Morning dawns at Peffley's Wilderness Camp

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

2010- A season of memories.....

Sandwiched between Don Strafford's 49th consecutive year in camp (opening week) and Jim Wertz's group first ever visit to Canada during week 19 of the season, was another incredible season of fishing, friendship, fun and memories at Peffley's Camp. New faces blended in with the regulars week in and out, to enjoy the splendor of the Canadian wilderness 12 miles from the roads left behind. They left their work and worries behind them to recharge their batteries in the peacefulness of the wild.....reconnecting with nature, friends and families in one of the last areas to remain untouched by the hands of man.

For some it was perhaps their last trip to camp, for many others it was the beginning of a new relationship and experience that will (like many before them) become a regular part of their lives. The setting is perfect for many of those, "wow, this is incredible" moments, the serenity ideal for those quiet reflective times and the action on the water always fast enough to keep the angling desires satisfied... in the whole, probably best summed up by many guests who were heard saying in camp: "what's NOT to like about this?".

For us, like our guests, it was a season filled with memories and great times in camp. Despite having to work "just a little bit" every day, we found it easy to be thankful for the beauty of our "office", and the great friendships developed with our guests during the season. Challenges and opportunities were present throughout the year to keep the job exciting as one thing is for sure-SOMETHING will develop every season that is a new challenge. In the wilderness, it's just another facet that keeps the "job" new and refreshing every year.

Many improvements were made to the camp again this year too. From our ongoing commitment to keep our fleet of Yamaha 4 stroke outboard motors all (almost) brand new, to more new comfortable cushioned boat seats-we continue to try to make time on the water as carefree and comfortable as possible. In the cabins- the first installment of new mattresses arrived this year (more to follow next year), the wood floors in several of the cabins were refinished this year, and small convenient nightstands were added to each of the bedrooms in camp. Cabins 2 & 6 also received the new hand-split cedar shake siding leaving only Cabin 1 remaining to be re-sided next season. The permanent dock in front of the motorhouse was re-built from the foundation up this year-- and next season the "master plan" includes the removal of THE RAMP as the gateway to camp which we plan to replace with a series of steps and platforms. Replacing the ramp will be almost like a changing of the guard-as the ramp has been a fixture of the camp FOREVER, but things change over time and the new "gateway" promises to be even safer, more comfortable and much more aesthetically pleasing.

We would be remiss if we didn't mention (as we get asked the question a lot) about Ray and Marilyn and whether they will be with us again in camp next year. We are extremely happy to report that YES, Ray and Marilyn do plan to be with us for the 2011 season, marking their fifth year anniversary as an integral part of the team that is committed to our guests overall satisfaction.

Finally we would like to once again say "THANK YOU" to all of our guests from last season. Without you, there would be no reason for us to "do what we do". Your loyalty and support of the camp is certainly very much appreciated as are the friendships we have developed in this our sixth season.

The annual camp Christmas letter will be in the mail before long and soon enough the May 21, 2011 opener will be upon us. Until next time, take care.

ps. Please note the blog slideshow: 2010-Remembering when.... is updated with many of your photos from throughout the season. If you have more that you would like posted here or on the website photo album, please email them to us.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A time to heal

My brother Gary, who some of you have met in camp through the years, had an opportunity to visit with me in camp at the end of the season this year. Diagnosed and having been treated for colorectal cancer the last year and a half had made a visit to camp last year impossible for him. Despite a nine year age difference growing up, I could always count on my BIG brother to not leave me (the "kid") behind, and we were very fortunate on short-notice to put an itinerary together that allowed for this visit.

Since camp was for all practical purposes shut down, and it was just the two of us, there wasn't a whole lot to do other than spend some quality time on the water fishing together. By his own admission, Gary isn't an "avid" fisherman, but he does certainly enjoy it and more importantly it provided an ideal setting to relax, recover and reminisce. As we did all that, we also found about four spots very near camp that we could count on to consistently produce good to excellent walleye action. Our time on the water, generally consisted of a couple of hours in the morning and a couple of hours in the late afternoon, with most days resulting in us catching about 20-30 walleyes a day, with some northern pike sprinkled in and the occasional hard-fighting whitefish. All said, we had a ball catching and releasing the fat, pre-winter walleyes mostly in the 16-18" range. Most days, I would have to say I caught the most fish, Gary however, caught the biggest of both species: walleye (20") and northern (30"), Neither fish HUGE by any standard, but then again it really wasn't about the fishing anyway.......