Posts Tagged ‘Tall Pines Camp 2019 Blog’

November Nostalgia

November 3, 2019

As we all have some nostalgia about our home away from home this time of year, I thought you’d appreciate a Wabaskang Update:

The water is Ripping! Check out the falls as seen on our Instagram page in this short video by clicking here:

Long time generational Wabby’ers (I’m making that a word) commented that they’ve only seen the water level this high once in their 60ish year span up here. The levels are so high, that combined with the winds, our docks that Ryan had moved unsecured from their anchor spot. Luckily Ryan spotted them with his binoculars and was still there to handle the situation. A secondary anchor system was needed and problem solved.

Ready or not, it’s beginning to look like fall is over…

Of course, a little snow hasn’t stopped Ryan from his projects. I had hinted in an earlier blog that Ryan was working on a cabin- here is the new porch on cabin 2 in progress. We are excited that it will double in size creating the perfect space to enjoy the stunning views. This is a major undertaking as we want to make improvements while maintaining the history by keeping it’s original structure:

So, there are a couple things I wanted to throw out there:

You may have caught a Facebook post about the 2019 Big Fish Gallery. I admit that there may have been some pictures sent to me that unintentionally didn’t make it on the Big Fish Page on our website, especially during the busier weeks. If this is the case, I apologize and didn’t mean to exclude anyone. Please resend me the pic via the info@tallpinescamp.com email address. Just a reminder to qualify, fish must be released, and their measurements should be at least or greater than the following:

Perch= 12″

Northern Pike= 36″

Walleye= 23″

Smallmouth Bass= 18″

Some of you others may have caught a big fish, took a pic and then released it, but just never got around to sending the pic to me. So if that is you, take advantage of some down time this fall and go through those pics to send.

Another way we are trying to improve communication is by updating our guest information. Many of you filled out our guest book in the office while you were visiting this summer. And many others may simply have the same phone/address/email as last year. Still there are numerous guests that let their group leader do all the correspondence but they would like to be included. We will be sending out a couple emails over the winter- newsletter, contest info, 2020 updates, etc. So if you don’t get an email from us by Thanksgiving, please let us know your contact info so we can update our records and include you!

As we update the tallpinescamp.com website with new pictures, we also are updating some other pages as well. Our 2020 Sports shows are now listed on there. There is a slight chance we’ll add more, but those ones listed are definite. Keep checking back in to see other changes as well.

Finally, while we hope everyone is in good health, we will continue Steve and Andrea’s newsletter tradition of sharing info of any guests that have passed. I have been notified of two already, so please let me know if there is someone else’s name you would like honored.

Stay tuned folks…

October Frenzy

October 20, 2019

As we in the Midwest are just starting to see fall colors and leaves changing, up at Tall Pines, the last leaves have fallen, and they are preparing for winter. That doesn’t stop a certain two individuals from tackling the Wabby. While trying to get into North Bay, they encountered four foot waves, so they were forced to tuck back into Aerobus and some other calmer areas and commit to dissecting those. Dedication or craziness? I’ll let you be the judge…

Ryan commented that a ton of fish were caught in less than 15′- the shallow bite appears to be good all year. And notice how much fatter the jumbos are this time of year:

Of course perch weren’t the only fish they got into this week:

(I know some of you might be shaking your head at his head attire. Ryan says this is for all the Green Bay fans out there. Bears fans are willing to fish late season cause they are tougher- wink wink.)

In Melon’s iconic words, “It was insane”; yesterday was an epic day- crazy number of walleye. And congrats to Melon for catching his personal best walleye- a 23incher.

