Morning dawns at Peffley's Wilderness Camp

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Great summer passing, fall approaches

It's been another fantastic summer here on Wabaskang with some exceptionally delightful weather with only a few really hot days. It has been very dry with little rain to deal with, plenty of sunshine and a long extended period of light winds perfect for fishing.

Water temperatures after peaking at about 76 degrees are back down to around 70 now with the cooler nights we have had in the past week and the lake level is down significantly (about 2 feet) from our spring time high water level. The water is still above average for this time of year, but certainly very manageable compared to the Spring levels.

We wrapped up July with some excellent fishing and several more groups taking advantage of the Military Discount we offer. It's great to be able to say thanks to our veterans. We continue to get much accomplished here around camp, and while not tackling any major projects this season, we have been able to check off many of the "maintenance" items on my list. We still have plans to finish a complete rebuild of our roadside landing as this year's high water took it's toll and at this point it will be easier to rebuild than repair. I will post some pictures here or on our Facebook page when we get it all done.

With August here we will also be turning our attentions to bear baiting as we will soon have hunters in camp to compliment a full camp of fishermen. It's amazing to think but during the whole month of August we will only have two groups fish with us for the first time! Every other group are annuals or at least a party that has fished with us in the past throughout the years. That August fishing on Wabaskang must be holding up pretty well!

Only five weeks remaining in what has been another outstanding season for us here at camp. We look forward to a strong finish and hope to keep you updated again soon. Here are just a few of the family fishing trip pictures sent to us during July.
They say diamonds are a girl's best friend, but I think in this case it's a big walleye

Apparently smallmouth are too...

Even little walleyes can bring a BIG smile to a girl's face

Oh, and they tend to make the boys smile too

Of course Dad's smile over big ones...

...and Mom's too

Kellie McVay proves northern can bring big smiles 

And John McVay thinks big smallmouth are "awesome"

Michael Payne would have loved to smile for this picture but his big 41" northern was just too heavy to lift and smile at the same time.

There's the smile. Despite the right foot in a protective boot that had them wondering if they might have to cancel their trip. Boy, were they glad they didn't!

Right, Dad? Jason Payne with his own big fish.

Michael wasn't satisfied with this 37" northern from early in the week, so he went out and got the 41" fish above.

Grant and Rachel were thrilled to be on the trip with Mom and Dad for the first time this year.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Water levels receding and warming up

After several weeks of watching the lake level begin to fall, only to have it rain and start all over again, we have finally in the last 2 weeks, seen the lake level consistently start to drop. It has been much drier and warmer over the period, which also has our surface water temps back to around 70 degrees, resulting in more adult swimmers here in camp joining the youth that have been swimming regardless of water temps.

Speaking of youth, we finally have our whole gang here now with Megan (boyfriend in tow) and Sara arriving last weekend to join Emily and Allison who are in their fourth week of their stay. We've had a lot of kids in camp as usual again this season and also have had several groups take advantage of the July Military Discount that we offer to honor and show appreciation to the warriors who have and continue to defend our great nations. (Canada and the USA alike)

It's hard to believe that July is almost over. Soon we will be bear baiting and cutting wood for next season. Wow, hard to believe. Again, it seems like yesterday that we just landed via helicopter here in camp. Our tenth season is certainly shaping up to be another great one with lots of excellent fishing and a great blend of our camp veterans ranging in experience from 5-45 years, and new guests who we have enjoyed getting to know, many of whom are planning to return to see us again next season.

Pictorial speaking, here are a few highlights of the last couple of weeks...
Brian Buchanan with one of over 800 fish the Norman party caught last week

Jack Trufant also with the Norman party is all smiles over this big pike

J.D. Heisler showing that when they weren't hammering pike the smallmouth bite was quite entertaining too

Jack Trufant with another big pike from last week

John Heisler shows off yet another nice pike from the Norman crew

Allison taking advantage of the "under the dock" smallie bite

Yes, the walleye are still biting too.

