School of Fish
Beginning of May: Waking up each morning it is hard to not get distracted by looking out the windows to look for new signs of life. With the open water slowly creeping in from the falls to us each day, we can witness the wilflife that creeps in as well. Sadly, I feel like I now need binoculars to observe in detail what my eyes once granted. The ducks and some beautiful mallards are frolicking between water and ice, the loons are already playing Marco Polo, the geese are already loitering- almost smirking at us as we chase them off- an eagle soaring above a patch of open water to then swoop in and eat it's catch on the ice, and the high pitch sounds of the frogs in the evenings are a delight for the senses. And on land, we spot grouse on gravel roads each time we venture out, a bear during a little ATV ride, moose tracks on our driveway, and on a recent trip to Kenora, two deer leisurely walked by us in a parking lot like they were a natural part of the pedestrians.
Can you spot the grouse?
The ice was not budging for quite awhile and Ryan even got to go ice-fishing on the Wabaskang for the first time. They drilled 16" to get into a few keeper pike and some hits on a big one.
And less than a week later pockets were getting dark and once the ice starting to break, it moved out of Lake 1 rather quickly. Congrats to our guests that predicted on Facebook that ice would be out on May 8th- Mark Bullard and Justin Wyngaard- as that's when it officially did exit lake 1, officially out of the whole lake we heard on May 11th.
Water level is fine for now, but about a foot lower than we'd like, more like it was in 2021. We haven't gotten the spring rains that are typical. She's still crept up about a foot over the last 2 weeks, but those of you experienced last year's high waters won't have a repeat. I'm beginning to think "average" and "normal" doesnt' exist when it comes to Canadian water levels. The docks were level with the platform last year when putting them in, and this year about 4 feet lower:
Water temps are in the upper 40's right now. Air temps have warmed up gradually, and as we went through quite a bit of firewood last fall and this past month, we are glad to now be more in the 70's and even a couple of 80 degree days. Hoping for some comfortable temps for our opener week guys.
Ryan and I have definitely enjoyed visits with our Canadian friends and neighbors up here mixed in with exploring and tinkering the first few weeks, but now have been in full-time Tall Pines Training Camp mode. Spring cleaning and prepping the cabins has been fun as we've added some little touches on each cabin; Bear's Den and Cabin 11 had more major projects that were started in the fall, but Ryan was under the gun to get them finished. They're shaping up pretty nice:
Once the snow had melted enough to get to other buildings, the first ones I naturally gravitated to was the library building and gift/tackle shop. I loved stacking and organizing the books as well as creating new displays for our apparel and souvenirs while Ryan made some new shelves and hung all the tackle. It reminded me of my teaching days and when I'd go in to decorate my classroom the week before students arrived. The anticipation feeling of starting a new school year and wanting to create a welcoming environment for my students is the same exact feeling I have now as Ryan and I prepare for a new camp year of guests.
Of course, I also always had techology glitches as a teacher, and last week was no different. Getting hacked and locked out of Facebook ("disabled") has been so incredibly frustrating- any guest know of someone who works at Facebook? I'm beginning to think that is my only chance of getting back in under same account. So, I apologize that I left everyone hanging on the ice-out poll and will post if/when I get back access. I'm realizing that in every profession, not just teaching, life will throw us curveballs, and we have to roll with it.
Earl and Patsy endured a 5 day road trip to get here! After they took some time staying with family near Winnipeg, they ventured to Tall Pines and are easing back into the camp life. They are both full of energy and positivity, eager for this long awaited season.
We put in some long hours last week getting cabins fully opened, docks finished and boats in the water, and finishing touches in the cabins and out and about camp, and got her ready to share with you. We hope it feels like home to you too.
First guests of the year have started arriving, and the anticipation is oozing out of them! That is definitely one key difference between teaching and this. Guests actually want to be here while high school students looking forward to school... not so much.
And this is what they were welcomed to last evening (followed by some incredible northern lights that I'll have to share in next blog):
I sent out an email of camp/travel info last week. And I'll send out email confirmation of cabin/boat assignments the weekend before your booked trip. We sure do appreciate everyone who has been on top of things like getting passports, hotel reservations, re-arranging schedules and such; all the front loaded effort will be worth it when you can finally get back on the Canadian waters. I know Ryan and I just smiled at each other our first time back on the water this year- no words were needed. That feeling, the sigh...that you've made it and this is what it's all about.
It's Opening Weekend, let the fun begin! We can't wait to see you, and you can look forward to lots of fish pics in the next blog.
We have some openings due to cancellations:
June 24-July 1
August 5th- end of September