And messin around, they reeled in some decent northern too…

This here is truly a one of a kind friendship! 24 years ago Opie and Melon, (nicknames that have stuck) became fast friends. Though it started out with a common love for fishing, they have been there for each other through life’s up and downs, and have supported the different paths they’ve each taken. I honestly don’t know two more passionate and positive individuals than these two:

Now keep in mind that I’m down here in the states, and missing my husband terribly. He says he’s working. Yep. Such dedication, right? So, I’m not sure what his definition of “working” is these days, but clearly he’s not working 24/7. But it does let me appreciate the farmer wives out there, who may feel single during harvest, hardly getting time with their guys. Hang in there ladies! All joking aside, I think most guests would agree that he’s worked hard over the season to earn this playtime. And in between playdates, Ryan finally got a calm enough morning to move the docks. You can see from below how high the water level is:

Til next time folks…

Encore to Fall

October 12, 2019

So after the last blog’s “Finale”, I continue with an encore of some recent pics and winding down of Perrault. Dutchies officially closed for the season, and other camp owners whom we’ve befriended have also closed up and headed home this past week. We are blessed to still have some hunting guests for the season that aren’t afraid of a little cold. Ryan is relishing this quiet time at camp to not only work on some projects, but also get in some quality bro time.

Ryan and his brother Sean are double trouble together:

And just when we thought we could close up the fish cleaning house, this happened…

Check out this 13incher perch:

Look at the vivid contrast in colors:

And what a mysterious looking waterfront:

We’ve had a lot of recent rain, and thus the falls are much like they were in early spring, ensuring healthy water levels will remain for the 2020 season:

A little cause-effect action: the falls were just insane this week:

Resulting in this (what happened to our beach?):

And speaking of insane…check out this sunset:

The first dusting of snow hit this week…

Fodder came in from one of our staple hunters who came a few weeks back:

Who I can’t help but think of Bugs Bunny Cartoon, Elmer Fudd:

Lots of mushrooms among the fallen leaves:

One of Andrea’s favorites, taken by none other than Andrea:

Hope all our Tall Pines family is enjoying all things Fall this season. Wishing everyone a nice long weekend thanks to good ole’ Christopher. My Dad and I have a long running debate over the Columbus Day meaning and who actually “discovered” America. I don’t think either of us will ever concede, but it’s always a good laugh. I may have another expert in my court now though; Dad, jusk ask Alexa 🙂

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 info@tallpinescamp.com 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!

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!

August Adventures

August 25, 2019

While I transitioned into life back in the states, Tall Pines guests were crushing it on the Wabaskang this week. Water temps are dropping- now between 66-68 degrees. The weather has been comfortable- hovering around 70ish. The walleye were biting solid this week! Cabins 3 and 5 did really well with walleye and perch. The signs of a fall bite are there, so Ryan is getting pumped!

Colton and Andrea, Tall Pines veterans were nailing over 30 walleye a day consistently.

Chrissy sent in a few pics- here’s Jim’s 33″ northern:

Cabin 3 walleyes one day:

A basket full of sunshine:

Ryan had his first attempt the blueberry picking duties this week. Not too bad…

The previous week’s Sharon was generous enough to take a group last week. She was a two-weeker, and brought canning supplies to camp. She made 42 pints of jam on a picnic table with a hotplate:

Some pics that came in the last month:

Gabe sent this one of a 23″ walleye he caught and released last week:

And here Brayton posed with his first fish caught in Canada (we hope his first of many more to come). Love that grin:

Those that were at camp this year undoubtedly saw numerous ducks around our shoreline. The little babies have grown (and as Ryan is quick to observe there are a few missing):

Another gorgeous reflection sunset, sent by Wayne:

I attempted at what was a great idea- I thought- but probably started drinking wine too early- that darn “2” just would not cooperate:

Thanks again Dad for helping clean up this beach area; many adults and kids alike have enjoyed this thanks to you.

Carlson family-time on a rainy afternoon (and getting good use out of our new hand-crafted coffee tables):

Does our niece realize how stinkin adorable she is:

And these fine women didn’t know if they’d like “roughin it” but look at those smiles:

Ryan’s Dad and brother having a moment:

Earl, in Earl’s Inspirational Pic of the Week, breaking it down for nephew Kyle:

Jason, one of Ryan’s fishing buddies from back home, in his element:

Wayne captured this week’s featured sunset on the evening of August 8th, which had been a very windy day:

In my moment of reflection here, I just can’t help but be amazed at what a small world it can be. Just the other night, I had a fantastic conversation with someone coming up the Red Lake Road for years, but finally decided to call Tall Pines, and turns out he farms in a small nearby town of where Ryan used to help farm with his buddies. Today, I just got a booking from someone who works with one of Ryan’s college roommates, but didn’t know that before finding us. My former (and favorite) principal I’ve worked for in my 20 years, who has been retired for a few years now, heard about our venture and booked for next year. I can’t wait to see what other connections we find because of Tall Pines. God Bless everyone.

