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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 info@tallpinescamp.com to plan your trip to Tall Pines. Take care everyone…

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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. Tallpinescamp.com , info@tallpinescamp.com, and 888-413-3454.

Week 1 Report

May 25, 2019

What a first week! Lots to share…

First, many of you are curious about the current water levels. Those that were here last year will be pleased to hear that the levels have risen quite a bit since last summer’s near record lows. Ryan estimates the water is a good 20 inches higher than it was at this same time last year. Yes! Water temps currently are in the mid to upper 50’s.

The days are getting longer, which provided extra hours of daylight to fish for this week’s group. The fish cleaning house was busy until 11 P.M. numerous nights. Earl sure became a favorite around here in no time.

The “Boots” group has been around through multiple camp owners. They estimated this is their 29th year and over 200 years Wabaskang experience between all of them. Ryan enjoyed getting to know them- and even took a day to go fishing with them (this is his new definition of “work”). The Northern were hitting good- many in the upper 30’s- 40’s range. Most guys were limiting out in eater size walleye with numerous trophy sized ones caught and released as well. I think the fact they keep coming back year after year speaks volumes of our fishery. They’ve definitely got the shorelunch thing down:

Dan and Tess were new to us this year, and made the perfect Tall Pines guests- we hope they enjoyed themselves and that they come back!

Scott, who we were lucky enough to meet this spring, reeled in this nice one:

That reminded him of this one caught a couple years ago:

At camp we added these in a few places:

And found a new hangout spot:

Ryan took Earl out one afternoon to show him around, but couldn’t not cast a few:

And since no one has sent a walleye pic yet, Ryan volunteered this one:

And then had a nice fresh walleye dinner (with a much smaller keeper size than the above one he released)…

He actually did do some other work too this week- Ryan found out the hard way that everything shuts down on Victoria Day; we still have a bit to learn 🙂 We also had some people pop by camp that we met at fishing shows or have been following the blog so that was neat.

Click below to hear that one of a kind sound:

While the snow/rain has helped us outfitters up North, we are reminded that it is quite the opposite in the Midwest. I know everyone is so over the all the rain! Our thoughts are with our farmer friends (Jake/Houli) and our numerous guests that rely on weather as their way of life. We are praying that crops can still get planted and for peace of mind for all.

With it also being Memorial Day Weekend, we pause to be grateful for all the servicemen that have sacrificed themselves for our freedom. While Ryan and I are excited to have a home and camp in Canada, we are still proud Americans through and through. God Bless!

And that’s a wrap:

Start those boat motors!

May 18, 2019

And…it’s officially week 1, the much anticipated season opener! We are blessed with over 30 guests who have already arrived, or are on their way up now to be a part of history in the making at Tall Pines Camp. I guess I can take down the official countdown clock off the website now.

The beautiful Wabaskang is ready for them! Ice has been out, snow is melted, and the fish are calling.

Though walleye fishing didn’t start til the 18th, that didn’t stop us from going after the smallies and northern:

Ryan (below) was able to get out a few times to enjoy the water, scope out some fishing spots, hang out with one of his brothers and a buddy (above) and just “mess around”.

Like Ryan’s hat and sweatshirt? We have a limited supply of them in our tackle shop! (He is just a walking advertisement- I swear I didn’t tell him to wear that)

Earl and Patsy arrived this past week to get settled into camp life; we are thrilled that Earl will be our dockhand, and he comes with plenty of experience. He is eager to take care of your boat and fish cleaning needs. We also had Wanda, our cleaning specialist, doing some finishing touches in the cabins. From getting the water tested, fuel for the docks, bait order secured, ice machine going, the early quiet days Ryan enjoyed are now filled with an energy and bustle.

It wasn’t in our budget this year, but we still thought it was important, so we purchased an AED defibrillator. We are hoping that 1)we’ll never have to use it and 2) we’ll recoup the cost with a couple new bookings.

Have you checked out the website lately? As we’ve been getting more questions regarding to what to pack/border questions, I’ve added a section to the Frequently Asked Questions found under the Amenities tab. For those needing a refresher or our newbies- please take a look. And the 2019 Big Fish Gallery page is up and running, ready to add your pic of the catch of a lifetime!

Now that camp is open and guests are starting to get on the water, I’m excited to share some of the their pics starting hopefully with next week’s blog.

As always, thanks for sharing an interest in our passion. 2019 is going to be a fantastic fishing season! We hope you’ve already booked, and are excited to reward those that come twice (or more) this season- ask us about it when you’re at Tall Pines Camp!

-Bridget

One More Week…

May 11, 2019

Wow- we are ecstatic and so excited to get this camp going! It has been a productive week for sure. First, did you see that Tall Pines Camp has been chosen as The #7 spot for Unforgettable Camping Spots in Ontario? We just found out we made the top ten this week, and have posted the article from Camper Report on our website as well as Facebook Page. Pretty, Pretty nice as Larry David would say.

Also on our Facebook Page is a recent short panoramic video of Wabaskang and camp taken Wednesday evening. Unfortunately I cannot post video on this blog, so sorry you’ll have to go there to check it out.

