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  • Writer's pictureBridget

It was the Best of times, It was the Worst of times...

Happy Labor Day Weekend to our Tall Pines Family! With so much going on at the "Tall Pines Training Facility" these last few weeks, it's been a challenge to pull away to write a blog. But I am now back in states, and wow- talk about two completely different realities. I want to go back to the Tall Pines Bubble...

Fishing has been solid these last few weeks, especially right here in Lake 1. So many epic days, hard to remember which is which. The fish have been found at depths of 10-14 feet. Bottom bouncing has been the winner for walleye, but some bigger northern have been biting on the crankbaits as well. Some windy, cloudy days produced numbers and quality size for smallies, pike, and walleye alike. The water level is low, and water temp is in the upper 60's now.

Ryan barely left the docks in Lake 1, trolled a weed line with a rattle trap, and came up with this beautiful muskie!

He had caught several nice northern in the 30 range and 5 nice walleye that same outing- trolling at about 3mph, and all in about and hour and a half. The muskie was super thick- weighed close to 25 lbs!

You may have seen Earl's nice walleye catch last week as well. The three of us were trolling lake 1, landing them one after the other, but this 23.5" was Earl's new personal record. While he has filleted fish for years, he hardly had gotten to fish prior to coming to Tall Pines, so it was so fun to see the excitement!

I also got some good ones, not wanting to leave without a bang. I caught some more nice smallmouth, a couple pike in the 30's and lots of 17-20" walleye that we released. I also found some perch that Earl packed up for me to take home.

Seeing the guys in the fish cleaning house again was almost emotional. It is just meant to be. I know there will be many a beer had in there next year

Here are some other pics of the past few weeks worth sharing:

You also may have seen how friendly our female EagleMan has become. She hangs out with us for hours by the docks and near our cabin, soars above us while we work around camp, and her juveniles have also become a regular fixture here.

The Tall Pines Workout Program became quite a success with Ryan having lost 15-20 lbs. He eats, believe me, but just burning so many calories. The camp projects continue, and Earl is getting his last days at helping Ryan before he leaves to visit family and then return home. Patsy has joined us for some quality time here as well as helping winterize cabins. One afternoon the guys took advantage of the low water level. Here, a before and after of boat launch:

The new beams and cribbing are now in place, decks/stairs got some adjusting, boardwalk powerwashed, some interior floors painted, and dirt spread out over the new septic field:

The three of us spent one more day as a team, staining (my request actually). We got the Game/Laundy House stained and finished the waterside of Office/bait shop. The constant heckling made that day fly by. Here's a before and after:

I was itching most of the summer for the guys to work on cabin 2; nothing the whole time I was there; well right after I left, they put in the porch floor:

We spent days of cleaning and organizing in our buildings, and uncovered flooring and original logs (cabin 1) to help keep the integrity of the two remaining original cabins. More rebuilding continues:

Some other excursions included kayaking, walking on the falls, firepits, final blueberry picking, and our last shorelunch together:

Sunsets continue to entertain us

An update on the Red Lake forest fire: the fire reached 560 hectares, but then we finally got rain! Residents were allowed to return to Red Lake after 5 days of uncertainty. Fortunately, no homes were destroyed, but residents were without gas for a while. The evacuees we took in were extremely grateful, and we appreciated the Ear Falls Legion that reached out to us to donate food/supplies to them.

Thanks to those who like and follow us on Facebook or Instagram. We have over 700 following now, and I'd love that to reach 800 by the end of the year, so please share if you feel inclined.

The Tale of Two Cities quote has truly been our reality. The loss of a complete season has been hard on the business in many ways. But, honestly it has been the best summer in many ways too. We will never forget the summer of 2020. Earl has been amazing, and Ryan and I have become even closer through this experience. We all have learned to not take things for granted and to treasure each moment.

Ryan will continue working and fishing, so hopefully he'll send some more fodder to share towards the end of the month. I keep hearing from many of you that it is hard to read these, yet you can't not read them. In just the few short days I've been back, I have absorbed the turmoil surrounding us. My heart aches at what is going on in this country, and I can only hope that if this blog brings some peace or brief happiness to even a couple readers, then it was worth it. Praying for each of us, and God Bless the World.

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