Monday, January 30, 2017

More August-caught walleyes from last year

Brothers Chris and Mike Hellem caught some nice walleye during the first week of August last season. Chris sent along these shots of two 26-inch fish they caught and released.
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Saturday, January 28, 2017

The curious case of the blond bear

This very light-coloured bear has been seen several times

Normal black bear. Both photos taken last year by Tom Tauscher
For several years now our guests have spotted a very blond bear near camp. I'm not going to identify the location but all of the sightings have come from the same place.
The photo at top is the best so far. Tom Tauscher took this shot last year and also saw another bear in a far different location.
The first couple of anglers that saw the blond bear a few years ago thought it was a golden retriever swimming; that's how light-coloured it is. It wasn't until the animal got out of the water they realized it was actually a small bear.
The most common colour variation of the black bear is brown, also called cinnamon. This would be an extremely light cinnamon.
Tom was struck by how buoyant the blond bear was. Compare how much of its body is sticking out of the water compared to the black bear he also photographed.
My nephew, Mac, and his wife, Susan, were fishing last summer when they could hear a snorting sound coming from the shoreline. Realizing it was coming from an animal they moved closer with the boat and finally spotted the little blond bear up in the top of a very large tree. The snorting sounds were coming from the ground at the base of the tree and although they never got a clear look they guessed that there was another bear on the ground. It would seem it had treed the smaller bear.
Bears are very territorial and will run off or even kill other bears that invade their area.
I once saw this very thing happen. I was fishing when a small bear came tearing down the shoreline. About the time he went out of sight another, larger, bear came galloping along, right on the other bear's trail.
Tom also forwarded along the great photo of fellow angler Joe Peterson with a 38.5-inch pike he caught and released. It was just one of many big fish the group caught last summer.

Joe Peterson with beefy 38.5-inch northern pike caught and released
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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Inspirations for photography and art everywhere

I photographed the Common Loon and chick, above, and the Great Blue Heron, below, on either sides of the boat one day while fishing in Hall Bay last July

Blue Flag or wild irises can be seen on floating bogs and marshes mid-summer

Pink Ladyslipper or Moccasin Flower is an orchid found mostly in June on mossy shores

Charles Howard captured this misty scene in Pipestone Bay in September

Black Spruce grow out of the moss in this photo by Lonnie Boyer in August

While most people who come to Bow Narrows Camp do so for the fishing, a bunch also have their eyes open for photographic opportunities. Subjects are everywhere: trees growing out of the thick spaghnum moss that covers the glaciated rocks, birds swimming on the pristine lake or wading around the ends of weedy bays, cotton-ball clouds floating on bluer-than-blue skies, hot-pink sunsets, gorgeous wildflowers.
The blog is full of incredible shots by people who dropped their fishing rods and grabbed their cameras. I'm amazed that we don't get more folks who come just for the photography or for the chance to put up an easel on a rocky island and capture the scene in watercolours. Is there an artist in your family?
They might also like to get off by themselves in our sea kayaks or canoes. Teenagers, in particular, seem to like taking adventures of this sort.
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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Oh man! When fish totally inhale a lure

Lure with two sets of trebles looped around fish's gills
We all like to catch fish but we never want to see a fish hooked like this -- the entire lure with two sets of treble hooks inside a fish's mouth.
I was the unlucky guy who caught the pike in the photo above. The lure is one of Dwayne Kotala's handmade wooden lures, in this case a wooden Red Belly Dace in a shallow diver model.
This is where a lot of people would get out the jaw spreaders before trying to extract the hooks from the fish's gills. I didn't have jaw spreaders in this instance and might not have used them even if I did because the fish was quite small. Instead I turned the fish over on its back and flared out its gill covers. The lure was plainly visible from that angle. I pulled it gently backwards out through the gills until not only the lure but the entire leader had cleared the fish, then I cut the line.
This is often a better technique when dealing with two sets of treble hooks rather than going down from the top of the mouth. No sooner do you get one treble set unhooked and begin working on the second than the first has hooked into something again.
This fish was released unharmed.
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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Sometimes the best walleye tactic is to do nothing

