Vacancies & Information
September 13, 2023 – We Had Our First Frost!
It has been a very busy summer so I haven't been as diligent at updating the blog as I should be, so my apologies. Lindsay has taken over updating our socials (which has been very well received!) and has been doing a great job of posting a lot of pictures on there weekly, so I hope that suffices in my absence on here. We are by no means getting away from doing the blog for those who don't pay as much attention to social media, so we will still be here as well. I will be trying to get back to monthly updates on the blog at least. We have been receiving a lot of picture submissions since she has been getting the weekly posts up, and we really appreciate everyone who has sent them in! Without pictures we can't do a Walleye Wednesday and a Fish Friday, so thank you!
The weather has been sporadic lately to say the least. Early last week we had temperatures in the 90's, immediately followed by a big cold front pushing the temps down into the 40's, and with that came a pretty major storm. We were very lucky that we didn't get hit too bad out here at camp, but unfortunately Ignace was a different story. Ignace had a half hour of extremely high winds knocking down trees all over town damaging property. Some folks had damage to their rooves or their homes and sadly our friends at Ignace Airways had their twin otter damaged pretty badly. We are happy to have avoided the storm but are really feeling for all of those affected. Since the storm we have seen overnight temperatures down in the 35-45 range, but the days have been absolutely beautiful and sunny with highs reaching 65-70. Last night was our coldest night yet however, and we did see our first frost of the season. I think it is safe to say that fall is here, but this is my favorite weather and time of year. It's great having the woodstove going in the evenings, nice and cool to sleep at night but warm during the day, and best of all: NO MOSQUITOS!
The fishing has been a little more volatile with the sudden pressure changes associated with the weather we have been having. Lately groups have been having about 2 days a week where they are a little less aggressive but otherwise are absolutely hammering as usual. I think now that the weather has stabilized a little bit we will stop seeing those slower days in the mix, or will have fewer of them at the very least. The fish are pretty much where they should be for this time of year, we are still seeing lots of numbers and size being caught on humps and structure adjacent to deeper water. As the water temps are cooling we are starting to see the beginning of the fish transitioning back into some shallower water along rocky shore lines and weed edges. My recommendation is still to work the humps, and if you want to cruise some of the other habitat nearby it is certainly worth your time. Here are a few nice fish caught since my last post (my apologies if they overlap with what Linds has been posting):
Despite getting some periodic rain, the lake has continued to drop most of the summer and the water levels are very low. I would say with the exception of 2021, this is the lowest I have seen the lake. Both narrows and the Rock Gardens can still be navigated, but require attention, and some of the reefs (7-70 for example) are shallow enough that they can be hit. Hopefully we will get a bit of rain this fall and a lot of watershed from our snow pack to bring things back to normal for next spring.
As our fishing season is beginning to come to a close we are excited to welcome that cool air that feels like hunting season. So far duck season is open and we have been out once without any luck. Sadly the big storm we had pushed most of the local birds south before the season opened, but it won't be too long before we have some more birds joining the ranks from up north. on the 15th grouse season opens and we are pretty excited to get some "bush chickens" for the freezer, and on the 23rd archery season opens for moose and we will be welcoming our first groups of moose hunters. It's crazy that another season has almost come and gone, but we are eagerly waiting for our favorite time of year and all of the hunting we have planned - stay tuned!
July 28, 2023 – Hard To Believe We’re Almost Half Way Through The Season
I apologize for not getting a post up here sooner. A few weeks ago I had an aunt pass away and was gone most of the week to the Toronto area to visit family and attend the funeral. Once home, it took a little while to get caught back up and get everything back to normal, but we are all caught up again and I figured it was about damn time I get a post up on the blog - haha!
Well, despite the incredibly dry spring and early summer we had, for the last month or so we have been getting lots of rain. It was well needed as I'm sure everyone knows that Canada has been on fire. That is still the case out west, but locally we have seen our fire ban lifted, and the grass in the yard is actually green again. Not to mention the yard and the road on the drive in aren't so dusty, and smoke from the wildfires is basically nonexistent at this point. Water levels are low, but not outrageously so. However, had we not got that rain I think it would be a much different story. Getting into Hut is still possible although getting more and more difficult, especially with larger boats.
Fishing has remained pretty incredible all year. I am seriously not kidding when I say that since the border has been open I hear weekly that the fishing is the best groups have ever had, and the fish are consistently the biggest they have seen. We haven't seen a large influx of really big (say 27" +) walleye, but the average size now seems to be running 17-21". However, we did have a massive walleye caught by Laverne on his 88th birthday. This 32" giant made for a pretty special birthday present!
Lindsay has started upping our social media presence with weekly Walleye Wednesday posts, and has been reaching out for photos from everyone's trip. So far we have been getting quite a few so a big thank you to everyone sending in pictures, and if you haven't sent any and have some good ones, please forward them along! Below is a nice sample of some of the submissions and the walleye being caught this summer:
The walleye are definitely in the deeper water now and are being found on the shoulders of reefs and sharp drop offs in anywhere from 15-25' of water. 7 Pine Island, Gull Rock, Rosie's Rock, and The Flats are producing heavily as are just about any other structure found. Walleye are still being caught in good numbers in the current of the English River, whether it be upstream or down, but as the year goes on those fish tend to start running a little smaller than the ones being caught on the reefs.
The northern fishing has been phenomenal as well. We have seen several fish 40"+ so far this summer and a LOT between 35-40". The smallmouth bite had slowed down a bit a few weeks ago, but seems to be picking back up again for those targeting them. I have heard of a lot of nice bass being caught this week.
Lastly, we have received some pretty cool sunrise and shore lunch pictures, especially since the fire ban has been lifted.
Otherwise not too much is new around here. This summer has been the first to really feel "normal" since Covid and it sure is nice to be back into our regular rotation and seeing everyone up here and enjoying our fishing once again. The season is almost halfway done and like usual I can't believe how fast it goes.
Updated Vacancies – July 15, 2023
Current vacancies for the 2023 season:
September 16th on we have scattered openings until October 7th at which point we are full up for our moose hunt. As a reminder in September we drop our minimum occupancy requirements and the strict weekly rentals charging $50.00 per person, per night. Please call or email for specific availability.
June 8, 2023 – We Are Rolling!
I apologize for not getting any posts up here yet, as we are already into the third week of our season. Getting into camp a little late (only 10 days before our first guests!) made our first month or so pretty busy, but we are starting to get caught up and back into our normal weekly routines. Opening up camp this spring thankfully went without a hitch. We went from battling snow and colder conditions through about the middle of May, and then everything flipped and we were faced with one of the hottest springs I have ever seen. I say "spring" a little in jest because we lost the ice on the lake in 3 days, and within that week started seeing days over 80 degrees! We didn't really get too much of a spring this year.
We were blasted with 10-12 days of extremally hot and dry weather through the end of May and into Early June. Fortunately, it has started to cool off a bit with the highs closer to a more normal 70-75, however it has remained very dry and we are currently in a fire ban. We don't have any fires too close to us here, and I'm hopeful it will stay that way. Canada of course has a number of larger fires out west which is flooding you guys to the south with smoke. I have received a few emails inquiring about the smoke conditions up here and so far we are very clear. We aren't currently affected by the smoke from out west and there isn't anything local enough to be smoking us out.
And now, for the paragraph you've all been waiting for: FISHING! So far the walleye fishing has been really good all year. Through the first two weeks of our season they were still being found in the rivers in shallower warm water. We were surprised to see them in the rivers so late this year, especially considering the hot bright weather we had for weeks in a row. As this week has progressed the walleye have begun to move out of the smaller rivers into the lake, but are still being caught in the English River at both ends of the lake, with the Rock Gardens really starting to shine. on the main lake the walleye are beginning to be found in the shallow warmer water along weed beds and wind blown rocky shores, and I imagine within a few weeks we should start to see some being caught on shallower reefs. Presentation has been very typical, a jig tipped with a minnow or your choice of live bait seems to be the best, but of course plenty of fish are being caught on artificial bait as well as lures and crank baits. Average size has been 16-21" with the biggest of the year at 28.5".
The small mouth and northern fishing have also been phenomenal all year. The smallies were on nests through the first couple of weeks of the season and were aggressively hammering just about any bait that came to close to home. I think they are still on nests in some cases but are also starting to branch out and feed a bit, and as a result are still aggressively hitting baits to recover from their spawning season. We have had a few northern over 40" caught already as well. Some were targeted, but as usually is the case most of them were caught by anglers fishing for walleye and ended up hooking into a giant that is there to feed on those same walleye. The English River towards the Old Bridge has been producing a number of very large northern, as it tends to.
We haven't received too many photos from guests yet so if you have or take any from your trip please forward them along! We love getting pictures up on here and our social media pages for all to see. Here are the few we have this year so far:
We would also like to give a big thank you and shout out to Fred and Mary Winchowky for sending us a new flag. For those who made it up last year you probably noticed we didn't have our flags flying as we usually do. This certainly wasn't by design, but was because we were having a hard time sourcing good outdoor flags that will last an entire season, and because our old ropes had broken and the poles needed to come down in order to be re-strung. Anyway receiving two new flags and a wonderful card in the mail this winter was just the kick in the butt we needed to get the poles fixed and the flags back up. Thanks again Fred and Mary!
Otherwise all is going well at camp and we really happy to be back to normal and seeing everyone again. This is the first summer since Covid that has felt "normal" and we are sure glad for it. Mom is doing well and is making a great recovery from her broken arm, she is very happy to be out of a cast and just in a brace now. She is still up on the weekends helping us out with cleaning and getting a chance to see and visit with everyone. Keep an eye out on Friday nights through Saturday if you are looking to say hi!
