Morning dawns at Peffley's Wilderness Camp

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

HWY 502 CLOSED- as of May 22


For all our guests traveling highway 502 to Dryden this weekend May 25th, please be aware that as of today, Hwy 502 is closed just north of the junction of Hwy 11 near Ft. Frances as the result of a washout. Hopefully the Canadian Border Services Agency can provide more current information as to the status of the highway condition when you cross the border. In advance of the trip you may also find more current information from the CKDR Radio website regarding the closure.

Should the highway remain closed by Saturday (May 25) you can travel Highway 11 West out of Ft. Frances to Highway 71 North thru Sioux Narrows to Hwy 17 East to Vermilion Bay. This route is approximately 30 miles longer but very scenic.

Good luck, travel safe and see everyone Saturday!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A wild ride....

That may be the best way to describe the past several days... beginning with a helicopter ride into camp on Wednesday, May 15th. With time running out on us and LOTS of ice still floating around on the big lake, combined with NW winds (keeping it in our way), we made the decision to helicopter in. This afforded us the "luxury" of having all four of us (Milissa, me and our staff) in camp with a whopping 48 hours to get ready for the 2013 season.

With a simple one item "to-do" list we set in on the task at hand. Unfortunately the one item on the to-do list was "everything". While we didn't accomplish "everything", we were ready for our first guests this morning.

It remains amazing to me how quickly the ice conditions can change, as we boated out to the big lake yesterday morning only to find ice from Peffley's Point as far as we could see towards Indian narrows. The leading edge we broke through was probably still 2 1/2" thick and the ice looked more silvery the further you looked towards the narrows, indicating to me that the ice there could be at least 4-6" thick. By 2:00 in the afternoon, NE winds had moved all that ice into back bays and the entire length of the big lake that had been 100% ice covered was now 100% ice free. Game on! Time to get guests into camp and get the 2013 season underway.

So here we are, Saturday, May 18th (2013 opening day) and we have been greeted with intermittent sprinkles throughout the day. Nothing even heavy enough to call a shower. Light winds, warm temps (around 60), made for a very nice opening day. The fishing reports by days end made it even nicer as everyone in camp reported excellent fishing for the day, including Tom Casper's crew who stated it may very well have been their best opening day with us EVER. Water temps of 46 degrees also had me amazed, as with such a late ice out I was anticipating fishing water no warmer than 39-40 degrees, but the warmer water really helped with the walleye bite.

I will try to get some pictures here on the Blog or Facebook soon of our flight into camp and some fishing pictures from opening week.

Until next time...

Monday, May 13, 2013

Still waiting....

Well I was hopeful that my next blog entry would be done from camp and with a "first-hand" update on ice conditions on the North end of Wabby. Those hopes were dashed in a five minute phone conversation with Wayne Clark from Clark's Northern Lights resort. Wayne got a plane in the water and was kind enough to do a fly over camp for me to assess the situation. Unfortunately, his report was not  good. Miller's Bay (around  the corner from camp) is still locked tight  with ice making it impossible still to sit a plane down there.

With weather conditions forecast this week (some rain and chance of thundershowers) the next feasible possibility to fly in would probably be Wednesday. Now from my perspective, while very "tight" in terms of turning camp around and being ready to open, it can be done. We faced a similar situation in 2008 and I was amazed how much you can get done in a 24 hour work day! IF we can get there Weds or Thurs, camp will be ready to open Saturday.

The weather forecast is for high temps in the 50's and 60's for most  of the week with chances of rain most every day beginning this afternoon and continuing thru Weds. Let's hope that holds up (the rain),  although it would be nice to  see a forecast with 70's and even 80's (remember last year). Just like during the season: there just isn't a darn thing anyone can do about the weather. Stay tuned for more updates, and remember when the ice finally decides to go, it can happen practically overnight.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Tick, tock, tick, tock......

as time SLOWLY passes waiting for ice out. I'm  joining you this morning from the Trillium hotel and restaurant in Ear Falls where we have stayed the last couple of nights trying to patiently await ice out. Patience is a virtue, right? It also happens to not be one of my stronger ones, especially when I want and NEED to get to camp so desperately.

We got into the area late Wednesday afternoon and saw pretty much what we expected. LOTS of ice, getting  darker,  but  still lot's of  it. I knew when we were still 100 miles south of International  Falls and the Minnesota lakes were still completely iced over that we were in trouble! I was certainly expecting to see ice, just not 100 miles south of the border still.

Not all has been lost while stranded here roadside as we have managed to get some things accomplished. We got our major supply run for the first part of our season to Kenora out of the way. We got the passenger boat picked up  from  the marina,  washed her up a little and got it in the water ready to go (see: "waiting for ice  out" above). The red trash truck needed a little maintenance that  we got taken care of also with a front tire that dry rotted out over the winter and a battery that  will  no longer hold a charge. Rest assured the red "Bentley" will be ready to haul trash again this year!

In addition, the roadside dock required a little spring maintenance as the hardware that holds the two dock sections together was holding  on by a thread with most of the lag bolts pulling out over the winter.  A couple  new lags and some bolts, nuts and washers and it  is also ready to go.

Unfortunately, it looks like it will still be a last minute decision on opening week. I think, with the warmup forecast for next week we will  make it, but won't know for sure until I can get into camp and assess the ice condition on the big lake which will be the last to go. Speaking  of  getting into camp, I am hopeful that early this week the ice is gone from Miller's Bay and we can sit down in a float plane to hike into camp. We can be ready to rock in just a couple of days provided we can get there!

I have posted a few pics of ice conditions from around  the lake/area on our Facebook page so I won't repost them here. Look for some more on Facebook over the next couple of days.

Well as the snow starts to fall here in Ear Falls, I will sign  off and attend to my breakfast. Until next time, send warm thoughts AND weather!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Ice is out!

Here in Indiana that is.... (gotcha) and actually has been for some time now! With open water calling, I did have the opportunity to squeeze in a couple of bluegill fishing trips. First one with limited success (half a dozen) and the next one much better with a total of 28 nice 'gills most around 8-9". Amazing how quickly fishing fortunes can change, sounds familiar even when you are up in camp. It's generally not a matter of IF you are gonna catch fish, it's more about am I in the right spot at the right time.

I'm not the only one getting in a little spring fishing.....

Ben and CJ Holbrook from a recent bass tournament.

CJ Holbrook with a big bass from the tournament. He and brother Ben finished 3rd. Can't wait to school you again this summer walleye fishing CJ! (got a feeling I'm gonna regret that)

Perry Tonn with a hawg walleye caught from a "secret" spot in Wisconsin.

Ok, so what about ice conditions for Wabaskang? Well we are hearing that there is still ice along the shores of the channel where the roadside landing is, so that certainly is not very encouraging. On the other hand, we have heard reports from Red Lake that there is "only" about 16" of GOOD ice there, which as contrary as it sounds, is actually good news as I would have expected there to be more to be honest.

We expect to be in Perrault Falls by mid-week next week and should be able to give you some first hand reports at that time. We certainly don't expect to be boating into camp next week, but we can get a few things accomplished roadside and try to get a report on ice conditions in Miller's Bay with hopes of chartering a flight CLOSE to camp.

Stay tuned and THINK SPRING!