Morning dawns at Peffley's Wilderness Camp

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Anyone see October?

Wow, talk about a month flying by quickly! REALLY having a hard time wrapping my head around it being November 1 already. Finally after a month of being home and getting a little R&R, facilitating Megan's Sweet 16 birthday party (encompassing four days including a waterpark trip to Sandusky, OH), and Halloween-- I am trying to refocus on outstanding camp related issues so some fall fishing and deer hunting can find it's way onto the schedule!

We have also been working on finalizing the 2013 sport show circuit and have been giving consideration to adding a couple of shows in Rockford, IL and Cedar Falls, IA, as well as looking into some print advertising again this year which we just haven't done much of in the past. Although not finalized at this time, I think we will have some print ads in Midwest Outdoors magazine again this year in their special "Canada Fever" issues. We will also be working with our printers to get new rate sheets for the 2013 season printed for inclusion in our annual Christmas letter that will be rapidly approaching. It may not seem like much, but with a mailing list of well over a thousand past, present and future guests it's quite an undertaking to print, fold, stuff, post and mail the letter. Looking forward to providing you the one-page "wrap-up" of the entire 18 week operating season and of course making the announcement of this year's Catch & Release FREE trip winner for those who supported our fishery by releasing a trophy walleye, northern pike or smallmouth bass. If you are not on the mailing list and wish to be, just shoot us a quick email and we will be happy to add you.

Bookings for 2013 are looking good as of now and we anticipate another very busy season in camp. For those of you who may not have a reservation at this time there are some very PRIME weeks of quality fishing that still have limited availability including the first two weeks of our season and again in late August and early September which historically has been some of the very best fishing of our entire season.

Stay in touch with us via the website, email, our Facebook group or of course this Blog. Until next time, hope your fall season is enjoyable!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Another season passes quickly!

The title seems like such an understatement from my perspective as one day you are unloading your own gear, putting the docks, boats, motors etc. in the water, and in the blink of an eye you are turning around and getting everything in camp ready for the winter.

In between of course, there was a fair bit of work involved in running the camp on a day to day basis over the 18 weeks of the operating season. There was also quite a bit of incredible fishing during those 18 weeks also. Wabaskang Lake continues to live up to it's reputation as one of the premier walleye and pike fisheries in the region and with good reason! Long before September ended the "Walleye" section our Catch & Release board for the free trip to camp drawing was maxed out with guest releases of walleyes over 18". This despite many, many of our guests/groups not even submitting their entries for our drawing. As a final reminder, if you were in camp this season and had releases you still want to submit or some great photos of your trip-just email them to me and I will get them added prior to our late November drawing for next years FREE TRIP winner. I did recently update the photo gallery with a handful of new pictures from the August/September timeframe in camp, but I know many others have photos too, so please send them to me and I will be happy to add them.

Looking forward to seeing all of you again next season. Camp is booking up quickly as usual for next year so if you don't already have a reservation don't delay in being in touch with us too long! In the meantime, here are a few pictures from the end of the season.

Andy Augustine with a beautiful 29" walleye about to be released

Keith Augustine with a big pike from late August

Jim and Andrea Klett with a great looking August stringer of walleye

It only took Kenny Welsh one night in the stand to bag this beautifully coated bear

Jim Rutkowski (with Kenny Welsh above) took two nights to get his bear

Fall colors move in on camp near shut down time

September sunrise in camp...every bit as beautiful as the rest of the year

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Trout fishing...

"Rainbow" Trout that is. Chicago sports fans may remember left handed pitcher Steve "Rainbow" Trout, formerly of the White Sox and Chicago Cubs and who also played later in his 12 year major league career with the Yankees and Mariners. As a life long Cubs baseball fan, I remember Rainbow Trout as a key member of the magical 1984 Cubs team that won their division for the first time in 39 years. Rainbow started the season off by pitching a complete game against the Mets in an 11-2 Cubs win that kicked off their division championship run on opening day. He also pitched game two of the NLCS that year going 8.1 innings for the win against the Padres (basically the last happy moment of post season ball for Cubs fans that year).