BOOKED!! LAST MINUTE VACANCY – JUNE 3 – 10, 2023
We just received a cancelation for June 3rd - 10th of this year. This vacancy is NEXT SATURDAY!! I am also discounting this cabin again, waiving all minimums and offering it up at 30% off. This means if you are able to fill this last minute vacancy, it will only cost $250 per person for the week. There is a small catch though - this cabin is only available this year, as it is spoken for in future years. The cabin available is cabin #2, which is a 2 bedroom each room has a Queen bed, and twin bunks.
This discount is only being offered on this booking, this year only. The option to book this cabin next year will not be available.
Give us a call at 807-934-6911 asap to snag this spot!
BOOKED!!! LAST MINUTE VACANCY – May 27th to June 3, 2023
AS OF 9PM MAY 19TH THIS VACANCY IS BOOKED!
We just received a cancelation for May 27th - June 3rd of this year. Yep, that's right, I have room for you NEXT SATURDAY!! To sweeten this opportunity a little more, we are offering this vacancy at a 30% discount, and we are waiving all minimums! This means if you are able to make this availability, it will only cost $250 per person for the week. The cabin available is cabin 7, which is a 3 bedroom each with a double and twin bed.
This discount is being offered on this booking, this year only. Full pricing, and minimums on this cabin will resume 2024
Give us a call at 807-934-6911 asap to snag this spot!
May 5th, 2023 – Waiting For The Snow To Melt
Well, we are home from our last trip of the winter. This off season has been A LOT of fun, but it has been pretty busy and we are looking forward to being home now and getting back into a routine. And above all else, we are looking forward to getting back into camp and getting back to work. Between our trip to Cuba and Texas (end of March through early April) we got 3 heavy snow falls, all 8-12" each. I believe that ended up being 50% or more of the accumulated snowfall for the winter, all piled into the end when we are hoping to see it start to melt. Fortunately while we were in Texas through the end of April, a lot of the snow here at home melted. But, of course that was followed by one last winter storm garnishing our lawns with close to another foot of snow, and closing the highways and delaying our arrival home from Texas by a day.
Since getting home about a week ago, the weather has warmed up quite a bit and all of that last snow storm has finally melted off. Here in town there is still quite a bit of snow in the bush and of course there are still piles around town from plowing. The smallest ponds are all open now and the bigger ponds and smaller lakes are beginning to look pretty sad, and the ice is pulling away from the shore. We haven't been up north towards camp yet, but I have been in touch with Roger who has been in and out of Wintering Getaway, and he has informed us there is still quite a bit of snow on the road in places, and the lakes still have a fair amount of ice. He was hopeful we might be able to get all of the way into camp on Saturday, so tomorrow morning we are going to pack up some tools and see if we can get into camp. The forecast looks nice and warm over the next couple of weeks so I think we should see the ice and whatever snow is left melting off quickly. We are as excited and anxious as always to make that first drive into camp!
Texas was a busy trip but we did a lot of fun things! For a quick backstory, one of my best friends and fellow PLC guest Jake and his now wife Elizabeth, got married about an hour South of Austin in Canyon Lake. Since we would be going all the way to Texas for the wedding, we figured we should make a trip out of it and go down for a couple of weeks. We decided to drive down after checking the prices of flights, and needing a rental vehicle etc. and were very glad we did. It was a bout a 26 hour drive but we split it into two longer days and a very short and final third day taking us into Austin for the start of our trip.
We arrived in Austin and started our vacation with a highly anticipated dinner at Dai Due, a local restaurant owned by chef and butcher Jesse Griffiths. Jesse is involved with the Meateater crew, and creates a lot of wild game butchering, cooking, and food preservation content for his own social media presence as well as Meateater's. I have enjoyed learning from his online content for a while now and it was amazing getting to finally eat at his restaurant. Pictured below is a wonderful charcuterie board we shared, and although the pictures didn't turn out the best so I didn't post them; I had delicious dry aged Nilgai steak (Nilgai are the world's largest antelope species and are known for their incredible table fair, which I've definitely wanted to try), and Linds enjoyed some wild boar confit.
The next day we relocated to a very interesting urban campground Lindsay found online that is actually right in the city of Austin. The campground was a gypsy village, but in the best way possible. The property was lined with old trailers and renovated jet stream campers, and the owner has chickens, goats, and donkeys. We also had 8 whitetail run right beside our tent one morning. Anyway, we set up our tent at the campground, and spent the next three nights through Easter weekend there. We even cooked up a nice Easter steak dinner on our Coleman cook stove!
During our time in Austin we checked out a bunch of local bars and restaurants, and we had an amazing lunch of Texas BBQ from famous Terry Black's BBQ. We spent some time checking out a couple of the city parks, and we met up with Jake and Elizabeth for a day of shopping and being tourists. We stopped by the Yeti flagship store and enjoyed a drink at the attached bar.
We left Austin and met back up with Jake and Elizabeth at 4 Amigos Ranch near Eagle Pass, which is a border town along the Mexico border. The 4 of us were booked for a 3 day, 2 night wild hog hunt. Lindsay and I had invited Jake and Elizabeth along with us on the hunt as our wedding present to them, and since we were there, Jake and Elizabeth decided they wanted to pay for each couple to shoot a ram on the ranch as well. We had an absolute blast hunting together and 4 Amigos Ranch was an incredible place to stay and their staff took very good care of us. The hunt starts with your arrival at 2 PM, there is an orientation and everyone verifies their rifle on the range. Then you are dropped on stand around 5 for the first hunt, where you are picked up for dinner a little after dark, around 8:30. After dinner you can go back out for a night time spotlight hunt from about 10-12:30. The next morning starts early as the ride to the stand is at 6:30 and you hunt until about 10. Pigs don't move much during the heat of the day so the afternoons are slow and you can hang around the lodge. Since we were hunting rams as well, our guide Lee took us out during the day to spot and stalk them. Then it was back in for a late lunch, rinse and repeat the two evening hunts as the previous day, and one last morning hunt the last day before packing up and heading out.
While sitting on stand we got to see a ton of the exotic animals that ranches like 4 Amigos have on their property, and really enjoyed watching them all feed and interact. We saw nilgai, oryx, axis deer, buffalo, water buffalo, audad, blackbuck, red deer, white tail, a whole variety of various goats and rams, and of course, wild pigs. The pigs are mostly nocturnal but you will see some just before sunset and shortly after sunrise. Nobody shot any pigs on our initial evening hunt, but during our first night time sit, Jake and Lindsay both filled out their 2 pigs each. In addition to the 4 of us, there were 8 other hunters at the ranch as well, and there were quite a few hogs taken on that first night hunt. The next morning we didn't shoot anything but enjoyed watching the variety of animals coming and going. During that afternoon, Lee took us out to hunt for the rams. Elizabeth shot her rambouillet ram first, and we were able to creep into 50 or so yards of it sleeping in its bed. Next Lindsay was up and she shot her corsican ram about an hour later. We were able to locate it and 5 others in a group and she shot it as they were clearing an opening between some brush. That evening hunt I shot my 2 hogs and lucked into a massive one at 205 lbs. During our hunt there were 24 hogs taken by the 12 hunters in camp and the average size was about 70 lbs, with about 5-6 breaking 100 lbs. I lucked into the biggest of that particular trip, but the biggest hog they have taken on the ranch was over 300!
We were all done hunting except for Elizabeth being short one pig. We were confident we could get the last pig at day break the last morning, so we decided to take the second night hunt off and celebrated (maybe a little too hard) the great hunting we had that day. We had a great time sharing stories with the other hunters in camp and Lee, who was a lot of fun to hunt with and took excellent care of us while we were there. We got that last hog the next morning and loaded up some very heavy coolers of meat. This was the first guided hunt I've been on and 4 Amigos Ranch did a great job taking care of us, I definitely can't say enough good things. And to top it all off, the food was absolutely incredible!
After the hunt was done it was off to Canyon Lake to start getting ready for the wedding. It just so happened that while we would be there, Willie Nelson was playing a show on his 90th birthday tour, and opening for him were ZZ Top. So two nights before the wedding, a number of us from the wedding went to the concert. It was a blast! Willie definitely still sounds great despite his age, and his son who tours with him sounds almost indistinguishable. ZZ Top still put on a great show as well, and Billy Gibbons can still get after it on the guitar!
The last few days of the trip we spent with Jake and Elizabeth and their families at the ranch where their wedding would be. It was a wonderful time meeting lots of people and and engaging in the usual pre wedding activities. You know like, beer, cornhole tournaments, beer, campfires, and of course, beer - haha. The wedding was absolutely beautiful and we all had way too much fun at the reception afterwards!
Now we are back home and are chomping at the bit to get in to camp. I took mom to Dryden two days ago for a check up on her arm. The surgeon says everything looks great and is healing well! She is officially out of a cast and in a brace for 8 more weeks, when she will have her final check up and should be totally good to go. She is feeling great and isn't in too much pain, and of course is very happy to not be in a cast any more. Naturally, we are going to be busy for the next few weeks, so I don't know when the next post will be, but I will definitely get a fishing report up some time after opening weekend.
March 29, 2023 – Home for a Short While Between Trips!
Well we are back from Cuba, and we had an absolute blast! The weather was gorgeous, as were both the ocean and the beaches around Varadero. We didn't have a whole lot planned for this trip, except spending some time with my Mom's brother and his wife, and enjoying some down time on the beach and next to the pool. Well it's safe to say we accomplished just that! We arrived a couple of days before Brian and Marj, so we had some time to settle and to get familiar with the resort. Once they joined us we enjoyed our time visiting and having some nice dinners at the a la carte restaurants around the resort.
After Brian and Marj returned home we spent our last 5 or so days doing more of the same. We did go into Varadero one afternoon for a day trip to do some shopping and to eat at a local restaurant. We had a wonderful cab ride there in a convertible Bel Aire from the 1950's. Unfortunately we weren't really thinking and didn't get any pictures of the car. We did get to see the famous Beatles Bar, which is dedicated to the band. My mom was HUGE fan of The Beatles in her youth so she enjoyed seeing all of the memorabilia. We also had an amazing lobster lunch right across the street from the bar, at a wonderful little restaurant.