Check out this chunky walleye Larry Pons caught on a perfectly calm day
Two posts ago we talked about a technique to catch northern pike when the lake is like a mirror. But what about fishing for walleye? Windless days and flat water are considered death for walleye angling too.
I remember asking one fisherman what he had seen on his fishfinder on a calm, sunny day in a spot where the previous breezy day he had caught dozens and dozens of walleye.
"Nothing but tumbleweeds," he replied.
The natural tendency for anglers when things aren't going well is to get even-more aggressive in their search. The usual thing is go deeper and deeper with the idea that sunlight won't be as bright way down there. That does in fact work but it is difficult to fish so far down, and also bringing up a fish from deeper than 30 feet stands the chance of killing it, just from the change in atmospheric pressure.
Some successful flatwater anglers, however, do just the opposite. They get less and less aggressive until finally they come to a standstill. They stop trolling entirely and switch their usual trolling gear for a splitshot and a floating jighead. They pitch this out, let it sink to the bottom, pull out a little more slack line so that it lays on the surface and they wait.
It is a bad idea to lay down your rod against the side of the boat while you are waiting. The reason is movements in the boat can cause the floating jighead and its wriggling worm or leech or minnow to suddenly lurch upwards. You want the whole thing to stay as motionless as possible except for the bait making its distress movements. After awhile, the slack line begins to move and you know you have a fish at the other end and can set the hook.
What are you seeing on the fishfinder while this is going on? Usually nothing at all unless it is tumbleweeds! There can be a couple of reasons for this. One is that the fish are absolutely plastered to the bottom and the graph simply sees them as bottom. But the other thing that can be happening is in silent, flatwater conditions the fish are spooked by your boat. It can be the sight of it but certainly any movements or sounds alert the fish to your presence.
Why are fish so reluctant to bite on a still, sunny day anyway? I have a theory about this.
I think what is going on here is the exact opposite of why fish are especially aggressive and active on cloudy, windy days. Let's look at the second scenario first.
When it is windy the waves send the light beneath dancing in all directions. There also might be dirt stirred up by the waves and when you put it all together, visibility is very much reduced.
Then there is the sound and just all the movement of the waves. It is chaotic.
It is probably impossible for minnows to calculate where a predator might be. They can't see it; they can't feel it coming and they can't hear it. In other words, this is a hunter's dream. And so the predatory fish -- the hunters -- seize the moment and attack.
Now what about the opposite condition. In calm, clear water conditions the baitfish know exactly where the predators are and act accordingly. It is just about impossible for the hunters to get anything, so they don't even try. Why waste your energy?
Now back to the splitshot and floating jighead with a wriggling worm on it. If this outfit is jerking all around as if it was being jigged, it could seem likely to a fish that there is little chance of approaching it before it takes off. If it just continues to sit there as the fish moseys closer, the bait eventually is eaten.
That's my theory.

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

A 'whale' caught on a thread and a prayer

John Overbeeke with enormous pike caught and released

Here is the photo of the monster pike caught on a 3/8 jig tipped with a minnow. We were fishing for walleyes at one of our favorite spots we call the "beaver house." I had an ultralight pole with a monofilament leader when this fish hit! I certainly should not have landed it with the light tackle I was using.  Rob Kinzenbaw was able to net the fish in one swoop after he emerged from under the boat. Notice that we were still using the older style landing nets. The rest is history and memories of a great catch!  We took photos and returned this great fish for future anglers to enjoy. Probably one of the most colorful and vibrant pike I have ever caught, obviously very healthy.
John Overbeeke

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Today's blog posting is a milestone

