Monday, August 31, 2009

Fishing is "different" most anglers report

Despite the flood conditions here we are still catching some nice fish but virtually all of our regular customers have the same thing to say about the fishing by the ends of their weeks.

It's "different."

That's not very helpful for the next groups but it's almost all they ever say about it.

From my observation I would say walleyes are spread out throughout the water column due to the fact the lake is about the same temperature from a few feet below the surface to the bottom.

Northern pike are the real mystery. They are much harder to catch than normal but as the photo above proves, they are still out there.

Some groups did fairly well last week on pike at least as far as sizes were concerned. Tony from North Carolina landed and released this 45 incher and another angler did likewise with a 41.5-inch fish. There were many fish in the mid-to-high 30-inch range caught and released.

Where are they being caught? From what I've heard they are mosty in shallow, weedy bays. Some days they are in the weedbeds growing away from shore and the next they are right on the shore. The key is to make a lot of casts and not to give up on a spot for the entire week just because you weren't successful there one time. If the fish aren't biting there in the morning they might be in the afternoon, etc.

The really good news is it is SUNNY here and is supposed to stay that way for the foreseeable future. Boy, does that make us feel great after months of torrential downpours.
I've also seen a couple flocks of sandhill cranes migrating south. These huge gravel-voiced birds are always the first signs of autumn.

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

How wet is it? Do I need really need boots?

Yep. We're still getting those phone calls.

The rising lake level has ruined all our pier docks despite our rebuilding them several times. We've given up trying to save all but our brand new boathouse dock and that too is in jeopardy.

For guests using the now-ruined pier docks you will need to wade out on a now partially-floating dock to get into your boat. That's the way it's going to be for the rest of the season.

If you want to do this in bare feet or don't mind having soaking wet shoes all day, then don't bother to bring rubber boots.

Likewise if you don't mind having your pants muddy up to the knees from walking around the yard that has been soaked with about a hundred inches of rain, then don't bother buying rubber boots.

So how wet is it? Guests who have been here before will be familiar with an island where we dump the fish guts each day for the eagles and gulls to eat.

The top of this island can be seen just breaking the surface in the foreground
in the photo above taken last week. It's now completely submerged.

Do I really need rubber boots? Ben, our outside worker, has worn out several pairs of rubber boots this year. Jenn and Emily, our kitchen and housekeeping staff, wear nothing but boots as they go about their chores outside. I wear boots from morning 'til dark.
Believe us, when we say we're sick of them. But they are still the best footwear going.
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fishing is good despite the water level

Some of you have wondered if the extreme high water level is affecting the fishing.
It is, of course, but our anglers are still doing quite well.
We've had lots of walleyes caught, both big ones and nice eating sizes.
Pike fishing seems better right now than it was three weeks ago with many people bringing in good eaters and reporting releasing pike in the 30+ inch range every day.
Yesterday one angler reported a 39.5-inch pike he had released.
I notice that there is a pattern to the anglers' success.
Those who cast for pike and jig for walleye are doing better than those who do nothing but troll.
Also although there are certainly walleyes at all depths this year due to the cool water but the best success can be found by fishing shallow.
The fish are also on the move a great deal.
For pike, the best success is coming from Mepps #5 spinners and small silver spoons like Little Cleo, Mepps Cyclops and Len Thompson spoons. Pike also like pink.
For walleyes, stick to quarter-ounce jigs with orange or green or white twister tails tipped with either leeches or worms. There's no advantage in using hard-to-keep-alive minnows yet.
The 14-day weather forecast looks wonderful -- lots of sunshine is predicted.
But just in case, be prepared for rain.
One of our anglers this week reports that Wal-Mart is selling excellent quality rubber boots, made in Canada, for about $20. They are brown in color and are called Dairy men's boots.
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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Yes, you really do need rubber boots!

We're still getting guests arriving without rubber boots.
Believe me, you need them!
You need them to fit under your excellent raingear which you've remembered to bring.
You need them to get into your boat so you can bail out the rain water.
You need them to navigate the muddy yard.
You need them for the traction they give going up and down the hill to the boat.
It's been raining for the last couple of days and it looks like it's going to continue for most of the week. That means there has only been one week (last week) where it didn't rain in the past month or so.
The lake is flooded. There are creeks rushing into the lake where there were never creeks before.
The ground is soppy and slippery.
Who knows, maybe next week will be hot and sunny again. We all hope that's the case. But if it stopped raining today the lake would continue rising for more than a week just from the runoff.
It is now about 10 inches above our new boathouse dock and is rising about 1/2 inch a day.
So, yes, you really do need rubber boots.
Photo above was taken Friday and shows our former parking area in the town of Red Lake. Obviously we are no longer parking there. Instead we are parking at a friend's house (high on a hill) and are using the Government Dock.
The lake is now 3-4 feet higher than normal.
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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Meet at the Government Dock in Red Lake

Our usual dock and parking lot in Red Lake are flooded.
For that reason we will meet guests at the Government Dock instead. It is found by turning right at the traffic light and proceeding to the turnaround in the road. The turnaround is the Government Dock.
The water is still rising here even though it has been a beautiful, sunny week.
The lake is now about 3 feet above normal for this time of year.
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Finally, it quit raining for a couple days

We are about drowned here at camp.