Unfortunately on our last day there Mom tripped on a small set of stairs and broke her arm right above her wrist when she fell. The resort had great medical staff but were limited in supplies and facilities so they got us a taxi to the International Clinic in Varadero 15 minutes away. There they were able to do X-rays and confirm her arm was broken, but they didn't have anyone in who could reset the bones. They gave mom some painkillers and sent us off by ambulance another 45 minutes away to Matanzas. The hospital in Matanzas was pretty large at 4 stories and was very well equipped compared to the smaller clinics we had been in. There we met with an orthopedic doctor who would be able to reset mom's arm, but wanted to wait at least another 2 hours before using any sedation, as we were within 6 hours of mom eating and drinking water and they were worried about nausea as the sedation was wearing off. Well, it was already 8 pm, and our transfer to the airport for our flight home was at 7 the next morning, so we were beginning to get worried about time. We decided to have them put mom's arm in a half cast to immobilize and brace it for travel, and we would head right to the hospital in Thunder Bay the next day when we landed around 3 pm. So, they did jus that and we were on our way back to the resort, arriving back around 11 pm. We got mom home safe and sound the next day and got her arm reset and casted.
I brought mom back to Thunder Bay last Wednesday for a follow up appointment Thursday morning, and it was determined that the bones must have moved again inside her cast, and surgery was recommended to make sure everything healed correctly. Fortunately they were able to get us in for a quick surgery Friday, and mom and I came home Saturday. She is at home and settled back in now and the recovery process can finally begin. Despite how crazy it was for a little bit, everything went really well, and mom is doing well all things considered. It has taken some time but she is even getting used to having her dominant arm in a cast - haha.
The weather is starting to feel like spring up here. It's still dipping fairly cold at night to about 10 degrees F, but the days are getting longer, are sunny , and are getting up above freezing. We are off to Texas for a couple of weeks for a friends wedding and a wild hog hunt on April 6, but I'm hopeful that when we return near the end of April that we will have very little snow. Once we get home from this last trip it will be about time to try to get into camp and start getting ready for this season. We are really looking forward to getting back out there and getting to work.
I'll be sure to post again when we get home from our Texas trip, hopefully with a few more pictures than we took in Cuba!
February 22, 2023 – Apologies for the Absence, It’s Been a Busy Winter!
I apologize for not having posted anything for a while, and for not getting the journal from our Montana hunt done yet. As things tend to always go, it has become a pretty busy winter. Shortly after getting through the holidays, my good friend Jake from Wisconsin came up to visit us for a weekend of ice fishing and visiting. We had a great time and a very successful weekend of fishing walleye and lake trout. We had a nice walleye dinner one night and were able to send Jake home with his limit as well. Linds also caught this beautiful laker that was around 10 lbs:
Two weeks later I was off to Thunder Bay for an annual 5 day fishing trip with friends, but not before Lindsay and I spent 2.5 days making over 100 pounds of sausage with deer and moose from this fall. We made burger patties, jalapeno and cheddar brats, andouille, chorizo, breakfast sausage, summer sausage, and kielbasa. It was a busy couple of days but we really enjoyed it and have been enjoying the spoils of the hard work, especially on the ice.
The day before leaving for my trip to Thunder Bay, I got a message from Jake informing me that he had told his brother in law Adam about the fishing we had while Jake was up here on his trip, and that Adam was now on his way North to do some DIY ice fishing of his own. Now it may sound a little sudden and crazy that Adam would pack up on such short notice and come all the way up here from Wisconsin, to try his hand ice fishing where he has never fished before, all while living out of his truck. However, Adam films and hosts his own Youtube show and social media platform called Free2Prowl, where he films and posts all of his experiences. He has a retrofitted F-150 that he travels and lives in while on the road chasing various wildlife, and hunting and fishing adventures.
Unfortunately I was off to Thunder Bay the next day for a trip that had been planned for months, so I wouldn't be able to fish with Adam and show him around. However, I was able to meet Adam in Thunder Bay on his way through. We chatted for about an hour and I gave him some tips and waypoints and he was off to Ignace to start fishing. We kept in touch basically daily while I was fishing on my trip, and he was exploring the area around home.
We had a great trip in Thunder Bay and explored a few new lakes. It is a relatively new area for us to be fishing, and there are a lot of lakes that we can access, so we have been exploring and learning more and more each year. This year we fished 4 different lakes and caught fish in all of them varying from walleye, lake trout, brook trout, and splake.
I got home with two days to spare before we were on our way down to Wisconsin to visit Jake and his fiancée Elizabeth, for Elizabeth's bridal shower. Adam would be on his way back to Wisconsin to continue his fishing trip the day after us, but in the meantime we were both in Ignace, so I was able to take him out to a lake he hadn't been to yet. We had a blast fishing together and had a good day, catching 10 lake trout varying from around 1-3 pounds. The next day Lindsay and I were on our way down to Wisconsin, and were there through this past weekend, returning home Monday night. If you want to see more of Adam's trip up here or to follow him along check out his socials on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Tik Tok at Free2Prowl.
Now we have a week of downtime to get caught up around the house and then we are off to Cuba with Mom for two weeks. We will be joined by her brother Brian and his wife Marj for one of the weeks and are really looking forward to spending some time with them. Currently we don't have too much planned for the trip and are really looking forward to relaxing and enjoying the sunshine. So far this winter has been warmer than usual, but when temps have dropped it has been very cold, so we will enjoy a break from it.
We have ordered our calendars and news letters and they should be printed soon. I suspect we won't be able to get them out until mid March after we are home from Cuba, but you can expect to start seeing their arrival then. I'll be sure to get another post up once we get back from Cuba to give another update as we get closer to spring.
January 11, 2023 – An Unseasonable Warm Winter!
Well despite some colder temperatures and a fair amount of snow through the end of November and December, January has been incredibly warm. We haven't got any fresh snow in a while and temps are swinging between 10 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit. There seems to be enough good ice to travel by snowmachine and to ice fish, but it is definitely not nearly as thick as it should be. Some lakes still only have around 8" of ice and in a typical year we would see over 12" by now. We're lucky we got a bit of cold at the beginning of winter to build the ice or we wouldn't hardly be doing any fishing at all yet. And since we have enough ice to go fishing the warm temperatures aren't all that bad, it certainly beats -40!
So far Lindsay and I have only been ice fishing twice. Both times to a small stocked lake close to town where we can chase splake. They are just little guys but are great pan friers and are a blast to watch come in and hammer your spoon in crystal clear water. This weekend we are planning to get out a little more and will be spending two nights camping out on the ice in our portable shack fishing for lake trout and walleye. We are both really looking forward to our first couple nights out there in 2023!
Mom is doing really well and has been enjoying the warmer winter so far. She is busy as usual volunteering and helping out all over town and having weekly lunches with friends. We are currently in the midst of planning a 2 week trip to Cuba with her over the first two weeks of March and we are all very excited!
We had a very busy, but very fun and exciting fall. As I detailed in a previous post, we didn't have much down time between coming home from camp and going deer hunting, and then returning home for 3 days before heading out to Montana for what ended up being 3 weeks. We were headed to Montana with 2 elk tags and 2 deer tags, so we weren't overly worried about taking a deer during our first trip down to the cabin. We were joined by some friends from Thunder Bay who were looking to take a deer home for some meat, and Matt did just that shooting a nice doe opening weekend. They left on Monday morning and Lindsay and I stayed the rest of the week relaxing and hunting. Despite seeing a lot of deer we didn't see anything that we wanted to shoot, as we weren't planning on taking anything unless it was a really nice buck.
After a very busy 3 days at home, we were headed for Montana. We had an absolutely wonderful trip and spent 17 days hiking and hunting both the mountains and their surrounding prairies. We got hammered with early season cold and snow the first week there and were pushed out of the mountains by about a foot of snow after only 4 nights. At 3:30 in the morning we had a couple of inches, by 6:30 when we decided we should start packing we had about 8-10" and a couple hours later as we were leaving there was a foot or more. Well right before we started packing up camp as were enjoying a quick cup of coffee and getting dressed, it was quite clear to me that there is none I would rather be getting snowed into the mountains with then Lindsay, so I asked her to marry me! After she said yes, and we were done embracing and enjoying the moment, we immediately got to work tearing things down so we could get on the road out of there.
We relocated to a nearby motel for a while until the storm stopped and we could come up with a new plan of where to set up camp. We ended up spending 6 nights at the motel as another few smaller storms and crazy cold temperatures (down to -15 F in November) kept us there longer than planned. We hunted from the motel each morning and I was able to shoot my first mule deer during that leg of the trip filling the 1st of our 4 tags.
After the weather stabilized, we decided to head about 50 miles south to change units and to try to get to more accessible roads as we had seen about 30" of snowfall up in the mountains and probably 18-24" down on the flat prairie where the wind was blowing drifts 5' tall in some extreme cases. We set up our tent in the mountains again and decided to try to focus on elk for the last half of the trip, hoping to fill Lindsay's deer tag if we stumbled into a deer along the way. On our first morning of hunting we glassed up a herd of elk and spent all day watching them bedded in a small patch of timber, waiting for them to come out into the open and to feed down their side of the canyon into rifle range. We had lots of time so we decided if they didn't come into range on their own we weren't going to try to force anything for fear of being seen and bumping them out of there - we could always come back first thing in the morning and try again. Well, after watching them work in and out of the patch of timber all day, occasionally almost coming inside our 500 yard limit, they spooked. With 90 minutes of daylight left, and as they were feeding directly down into the area we wanted them too, either us or the pack of coyotes that started howling spooked our 20 or so elk and we watched them leave our lives at a full run, never firing a shot. We were able to relocate the elk that night right before dark, but unfortunately they must have moved over night and were no longer there the next day.