Heat Wave hits the Wabby

August 11, 2019

Saturday and Sunday brought the hottest days of the year up here in these parts. Ryan and I had chuckled over talk of the humidity back home, and this was our payback- 86 feeling like in the 90s isn’t what Earl and Patsy are used to; luckily a cold front came in on Monday to give some relief and stir up those fish. Windy conditions most of the week created some challenges for getting into the big lake, but still plenty of fishable spots to tuck up in. Walleye fishermen were pretty pleased this week as one regular guest said this has been their best year fishing for walleye. The fish cleaning house was busy with lots of eater walleye, northern, and perch being brought back. We have still been on the summer bite, but the transition is starting with those cooler nights. Can I just say, the best sleeping weather…

Beginner’s luck? This is Jenny’s first time on the Wabaskang and she caught this 25.5 inch walleye!    Caught in first 15 minutes of fishing! Congrats Jenny.

I wasn’t Jenny lucky, but was quite content reeling in this healthy eater size that made quite the dinner that evening:

Laura also did quite well catching a 31″ northern (her personal biggest fish ever). Love that the ladies were representing this week:

The Instagram pic of the week was Ryan’s 27″ walleye; he loves sharing fish stories with guests, so ask him about this one next time you’re up:

Ryan has a special relationship with fish; here a private moment saying good-bye to his walleye friend:

Clayton and Scott enjoyed bringing this nice stringer of pike:

As I returned from a minnow run one morning, I had to stop and just appreciate how Ryan and Earl take pride in making the entrance to Tall Pines Camp so inviting and clean looking. We always welcome those in the area or driving through to pop in to meet us and see what we’re about:

Camp life had a nice rhythm to it this week- I can’t begin to describe how much I enjoyed the group of women this week! From some deep conversations while blueberry picking, to yoga on the dock with an encore session later in the week, self-care sessions, and one of the best potluck spreads we’ve had all summer, thank you girls!

The Johnson family, another group of Midwest farmers, was such a pleasure to have with us. Kiddos Brayton and Bentley had fun changing Bigfoot’s outfits:

Thanks Brandy for this fun gift!

And here is Earl’s Inspirational Pic of the week (Bridget’s version of “dock duty”):

This week has me full of emotion as it was my last full week at camp. It was a glorious way to wrap up for me, embracing all the nature and time with guests as well as my hubby. Ryan and I were able to celebrate our 17th year wedding anniversary. Here, Earl and Patsy showered us with this adorable moose and bottle opener. Where to put them…

We celebrated on the Wabby. We used to do this same celebration on Green Lake, Kankakee River, or wherever we were camping for our anniversary, so it is a nice tradition to continue, just in another country now 🙂

Lastly, last week’s guests sent some great fodder:

A recent guest Mike was thinking of Tall Pines while he golfed:

Brent caught and released this phenomenal northern:

Tricia was determined to catch a northern:

And Addison reeled in this 12″ jumbo perch:

The girls who met last year were reunited – time capsule still there, and matching clogs to keep in tradition:

And Karen’s family got some incredible wildlife pics:

I know what you must be thinking, but this is not fake- this is actually real. Sigh…

Though my summer here at Tall Pines is coming to a close, there is still much fishing and hunting to be had this season- any guest that comes back a second time this season will enjoy 25% off! Inquire on some last-minute openings at info@tallpinescamp.com. Take care everyone!

Friends and Family Week

July 28, 2019

Week 10 was a rare opportunity where Tall Pines Camp was full of entirely our friends and family from back home. Though exhausted like never before, it has been a tremendously fulfilling week. The thing is, we used to spend our entire summers with these guys. So we tried to cram an entire summer’s worth of activities, laughs, and of course fishing into one week. Kids ran around until late in the night with flashlights catching frogs and playing hide and seek while adults played bean bags until the last touch of sunset disappeared into the darkness. The guys drank beer and whiskey while telling priceless fish and life stories in the fish cleaning house.