Today's posting is Number 1,000 since the blog was started back in 2007.
That makes, on average, about 10 postings a month or one every three days over 10 years.
There are dozens of postings on just about every topic. Just plug in a search term in the little window at the top and see how many items come up. Remember to hit Older Posts at the bottom of each screen.
In the decade of both the blog and our website there have been over a million page visits.
The blog is actually a collaboration between me and our guests and anglers. They provide almost all the fishing photos, for instance, and pass along tips on hot lures and techniques. They are also the people behind the cameras that capture the great wildlife photos out on the lake.
Everybody give yourself a pat on the back! Job well done!
Some of the postings from years ago are still getting comments. Check out Detty's Fish Gripper and its extensive comments.
There are also some postings that have permanent links on other websites. Wood-burning stove companies, for example, are linking to Top-down Method of Lighting a Fire. And some nature websites are linking to Dock or Fishing Spiders are Nothing to Fear.
A museum in Saskatchewan once asked if it could reproduce one of the blog's photographs. See Moose-hide Moccasins Best for Snowshoeing.
Mostly the blog is read by anglers from Canada and the U.S.
Thanks to everyone who gave me encouragement to keep it going over the years and whose comments help get everyone involved.
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Monday, January 16, 2017

What, how and when to use surface baits for pike

Mike Parenzan used Live Target Walking Frog in early spring

Scott Ballantyne used Rapala Skitter Pop in mid-summer
When the wind drops and the water turns to glass it is conventional wisdom that fish don't bite.
Well, I'm here to tell you that advice is just so much tripe. This is the ideal time for a thrilling, action-packed fishing adventure!
Grab some surface lures and take off for northern pike fishing. You better be ready for fish to come sailing right out of the deep, doing flips, swirls and other airborne antics. This is not going to be for anglers with faint hearts. You are going to laugh, scream and sometimes, when the action happens right next to the boat, move toward the center and instinctively keep your fingers away from the water.
Oh, and by the way, be ready to catch some of the largest northern pike you have ever seen. There is something about surface lures that triggers the strike-impulse in big, old, heavy pike.
Before we get started, let us define "surface lures." These are plugs, mostly, that stay on the surface when retrieved. They are not "floating lures" which dive under but if given enough time will eventually float back up.
Surface lures are going to leave a wake as they are retrieved. They are also going to make sounds like popping and splashing. They imitate something either swimming on the surface or in dire distress.
These things could be frogs or mice or wounded fish.
Lots of these lures are made for bass fishing. That's fine. Northern pike don't care what they were made for; they're going to hit them with the same ferocity as made-for-pike-and-musky baits.
But I've got to stop right here for a moment. I have already mentioned a four-letter word that itself triggers some kind of reflex in humans. That word is F-R-O-G. There, I've said it again. Are you visualizing a beautiful painted rubber frog being skipped across lily pads, its upturned hooks sliding right through the weeds without hooking a single one, its cleverly designed twin rubber skirts looking exactly like frog legs kicking behind? Or maybe it actually has plastic or rubber legs, just kicking perfectly as you pull it through the water? Is this what you're thinking about? Of course it is! That is the reflex I was talking about. Well snap out of it!
This is why you've never caught many pike with surface baits before -- because you always fished with rubber frogs. Of all the surface lures that you could use for northern pike, the worst, the least effective, the one that is least likely to catch a fish, is the rubber frog. Of course it has caught a few fish; even a clothespin with a hook attached will get an occasional pike; so the fact you once caught a pike on a rubber frog after a thousand attempts isn't any recommendation.
Open your tackle box right now and fish out your rubber frogs. Pull the hooks out of them and give them to the cat to play with or stick them in the mouths of the mounted fish on the wall. Just make sure you aren't going to be tempted next summer to try them, again, without success, again.