We decided to give that area some time to recover without any pressure so with 3 days left of the season we headed to a new area that we thought could have elk and should certainly have deer. After watching a lot of nice bucks move onto a privately owned ranch from the publicly accessible area we were hunting, we decided to go ask permission to hunt the private land thinking we could quickly fill Lindsay's deer tag and then spend the last 2 days trying to relocate the herd of elk. The folks who owned the ranch were incredibly nice and welcoming and after a brief introduction they told us we were more than welcome to chase the deer on their land. Well, like a lot of the trip things didn't exactly go to plan. Despite there being deer everywhere, due to some really unfortunate equipment failures it took us 5 stalks on 5 different white tails over the last 3 days of the season to fill Lindsay's deer tag. But after a lot of frustration, and a lot of crawling through frozen and very flat cow pastures, Lindsay shot a great 8 pointer to fill her tag and wrap up our trip.
For those who are interested I'll be writing a sort of day by day journal of our hunt and will share it on the blog in the next week or two with some more pictures and to elaborate on the hunt and all of the challenges we had.
After returning home, I went for one last trip to our deer cabin with a friend looking for a deer for his freezer, and one more for ours before the season closed on December 15th. Over that weekend Johann was able to take a nice young buck and I shot a yearling doe, before closing down our cabin and the 2022 hunting season just in time for the holidays. While we were gone to Montana, my moose hunting group was able to fill our cow tag at home, and Lindsay's group with her dad and grandpa filled theirs the opening week of the season in October. So all in all we had a great 2022 hunting season, made a lot of memories and had a lot of fun, and have full freezers for the year.
Take care and keep an eye out for the next post detailing our Montana hunt!
January 3, 2023 – Happy New Year!
Merry Christmas and happy new year!
We just wanted to take a quick moment to wish everyone a happy holidays! We have been very busy since closing down camp hunting through November and early December, and then enjoying the holiday season. We have had a great winter so far, and with ice fishing season really taking off we are looking forward to what's to come.
Things are starting to slow down now that the holidays are over and we are getting back to normal so I will be back this week with a weather and ice fishing up date and a post or two to share all of the fun we had hunting this fall.
We hope everyone has had a fantastic holiday season with friends and family, take care!
November 6, 2022 – A Quick Stop at Home
I didn't have time to write anything before heading to deer camp, but Press is shut down and we are home, although only briefly. We got home from camp on Tuesday, October 25, and were on our way deer hunting by Thursday. We spent 9 days at deer camp coming home yesterday evening, and will be on the road for Montana around 3 AM Wednesday morning.
We had a great fall at camp! The fishing stayed very steady right through the final week of the season, and with the exception of a few days that last week, the weather was really nice and unseasonably warm. We had a slower moose hunt than normal and went 0/2 during archery season and 2/4 during rifle season. Both of our archery groups had cow tags and despite many days in the field and a lot of moose seen (one group saw 10 animals, only 1 cow) neither were able to get in close enough for a shot. Cow hunting with a bow can be a real challenge as our terrain is not overly friendly to spot and stock hunting, and cows don't generally come to calls. Both groups had a great time and saw 10+ moose each, with multiple opportunities on bulls, sometimes it just doesn't work out.
Rifle season started rough as the first few days of the week were very cold and windy with a mixture of rain and snow. Not a lot of animals were seen the first few days but by the end of the week two groups had filled their tags; one with a bull and the other with a cow and calf. My personal group of friends are yet to fill our tag as we ran into the same issues as our archery hunters, we have a cow tag and could only find bulls! Finally our fourth and last group had fewer hunters than normal and ended up going home mid week, I believe a little defeated after multiple days of very poor weather. After Wednesday the weather broke and the rest of the week turned out to be beautiful and temps shot up from low 20's to 70 three days later.
Unfortunately, that beautiful warm weather followed us deer hunting for the week. Lindsay and I didn't have intentions of shooting a deer unless we stumbled into a really nice buck as we still have our Montana trip coming up. If successful, we won't need any extra meat. We are also fortunate that deer season is open for two weeks after we get home, so if we don't end up doing well out west we have plenty of opportunity to get a deer or two for the winter. We are very lucky to be in such a favorable position because it sure was a tough week of deer hunting! We didn't see temperatures below freezing until two days ago, and had a couple of days that hit nearly 70 in the afternoon. As you can imagine there weren't a lot of deer moving and very few of them were bucks. That being said a friend of ours was able to connect on a nice doe opening weekend with limited time, and we did watch quite a few other does, and passed one small 8 point we would like to give another year or two. Slow hunting aside, it was a great week with friends and a highly anticipated break after a busy season.
Well that's a quick update in the meantime. When we get back from Montana I will be sure to have a few updates about our hunt, and once all of the dust settles we have more pictures to post from the end of the season. Some final fish pictures and some various hunting photos as well.
Take care and for those who are out, happy hunting!
October 1, 2022 – Sorry For The Absence
I'm sorry for the big lag between posts, as usual the fall got away from me. Camp has been busy all fall and as fishing season is quickly fading into hunting season, the leaves are changing colours and the fish are still hammering. Mom has been doing very well and her hip is healing up great! The doctor gave her the all clear to return to camp at her 6 week check up, so she has been out helping us on the weekends again for the last 5 weeks or so. I am taking her to Dryden this week for the 12 week check up, and I believe if everything still looks good we are all said and done with the doctors. A big thank you to everyone who has been reaching out to check in on Mom, she has really appreciated hearing from everyone!
The weather was really nice through August and the first half of September. In fact, we had a couple days in September that were downright hot. Through the second half of September and now into October, we have had a few colder spells that have lasted 2-3 days, but between them have been nice breaks of warm sunny weather. The colder day have temperature swings from about 38-55 degrees, generally feeling a little cooler with the wind, and the warmer days range from 40 - almost 70 degrees. So far we have only had 1 frost, but we are forecasted a couple of cold nights dipping a bit below freezing towards the end of this week.
By the beginning of August the water levels were pretty much caught up to normal. Probably still fairing a little higher than average, but very close to what we would expect that time of year, and nothing quite like this spring. The lake continued to slowly drop through most of September, and about a week ago I noticed that it is beginning to come back up as the temperatures are cooler, and we have gotten a bit of rain. I would say currently we are still in that same area of very close to average, maybe a touch high, and the lake is behaving normally as the water levels tend to slowly climb through October. I haven't noticed that the lake has turned over yet, but with the impending cold temperatures, I wouldn't be surprised if that happens soon.
The fishing has been phenomenal all summer long, and that hasn't stopped through the fall. I think almost every week for the first 4 months of the season someone told me it was the best fishing they have either ever had on Press, or ever in their life. We didn't have any real monster walleye caught this year, but I did hear about quite a few in that 26-27" range. The average size however, has really increased, and there are A LOT more walleye being caught in the 18-21" range than we were seeing pre-covid. The current bite is pretty standard for this time of year. The walleye are concentrated on the humps, mainly out on the big lake and are being caught as deep as 30', and as shallow as 12-15' on top of the reefs. We tend to see a lot of really nice fish caught this time of year in the deeper waters surrounding the reefs, and that has been the case so far this year as well.
The bass seemed very active this year, and also have increased in average size a bit. The sprig bite ran later than normal as the bass were still on nests a lot later into the year with the late spring and high water. Now they have moved up onto the reefs and are absolutely hammering off of 7 Pine Island. The pike have been pretty typical this year with lots of walleye being T-boned on their way to the boat, and almost weekly reports of a 40"+ fish being caught.
Hunting seasons are beginning to open up and we have been doing some duck and grouse hunting. The ducks haven't been overly cooperative so we have had a few tough hunts, but have managed to come home with a handful of birds and have had a couple of nice meals. Certainly can't complain about that. Our road sees a lot of traffic from grouse hunters at the beginning of the season, but now that we are into the 3rd week and there are a lot less hunters around, the birds are starting to come out a lot more and we have been able to pick a few of those up to replenish the freezer for the winter!
We are into the second week of the three week archery moose season, and we currently have two hunting groups in camp with a third arriving later this week. So far no tags have been filled, but both groups have seen moose. Just the usual story of lots of bull sightings and everyone has cow tags, or difficulties getting within bow range. I believe the rut is really kicking off right now though as there has been lots of moose sign and activity everywhere, so I suspect the groups will have a lot more action before the week is out. Rifle season opens on October 15th, and we have three cow tags and one bull tag in camp for that week.
That October 15th week is our last week open, so as of writing this we only have three more weeks left of the season. It's crazy how fast the summer goes by. Lindsay and I have a pretty busy fall planned so we are starting to get very excited. I will be moose hunting with a group of friends for opening week of moose, and Lindsay will be spending the beginning of the week hunting with her dad and grandpa. Once we close up camp on the 22nd, we have about 5 days to get home and then head down to our deer cabin in Barwick to prepare for the opener of deer season on the 29th. We will spend a week down there, likely coming home on November 5th, and then we are off to Montana for a couple of weeks on November 9th to try to fill two elk tags and two mule deer tags. We are doing a DIY hunt and will be spending a couple of weeks in a tent in the mountains. We have spent a lot of the summer getting in shape and ready for this trip and are getting very excited as it approaches. November is a lot of fun for us so I don't like to squander it sitting on the couch when there are open hunting season to be had!
Well I think that's all for now, I have received quite a few pictures from folks so thank you very much! I will try to put together a post here in the near future with a lot of them from the last few months.
July 27, 2022 – The Fish are Moving Onto the Reefs!
Now before I get into all the good stuff like the fishing report and pictures, I have a few housekeeping announcements that we need to make. The first is about Mom having a bit of a fall. Next is regarding our landline situation, and then I will follow that with two new rule changes to the fish and game act for this year and going forward.