So why all the baseball history? Just a little background on one of our guests this past week in camp. Not often we can boast about having a current or former professional athlete among our guests, but last week we sure could! What a great experience it was and I even had an opportunity to chat with Steve some about those years in the majors and specifically some memories of his years with the Cubs and about former teamates like Gary "Sarge" Matthews, Keith "Zonk" Moreland, Jody Davis, Ryne Sandberg, Ron Cey, Larry Bowa, Bobby Dernier etc. as we traveled to Dryden for some camp supplies. It was an awesome experience for the entire camp and Steve was kind enough to leave me with an autographed book he wrote entitled "Home Plate-The Journey of the Most Flamboyant Father and Son Pitching Combination in Major League History" as well as an autographed baseball.

Maybe it's the EASY boat ride to camp, the comfortable amenities like hot showers, flush toilets, electricity 24/7 etc., the serenity of our wilderness setting or simply the ability to easily and consistently fill a stringer with tasty walleye and northern pike that keeps them coming back.... A great case in point was Andy Augustine a camp regular who was able to join Mom and Dad (Esther and Keith) for one week of their three week stay. Andy fishing from his 21' Warrior boat released the following walleye: 29", 26", 24", 23", 22", four 21" and a 20". Not "just" a walleye fisherman, Andy also released 10 northern pike over 32" during the week with his biggest a 38" beauty. Not quite as good as last year in terms of HUGE fish when Andy released  44 1/2" and 44" beasts within a 24 hour period, but still a pretty darn good week by MOST fishermen's accounts.

Fall colors are coming on quickly now, bear hunters are in camp and the weather is still beautiful...looking forward to another three weeks of being busy in camp. Here are a few pictures to enjoy until next time.

Steve "Rainbow" Trout- thanks for memories!

Sally Lundy shows off one of hundreds of walleye caught during their August stay
Jim Pondo and a nice 39" northern

Hey big fella, it's past your bedtime.
I smell doughnuts here somewhere!
Smile for the camera...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Fourteen down, four to go....

As it always does, another season is flying by with us beginning the fifteenth week of our eighteen week operating season. With so much of the season past already, you might think that it's time to put things on "autopilot" and cruise through the last four weeks. Unfortunately that's just not the way it works with plenty more work to do with camp full of fishermen and starting next Saturday bear hunters. Bear baiting will help to keep us plenty busy around here in additional to the "normal" stuff. On a positive note, the very warm summer has kept our woodpile in pretty good shape so instead of three weeks in the bush cutting, hauling, splitting and stacking wood, we should be able to replenish what we need in about half that time. On the negative side, it looks as if the washing machine here in camp which we have been nursing all year, has finally spun it's last load and is headed to the dump.

There are still a few lingering projects from the summer also that we want to get the finishing touches on, including the last bit of siding here on the lodge which was delayed when those nasty bald faced hornets built a nest inside one of the walls. Note to anyone who has to spray those out they are fast as I found out on my first attempt to spray them. I thought I could get the spray straw in the opening in the wall, foam the heck out of them before they knew what hit 'em and be outta there. Turns out they must post a guard right out front as I didn't have one seconds worth of foam going when "the guard" was on the tip of my trigger finger and left me with a swollen right index finger about double the size of the left one and an ache that lasted all day. Man, do those little buggers pack a punch! Thankfully, they didn't send the whole nest to protect the queen! They may have won the battle, but I won the war, as I later re-armed myself with more foam insecticide and full body armor to give them the ultimate "foam bath of death".

The weather here has been variable with a short period of cooler nights now followed by a warmup with some temperatures in the low 80's again forecast for this week and lows only in the upper 50's. Not quite feeling like fall yet, but certainly better than the heat of the summer. Fall colors are starting to spread around the lake now also despite the continued warm weather which is a visual reminder that summer is fading. It is very beautiful here this time of year as the sun lights up the shoreline colors and they reflect off the water.

Well better go for now. Remember to check the website for the weekly fishing reports and to email us your pictures if you were in camp recently!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Transition time

In many regards it is just that. On a personal level, the transition relates to the recent return of the girls to the U.S. after a wonderful five week stay in camp. Lot's of memories and good times with their camp friends again this year. Certainly sad to see them go, but I know they miss their "home" friends too, and are also terribly excited about school starting up again. Right ladies? Well so much for that one.