The good news is that the ice is officially out in Wabaskang Lake!!!

As Ryan took a boat ride Friday, the second lake is clear as well; visually there is still some ice in the third lake, but boats can make it all the way to Wine Lake as of today!

More pics of the water… The above pic was taken Wednesday, the last day seeing any ice from Tall Pines shoreline. Below the water is now looking like glass!

And Friday, it was so calm, it provided the perfect weather to get at least one of the docks in:

I love this last picture in every way. The colors and little bit of tree landscape, as well as Ryan’s thumb or whatever that is in the top corner – these are definitely not photo-shopped.

With only a week to go til opener, current projects are underway such as getting water going to all the cabins and gettin the boats ready. Good thing our new hired dock-hand Earl will be starting this week! Safe travels to our first round of guests that will be heading up shortly.

Wishing all the moms out there a Happy Mother’s Day! A special shout out to Andrea who has been Tall Pines Mama Bear and has helped this little bear out with such a kind heart. And props to our moms, Karen and Joyce, who can now call Tall Pines their newest grand-baby.

It’s May!

May 5, 2019

Surreal to believe that in two weeks we’ll be open and Tall Pines Camp will be full of fishermen. Ryan had his first visitor from the states this week:

And for those waiting on the current ice-out conditions, I think you’ll be happy to see these:

There is still some thin ice as you get further from the falls, but significant melting from last week:

Grouse sightings are all over camp:

And Bridget is still teaching right now back in the states- here is her “Recreational Activities” class that she get’s to take fishing at a nearby pond. Future Wabaskang fishermen????

We are excited that Wanda and Patty, some of our cleaning staff, are set to prepare cabins and do spring cleaning. Ryan has been doing some exterior projects around camp this past week, and firing up golf carts, 4-wheeler, and camp truck- but he’s still finding moments to take it all in- like this sunset:

For our guests, this is the last month we will be taking deposits/payments at the P.O. Box 1028 address. Beginning June 1st, all mail should be sent to General Delivery Perrault Falls, ON POV 2KO. Credit card deposits/payments can also be taken over the phone (3.5% processing fee).

Thank you for choosing Tall Pines Camp, and feel free to email Bridget at info@tallpinescamp.com with any questions about your stay.

End of April update:

April 29, 2019

Tallpinescamp.com

So a few picture updates of up North…

Here are some of the Perrault Falls…

Don’t you wish you could hear the sounds of the falls like Ryan is…

This was Sunday evening. Ryan was by the outside office when he spotted this lynx. Ryan could tell it wanted to come and get on land by the boat launch but it ended up falling through the ice and had to circle way around to get to shore. That should tell you something about how thick the ice is!

The above three pics of the lake were taken Friday, while the below three were taken Sunday- you can see how quickly ice is melting and breaking up just in two days (and compared to last week’s blog pics)!

And yet today (Monday) it is snowing. First time Ryan had to get the wood burning fireplace in the main cabin going.

This past week Ryan has been busy- doing some inventory of camp, more organizing, and he took a 2 day class to get his PAL card (Possession and Acquisition License) for firearms. Again, he said everyone he’s met has just been great. Only three more weeks to get camp ready for you guys!

April, 2019- Camp Arrival!

April 22, 2019

Ryan is officially at camp! He left on Thursday April 18th, after a long week of packing and inventorying (not to mention a dozen friends coming by for “one last beer”). Customs and agents at border were very helpful and complimentary on our organization, and after 3.5 hours of paperwork, they sent him on his way. Arriving at the driveway, he couldn’t pull his van/boat all the way in due to the snow that still covered the ground, but within a day enough melted to finish pulling it all the way down the hill.

Ryan commemorated the arrival with a visit to Whiskey Jack Restaurant where all the locals were very welcoming, and the live music was quite symbolic of entry to this new lifestyle.

Currently there is still quite a bit of ice out there (30 inches thick a week ago), but those inches are thinning each day with the sun and warmer temperatures. Just from Saturday to Sunday, he noticed the ice push back about 250 yards from the falls, so it won’t be too long before it reaches our shoreline.

Between all his projects and moving in, Ryan is taking in the surroundings that so few get to see with their own eyes. A moose walking on the ice out front our cabin, two bald eagles “playing” off the deck, and coming within 8 feet from a grouse as he explored camp yesterday. 60’s and sunny yesterday, and we’re just so grateful the weather has cooperated so he could get a head start prepping and settling in.

He’s also had a few visitors already stopping by to welcome us to the neighborhood. I’m a little jealous to say the least (probably as you are too), but know in good time I’ll get to join him. Anyone watch the Last Alaskans?i am reminded of that show as i look at these pictures- the late spring that can be brutal yet majestic:

This may become a tradition to end blogs with a sunset pic- here the first one of 2019. As always, please visit Tallpinescamp.com for booking/contact info. I’ll keep everyone posted on the ice-out, and we thank everyone for all the well wishes. God Bless!

-Bridget