The rubber frog reflex actually has two parts. One is the cute, almost-perfectly imitated frog itself. (News flash! The fish don't see the part you are looking at, the top with the eyes and spots. They just see the plain-featured bottom.) The other problem with the frog is the rest of the mental picture you painted. Remember the lily pads?  
When you put the rubber frog on your line you immediately looked for the nearest group of lily pads or immense weedbed that is clogging up the end of some shallow bay. You are drawn to these spots almost hypnotically. Frogs -weeds. Frogs -weeds. Frogs ...
Pike like weeds, sure, but the weeds don't have to be so thick you could almost walk on them. In fact, as the summer progresses and the weeds grow the heaviest weedbeds in the shallow spots make the water oxygen-depleted. Tiny fish can live there but probably not the ones you are looking for.
The best pike spots anytime except for the first couple weeks of the season are going to be where underwater weeds grow. These can be anywhere there is some soil on the bottom. The deeper the weeds the better. In fact you might not even be able to tell they are there unless you hook them which isn't going to happen with surface lures. So the point is, use your surface lures everywhere, around rocks and reefs, around logs, along sections of shoreline with no visible weeds.
Use them in exactly the same places you would fish with any other lure! Just do it when the water is calm or nearly so, like mornings and evenings and days with little or no wind.
Now, for surface lures that actually work -- no RUBBER frogs!
There are a bunch of lures that go by the generic description of "jerk baits" that are excellent. These are generally torpedo-shaped plugs with no lips to impart wiggling or diving action. The most famous of these is the Zara Spook. It works wonderfully but so do some no-name imitations. However, you generally get what you pay for and the Spook, although a little pricey, is excellent.
My favourite jerk bait has a name that I hesitate to mention. It is the Live Target Walking -- and here I suggest you sit on your hands and turn your back away from the nearest patch of lily pads -- Frog.
I'll repeat it, the Live Target Walking Frog. Holy cow does this thing work!
It is not made of rubber. It doesn't have two upturned hooks and it isn't weedless (aka fishless).
It isn't even shaped much like a frog but rather like a banana. Admittedly it is painted like a frog.
With the Spook or Walking Frog, you cast it out and it floats on the surface. You reel your line up until there is just a little slack and give your rod tip a jerk (hence the jerk bait name). The lure zigs right. You reel up again and with just a little slack left, give the line another jerk. The lure zigs left. Experiment until you get the rhythm correct and the lure is zig-zagging all the way back to the boat. In the case of the Walking Frog, it zig-zags and hops on each jerk.
These lures not only leave a wake on the surface as they are retrieved, they also splash and that seems to be part of the attraction.
They do not need to be painted in frog patterns although those indeed do work. What if you were trying to imitate a dying fish? Silver (shiners, tulibee, whitefish, suckers)? Orange (perch)? Gold (walleye). Blue also works but I'm not sure what it might look like. Black works too and might be the best for silhouette when seen from below.
Another surface lure that works for pike is the popper. Long, skinny poppers might be better than short, fat ones. The Rapala Skitter Pop caught a bunch of pike for one group at camp last summer. They were absolutely sold on it.
With these you jerk your rod tip and it makes the lure "chug" along the surface.
Then there are the lures that make a commotion when retrieved steadily. Many of these have a propeller of some kind involved.  The buzz bait is one such lure. It doesn't float but moves to the surface as it is retrieved, then churns away making both a wake and a lot of sound.
The Jitter Bug is another example of a noisy floating lure. It has a lip that makes the lure thrash back and forth when retrieved.
The key to using surface lures, at least at first, is to pick calm water conditions to try them. Once you have caught some fish this way you will be "hooked." It is so much fun watching pike come flying out of the water that it is difficult to fish any other way.