Another notable transition is with the month change from July to August we are noticing a transition of our walleye fishing to deeper water structure. Of course, there are still many places where walleyes continue to relate to weedbeds making it very easy to "pick your poison" as far as how you want to approach filling your limit of walleye. Part of this transition is that the walleye have really been eager to use their tails. Yes, that's right they do move around and last week was a prime example as they were "here today, gone tomorrow" only to return the day after. For most everyone willing to keep moving around to find actively feeding fish they continue to do very well on numbers. For pike anglers, we are also transitioning into arguably the very best time of the season for trophy northern. Numerous fish over 40" have been caught the past several weeks, including back to back weeks with 45" monsters. The balance of the month should continue to provide some excellent big pike action.

There has also been a lot of camp "bonding" going on the past several weeks which is always great to see. It's not just the kids in camp that are making and maintaining friendships as we hear lot's of the adults talking to each other wanting to make sure that they are rebooking for the same week next year. Obviously the kind of talk we love to hear, and also great for the adults who look forward to renewing their camp friendships again next year. Tom Cellantani from Michigan and Dave Getsfried are two great examples as each of them brought their kids (Tom's son Anthony-11 and Dave's daughter Katrina-7) and had the opportunity to fish with the kids throughout the week and with each other when the kids preferred to hang in camp with the other kids. A joint outing to Lost Lake was certainly a highlight for the four of them, as it was a great day of adventure for all, and adding 60-70 walleyes for the day doesn't hurt when you are trying to keep the kids interested in fishing!

Part of the gang last week in camp. Jimmy Buffet sing alongs were pretty common.
We are looking forward to the last third of our season, as we will have many camp regulars in from now until shutdown, and they will be joined by a few new groups that will be experiencing the camp for the first time. Of course, the start of our bear hunting season isn't far off either so we will be looking forward to sharing some trail cam photos in upcoming blogs.  August is off to a great start and it should only get better. Until next time, here are a few pictures from the past couple of weeks.

Anthony, Tom and Allison with an impressive evening catch!

Tom Cellantani capped off a great week of fishing with this hefty 39" northern

Mark Buchanan with a monster 45" pike
Persistence pays off when perch fishing!
Best bait for big pike? Apparently 17" walleye if you are Joe Gonnering

Friday, July 27, 2012

Summer is heating up....

Although the title refers somewhat to the weather, as it does continue to be a little on the warm side here, it mostly refers to the fishing. The walleye have been biting at an absolutely torrid pace this week and the same can pretty much be said for the northern too, including at least two monster 45" fish the past two weeks. With water temperatures still in the upper 70's here, you might expect the fish to be a little more sluggish but that simply hasn't been the case. Can't wait for some cooler nights and to see how much better the fishing gets as water temps dip back into the 60's.

We are coming off of our slowest week of the entire season guest wise and it felt really good to have a slower week in camp and recharge a bit. With just a little extra time on my hands, I did manage to get the girls back to Lost Lake for a half day adventure and let them experience what I hoped was going to be a few great hours of walleye fishing. Lost Lake didn't disappoint as we fished for three hours and released a total of 45 walleyes with almost every one between 17-22". Throw in a few pike in the upper 20 inch range and some "eye-popping" jumbo perch and it certainly was a trip to remember. Little did we know that as the week wore on, every group of guests that we sent back to Lost Lake would make our catch seem paltry by the numbers they caught. Always nice to complement some excellent fishing here on Wabaskang with a great adventure trip and lights out walleye fishing.

CJ heading to the FLW podium...looking good!

Some of you may remember previous Blog or fishing report entries mentioning CJ Holbrook. CJ is the teenager from Roann, IN that was diagnosed about 5 years ago (at the age of 13) with lymphoma and we were able to work with the Make-a-Wish foundation to make his Canadian fishing trip wish come true. We are very thankful  to update that CJ's cancer remains in remission and that his family will be making their third trip to camp in the summer of 2013. CJ is looking great, has a new girlfriend I am told, and has started to do some professional bass fishing on the FLW tour. Young, handsome, healthy, a pretty girlfriend AND some fishing on the FLW tour....the sky's the limit. Good Luck on the tour CJ!

Just in case any of those bass fishermen want to get in on some great smallmouth fishing....

Well August will soon be upon us, hope everyone is having a great (albeit probably very HOT) summer. Camp is booking up quickly for 2013 so don't wait too long to give us a call if you are thinking about a trip next summer. Until next time-Good Fishing!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Catching up.....