On July 8, Mom tripped and fell outside the grocery store, and unfortunately broke her hip. Fortunately for her and us it was my ex Hali who was essentially the first one to find her, and was a huge help in getting her up and taken care of. Mom (reluctantly) went by ambulance to Dryden where they determined she had a break and would need surgery, so she was flown to Thunder Bay. There she had a partial hip replacement and was flown back to Dryden a couple of days later. She was released from Dryden on the 16th and was brought back home by Lindsay's parents where they got her in and settled on their way out to visit us at camp for the week. Since then, Mom has had some pain from the break but nothing she can't handle, and is recovering well. It will be 3-4 months before she is able to resume all normal function but knowing her she will be getting herself into trouble before then. We would like to say a big thank you to Don, Mary, and Jake (Lindsay's parents and grandpa) and to Hali for all helping out and getting Mom taken care of.
About a week ago we received a phone call from our phone provider Bell Canada, that they would officially be decommissioning our very archaic radio phone system. Truthfully we have been expecting this to happen for some time and aren't really surprised. Now that we have our very reliable Starlink internet, we have found Wi-Fi calling through a cell phone to be a very good substitute to having a landline. So, our response has been to have our current business number (807 934 6911) ported over to a cell phone that we will be able to use both at camp in the summer and in town during the winter. What does this mean for you guys? Truthfully, not a whole lot with the exception of us no longer having a different winter and summer number, and that you will now be able to text us at the above number if you would like. I think this is actually going to be a convenient change for everyone, not to mention cheaper for us!
Next are a couple of rule changes. Both are in response to the rising aquatic invasive species problem in North America and that is unfortunately spreading through Ontario. The bulk of the spread in Ontario has been limited to more populated areas that are also adjacent to the Great Lakes, say around Toronto. However, the spread of those invasive species is increasing and the government is trying their best to keep them out of our pristine waterways up here in the north.
The first rule change is very simple, and for those of you who travel through Minnesota you will be familiar with it. You must now remove the plug from your boat hull and livewells when travelling across land with your boat. The plug will need to be left out of the boat until you are ready to launch at your next location, with the only exception being that you are allowed to keep water on board in one vessel (livewell, bait bucket, etc.) to keep live baitfish alive.
The second change is a little more complicated. In an attempt to monitor and police the movement of baitfish across the province (for example: bringing bait from the invaded lakes in the southern portion of the province north up here) the province has been divided into various baitfish zones. Baitfish can be moved between these zones if you are headed from our clean northern water south, but it is now illegal to transport the bait from the south to the north. To police this it is now mandatory that if your primary address isn't within the borders of the baitfish zone that you are fishing, then you must keep the receipt from purchasing bait on your person at all times and be able to produce it for an officer if you are checked on or off the water. For folks crossing in Pigeon River who stop to get bait along the way, both Thunder Bay and Kakabeka Falls are within our baitfish zone and it is legal to bring that bait with you as long as you keep and bring a receipt. Same goes for anyone crossing in International falls, you are still within our zone and bringing bait acquired along the drive is still legal. For our own purposes, we are now required to give every group a baitfish card that you will have to bring with you when you come to get bait, and that we will tally your bait on. This will act as your receipt. We have spoke to officers from the MNR and this is their recommendation to keep things as easy as possible for both guests and outfitters alike, and so we don't have to provide a new receipt with every bait purchase. You will only need one card per group if the group is expecting to fish relatively closely together. If you are completely splitting up it might be best to get one card per boat. You will have to remember to keep the card on you while you are on the lake.
Lastly, and this has been the law for a while but it does not hurt to have refresher:
It is illegal to (or attempt to) deposit or release into, or within 30 metres of, any waters:
- live or dead bait or baitfish, including fish eggs, gametes or fish parts
- the water, soil or other materials used to hold any of these items
Essentially, don't dump your bait buckets or worm bedding (even devoid of worms) within 100' of any lake's edge.
Okay, now onto the more interesting stuff! Until this week the weather has been great. We have had a few hot days or short periods of intense heat, but it never seemed to last too long. Whenever we got any rain it was mostly during the night or it wouldn't last very long during the day, and the average temps were 70-85. That was until this week however, where we started off the week dipping down into the 50's! Now the days have warmed up and when the sun is out it is actually quite hot, but it has rained almost every day this week. Hopefully it breaks tomorrow and folks will have a nice day and a half to round out their week. The mosquitos are still bad but have definitely improved since a few weeks ago. We are really hoping all of this new water doesn't spark another hatch.
The fishing has been really, really good! I have been hearing weekly from groups old and new alike that this is some of the best fishing they have ever seen either on Press, or in a lot of cases in their life. The walleye were slow getting to the humps, likely from a late and aggressive may fly hatch a couple of weeks ago. Since then, they have been moving onto the various humps and are being caught out around Red Rock and on the reefs on the big water too. 7 Pine Island and Gull Rock have been producing well, as I'm sure are most of the other reefs out there.
We have been receiving a lot of fish pictures lately, so a big THANK YOU to everyone who has been taking the time to send them in! Below are some pics from the Oswald crew:
Here are some from the Stauffer group:
From the Western group:
And lastly a picture from Garret Pratt from 2021:
Well I think that is all for now!
June 24, 2022 – We Have the Fish House Back!
Well, as the title suggests the water level has been dropping quite a bit and as of this week we are back in the fish cleaning house. The water is still very high for this time of year but it is getting a lot closer to normal and it is nice to have our building back. Currently docks 1-3 have power restored and I will be working on the rest this weekend through early next week. Unfortunately most of the receptacles ended up under water so I am assessing and repairing any damage. It is advisable to bring an extra extension cord if you are coming over the next week or two, just in case it needs to be run from the cabin or across from docks 1-3.
The weather has been a little all over the place the last couple of weeks, but for the most part has been very good, although hot. Temps are still dipping into the 60's at night usually, cooling the cabins down a bit for sleeping. Day temps however, have been reaching 80-90 degrees, with one day this week peaking at over 100. We could do with a little cooler temps during the day but we have been having the odd day of overcast giving a bit of a break from the sun. There has been enough rain to keep the bush wet but not enough to be a nuisance, and we have had a fair amount of wind with a couple of fast but intense storms. Fortunately for us, we weren't hit at camp nearly as hard the surrounding area. The couple of rain storms we have had paired with the high water this spring has unfortunately been the perfect storm for mosquitos. I definitely recommend bringing lots of bug spray and a Thermacell as they have gotten absolutely awful over the last two weeks.
And now for the part you have all been waiting for, the fishing report! So far we have been hearing nothing but great things about the fishing, I have even heard from several groups that this year is the best fishing they have ever had! We are seeing really good numbers of fish, and since Covid we have seen a big increase in the average size of the fish being caught. It seems the walleye are averaging 16-17", with lots being caught over 20". Despite the high water the walleye are being found in their usual spots. They have mostly moved out of the smaller rivers like Wintering Creek, but are still very active in the current of the bigger rivers in areas like the Rock Gardens and down by the old bridge. Wind blown shores and points are also producing well. I haven't heard much about folks fishing on the reefs and haven't gotten out lately to try myself, but I think it shouldn't be too long before they are being caught on those as well. We have had a few groups go into Hut and have all done well and have reported that it is nice and easy getting up there with the current water levels. Here are the fish pics we have received so far this season:
A big thanks to Jesse Virlee and Mike Houser for sending us these pics. If you get any good fish pics while you are up please do not hesitate to pass them along so we can share them.
We have had some confusion about vacation dates this year. Last year our season opened on the earliest possible day, May 15. This means that our opener this year jumped way back to the latest possible day, the 21st of May. Going forward the opener will be one day earlier per year until it hits the 15th, and then it will jump back later again. This is explained by 365 days a year not being evenly divisible by 7 days a week, so dates will shift a little each year. We have had a few groups not realize this, thinking their dates are a week earlier than they actually are, as their correct dates are around a week later then normal. If you have any questions or uncertainties about your dates please reach out to us to confirm them so you don't plan to come the wrong week.
Lastly, we have been receiving lots of questions about our address for filling out the ArriveCAN app as guests prepare to cross the border. Please use the following address when filling out the information:
2054 Valora Rd
We don't really have a real address out here but we have the one listed above on some various paperwork so that is what we use for our purposes, and it is accepted by ArriveCAN. You can also use our camp for your emergency quarantine location.
Well I think that is all for now, it has been great being back to "normal" and being able to see everyone again! We're looking forward to the rest of the summer.
May 28, 2022 – The Water Is High And The Fish Are Biting
Well it has been a busy week with us getting into camp a little late, and having to deal with the high water. Despite all of that however, things have been running smoothly and the fish have been biting! It feels great to be back to "normal" and to be able to see everyone again. Reports from the opening week guests (and a little scouting of our own) has revealed the walleye are all spawned out despite having a late spring. Some fish are still being caught in the rivers, but most have moved out, and can be found near the river mouths or along wind swept rocky shores. The Narrows have also been productive. 8' - 12' of water seems to be working well, and since the fish are hungry from spawning the choice of bait doesn't seem to matter too much.
It was my 30th birthday on opening weekend this year, and as our first groups of the year know, I always have a bunch of friends up for a weekend of fun and fishing. Here are a few photos from our couple days on the lake:
The water level is finally starting to slowly drop but it will be a few weeks before we get our fish cleaning house and shed back. In the meantime we have a temporary fish cleaning station set up in the front yard with picnic tables. We do not have power to the posts by the docks yet, as they are still under water. It will likely be a few weeks before that is restored as well. The weather was beautiful all week with cool mornings giving way to warm sunny days often reaching 70-80 degrees. This week is calling for a bit more rain and one thunderstorm. Here's to hoping we don't get much more rain!
We no longer have water running over the road, and everyone has been raving about how good it looks with all of the brush pushed back from our plowing into camp this year. Everyone has also been pleasantly surprised with the condition of the road itself, which is another great sign. We drive the road so much and tend to get used to it, that we get a little blinded to how smooth or rough it actually is. It's been nice to be having feedback from guests again, and even nicer that it has all been positive!
