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Settling In

Happy first blog of '24! Oh my goodness has it been an action packed spring over here and finally carved out some time to get this one out. Thanks for your patience.

I had bits from the last 5 weeks and never published so here's a condensed timeline:

April 17th week:

Has the last 6 months flown by for anyone else? In a whirlwind of trying to find a new home base back in the states and some vacations sprinkled in, here we are back at Tall Pines wondering where the time disappeared to. It took a few days to settle in this time around. Some years it has taken a heart beat, but this year we were feeling a little restless and unsettled at first. Nothing to mention on the drive up- actually it was a much smoother drive this year without blizzards and 3 feet of snow welcoming us. But it was a feeling. The knowing of all the work we have ahead of us was a little daunting if I'm honest. And then I thought about you all. And I realized we are just like you. Some of you get here and we can see you unwind and settle in almost instantaneously. And yet we can observe some of you come into camp a little stressed, and it takes a day or two to decompress. Sometimes its a stressor from the drive up, others its the stress of what you're leaving behind. For us, it was the stress of knowing what lies ahead of us. Settling in is not the same for everyone and that is okay.

April 21st Week:

Once we unpacked, got things like heat (it was 50 degrees in the cabin our first 24 hours) and water and internet going, and made a few to-do lists, we were finally able to take that priceless deep breath and let it sink in- we're here; we did it- aahhh- that sigh of relief.

And its amazing how my spirit lifted once that transformation took place. The thawing of the Wabaskang was incredible to watch this year- She started melting almost as soon as we settled in, and the wildlife show in front of camp was a beauty to witness. I posted a video of some of this on the FB page.

Here's our logo that the sun and shadows created:

From the pairs of loons lingering at the edge of where open water met ice, to the ducks, pelicans, birds, Eagleman and friends, otters, and beavers we've seen these past weeks, there's always some form of free entertainment out there. Savoring that sip of coffee looking out the window, I am reminded of these simple pleasures that are treasured in the quietness of life right now.

May 1st week:

We didn't have much time to settle in though, as we knew the days were numbered before we opened the gate to you. We made supply runs to Red Lake, Ear Falls, and Kenora, had some visits with other neigbors/camp owners, Earl arrived, and we managed to do some projects in our cabin before tackling the rest of camp as well as catch some live music at the Whiskey Jack featuring some of the Electric Beavers thay you may know:

Oh boy are we excited for you to see some new products we're offering in the gift shop! We have over a dozen new items on top of a lot of popular items from last year that we brought back. We have 6 hats this year to choose from- and props to our friends at MelonInk for going above and beyond to custom make them and get them ready in time for our trek North! And our Canadian supplier, 4imprint, had all our hoodies, zip ups, and drinkware ready for us when we arrived. Anyway, stocking the shelves has become one of my favorite opener "activities"

Speaking of shelves, one of the first projects to get completed was the face-lift of the Laundry/Library! We took down some old paneling, painted the whole thing, added some new book shelf nooks, redid the electrical to give it better lighting while also re-organizing and decorating. We hope you enjoy it.

May 5th week:

And the Eagle's Nest was our beast in the two weeks before opener as Tall Pines went from complete renovations in not one but two bathrooms. Demoed in the fall, we tackled these two monster projects and the cabin was finished and cleaned with 10 minutes to spare:

And the Northern Lights made a spring appearance:

Opener Week:

Our opener week guests began arriving last Friday the 17th, and were busting at the seams as they've been counting down the days to get out there. Everyone was in a great mood arriving, and got to fishing right away combined with shore lunches, fish fry dinners at camp, an app nite social, and some good comraderie in their cabins.

We did have some brutal winds and a lot of rain for opener week. Our docks took a beating and with some chains breaking, had to be reinforced. Crisis averted with all hands on dock pitching in. On Wednesday, 40 mile an hour winds forced most fishermen to settle in/hunker down in their cabin, but we did have a few boats go out that produced 100+ fish each.

So, what you've been waiting (or skipping past the above) for. The beloved fish pics...drum roll please:

Check out these huge pike and walleye caught by Justin and Kevin:

And Jeremy hadn't been back on the Wabaskang in 12 years- finally got back up with Dad, Paul, and buddies and was rewarded with the biggest walleye of the week (27.25") among others:

Other species were found including crappie, smallies, whitefish, and perch. The weather can be tough, but those that tough it out can be rewarded. Here's some more fish pics coming in from long time guest Jim as well as well as some newer guests including Brian and Elaine:

and lake trout (34.75"- congrats Brian):

Father son duo Steve and Luke crushed it with big walleye and pike on their Trika rods :) I don't think I've ever seen a 13/14 year old so dedicated to the art of fishing/filleting/boating as Luke. This young man is going places and we are thrilled that Wabaskang is part of his journey:

Chris Both was not only one of the few ladies to go out during some colder opener days, but also dominated with some of the biggest fish of the week caught:

Still pics coming in, so you'll have to stay tuned for the next blog to see more fish pics. The energy from all our guests opening week was outstanding and equally so for everyone arriving this weekend. We are so happy to be a part of the best community of fishermen we know.

The water temps stalled out in the 50's this week with cooler weather. The water level is perfect right now! Rose about 2 feet since we got here with all the spring rain and no issues with accessing any parts of system/getting through narrows.

So, concluding our Opener week and setting the bar pretty high, here is the first leaderboard of the '24 season:


For those that have a planned '24 trip: I emailed a 2024 Tall Pines travel and camp Info Google Doc out on May 1st. All group leaders should have gotten it to pass on to their party; but I did do some condensing of our email database over the winter, so if you did not get it check your spam folder and then, please let me know so I can get you that info. The premise of that is the more you are prepared ahead of time, the more you'll have time to fish and relax once you're here. Thanks for taking the time to read that, and hopefully there is a travel suggestion that may be helpful to you. We look forward to you settling in for your week at Tall Pines. Happy Memorial Day Weekend til next time.

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