Well so much for being more diligent in getting the Blog done, eh? Lot's of shady excuses to offer is busy, the girls arrived for their 5 week summer visit etc. The best one however, and it's really not even an excuse, is that our internet (via satellite) has been experiencing some "issues" and has only been working well the past couple of weeks early in the morning and again late in the day. If you have noticed a delay in me responding to any of your emails, that is probably why. It is also why the photo gallery updates are way behind.

With the annual golfing festivities behind us, camp moved forward in "normal" fashion. While it has been on the very warm and dry side here, it has been nothing compared to the oppressive heat much of the States has been experiencing. If you are looking for an escape, give us a call as there are still a very few openings this summer.

Fishing despite the bright sunshine, heat and a large mayfly hatch has been decent and getting better and better especially so far this week as guests are finding aggressive walleye throughout the day and easily catching limits. Pike fishing has remained good throughout the period and the smallmouth bite has bordered on the fantastic side with any of our guests who have targeted them reporting very good success with almost all the fish in the 3-4 pound range, and some slightly larger. Perch fishing has been on again/off again, but for those diligent enough to continually poke the weedbeds we have seen some nice baskets of BIG perch the past couple of weeks.
The Bushwood Country Club founders-Vinnie and the boys from Appleton

With the new deck completed on the lodge, we have moved on to putting the siding on. Although we have been slowed by the heat of the afternoon, we continue to make good progress and it won't be long and the lodge will look like the rest of the camp.

Ray "Happy Gilmore" Lockyer with his home made driver
Here are a few pictures to enjoy from the past several weeks in case you haven't seen some of them in the photo gallery. Speaking of which, if you were in camp and have some photos to share, please e mail them to me and I will do my best to share them with everyone and get them on the website.

Brian Lux with a beautiful 26 1/2" walleye he released
The VandeGriend's show that triple plays aren't just for baseball
The minnows arrive via floatplane. Always a hit with guests in camp.
Back in the day when it USED to rain here!

Father and son with a smallie double (Scott and son Micah)
Cody Weaver is all smiles over this smallmouth
Micah VandeGriend with a dandy 'eye

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Peffley's Camp a.k.a Bushwood Country Club

Well it's that time of year again, Vinnie and the boys from Appleton are in camp along with a full complement of other guests, and it's time for the annual long drive competition and closest to the pin contest. Big hitters and hacks alike will take their turn(s) for this year's bragging rights to see if they can unseat last year's champions. It's always a lot of fun with many laughs shared by all, and a great way to unwind after another great day of fishing. Of course this is all dependent upon the weather which we are promised is finally going to improve.

Speaking of the weather, that's been the story the past two weeks as abundant rains were upon us most of the early part of the week. We have had some relief yesterday (Tues) and although we have had very heavy cloud cover, so far today the rain has stayed away. The forecast for Friday thru next Tuesday is for sunshine and temps in the middle 70's which (if it holds up) will be a welcome relief, as finding even a small window to get on the lawn tractor and get the lawn mowed has been challenging. The lake continues to rise and is now up around two feet since the rains began a week and a half ago.

The rising lake level has also resulted in much cooler water temps as surface temps were approaching the mid-70's already just a short week and a half ago. Currently, surface temps are back in the low to mid 60's and although the water is a little dirtier than normal, fishing has been very good with many guests commenting "another great week".

Other projects around camp have been on hold with the frequent rains, but an improving forecast should get us back on schedule with this year's to-do list. Time permitting, I will try to post a few pictures of this year's golfing festivities.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Delayed (again)

Sorry for the lateness in getting a new blog entry out here. I had drafted one for the week of June 2-9, entitled "High Pressure, NO Stress" mentioning the incredible high pressure system we had that week that brought abundant sunshine, warm weather and an extremely calm lake almost all week. Problem is, I never got back to finishing it, and after this weeks weather (June 9-16) it sure isn't appropriate any more. Regardless, despite high pressure weather, it was low pressure fishing as we had another excellent week of fishing.