Tyler and Wyatt get in on the under the dock smallie action

First timers in Dave Boender's crew show that not all the smallmouth live under the docks

Fran VanHoorweghe took about 20 minutes to catch this 36" northern last week from the narrows 

Randy Gaines caught a 34" northern on this Polish Plug given to him by a late friend. See the full story on our Facebook page.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Cool, damp and great fishing!

With already record or near record water levels, the last thing we needed was a damp summer, but so far that's what we have had. Fortunately, the rains have been somewhat scattered with many nice days between, but we just start to make progress on the lake going down and a decent rain pretty much puts us back where we started. July (so far) while typically warm and dry has been much cooler and damper than usual. Great for the fishing, just not what we need to get the water levels down.

Other than our unusual weather patterns, we continue to get much accomplished around camp including numerous little projects that have been on the "to-do" list for longer than I care to admit here! Two of the girls are here for their summer visit and by the end of this coming weekend all four will be here. Just in time to visit with many of their camp friends.

This week is week 9 of our season, so we will be kicking off the second half of our season this Saturday. Wow, hard to believe half the 2014 season is already over! Until the next blog, I will leave you with a few more pictures from the last couple of weeks.

One hungry walleye! Allison and I each hooked the same walleye while fishing together last week.

Matt and his father Steve with two nice chunky Lost Lake walleyes. Matt is the third of Steve's boys to make the trip to camp.

Matt with a gorgeous Lost Lake walleye. Love it when those 'eyes flare up and pose for a great picture!

Chuck and Mark with two typical Wabby footballs.

Jason and Chuck with another Lost Lake doubleheader.

Joan Lambrecht with a good looking walleye from late June

No stranger to big fish, Matt Tester with another pig walleye

Speaking of's this to start off your first fishing trip to Canada? Congrats again to Hans McDonald on a great looking northern!

Ralph Miller with his personal best 26" walleye about to go back in.

Warren Tester with a fat June walleye

Small mouth but big body. Gotta love these powerhouse fighters!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Happy Canada Day!

Perhaps it is hard to believe that July is here for you also? I know for us it certainly is. The month of June flew by as it usually does with camp full, and I apologize for the lack of updates but to be honest I find it much easier to post some info on our Facebook page than here on the Blog. I will however try to be more timely with future Blog updates.

So, what is new? Well after a very dry start to the month of June, the month finished very wet with a lot of rain. Not at all what we needed as we are near record high lake levels. As a result of the rains, we have seen water temps go from almost 70 degrees, back to 56 degrees, back to 66 degrees, down to 62 degrees, back up to 68 degrees and currently about 66 degrees in most main lake areas. Yeah, it's been a little variable to say the least. Remarkably, and despite the high water and temp fluctuations, we have very consistently had some excellent fishing again this season.

Two of the girls are here (Emily and Allison) for their summer visit and the other two (Megan and Sara) will be coming up later this month as both had other commitments at home to attend to.

Like every season, this year has presented its own set of challenges. From the high water, to some water and septic tank issues early in the season, to a hull repair on the passenger boat, it certainly has been unique so far this year. Thank heavens for the constants: lot's of great guests, great fishing, and many happy memories made while in camp. That is what it is all about!

While I have tried to share some photo highlights on our Facebook page, I will post a few more here. Camp will remain very busy in July with just a few openings and also an August opening (yes, that is right, there is an opening in August!) so if you are looking for a late season trip give us a call.

Until next time, and hopefully it won't be as long....

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Week 4 kicks off...

Gee, even I get tired of hearing it... but wow does time fly by. Hard to believe that week 4 of our 18 week season in already here. Not much has changed since our last post, fishing is still very good to excellent, the lake level remains extremely high despite very little rain and the weather overall remains beautiful. Still a hiccup or two with things in camp, but overall things are settling in nicely for the 2014 season.