The docks are starting to show their age and some have a little damage from the ice pushing into shore this spring, but are all held together and functioning. I am hoping to be able to get to them a little bit this week and get them repaired properly, as well as install handles on them to aid in getting in and out of boats. The docks for the campground are sadly in really rough shape so it is kind of a first come first served and use at your own risk basis. Once we recover from Covid a little, and the price of lumber isn't so outrageous, I plan on building a couple more new docks. The plan is to replace some of the cabin docks and then move the old cabin docks into the campground area to replace the old tired ones there. Those are our first generation of docks and have served us well for over 20 years!
So far everyone has said that their border crossing experience has been friendly and easy. We have only had one vehicle of guests randomly screened, and the rest crossed smoothly with their proof of vaccination and completed ArriveCAN. As mentioned in previous posts you can no longer bring baitfish across the border, and to that list they have decided to add eggs, chicken, and chicken products such as dog food. If you need any of those items it is best to plan on getting them once you have crossed the border.
We now have Starlink internet up and running at camp, and our internet service has improved significantly! It is currently still only available near the lodge but we are hoping to be able to extend that range to the cabins. Now that we have reliable internet, and there isn't much demand for our phone, we are adjusting office hours to:
Friday - Saturday: 6:30 AM to 9:30 PM
Sunday - Thursday: 6:30 AM to 6:00 PM
We are keeping our usual office hours for Friday and Saturday to accommodate guests paying their bills Friday, and those arriving late on Saturday. The Wi-Fi will still be available 24 hours a day, and in the event of an emergency we will still be around, but we just ask that if you think you will need bait or fuel in the evening that you get it before 6:00. We would like to be able to sneak away for the odd evening of fishing too!
Well I think that is all! I hope that is a good update and I will try to keep them coming to keep everyone in the loop about water levels and how the fishing has been.
May 9, 2022 – The Snow Is Melting, Things Are Wet, And We’re Into Camp!
Well, after 4 days of having a massive loader on the road with a plow on it, we have gotten the road into camp open and brushed waaaay back. In the deepest spots the snow was still 2-2.5' deep, and in the sunny spots the road was melted right down to the gravel. Plowing the snow was a relatively easy and quick job for the machine and could have been done in a day, but since we have it up there we have had our operator take a few days and really push back the Alders along the shoulders of the road. It has been a long few days for him spending more time sideways on the road then actually travelling down it, but the line of sight and ability to pass an oncoming vehicle has improved considerably. This is actually the first year I can remember where I haven't had to fire up a chainsaw to get in, the loader was more than capable of handling any downed trees and brush sticking out on the road.
The weather has warmed up significantly lately and has caused the snow to melt very quickly. This paired with the rain we have been getting, and are forecasted to get, has a lot of North Western Ontario flooding. So far highway 105 (which goes north to Red Lake) washed out completely removing a pretty large chunk of the pavement, as did our Highway 599, fortunately north of us; just before Pickle Lake. There is a lot of water currently running over our road into camp, but fortunately it is such an old road and packed so hard that it isn't washing out anywhere. There are a couple spots with as much as 18-24" of water on or running across the road, but it is still solid underneath and drivable. We do have some more rain in the forecast, but we are hopeful to see the road dry up over the next couple weeks. Another plus is that we got a fair bit of snow before we got any real cold last fall and it doesn't seem like there is too much frost in the ground. As a result the road hasn't gotten too muddy despite all of the water. Of course there are a handful of spots we have rutted up with the loader and the truck, but so far the road doesn't look like it should be too rough. Not any worse than normal anyway, haha!
Everything at camp looks to be in good order! It's always a very pleasant surprise to do the first inspection and not find any damage or unfortunate surprises, such as a bear in my bed! The ice is also starting to pull away from shore and the bay in front of camp is opening up nicely. I don't think we should have any issues with ice by opening day.
Well, I think that is it for now. We will be moving up to camp this week to really dig in and start getting ready for our first guests arriving late next week. I'll try to post some more updates and photos before opener and will have a fishing report sometime after opening day!
April 13, 2022 – The Winter That Won’t End And Some New Orleans Pictures, Finally!
Current vacancies for the 2022 season:
May 28 – June 4 – 3 Cabins available
August 27 – September 3 – 1 Cabins available
September 10 – October – Scattered openings every week
Well, I guess Mother Nature is getting caught up for the drought last summer. We are in the middle of April and still have about 30" of snow in the bush and still have close to 36" of ice on the lakes. And to top it all off, we are forecasted to be hit by a massive blizzard that could be another 12-18" of snow before the weekend. We have been seeing warm days where the snow has begun to melt, but most nights it is back down to 20-25 degrees F and everything refreezes. We are hopeful that by next week we will start seeing it go fast, but until then there isn't a whole lot we can do besides enjoy the late ice fishing season and wait until it is all over. We do have a plow lined up to get us into camp late next week or early the week after as a contingency plan in case things aren't melting, and fear not I'm sure the lake will be open in time for the season opener on the 21st of May.
As I mentioned above, we have been out doing a bit of ice fishing. Walleye season closes on April 15th, and this time of year they tend to concentrate near the mouths of the rivers they spawn in and feed quite actively before dark. With the days getting longer we enjoy getting out for lake trout in the morning and then either switching spots or lakes and fishing for walleye in the evening. Of course I'm not great at remembering to take pictures but here is a shot of some walleye Lindsay, myself and one of our friends caught last week.
I think we are all done chasing walleye until May as we have a bunch of family coming for Easter and we will be getting ready for that, but I do hope to get out for trout once or twice more next week before the ice starts to go.
I'm a little late I know, but here are some pictures of our trip to New Orleans. Of course we did an airboat tour, which was Lindsay's first time being on one so we had lots of fun! We were fortunate enough that my Aunt Kristen was able to join us from Atlanta for the last few days of the trip as well, which was awesome as we don't get to see her nearly as much as we would like to. She even came down in time to make it out fishing with us on the Gulph.
We were there over Mardis Gras which as you would expect was both crazy busy, and an absolute blast. We spent a little too much time enjoying the sights and parades ourselves though, and didn't take too many pictures. Mom has always loved parades so she really enjoyed going down and catching one or two of the parades daily. The highlight of the trip for me (and I'm pretty sure everyone else too) was of course getting out fishing. I have read about how great the Red Drum fishing is off of Louisiana, and boy it did not disappoint! We hired Captain Ed from St. Bernard Fishing Charters (who I can't recommend enough) for a day on the gulf, and the 4 of us caught A LOT of fish. We were mainly targeting bull reds and sheepshead and we must have caught at least 20 reds close to or pushing 20 lbs. and easily another 25-30 sheepshead. We all had a great time and cooked up a really nice meal when we got home!
All in all we had a really great trip together, and after 2 years of Covid it was nice to be able to get away from home and explore the world a bit. I hope everyone has a great Easter, we are looking forward to spending it with my mom and Lindsay's family. We are even cooking up a Louisiana style shrimp boil with seasonings we brought back north with us, alongside some of the red fish we brought home as well!
March 21, 2022 – Current Vacancies, Border Changes, and What We Have Been Up to!
Current vacancies for the 2022 season:
May 28 - June 4 - 4 Cabins available
August 13 - 20 - 1 Cabin available
August 27 - September 3 - 2 Cabins available
September 10 - October - Scattered openings every week
Now that it looks like things are beginning to return to normal and we are expecting to have a regular season, I will be starting these posts with our current vacancies and will be sure to keep them up to date if any cabins book up. If you are interested in any of our openings, please don't hesitate to give us a call or email.
As of April 1st you will no longer be required to have a negative Covid test to enter Canada, BUT you do still need to be vaccinated and have proof of that. So far we haven't heard anything about the ArriveCAN app, but to our knowledge it is still being used so make sure to fill your information in there within 72 hours of crossing the border. You can add multiple travelers to one entry so not everyone in the group will have to do it, but you will need their passport information. If you have a bigger group I would recommend splitting up by vehicle and not do the entire group just to make the crossing a little easier. So far we haven't heard anything about the proof of vaccination being lifted to enter Canada, and personally I don't see that happening for a while, but who knows.
We have updated our prices for 2022. The new prices can be seen here https://www.presslake.on.ca/rates/ We didn't increase anything significantly, just a little bit to keep up with inflation and to help us recover from the last two seasons. Weekly rates for the cabins increased by $10.00, same with weekly boat and motor rentals, and nightly camping rates increased by $2.00. Gas prices will essentially be market price as each delivery we get is different. We have very slim profit margins on gas (~ $0.05/L or $0.18/gallon) to try to help keep the price of it down as we know how expensive it is after having it trucked into us, especially when comparing it to U.S. prices. You guys have it good down there when it comes time to fill up, trust me!
Well I think that is all of the house keeping stuff! The last 5 weeks or so have been pretty busy for us. I went on my ice fishing trip that I wrote about in my last post, coming home with about 36 hours before we left for Winnipeg to fly to New Orleans for 2 weeks. We had a wonderful time and I will write more about that in the next couple days when I round up some pictures I can post as well. While we were down there Lindsay's Grandma who had been in poor health for the last couple of years, took a turn for the worse. When we returned home from our trip Lindsay stayed in Dryden to visit on our drive home, while I brought Mom back to Ignace and returned to Dryden the next morning. We spent the week with Lindsay's family and Grandma in the hospital and the following weekend she unfortunately passed. Of course it has been difficult, but we are thankful to have been able to get home and see her. The funeral was held last week and I got home on Wednesday after being gone for nearly a month, and Lindsay just got home on Saturday.
Naturally things have been a little chaotic, but we are home and getting back into routine a bit and I just wanted to get our vacancies up with a quick update. As promised above I will write about our vacation and share some photos sometime this week!
February 8, 2022 – A little housekeeping and what we will be up to for the next few weeks
Not too much has changed up here since my last post. It seems if the weather isn't crazy cold then we are getting snow. We have seen more snow this winter than we have in a long, long, time and it's still only early February. As much as we are sick of having to shovel so much, our lakes really need it and hopefully we will see good water levels in the spring.