This past week, HOWEVER, saw low pressure systems one after another, move into the area bringing us abundant rainshowers. Not sure how much rain we got exactly, but enough to cause the lake to rise about 14" this week. So you get the idea. When a 15,000 acre body of water rises 14" in about 5 days--you've gotten quite a bit of rain. Other than being a pain in the butt to deal with it, it really didn't hurt the fishing much this week until about Tuesday-Wednesday when finally the rapidly rising lake and dirtier water from the downpours did start to damper the fishing. Even at that, guests complained very little about the weather, indicating to me that overall the fishing held up very well! Case in point-veteran camp guest Bob Stromberg had one of his worst "catching" trips ever in over 40 years of coming to the camp, yet his crew of four still managed to boat 357 walleye and northern for the week, despite losing a fair bit of fishing time to the weather.

We really needed the water for the lake levels so it's hard to complain too much, but now that we are "sitting pretty" water level wise, we are hoping the next couple of weeks will be significantly drier. Long-term forecasts however are indicating differently.

Die hard smallmouth fishermen, these guys were with us for only their second year ( in fact two of the guys were first timers) and had a smallmouth fishing trip bordering on unbelievable. In one day alone, the group of six intercepted smallmouth taking advantage of rapidly rising lake temperatures to get on their beds, and caught over 200 fish in one day! That's right, one day! Of course many of them were the 17-19" bronzeback bruiser variety with their big fish for the week a 19 1/2" gem. There are lots of new photos in the photo gallery, as I have had a little time to "catch up" on posting pictures, including many new photos submitted by several group even from opening week.

One of my favorite pics from the "smallmouth smashers".....
Too many smallmouth, not enough hands?

Will try to be a little more diligent in getting the blog done next time! Until then, goodbye from the distant shores of Wabaskang Lake.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Still May in Ontario

Although a lot of the midwest (including back home in Indiana) is experiencing weather much more like July with temperatures in the 90's, I can assure you this week it still feels like May here. Lot's of rain, stronger winds, and today a few snow flakes mixed in for good measure have so far been the story of the week. Bet the guys from last week are glad they were here for the opener!  While pretty uncomfortable conditions for our guests while fishing, the walleye, pike and smallmouth really haven't seemed to notice. Despite limited time on the water, guests are continuing to do extremely well with fish. Fortunately for us a 5 or 10 minute boat ride has them on excellent spots and they can fish a couple hours, limit out and be back to the warmth of their cabins.

One of our favorite pictures from opening week. Dylan Quiggle, Tony Wieczorek and Mason McGowan are all smiles with a limit of walleyes they helped their Dads catch. This is what it's all about!
The weather has also slowed our ability to get many outdoor projects done so far this week. We did manage to get the rest of the treated lumber into camp yesterday to finish the new deck being built onto the lodge. Now if the weather will cooperate maybe we can actually use it. I will try to get a few more pictures from last week on the website soon and if you were in camp last week and have some email them to me and I will get them posted.

Until next time,

Sunday, May 20, 2012

No really, it is Opening Day...

Very mild temperatures (low 70's), mixed with high humidity sure didn't make it feel like opening day yesterday however. The walleye sure didn't mind as cloudy skies, intermittent rain showers and enough wind for a good "walleye chop" on the water made for ideal conditions for opening day and the fish responded accordingly. Excellent fishing was par for most of the day with a lot of walleye caught and many guests releasing fish from 18-24 inches. Numerous pike in the 30"+ range were also caught throughout the day and several guys reported having HUGE pike follow their hooked walleyes right to the boat. By late afternoon, a front was upon us which brought some more rain and unfortunately stronger winds and a dramatic cool down. Most everyone reported that the walleye bite remained "on" but not nearly to the extent of the incredible action previous to the fronts arrival. All in all a great way to open the season and the action so far today has been just as good. Looking forward to seeing you all in camp soon and having you get in on the action! Be sure to watch the website for new pictures in the photo gallery.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

There I was.....

back in the wild again, and I felt right at home where I belong. I had that feeling coming over me again, just like it happened so many times before....The spirit of the woods is like an old good friend, makes me feel warm and good inside....

For those not adept at playing name that tune... it's "Fred Bear" from Ted Nugent and a pretty appropriate theme for me after I've made my way back to camp. At the same time, it remains difficult to leave Milissa and the girls behind to finish school, military assignments et al..... but it's a dance we have grown accustomed to.

I made it into camp Monday afternoon, not quite beating a rain shower, but it could have been much worse had it been raining hard. The lake level looks to be about the same as it was in October when we shut down the camp and came home. However, I understand in the past couple of weeks it has come up about 7 inches to get to this level!