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Friday, January 13, 2017

Jim Paishk: pipe maker, master storyteller

Jim Paishk making soapstone pipes in the doorway of Old Cabin 10
Whenever Old Jim started a sentence with "Seebada" you knew a great story was soon to follow.
Jim Paishk was the most elderly Ojibwe or Anishinaabe man ever to work at Bow Narrows Camp. Jim was born on the north shore of Pipestone Bay but the exact date was uncertain. He appeared to be an elderly man when he started working at camp in the '60s and he worked with us off and on, I believe, until his death in the early '80s.
He was a favorite fishing guide, as much for his story telling as his ability to find fish, especially lake trout.
Although his exact age may not have been known, his life experiences told you he had been around a long time. For instance, Old Jim remembered seeing a white person for the first time. "All the kids ran and hid. We were scared," he once said.
He also remembers that his father's gun was a muzzle loader and that curious fact came up in one of his stories.
"Seebada, one time Big Albert was heading to his trapline in the fall. (Big Albert was Jim's brother.) He was just getting ready to carry his canoe over the long trail from Pipestone (Bay) when he sees a big bull moose right next to the trail. Big Albert wanted to shoot that moose because he needed meat for the winter but he couldn't because he had no shot for his gun (a muzzle loader). He had powder but no shot.
"Growing right beside the trail were pin cherry trees that had lots of cherries on them. So, Big Albert thinks maybe the cherry pits would act as shot and grabs handfuls of them and rams them down the barrel. He shoots and there is a big cloud of smoke." Here Jim would often start laughing so hard he had to wipe tears from his eyes with his handkerchief. Eventually he would regain his composure.
"When the air cleared the moose was gone. So Big Albert just carried his canoe over the trail and went to his trapline cabin.
"In the spring he comes back the same way and when he carries his canoe back down the trail to Pipestone he sees something moving. It is a tree! It is a pin cherry tree growing out of the side of a moose!"
Old Jim might tell you this and other "Big Albert" stories while he carved soapstone pipes. The soapstone came from the shore of Pipestone Bay. He was the only person I knew who made such pipes and from what I have found out since, he was the last person to do so on Red Lake. Pipestone Bay, just north of Bow Narrows Camp on Red Lake, got its name from this activity. Ojibwe people would traditionally come there to get the stone for pipes. Yet no one but Jim still had the skill to do it by the 1960s.
I don't know Old Jim's Anishinaabeg name and this is a pity because it is how Red Lake elders today would remember him. He did also have the name Peepsite. That had come from when he was either a boy or young man and shot at what he thought was a moose. It turned out to be his father's black hat but the bullet luckily passed above the old man's head. The incident scared Jim so much that he never shot a gun after that.
Old Jim was a kind, grandfatherly man who would always go out of his way to help and befriend children.
When I was a boy I would often ask the Ojibwe guides for the "Indian" names of things as we all sat at the table for supper. One time I asked a question which nobody seemed to be able to answer.
Finally someone said, "You should ask Jim, he speaks High Indian."
High Indian was apparently the old form of the Ojibwe language. Although some of the men at the table were in their 50s and maybe even as old as 60, none of them spoke it. But Old Jim did.
As I remember it, the question I asked was if any of the guides had ever seen a Sasquatch. They discussed this in Ojibwe among themselves and finally Old Jim said something. One of the younger guys turns to me and said, "Yes."
I was thrilled and was going to ask for more details when the man added, "It's an owl."
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Thursday, January 12, 2017

A neat and fast way to boil water with little fuel

I fire up the Kelly Kettle for some tea during my daily snowshoe with Cork

Flames shoot right out from the top just with a handful of bark and twigs

Nearly half a gallon of water boils in just five minutes
For years I have looked at Kelly Kettles in sporting goods stores and thought how clever they were. Now, thanks to a Christmas present, I'm getting to try the kettle out for myself.
The kettle is basically a double-walled chimney with a separate pan-like base. The chimney has a hole with a plug on the outside that allows you to pour in water. When you build a fire in the base pan the fire is sucked by convection up through the chimney and heats the water between the walls all around.
My kettle holds 1.6 liters of water (just about the same in U.S. quarts at 1.7) or nearly half a U.S. gallon.
Using a handful of birch bark and four sticks about the size of a pencil and as long as my forearm I can bring this water to a boil in five minutes.
You can also cook on top of the kettle but that requires accessories. I wonder how successful it would be to fry something on top of what basically is a blowtorch. You can also cook on the base pan, again with accessories. This is just tiny, however, and I would guess you would need to continuously lift your pan to add more sticks.
At any rate the ability to boil water in just a few minutes is really handy. If you were canoeing or hiking and had freeze-dried meals that just need to be combined with boiling water, this outfit could be just the ticket.
It burns any kind of small wood, like small branches and pine cones, even grass.  It not only works in the wind but works even faster. Just point the draft hole toward the wind and you have the equivalent of a bellows.
It would be a great way to purify water. You can boil up water in nothing flat, then pour this into a container to cool and use later.
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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

