So much since the last blog to update on.
Most recently, a fire broke out in Red Lake area on Monday evening, and within hours they did a mandatory evacuation. This hasn't happened in 40 years. So, many of the camps on the Red Lake Road have opened what cabins they could to evacuees. 4100 had to leave in the middle of the night, and said the 105 was bumper to bumper for hours! Can you imagine? We took in those we could, and it was a little hectic as we had no notice and lots of inquiries. Each family has their own compelling story, and its definitely different as these locals are not here to fish, but at least they can enjoy the view while anxiously waiting to get back to their community.
We definitely need rain. Obviously to help control/put out the forest fire, and also to help the Wabaskang. Water levels are down another 6 inches from last post, making some of the narrows pretty weedy to pass through. Water temps are now in very low 70s and fish were pushing out a little more these last couple weeks. 12-18' was depth that worked for us.
So many fishing adventures, they start to blend together. With Earl fishing now too, the three of us one day went to North Bay and were using crankbaits and we tripled on walleye. My line hit first, then Earl's got slammed, then I'm asking Ryan to net, and he's like hold on, I got one too! Super fun- and we got some good eater size they guys filleted that day.
Here Earl tries to give me lesson on holding walleye in both hands without gloves (I'm working on it guys...I'm just a little slow)
Another time, Ryan and Earl were out for a short after-work excursion, and Earl wanted to fish the third lake- they worked a couple islands and crushed it with walleye- one after another for about 45 minutes straight. (sorry- they didn't care about fodder when they went out)
And of course, Ryan and I have gone out a handful of times just the two of us. Bottom bouncers has been pretty consistent, but I like casting the plastics too. On our anniversary, we got a morning in before the winds picked up. We did okay in No-name, and landed a few decent ones, while big pikes bit off our lines, and bigger walleye toyed with us, just weren't committing. I was proud of my biggest smallmouth of the season (while Ryan caught them left and right):
Ryan caught a baby walleye...
And I followed it up with another walleye...
But, he of course, is now outfishing me and finding his groove...
A fun adventure day we portaged into Wine Lake with the Peffleys! While Dave has done this many times, it was a first for us. We left our camp at 7a.m. and didn't get back til after sunset- a beautiful boat drive back, with no time to spare. With the water being so low, it took the four of us working hard and as a team to get the boats in Wine Lake, and even more so to get them back up into the Wabaskang in the afternoon. Memorable to say the least, but it was fun to try a new lake for a day, and experience something that we'll rarely get the opportunity to again. I give Nick at Wine Lake a lot of credit for doing that weekly portage with guests (I know its not the same, but nonetheless its a lot of effort to get there just from the Perrault falls.)
Earl's daughter and family stayed a couple days to visit and had a ball! The grandkids wanted to stay at Papi's. Luckily they should get another visit soon and Patsy will even be coming for a little holiday in September.
We've also adventured kayaking, four-wheeling down the pipeline, and exploring atv/snowmachine roads while blueberry picking some new areas. The blueberries are their fullest right now- big honkers as Ryan likes to call out when he finds a good patch. Ryan and I are also enjoying hanging out in the evenings with friends from up here and Earl, on someone's porch, with a nightcap, loving the simple lifestyle.
Tons of wildlife these last few weeks- you've seen the ducks and moose crossing the lake in front of our camp probably on Facebook recently. But also, we saw a moose by the side of the road about a mile from camp, lots of bald eagles and loons on the water, and a couple bear sightings.
Some of our eats:
And on our 18 year anniversary we took an Eagle's Nest view for dinner:
Ryan got this one of me taking advantage of a sunny day while he found shade working on deck of #4
On the business side of things, we are going to make the call to cancel our September guests as we just learned that the border will be closed until at least September 21st. Those few guests that we haven't reached yet, please call or email us to discuss options. For those that this was a secondary trip, we will just roll over the deposit towards your already scheduled 2021 stay.
Not gonna sugarcoat it, each month of phone calls to cancel has gotten harder and more discouraging. It's just not where any of us envisioned we'd be at this point. While this year has been a let down in many ways, we are already focusing on 2021. Love that we're getting new bookings, and that everyone is already stoked for next fishing season.
Camp projects continue to come along. I have power washed and sanded so much these last few weeks that I honestly have been dreaming that I'm power washing in my sleep! The docks seemed like they went on forever- and I had sunblisters on my lips by the time I finished.
Earl and Ryan have been burning a ton of calories as they've been digging and pouring cement and hauling tons of stuff around. Hard to keep up with them, or even find them, sometimes (one day I was walking around looking for Ryan, and finally saw his shoes hanging out from UNDERNEATH the Eagle's Nest. On a given day, one or both of them has been underneath cabins 4,5,6,7, or the Eagle's Nest working on structural repair:
Ate dinner by the fire one night...
Lastly, the sunsets are still stunning, but we also set the alarm for midnight on Wednesday to see the most beautiful star filled sky scattered with the bursts of light from the anticipated Perseid meteor shower. Okay, well Ryan slept through it, but I saw it :) Hoping to get some northern lights soon.
I am preparing to head back to the states to teach soon, but Ryan and Earl will stay on a ways yet. Fall bite is starting, and cooler outside temps kicking in, so they are excited to do some more "research" for you guests that are booked next August/September. I'll also put a few videos up on the Facebook this week as they were not loading well on this site. Til next time, I'll leave you with Teresa's response after we had to just cancel their annual trip...
"I've always said there is no one more optimistic than a farmer and a fisherman. The farmer as he plants in the spring envisions the crop he hopes to harvest in the fall, and the fisherman always looks at the lake and just knows there's a big one waiting for his bait. We'll just remain optmisitc our lunker is waiting for us!"