Camp looks good overall, especially now that she got a new haircut yesterday, as the mild weather really had the lawn at an accelerated state of growth. Water pump quit working yesterday after two days of working perfectly, but that's just the way things roll here in the wild. Think it's an electrical issue, but should have it resolved today so no need to bring extra pails to fetch water from the lake!

Ray and Marilyn will arrive in Dryden on Friday (May 11), so by Saturday morning it will be full steam ahead with camp opening and trust me there is still plenty to do. Looking forward to seeing everyone again soon!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What are those "rockpiles" alongside the road?

We've all seen them traveling up and down the highways in NW Ontario, those strange looking rock formations that look like little people, ranging in size from tiny to large. I know we get asked the question a lot by many guests who are relatively new to the area and have always tried to take the time to explain a little bit about what they are and what they mean. Just recently I received an e mail from Dennis Meyer from the Appleton area,  who has become a regular guest of camp for the past 5 years or so, explaining more about the Inukshuk and I thought it would be a great opportunity to pass along the information to help further enlighten everyone about the origin and background of the Inukshuk.
Thanks for sharing this Dennis and see you and the guys in camp soon!

The mysterious stone figures known as inuksuit can be found throughout the circumpolar world. Inukshuk, the singular of inuksuit, means "in the likeness of a human" in the Inuit language. They are monuments made of unworked stones that are used by the Inuit for communication and survival. The traditional meaning of the inukshuk is "Someone was here" or "You are on the right path."

The Inuit make inuksuit in different forms for a variety of purposes: as navigation or directional aids, to mark a place of respect or memorial for a beloved person, or to indicate migration routes or places where fish can be found. Other similar stone structures were objects of veneration, signifying places of power or the abode of spirits. Although most inuksuit appear singly, sometimes they are arranged in sequences spanning great distances or are grouped to mark a specific place.

These sculptural forms are among the oldest and most important objects placed by humans upon the vast Arctic landscape and have become a familiar symbol of the Inuit and of their homeland. Inuit tradition forbids the destruction of inuksuit. An inukshuk (also known asinuksuk) is often venerated as symbolizing an ancestor who knew how to survive on the land in the traditional way. A familiar inukshuk is a welcome sight to a traveler on a featureless and forbidding landscape.

An inukshuk can be small or large, a single rock, several rocks balanced on each other, round boulders or flat. Built from whatever stones are at hand, each one is unique. The arrangement of stones indicates the purpose of the marker. The directions of arms or legs could indicate the direction of an open channel for navigation, or a valley for passage through the mountains. An inukshuk without arms, or with antlers affixed to it, would act as a marker for a cache of food.

An inukshuk in the form of a human being is called an inunnguaq. This type of structure forms the basis of the logo of the 2010 Winter Olympics designed by Vancouver artist Elena Rivera MacGregor. It is widely acknowledged that this design pays tribute to the inukshuk that stands at Vancouver's English Bay, which was created by artisan Alvin Kanak of Rankin Inlet, Northwest Territories. Friendship and the welcoming of the world are the meanings of both the English Bay structure and the 2010 Winter Olympics emblem.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Ice Out Imminent!

Our sources on Wabaskang Lake (notably our friend Tom Williams from Sleepy Dog Cabins), tell us that ice out on Wabaskang is now just a couple of days away. The ice is about half gone now and going fast! For those in the area this means some open water fishing opportunities for delicious lake trout, walleye and pike.

Back home in Granger, and monitoring our Facebook Group page, it is clear that many of you are anxiously counting down the days to your 2012 trip to camp. With only a few short weeks remaining before we head north, this last month will go by real fast. That's assuming that I can resist the temptation to jump the gun early and head up.....

The smiling faces (especially mine) are saying "man is it good to be out of the car!"
 We just returned from a 12 hour drive (each way) from the mountains of North Carolina where we took the girls for spring break, so I may need a couple of days to recover.... not from the 12 hours of driving, but  from being "locked" in the vehicle for 12 hours with the four girls! It was a fabulous trip, after having driven through the mountains of Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, West Virginia et al in the past, it was refreshing to stay in the area to discover more of the beauty and serenity this area has to offer. While not quite as remote and serene as camp, I have to admit it was certainly very peaceful at our mountain cabin rental and waking up in the cool mountain air and to some awesome views was very enjoyable. Another thing I personally liked about the experience was it offered some great perspective from the "renters" point of view, something I haven't really had in this environment since my last year as a guest of camp back in 2004. I caught myself on several occasions making mental notes like " oh, I like the way they did this", or "this is nice, but they could improve it by..." I'm sure some of the same observations that go through the heads of our guests every summer and we hope get shared with us as we are always open to doing even more to making the camp and your experience with us the best it can possibly be.
The ladies rest near Split Rock on Grandfather Mountain

The view of Linville Falls from the top of an awesome trail hike

Why the sign picture? Read on....