This group was up for doing it all: Smores, ice-cream, fish fries, bean bags, cards, byomeat nights, kayaking and swimming, blueberry picking, hanging with Earl, and lounging in the hammock filled the gaps where we weren’t fishing.

Earl has become officially part of the Taylor clan. He fit right in and was immediately embraced by all of us. From helping Dad into the boat, to his patience with Max and Sam as they were SUPER excited for their perch loot to fillet, golf cart rides when he had a minute, and everything in between, Earl’s mastery of his craft allowed Ryan and me to also enjoy moments this week .

Here Earl and “Uncle Opie” give educational entertainment to some of the nieces and nephews on fish filleting:

It will take months to sort through all the pics taken from this week, but here’s just a few:

Some of the fish caught this week:

Perfect weather for yoga on the dock:

Fish fries replaced traditional potluck a couple afternoons:

This is Earl’s Inspirational Pic of the Week (he says this is what Ryan looks like in the morning):

The nieces and nephews exploring islands, our shoreline, and enjoying boat rides:

We unintentionally had a serenity type dock and a more lively dock this week:

Everyone is exhausted as they pack up (as well as us) but the memories of times spent together are so worth it. I get now why so many families that have moved away from each other choose Tall Pines as a place to re-connect, a reunion of sorts. Whether blood related or not, this group here we consider all family, and is one of a kind, and we are touched by their support of our dream and whirlwind of a life.

To wrap up, some great moment’s that Bridget’s mom captured from last week:

A few more pics from week 9 where these three collectively caught fish in the triple digits:

For those coming up soon, know that fishing has been great for most, water levels still normal to high, weather has been fantastic (70’s-80’s has been a relief to those with heat wave back home), skeeters and ankle biter flies are definitely out and about, and there are still tons of fish to be caught, even with warmer water temps. Ryan personally got into some nice walleye and all the others this week so he will have some specific hot spots to share with you at welcome-checkin if you like

Family Time

July 14, 2019

Fishing was still strong this week with those going out getting into lots of keeper Northern, walleye, perch, and smallmouth especially. Ryan encouraged guests to try some new spots he pointed out based on some windy conditions a couple of times. The tackle from our store also proved successful. With the July month comes a common theme of family. While we had lots of guys groups in June, we now see more families.

Jamie brought his grown son Cody up for some father son bonding. They took advantage of fishing long days and brought in some nice catches (all different species) for Earl to fillet. These two are good people (from the same small town my parents were from!) and we sure hope they can come back.

Greg and Jeanine brought their two boys to Tall Pine for the first time and Greg got into some nice fish. We also had some campers- Song and his family- that made Tall Pines a stop on their RV road trip for a couple days.

Tyler shared some quality pics from his trip earlier this season:

And, my parents joined us, driving all the way from Florida, to see Tall Pines for the first time and make a 2-week vacation out of it. It sure is nice to have family up here:

And while they enjoyed catching some dinner, my Mom also gave the nicest housewarming gifts (all hand-made with love and with perfect lodgy-warmth)

Some of us this week went to the local Whiskey Jack for some live entertainment. What a fun vibe it is there- Laura and Graham sure go out of their way to be such friendly restaurant hosts:

Dar sent this one of Janet and this nice smallmouth she reeled in:

Enjoyed some stromboli and reuben sandwiches for Potluck this week with some card playing after- perfect weather this week to have outdoors!

The guys took advantage of a lighter week by tackling some camp projects. From splitting wood, to laying brick, powerwashing, installing some railings, cleaning up the beach area, and landscaping, camp is looking pretty darn good.

This is also Earl’s Inspriational Pic of the Week- Ryan standing there while Earl seems to be the only one being productive 🙂

Relaxing Friday night- boats were in, guests checked out a little early, and another great sunset with a bottle or two of wine…Life is Good

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.