Lindsay and I are still trying to get out ice fishing whenever we can and recently had another 2 night stay in our new hut fishing for crappie near Dryden. The fishing was a little slow but we were joined during the day by Lindsay's dad, grandpa, and their friend Jim which made the drive over worth it fish or no fish.
We haven't been out in a about a week though, and won't be out this week either as I am trying to complete a fairly lengthy "Honey-Do List." I am headed to Thunder Bay on Thursday to join a friend from there, plus two more from southern Ontario for a 5 day ice fishing trip. My friends uncle has graciously let us use his cabin which is on a lake trout and walleye lake, and is surrounded by many stocked lakes with brook or rainbow trout, and additional walleye and lake trout lakes as well. This is our second winter doing this now and we are all really looking forward to it, especially because we don't get t see our friends from down south very often. We are hoping to be able to hit a different lake every day and do some exploring around to new country. Hopefully 'll have some pictures to post when I get home!
The busyness doesn't stop there however. I will only be home from fishing for two nights and then Lindsay, my mom, and I are headed to Winnipeg to catch a plane to New Orleans for a two week vacation. We will be there for the last week of February and the first week of March and through Mardi Gras. So far we don't have many plans as we don't like to travel with too much of an agenda, but we are excited to explore the city, the food and drink, and the culture! Plus it will be nice to be somewhere that isn't so cold for a little bit, haha.
I will be setting up an out-of-office autoreply on our email for the three weeks that I am gone with any important information, and will handle any reservation inquiries in the order with which they come in. I will be keeping an eye on my email and will answer any pressing questions if anyone has any, but of course will be away from our schedule until after the first week of March.
Well I think that's about all that is new with us, so on to just a couple of housekeeping items I want to have posted on here. To start, it seems that nothing has changed with the protocols for crossing the border. You will need to be double vaccinated, have a negative test taken within 72 hours of crossing (info about crossing the border and what tests are accepted can be found here: https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid/travel-restrictions/flying-canada-checklist/covid-19-testing-travellers-coming-into-canada), and you will need to have completed the questions asked in the ArriveCAN app; also within 72 hours of crossing. If you have any further questions I recommend calling the CBSA at 1-800-461-9999 and talking to a real person as the website can be difficult to interpret. I will update this information again as well as Canada's current Covid restrictions as we get much closer to spring in case anything changes.
Secondly, we are implementing a more formal cancellation policy. Now that the borders are open, and the vaccines are available, travel is possible again and we are no longer rolling deposits over to the next season if you can't make your trip. Of course that will change if the border were to close down again, but as long as travel is permitted we are holding reservations like a typical year. We have decided that we will work with a 4 month lead time to return deposits in the event of a cancellation. As long as your week starts more than 4 months ahead of the date you are cancelling we will return your deposit, otherwise we will have to keep it as we will be very unlikely to rebook that cabin. We are really excited to get to see everyone again!
Lastly, we will be reviewing and updating our pricing when we get home from Vacation in March. It has been a number of years since we have done this and we have decided it's time to review and adjust again. We won't be changing anything dramatically, we have always only ever raised our price by $10.00 per person, and will keep to that rule moving the weekly rate from $340.00 to $350.00. We will also be adjusting the boat and motor prices, bait, etc. but again they will be very small increments. I'll mention when we have the new numbers in a future blog post and will update our pricing on the "Rates" page of the website.
Well I think that is all for now. It will be a little bit before I write on here again but hopefully I will have lots of stories and pictures to write about when I get back!
January 20, 2022 – Happy New Year!
Happy New Year Everyone!
Well it's safe to say that winter is here! We have had a ton of snow so far this winter (which should help get the water levels back up in the spring) and the cold has been pretty steady over the last month. We have been having the odd warm day or two thrown into the mix but it hasn't been uncommon to see temps down to -30 F. Despite the cold and the snow Lindsay and I have been able to get out ice fishing quite a bit.
Normally we put my Dad's old ice shack out on Paguchi, a lake trout lake near town and spend a lot of time ice fishing there, or bouncing around to a few other lakes with our Otter fold over. After a couple of tough years of getting the hut stuck in slush and damaging it forcing us to repair it on the ice to get it off the lake in the spring, we decided it was time for a change. The shack is getting pretty old and the floor and skis are about done, so it seemed the best option would be to retire it and build a new one rather than trying to put a whole new floor under etc. Well we decided that we were getting done with dragging it on and off the ice every year and the headaches that go along with that. Keep in mind up here we don't have plowed roads on the lakes where we can tow the shack out with the truck. We have to pack a trail with the snow machines and hope it freezes solid enough to tow the shack out with the machine a day or two after, and the last couple of years that hasn't been the case and we have gotten stuck in slush forced to leave the hut where we were stuck. Anyway, our solution this winter was to pick up a new portable shack that we could bounce from lake to lake with, and even winter camp in.
We decided to go with an Eskimo FatFish, it is 8' by 14' and so far we have been absolutely loving it! Here is a pic of our first set up with it in my backyard:
Since ice fishing season has really gotten underway we have done one day trip with some friends. It's awesome to be able to fit everyone in there so comfortably and all fish together.
We have also camped out in it twice. Once for one night:
and the second time for two:
We set up some of those foam puzzle piece floor mats for a floor and set up a couple cots and away we go. Lindsay, Cedar, and I have really been enjoying adventuring off to different lakes and setting up for a while. The first night out it got down to about -20 and the hut stayed close to 40 degrees overnight. Plenty warm enough all wrapped up in a sleeping bag.
On the docket for this weekend is a lake trout trip with us and 2 other couples. After that we will be looking to go somewhere new and set up for another couple night stay. Now that we are through the holidays we will be spending a lot more time on the ice and should have some content to write about for some more frequent posts on here, stay tuned!
In other news, Mom has made a full recovery from her back surgery back in September, and is feeling great and getting around even better. Truthfully the operation didn't slow her down very much or for very long (probably not as long as it should have), but now her recovery has been long enough and the surgeon is happy with the results so she has been out doing lots of walking and snowshoeing with friends. It's really nice to see her not in constant pain anymore.
I am receiving lots of emails regarding our current rules surrounding Covid and what crossing the border might look like this summer. Currently Ontario is back under another lockdown until January 26, thanks to the Omicron variant. So far it has only affected restaurants, gyms, public spaces, etc. and noting major like international travel or the land borders, and it doesn't look like this lockdown will change any of that. Hopefully we will be out of this lockdown soon and back to our new "normal". As far as crossing the border this summer is concerned, I don't want to speculate too much as policies seem to change so frequently and we have a while to go before we are open. Currently you need to be vaccinated and have proof of that with you, answer all of the questions on the ArriveCan app and have a negative PCR test all performed within 72 hours of crossing. As spring approaches I will try to keep the most up to date info on our blog here for easy reference, but I encourage everyone to call the CBSA at 1 800 461 9999 well in advance of your trip to make sure all of your ducks are in a row. The crossings are really easy as long as you are prepared.
Well, I think that's it for now. Take care everyone and wish us luck fishing this weekend!
November 28, 2021 – It’s Been a Busy Fall!
I know I haven't posted on here in a couple months but this fall has been a whirlwind. Lots of fun, but crazy busy. With the border opening up our September actually felt like a normal month! It was great to be busy again and to see so many familiar faces around camp. In fact, this September was probably busier than normal with so many guests booking later trips to make up for having lost their dates earlier in the season. We really appreciate everyone who made the journey up this fall despite all of the hassle and uncertainty with the border crossing, it is a big help getting us over the hump from Covid.
As the fishing season faded into hunting season we actually started to get some rain. By the time we left the water levels weren't quite back to normal but were A LOT closer to it then they had been. Hopefully we will get some snow this winter and a bit of rain next spring and the levels will be back where they belong. We had two groups of archery hunters in this year for moose hunting. Unfortunately neither group was successful, but both saw lots of animals. That's just part of the struggle with archery, closing that gap and getting in close enough. But everyone left happy to have seen so many animals and after having a weeks vacation in the north.
The rifle season however, was a much different story. This year we had the most hunters we have had in camp in a long time with all of the cabins booked up and one group camping. Every group in camp got an animal, and some even got a couple as they had extra tags. We ended up taking 10 moose this fall and everyone was extremely happy! To top it off we even had really nice weather all fall long and didn't run into the usual challenges of freezing water lines and heavy wet snow pulling down brush on the road. Unfortunately I didn't have the chance to take too many pictures of the moose coming into camp as we were hunting ourselves and helping a new group find their animal. Below is a picture of Geoff with the cow we shot opening morning, and if anyone wants to email me any moose pictures from this fall I will gladly get them up on here!
After we wrapped up moose season and everyone was gone on our final Saturday at camp, Lindsay and I were actually packed up and home by Sunday night. We had to come back on Monday and Tuesday for the last loads of our stuff but we had the place shut down and drained off very quickly this year. This is mainly in part to a lot of help from my friends that were up for our moose hunt. We were lucky enough to get our animal early and between grouse hunting and helping other groups they really busted their butts to get camp in order and shut down. This was a huge help because we spent Wednesday at home and then left Thursday morning to head down to our cabin to start deer hunting. It would have been a much more insane week (if possible) than it was without everyone's help, I appreciate it guys!
We spent a week down at deer camp, joined through the first weekend by my friend Matt who shot his first buck!
A couple of days after that Lindsay was able to take the second biggest buck we have on the property. This was made even more sweet as she saw it opening morning but couldn't get a shot at him from low visibility and a blurry scope. She got the focus figured out on the scope and made an awesome shot at 125 yards and dropped this awesome buck right in his tracks!
I am still yet to fill my deer tag but am headed back down for another week or so on Wednesday to try my luck at getting the big 10 pointer I have been chasing for two years. We are still getting pics of him but he is really smart and doesn't come out during the daylight too often. I'm hoping he will be coming out to feed now that it's getting later and the rut is over. Wish me luck!