Well in addition to pointing the way to the swinging bridge which is a great walk between two mountain peaks suspended 5,280 feet in the air (a great experience even in rain, thunder and lightning as we found out), this is also where our vacation came close to an abrupt end. I learned a valuable lesson while driving up to the mountaintop--that being: don't spend too much time reading the signs and not focusing on the road! By the time I finished reading this sign the van tires were about two inches from the edge of the steep (no guard rail) embankment. As screams filled the van, I jerked the wheel to get us back on the road and on our way back up (instead of down) the mountain! I have to admit, even my pulse was up a couple of notches after this one! On the way back down after walking the bridge, I did point out to everyone that there are quite a few trees growing down the embankment where we nearly went over so I really don't think we would have rolled down that far.... Nobody seemed amused....

Enjoy the balance of spring and see you on the distant shores of Wabaskang Lake for some incredible Canadian Wilderness fishing soon!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

March Madness

If you thought from the title, this Blog was going to be about the college basketball tournament, you are wrong. Although the tournament is certainly a big part of March, the title is actually referring to the weather. Even at that, I'm not sure "madness" is the best adjective to describe this weather pattern! We came pretty close to setting a new record high EVERY day this week in Granger, and the forecast for Perrault Falls this coming week looks pretty incredible also. Forecast highs for this week in Perrault Falls:


With temperatures like that, it won't take long to make quick work of the ice on Wabaskang Lake. It really tempts me to head north with the boat in the event that ice goes out before the walleye season closes (April 15) for a little open water walleye fishing. Probably not going to happen as there is always a lot to get done in preparation of heading to camp later this spring, and with Spring Break for the girls fast approaching, it's probably more of a pipedream than a reality, but then again.....

The March warm up has made it extremely pleasant conditions for some early salmon fishing on Lake Michigan for us, and we took advantage of that every opportunity we had last week. Three trips to the lake yielded a total of 42 coho salmon. These spring coho are some of the finest eating fish available from the big lake. Whether grilled, pickled, smoked, matter how you prepare it, it's some tasty stuff!

Hopefully some of you are able to take advantage of this incredible Spring weather and wet a line yourself. Send me some pictures of your spring catches and I'll post them on the Blog. Although it may not be specific news about camp, or even Canada for that matter, it will still help to shake off the remnants of that cabin fever. I'll start it off with a couple from our Lake Michigan trips this past week, and a local bluegill catch.
Nine coho salmon and a great eater Brown trout bonus

Jerid Ostrom's fine catch of spring bluegill taken last week in SW Michigan

(L-R) Camp guests Cory Wright, Tom Bauters and Robert Bauters with some great looking (and eating) coho

Enjoy this fantastic weather! Until next time, tight lines.....

Friday, March 9, 2012

Michiana Walleye Association Scholarship Fund

For the past six years we have been fortunate enough to be involved with the Michiana Walleye Association and their annual college scholarship fund the Ukele Memorial Scholarship. In case you missed it on our Facebook page, we donate a FREE trip for two to camp every season ( a $1,400.00 value) to the MWA, and they raffle off 300 tickets at $5.00 each to generate the funds to award the scholarship. The program has been extremely successful through the years, with several recipients going on to excel in their field of study which is outdoors and conservation related. You can read more about their program and this year's winner on their Blog at

If you are interested in purchasing a ticket to support their scholarship fund, please contact the MWA from their Blog or their website or simply shoot me an email and I will be happy to coordinate the ticket sale for you.

Thank you for your support of the program!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Time flying by....

Perhaps the whirlwind travel of last week just made it seem even much more so. After leaving "lovely" Northern Indiana for five days on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, I was home for one day to unpack, do laundry, repack and head to Minneapolis for our last All-Canada Show of the season. Even with our incredibly mild winter here in the Midwest, I have to admit the warmth of the Bahamas and abundant sunshine was a welcome relief. Of course, if you drink enough rum punch, everything is a relief and I think we accomplished that!