I did finally get around to posting a handful of pictures in the website photo gallery. Not unlike anything else, sometimes just keeping the internet functioning completely in the wilderness is a challenge. There are many groups over the first three weeks that I didn't have a chance to snag any photos from, so if you are one of them, please send me a handful of them via email and I will get them posted.

Not many spots have opened up for the first three weeks of next year, but there are a few especially for the first and second weeks of the season 2015 (May 16-23 and May 23-30). Sure to be some excellent fishing, so if you can think that far ahead and want to get in on the action give us a call.

Until next time....

Sunday, June 1, 2014

What a start...

This blog's title could apply to many things. The weather, the water level, the camp start up "issues", the fishing, etc. In fact, it does apply to them all.

While helicoptering over icy Wabaskang Lake on our way to camp on Thursday, May 15, one thing was painfully apparent: The ice would not be out by Saturday morning. Honestly, seeing all the ice at that time had me wondering if it would even go out by opening weeks end. Remarkably, five short days later and there was no ice left on Wabaskang at all.

Since the season began the weather has been incredibly beautiful with lot's of sunshine, very little rain (thank heavens- see water level discussion below) and warm temps. Warm to the tune of several days in the mid 80's last week. Just last week alone the water temperatures rose from about 48 degrees at the beginning of the week to the low 60's by weeks end. As I said, the weather has been beautiful.

Our lake level remains very high despite very little rain so far this season. Enormous spring run-offs from huge winter snows have pretty much ensured that we will have plenty of water to work with this entire season. Right now we have more than enough and hope to see it start dropping soon.

Despite camp wintering very well overall, start up is never without it's share of issues and this year was no exception. Starting with a check valve going bad in the water supply line and then progressing to an issue with the pressure switch on the pump, our second week included several days just trying to keep the water on. Thanks to Steve at Tall Pines camp for loaning me a check valve until I could get to town.

As far as the fishing goes, it has honestly been really good. The first couple of days we could fish opening week (Tues and Weds) were a little slow, but with some sunshine on Thursday the bite really picked up and carried over into week two of the season which for several groups in camp was excellent. We also had some first timers in camp and as you would expect they struggled a little more to consistently put fish in the boat, but overall everyone did pretty well. That is with the exception of Gar Holcomb's crew as "pretty well" just doesn't do justice to the trip these guys put together. Five and a half men (Nolan, Jason's son is 11) managed to catch right around 1,500 fish for the week, most of which were walleye. As they shared their daily logs with me at weeks end what really impressed me was the number of trophy walleye included in their catches. I hope when they read this they correct me if I am wrong here, but I thought the number I heard was about 200 of the approximately 900 walleye they caught were >18".

Until next time...tight lines to all.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Ice gone, water high....

Little could we have know that after a late ice out last season and a full court press to get camp up and running, that just one short year later we would be going through the same fire drill. For some reason however, this year seemed just that much more difficult.

We were fortunate to get some east winds overnight on Sunday that shifted the ice off the near shore of the big lake allowing us a clear path to transport guests for the first time over the water and into camp to kick off the 2014 season early Monday morning. By end of the day Tuesday the ice was completely gone. I have posted a few pictures on our Facebook page of the flight in and as time permits will post more from opening week and the high adventure to get to camp and get it open.

We were very fortunate to have only minor damage around camp after such a brutal winter. The stove pipe cap on Cabin 1 blew off, the downspouts on cabins 1 & 2 were down and the gutter on the front of Cabin 3 was down. The beavers took a tree down on the deck of Cabin 1 breaking the deck railing, and took another tree down on a section of floating dock down on the lower lawn where they are stored for the winter, fortunately no damage there.

The real news as we progress into spring here is the high water levels. I can't remember a time during the ten years we have owned the camp that the water has been this high, and certainly never close to this level at the start of camp. If you are coming up in the next few weeks, be sure to arrive at the landing with your rubber boots or similar footwear on (or at least handy) as the permanent portion of the roadside dock is about flush with the water level.

I will try to get another blog done again soon to update everyone on the opening week of fishing, but if I don't then certainly I will get a report on the website.