More big fish and a special tiny one from August

Jason Williams with 40.75-inch pike caught and released

Jason with 27-inch walleye

Jerime Williams with 38-inch northern pike

Jerime with the first stocked lake trout our anglers have caught

Jerime with a 14-inch stocked lake trout
Brothers Jason and Jerime Williams had a heck of a trip to camp last August. Not only did they boat their personal bests on northern pike and walleye, they also set a record for the camp on lake trout. They were the first Bow Narrows anglers to catch and release trout that had been stocked through the MNRF stocking program. The 23-inch trout and the 14-inch trout shown above are both missing a fin. The MNRF clips a different fin each year from the trout that have been raised in a hatchery from eggs harvested from Red Lake wild trout. It's a different fin that is clipped each year so the location of the missing fin plus the length of the fish identifies when it was planted.
The 23-inch fish was probably released as an 18-month-old fingerling in 2012 at the east end of Red Lake. The 14-incher would have been stocked in the Potato Island basin in the west end in 2014.
We are expecting an explosion in lake trout numbers in the next few years from all the stockings in the past decade plus natural regeneration that is now taking place. Fishing regulations require all lake trout in the Red Lake water system to be released while this species rebuilds.
Jerime's 38-inch northern pike provided a special thrill.
"The pike Jerime is holding was not caught on a lure. It attacked and would not let go of the small pike that was caught on his lure. It held on during the entire fight, and even pulled drag when it saw the boat the first time. The second time he got it to the boat the big pike let go, but I had already got the net under it. That is the second time I have seen pike attack and try to steal smaller fish that are hooked," writes Jason.
All of the fish above were released.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

This evening chore is mostly just a lot of fun

Me, outside worker Steve Merritt and Cork, the wonder dog. Lonnie Boyer photo
A "chore" that I always enjoy at camp is emptying the fish guts on a rocky island after supper each day. Steve Merritt, our outside worker last year and set to return in 2017, seemed to like it just as well and we often went together. Cork, of course, is in heaven during these trips. They've got just about everything a dog dreams about: a boat ride, smelly fish guts, squawking gulls and enormous eagles.
If you want to get some close-up photos of the birds, let us know and you can ride along. You can also follow with your own boat although the birds are more suspicious of this. As long as you don't get closer to the rock than we normally do, they will usually tolerate you.

The big guys are hungry!
First into the rock are the herring gulls
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Monday, January 9, 2017

'Last one in is a rotten egg!'

Nothing is as refreshing as a dip in the lake

Aidan Beyer with his great-grandfather Paul Brown at the West Red Lake mining museum
Now it is time to get some fish! Photos by David Brown
As we mentioned in the last blog, a great reason to come to Bow Narrows Camp in the middle of the summer is that you can go swimming. Here is the same group mentioned in the last posting taking a dip off the main dock.
We get lots of families with kids at camp and their trip gives the kids the opportunity to not only learn about fishing but to explore the outdoors.
Before Brenda and I came back to take over camp from my dad in 1992, we brought our two boys to camp for a week each summer. Our youngest son was just a couple of years old when we started. We brought toys in the boat for them to play with but then also stopped for an extended lunch each day at a beach. The kids played on the beach and in the lake and our dog at the time, Lady, a black Lab, couldn't have been happier retrieving sticks and rolling rocks into the water with her nose. Brenda usually would suntan and read and I would eventually anchor the boat offshore and cast for pike. We might spend three hours at the beach before we packed up, fished a few more hours and returned to camp for supper.
In the evenings we would fish for a couple of hours but were also looking for wildlife like moose and beavers. One time we paddled right up to a cow moose by freezing every time she lifted her head out of the water and then paddling when she stuck it underneath to get the weeds she was feeding upon.
Camp also provides a time away from today's electronic media to let family members get to know each other better, especially grandparents and grandkids.
In the above photo Paul Brown is actually the Beyer twins' great-grandfather. That is really special.
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Friday, January 6, 2017