Cabbage Beach, Paradise Island Bahamas

Since our daughters had a four day weekend, I was able to take our youngest (Allison-9) on a "business" trip with Dad. It was great having some extra one-on-one time with her although she (for some reason unknown to me) opted for some shopping with friends at the Mall of America vs. working the booth with me much over the weekend. Go figure... Regardless, we still had some quality time together and had a great visit with our good friends from Stillwater, Mn and their kids. Special thanks to the McDowell's for their tremendous hospitality while we visited. Thanks also to all of our guests and prospects who stopped by our booth for a visit. Several bookings have already come in from the show and for that we are very appreciative.

In some Ontario/camp related matters, there is some good news on the horizon regarding DUI's and other minor infractions. An excerpt from an email received from the Patricia Region Tourist Council follows:

A policy announcement was made advising that effective March 01, 2012 a Special Public Policy will be put in place which will allow for a CBSA officer to grant a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP), to those individuals who have had only one minor conviction, where the sentence was less than 6 months in length. There will be no fee for this TRP, and the issuance of the TRP will be at the discretion of the CBSA official. However, it is understood that this special public policy should significantly reduce the number of inadmissible visitors to our country.

Additional information on this matter is expected to be released on the Canadian Citizenship and Immigration website after March 1, 2012. This, of course, is received as great news from not only us tourism operators but also our guests who may have previously been denied admission into Canada for a minor infraction.

March is almost here already, I guess the opener can't be too far off? See you soon!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

February Blues?

Perhaps February "boredom" would be a better title? The very mild winter and a much slower show schedule this year, apparently is leaving me with too much time on my hands. After hearing from several guests about "keeping the Blog updated" etc., thought I would use a little of this free time between shows to do just that. After being on the road for the Chicago and Madison All-Canada shows, we are in the middle of a one month lull until it's off to Minneapolis for the last All-Canada show on our circuit this year. The shows (as they always are) have been a mixed bag of visiting with new and old guests, booking some new business, and frustration over the number of people who don't even look your way when you know you have a great product to offer them. Well as they say "it is what it is" and camp will be pretty much full by the time we leave in May regardless.

One of the many great visits we had on the road in Madison, was with soon to be first time guest Bob Weis. Bob has a crew scheduled to be with us this year in late July-early August and stopped by for a face-to-face. Prior to meeting in Madison, Bob was kind enough to send me a couple of emails and information about using Powerpoint to prepare these Fishing Report templates that can be used during the season (and offseason) to acknowledge guests with a great catch etc. It's a great idea, and we say thanks again to Bob for providing us the background on how to do it and the templates for getting them done.

One of my first attempts at using the template Bob provided us! Not bad for a rookie?

Some of the templates Bob put together to show me:

We are looking forward to incorporating these templates into our Fishing Reports, Blog, Facebook group etc. as well as being able to provide a copy to selected guests throughout their stay in camp during the season with us. Not sure, as always, how much time will allow during the season--but it's easy to TALK about it now!

March will be here soon and it's never too early to double check those passport expiration dates. You don't want to be caught in a pinch near your trip time. On a closing note, the Ontario On-Line Licensing system feedback that we have received from guests who have used it, has been very positive. I have updated my license and Outdoors Card on-line using the system, and have also found it to be easy to use and hassle free. 

Until next time,


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Show season about to start

Hi All,

Well since mother nature can't seem to provide enough cold temperatures to make any ice around here, I guess we might just as well go to work! Looks like another poor winter for ice fishing locally.

Although camp is booking up very nicely for the upcoming 2012 season, there are always some spots to fill and even a few really PRIME weeks still available, especially some September dates that always provide a great combination of numbers of fish and many trophies too.

January 12-15, I will be at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, IL for the Chicago All-Canada show and will leave there directly to Madison, WI where I will be January 16-18th. Maybe by the time I get back home (hopefully with a few booking in hand) there will be some hard water to work with and I will have a chance to wet (or ice) a line as the case may be. If you are reading the blog and are close to one of these show markets, stop by our booth for a visit and fishchat. Like I've always said: "if you can't get out and actually go fishing, might as well at least talk about it"!

Until next time,