It rained so much the last few weeks that the lake rose about 18 inches including six inches one night alone last week!

Through a herculean effort Ben and I had managed to finally get the new metal roof on the motor shed and deck portion of the boathouse and a couple of days later the lake rose over the new dock. That would be the dock we just built this spring to ensure that it would always be above water. It was made a foot higher than the highest water we had ever seen in the past 30 years.

It something like the past five weeks we didn't have more than one sunny day at a time, until today! Yesterday and today were sunny and hot. The lawn, which has resembled a swamp for the past month, even dried up enough that you can walk around in shoes instead of knee high rubber boots.

The forecast is for at least another couple days of sunshine.

In related news, guests arriving this Saturday should meet the camp boat Lickety Split at the Government Dock and not at our usual dock at Red Lake Marine.

The usual dock and parking lot are under water.

The Government Dock can be found by turning right at the traffic light and proceeding to the turnaround on Howey Street. The turnaround is the Government Dock.

Dan will take you to a different location to park your vehicle.

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Friday, August 7, 2009

Use regular dock; no phone, e-mail Sunday

Despite the flooded conditions our regular dock at Red Lake Marine worked OK for guests departing Friday.

So we will continue to use that site for incoming guests Saturday and Sunday.

Wait until the Lickety Split has arrived before loading the dock cart.

The dock is floating above its foundation and will sink if more than a couple of people walk on it.

For this reason, load the cart on the land and let Dan pull it out to the boat.

Make sure you have your rubber boots on when you prepare to get in the Lickety Split.

You will need them not only to get out on the sinking dock but also to navigate around camp.

The ground is wet, muddy and slippery.

We've had more than 50% above-normal precipitation in July. Forecast looks good for this week but after a month of almost continuous rain we will believe the predicted days of sun and hot when we see them.

In other news: the power will be turned off in Red Lake all day Sunday, Aug. 9. This means there will be no telephone or e-mail that day, both in town and at camp.

Incoming guests, we will meet you at Red Lake Marine as scheduled.
Sobey's Supermarket will also be closed on Sunday due to the power outage so if you need snacks pick them up down the road or at one of the gas stations in Red Lake which are usually open during scheduled power outages.

Photo shows scene at the dock early Friday morning. The lake rose nearly a foot last week, including 6 inches one day alone.

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dock in town is flooded

Our dock and part of the parking lot in Red Lake is flooded due to all the heavy rain we have had the past month.
I was able to use the dock Wednesday by wearing rubber boots.
For incoming guests I would suggest they also get their rubber boots out once they get to Red Lake. At this point we will still plan on meeting incoming guests at the usual dock between Red Lake Marine and McTaggart's Store. However, depending on our experience in using the dock tomorrow (Friday) with outgoing guests, we may need to divert to the Government Dock.
I won't know if that is necessary until Friday afternoon when I return from town.
So, at this point we will plan to meet at our usual dock. It would be a good idea for incoming guests to call camp Friday evening. The numbers are 807-727-0439 and 727-2730. You can also always find out if there has been a change in dock plans by asking at Red Lake Marine.
If we do end up using the Government Dock it is found by turning right at the traffic light and going to the turnaround at the end of the street. The turnaround is the Government Dock. There is no parking for vehicles there so it would mean driving back to Red Lake Marine to park.
There are no wagons at the Government Dock so this will mean all luggage will need to be carried out to the dock.
Due to the rainy weather I would suggest not unpacking your vehicle until the Lickety Split has docked. This holds true whether we use our regular dock at Red Lake Marine or the Government Dock.
We can also expect that our pickup times are going to be later than normal as it will take longer to load and unload the boat.
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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Yes, you can catch walleyes on a fly rod!

We've had many people catch northern pike on fly rods over the years but this is the first time I've heard of people catching walleyes.

In this photo Pat Godin, father of our staffer Ben, shows a nice walleye he took on a fly rod.

In other news, it finally quit raining! There is sun of some sort in the forecast the next five days.

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