What is the fishing like in July and August?

Cory Garbers

Shana Van De Stroet

Either Dawson or Aiden Beyer

The Beyer twins, Dawson and Aiden
Well, it's like these photos taken in mid-July, 2016, show. Walleyes and northern pike are biting great, the weather is wonderful and everyone is having a whale of a time.
A common concern we hear from anglers considering their first trip to Bow Narrows Camp is they are afraid the fish won't be biting if they come in the middle of the summer. That is a legitimate problem on lots of shallow lakes which simply get too warm by mid-summer. It is absolutely not the case on Red Lake.
Red Lake is a deep-water lake with some bays that are over 100 feet deep. These places never warm up and help cool the shallower bays where we do most of our fishing.
In fact, the fish get more and more active on Red Lake as the water warms. Some of the hottest action comes in the warmest months. But another thing to know is that Northwestern Ontario just never gets stifling hot weather. A hot day here is 80 F (26 C). I think most people would find that temperature to be about perfect.
If you come to camp from the first of July to about mid-August, you can comfortably go swimming off the dock and at the beaches around the lake. The rest of the time most of us find the water too chilly. Kids, on the other hand, will be in the lake from mid-June to nearly the end of August. It's as if they are having so much fun they don't even notice the water is cold.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

We need some more fishing photos

Yowsers! What a beautiful big pike.
This beautiful northern pike was caught by Troy Dean in mid-August. Photo was taken by Leo Dean.

Taxidermists should study this shot and note the subtle pink and blue hues on the sides of this big fish.
I have just about exhausted the photos our anglers sent me this summer. If you are a Bow Narrows guest and have some shots from last year or even recent years, I would appreciate it if you e-mailed me some. Everyone likes to see great fishing shots. We're also looking for some new ones for the website. They don't all need to be of lunkers. Action photos are always great. We can always use scenery and boating shots too.
Make sure you identify the people in the photos.
The picture above was actually a print which I scanned. It turned out pretty darn good, didn't it? So if you have prints rather than electronic images, send those. Send to our winter address:
Bow Narrows Camp
RR 1 Old Mill Rd.
Nolalu, ON  P0T 2K0

Thanks for your help. Lots of people enjoy reading this blog and most of the credit for it belongs to our guests. They are the ones who supply the majority of images and also pass along tips and stories.

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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Things are hopping here in the North

I finally got some trail camera photos of snowshoe hares. In the past they have hopped right through my trail camera spots without setting off the cameras. This time I set the cameras just two feet off the ground and sure enough they clicked.
There are lots of "bunny" tracks this winter. That is usually all you see because it is very difficult to see a white bunny against the snow.
These "rabbits" are so confident in their camouflage that they will sit perfectly still sometimes even when you are close. I once saw two dogs run within a few feet of a sitting rabbit without it moving.  When it isn't trying to blend in, however, the bunnies hop all over the place and I think this too helps throw off some predators, like foxes. By hopping all around the rabbit spreads its scent everywhere. It can be impossible to pinpoint exactly where the rabbit currently is sitting.
Other than foxes, the major predators of bunnies are lynxes and owls. Both of these creatures hunt strictly by sight. If the bunny doesn't know they are around and moves, it's a goner.
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