s Facebook post “Which is your favorite cabin at Tall Pines?” Funny, how it’s the people you shared them with and the experiences that make the cabins memorable- they each have some unique quality about them- hence why the answers were all over the place! And thanks to all who still check in each week. Fall grouse hunting is almost here- if you can get out of dodge for a few days, it’s not too late to give us a call and we’ll book you one of our heated cabins. Til next time…

Week 15 Wrap Up

September 1, 2019

I can’t believe it’s wrap for Week 15 at Tall Pines Camp. It was a busy week for Ryan and Earl with most cabins being rented as well as trying to wrap up the septic upgrade and former owners Steve and Andrea making a visit. There was a noticeable change in weather this week. Winds were pretty strong a few days making getting out tough, and fall is in the air! This made chili the perfect theme for this week’s Potluck. This week’s guests had been commenting earlier in the season to “save some fish for us” and the good news is that we did.

Don Wenger caught and released this fat 37″ northern:

Carol brought in this nice stringer early in the week:

And Dan and Carol didn’t let the wind stop them from going out for these later in the week:

And it just kept getting better each day:

A sample of what was brought in to the fish cleaning house, keeping Earl busy for sure:

Denny’s group got some great shots of fish as well as scenery:

Haven’t seen a sunset with yellow hues quite like this one yet this season:

This flower made Earl think of Ryan and so it was chosen as Earl’s Inspirational Pic of the Week:

And thanks to Dan for sharing this glorious sky pic:

Wishing everyone a Happy Labor Day. Enjoy the long weekend!