After our week of deer hunting we came home and I had three days to unpack and repack as it was time to head for Colorado to meet my friend Jake from Wisconsin for a week of DIY elk hunting. This was the first time either of us have ever hunted elk or ever hunted in the mountains. I arrived a day early (3 days before opening day) to set up our camp in the National Forest:
Jake arrived the next day where we would begin by spending two days hiking around scouting and getting a feel for the land. Elk are migratory and work their way off the mountain as the snow piles up. After doing a tremendous amount of research and talking to a few very helpful people with Colorado Parks and Wildlife we were expecting to find the elk between 8000 and 9000 feet; about midway down off the mountain into the private valleys where they winter. When we arrived there was virtually no snow, and after two days of scouting and the first 1.5 days of hunting in that elevation band without seeing any fresh elk sign, we realized they had to be somewhere else. We spent some time looking at the GPS's and decided we needed to get higher up the mountain and farther from the roads, as we are the 5th hunting season these elk of have seen this fall and all of that pressure must have pushed them farther back in. Well, on the 3rd morning of our hunt we found our first elk at almost 10 000' and learned a very valuable lesson about getting skylined on a ridge. As we crept over the ridge we had been hiking to, to peer over the edge and glass into the valley below we watched two spike elk and one decent bull moose run out of the valley. It was a real mix of emotions as were were super excited to have found them but pretty bumbed we were dumb enough to bump them like that. Overall we were just happy to finally know where some were and to have seen some really fresh sign on the hike in. As we sat there the rest of that day we watched two cows and a calf feed through the valley, and had one bull that was likely legal (4 points on one side) come absolutely running through our meadow not stopping long enough for us to tell if it was legal for sure or to get a shot. And no, this one we didn't bump haha, although I'm not sure what did as he was not wasting any time.
It was a 4 mile hike up to the valley where we found the elk and we would begin each day by getting up at 3 and leaving camp by 4. That would get us up to the ridge where we could glass by first light. The plan was to glass all morning until the thermals switched and then follow fresh tracks and stalk into their bedding areas mid day, returning to glass in the evening. This was made extremely difficult as any time we would get any snow at all it would melt the next day by 10 am, and the ground underneath was too frozen to detect tracks. That usually left us having to watch the valley all day long, and with some days getting close to 50 degrees the elk just weren't moving. Pair that with the extremely clear skies at night and the big full moon and the elk were all but nocturnal. That being said we hung in there as we knew there were at least some elk around in that area. On the second last day of the season we had some decent snow and a mess of fresh tracks so we followed them to where they joined up with more animals on a ridge top where they all bedded down. It was hard to tell in all of the chaos in the snow but there were at least 7-8 animals together. We finally pieced together that after they got up out of their beds they headed down into the valley we had been glassing. We decided to not go down in there until the next day as a last ditch effort as we didn't want to risk blowing out the whole valley with a day and a half left to hunt.
We didn't see any animals that afternoon and were back in our glassing spot by 6:30 the next morning. By 7 we spotted our first elk feeding out of the brush in the meadow. Cow, damn! Then a calf. Spike. Another cow and calf. Two more spikes. there we were on the last day of the hunt with 7 elk feeding inside of 300 yards from us for almost a half hour and there wasn't a legal bull in the group. We stayed there until a little after noon when we finally called it to go start packing up as Jake had to leave early the next morning. Neither of us ended up taking an animal but throughout the week we saw 13 elk and 7 moose, we learned an enormous amount and had a great time. The success rate on elk hunting averages out around 10%, so I'm pretty proud to say we came as close as we did on a foreign landscape hunting a completely new animal. Even more so considering we only heard about 6 shots all week and talked to a few other groups of hunters who have hunted that unit for years on end and still haven't killed an elk. We also learned that we could have had cow tags in addition to our bull tags. That was a dumb oversight on my behalf as I saw cows were draw only and figured you would need a few points to be successful, turns out the success rate is 100% in the drawing with 0 points; another hard lesson learned. Had we grabbed cow tags we would have been coming home with a couple elk. But hey that's hunting!
I totaled it up this morning and we hiked 74 miles and climbed 15 900' in elevation over 9 days. Elk hunting isn't for the faint of heart if you want to get after it and get into some animals. It was one of the more difficult things I've ever done but we both trained our asses off for this hunt and frankly I can't wait to go out west and do it again next year! Below are the rest of the pics from our adventures:
This was my first time out west and first time in Colorado and boy it sure is gorgeous! While I was gone winter happened back home. I returned to find over 8" of snow and temps a lot colder than when I left. I'm off to have some lunch and then to get the last of the snow moved before going back down deer hunting.
Take care everyone and Happy Thanksgiving south of the border!
October 6, 2021 – Too hot for October, but we’ll take it!
As the title suggests, we have been having an extremely warm fall! About mid to late September, we had a week of cooler weather and got a lot of rain, as much as 5" in one 24 hour stretch. Since, things have been right back to bright, warm, and sunny, but fortunately the rain we did receive brought the lake up to levels much more akin to normal for this time of year. The lake is still low, but not nearly as low as it was a month ago. In fact we actually have had to pull the docks up twice now, a welcome change from constantly pushing them out. We are yet to have our fist frost and according to the weather there isn't one in sight. Lindsay and I still have lots of vegetables finishing ripening in the garden actually, probably the first time we have ever been able to push it into October. Daytime temps have been consistently over 70 degrees every day with the warmer days still getting up over 80, and with the little wind we have been having the weather has been absolutely gorgeous!
The fishing has remained fantastic throughout the fall. The walleye are still on the humps, with some good numbers and bigger fish being caught at depth around the reefs, even out to 40 feet. The usual fall smallmouth migration onto the humps, especially at 7 Pine Island, has been occurring as normal and there have been some really nice bass caught! I unfortunately haven't received any pictures of bass but have heard of groups catching as many as 20-30 in an afternoon with some really nice 18-20" fish being caught. Below is a picture of Renee with a monster Northern she caught in August!
We have remained pretty busy throughout the fall, especially since the border finally re-opened, but our fishing season is tapering down and we are getting into moose season. We had a group of archery hunters in last week and have another in this week that have been putting in lots of work on the ground to try and fill their tags. Unfortunately neither group has been successful yet despite seeing several animals each. Both groups have cow tags which of course are difficult to fill with a bow as the cows don't tend to come into a call like a bull will. It also doesn't help when the bulk of the animals the groups have been finding have been bulls. Lot's of really cool encounters though with one bull coming into 7 yards! Hopefully their luck changes, and I'm sure we will see some animals on the ground when rifle season opens on October 16.
Speaking of moose, about 2 weeks ago I woke to find this young bull laying in the lake near camp!
I apologize for the almost 2 month wait since my last post. Since the border opened back up we have been pretty busy and I just haven't taken the time to get an update on here. It also doesn't help that hunting seasons have begun to open up, so any and all of our spare time has been spent chasing some critters around in the woods. Lindsay, Cedar, and I logged a few really fun duck hunts this fall and have been slowly transitioning out of that into grouse hunting. We like to try to get a bunch of birds for the freezer before things get pretty crazy with big game hunting.
I have a pretty busy fall ahead, as we have a week of moose hunting starting on October 16. Then on the following week we will be very quickly getting camp closed down and getting moved home so we can get down to our cabin near Fort Frances for the opener of deer hunting on October 30, where we will be spending close to a week chasing whitetails. After that we are headed home, around November 5, as I will be getting packed up to head down to Colorado on November 8 for my first ever elk hunt. Needless to say I am getting extremely excited for all of these adventures and cannot wait to meet my friend and hunting partner in Colorado for our DIY hunt. It will be both of our first elk hunt and first western mountain hunt. It's going to be a huge learning curve I'm sure, but I can't wait! There will be lots of pictures and blog posts to follow this fall!
In other news, Mom had surgery on her back on September 15, it was very successful and she is recovering well! She has been dealing with debilitating sciatica pain in her leg caused my a herniated disk in her back for the last couple of years, and we finally decided the only way for it to get better was to go ahead with the surgery and have 2 of her vertebrae fused. The operation only took roughly 90 minutes, and now that her nerve isn't being pinched she is essentially pain free! Well, pain free in her leg that is, of course now she has a sore back from the operation but that will heal with some time and is a good reminder for her to take it easy for the next couple of months while her back heals up. Thankfully she can stand and walk for a lot longer than the couple of minutes she was able to stand at a time before the surgery.
Well I think that is all for now, I likely won't be posting a whole lot between when moose hunting opens and I get home from Colorado, but will try to get a quick post up with an update about moose season. And of course I will have lot's to write about in late November. Stay tuned!
August 11, 2021 – The Border is Open, Finally!
Well it looks like Trudeau and his government stuck to their word and the border is open! Our first US guests, Kevin Western and his group, arrived Monday morning. Kevin said the border guards were professional, relatively quick, and asked the questions you would expect them to ask. Now Kevin and the group had all of their ducks in a row and information submitted into the ArriveCAN app, which of course makes everything a lot faster and smoother. When they arrived they were about 15 vehicles back from the border, and it took them roughly an hour to get across. We have been hearing that wait times have been varied and can be pretty damn long. I have heard as long as 7-8 hours at International Falls and Baudette. I haven't heard of wait times being that long at Pigeon River, so I would recommend crossing there if possible.
July 19, 2021 – **THE BORDER IS OPENING** Finally, some good news!
Well, after almost a year and a half Trudeau has finally made a definitive statement regarding the border closure, and it is the one we have all been waiting for! As of August 9th, the border will be open to non-essential travel for any individuals that are fully vaccinated. So far this is about all we know:
- Proof of a completed negative test from the past 72 hours will be required
- It appears as though another test may need to be done at the border
- You must use the ArriveCAN app, and have your information and proof of vaccination uploaded within 72 hours prior to your entry
- You must have a 14 day quarantine plan in place in case the CBSA decides it is required in your particular case (We currently aren't sure if just turning around and going home will suffice, but I imagine it will)
This information was taken directly from the Canadian Government website found here: https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid