May 30, 2021
Well, we have been out at camp for a little less than a month now, which frankly is a little weird as on any normal year we would have been up here for closer to two months by now to open up and get ready. With the closed border we haven’t been in as much of a hurry to get out here, which is nice as it gives the road a chance to dry out so we don’t rut it up too bad, and gives me a chance to get a little more done around my house in Ignace. We were so slow getting out here this year in fact, that we actually did our annual spring clean on what should have been opening weekend, a good two weeks later than normal. Covid really does make things feel strange.
Anyway, we were very pleased to find that we didn’t have any damage to any of the buildings or docks over the winter, and everything is in really good shape. We are currently sitting here vacant, but have everything fired up and ready to go in case our stay at home order in Ontario is lifted and we can resume taking locals, or better yet the border gets opened up and we can start seeing some familiar faces. In the meantime, we are going to use this downtime to try to get as much done around camp as we can.
We renovated cabin 1 last year with a new bathroom and flooring, and plan to do the same to number 3 this summer. I’m also going to continue staining the buildings and hopefully get that taken care of this summer, and just try to get a bunch of small maintenance issues resolved that have been left for far too long. A few of our docks are getting older and a little tired, but without revenue and the current lumber prices I think we are going to have to wait another year or two before building new. I will be making any necessary repairs to them and keeping them in good standing, but hope to start replacing the oldest ones over the years ahead.
There is currently a small active logging operation in the works on the first 6 miles of the road. This will mean there will be some new clear cuts for your (not so scenic) viewing pleasure on the drive in, but means some serious road maintenance for that first 6 miles. Resolute, the company in charge of the operations, have replaced some culverts, done some brushing and ditching, have trucked in some gravel, and will be grading the road (right into camp I might add) after they are done hauling. Although the total makeover only comes in about 1/3 of the road, they will be fixing that terrible first mile of the road and will be cleaning up some of the potholes the whole way in. And as much as it sucks to look at clear cuts, they are great for wildlife and for forest fire prevention, so the prospect of some fresh moose hunting areas is exciting! We are really looking forward to seeing what everything looks like in a month or two when it’s all done.
Our weather has been pretty strange this year. We had a remarkably warm March which led to the loss of all of our snow and most of our ice as most lakes were open by early April, but then the temps dropped again and things got cold. Cold enough that there was a small skim of ice starting to form on some of the lakes, although it never really amounted to anything. Temps stayed cold through April despite nice sunny days, and started to warm up again once May started. Since, it has been very hot on the nicer sunny days, but still cool when there has been overcast and we actually had two nights of frost on Wednesday and Thursday night. It looks like that is all behind us now though and we should be rapidly warming up into summer. We are very happy for that as Lindsay and I have already planted our gardens at camp and in town and had to do some pretty frantic covering to make sure nothing froze.
And now the moment you have all been waiting for, a fishing report! Since the season opened on the 15th, we have only been out on the weekends, but have been able to find a lot of fish and some really nice size. On opening day I was at a bit of a loss as to where the fish might be (see strange spring weather above) and struck out in both Wintering Creek and The Narrows. The following day we decided to try Frank’s Hole as we call it, down near the entrance to the English River heading South, and really got into some fish. We had a busy day so we didn’t stay long but caught lots for a nice meal. Last weekend we spent a little more time on the water, but never went past Frank’s Hole. We caught A LOT of fish there that ranged anywhere from the little 13″ guys to one 23.5″, and had a lot of fun doing it. I haven’t been out since last weekend, but hope to spend a little time this week snooping around to fill a spring bear tag, and chasing some walleye on the lake.
Unfortunately we still don’t have any news about what might come of the border this summer. I will be sure to reach out the second we do. I hope everyone is staying safe, healthy, and sane!