Monday, August 31, 2009

All You Can Eat?

Joel Prunty, media manager – everyday I come into work and check out the Lodges of the Day on I do this to keep in tune with what’s happening in the camp business.
Not long ago, I was on Ogoki Frontier’s site – outpost operators out of Armstrong, Ontario – and noticed a banner that offered an August special “all you can eat blueberries”. It caught my attention because very few outpost operators offer food and blueberries are expensive.
Then I got it…and laughed out load. If you’ve ever been in the Canadian bush in August blueberries are everywhere…hence all you can eat.
I was reminded of Ogoki’ Frontier’s offer after viewing pictures from Steve Cegielski’s family trip last week. They picked enough wild blueberries to make blueberry pancakes for the kids.
If you are ever driving through the Ontario bush in August and come across an area that has been logged in the last five years or so…grab your bucket and start picking because you’ll be in blueberry heaven.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cool, Wet Summer

Joel Prunty, media manager - For the most part, this summer will go down as one the coolest and wettest of recent memory. Right now Red Lake, Ontario is above flood stage and much of the north is seeing high water.
The cool temperatures have impacted walleye fishing. Normally in August walleye can be found in 20ft or deeper water and scattered throughout lake. This August most lakes are seeing walleye in 5 to 15 feet. Most guides are reporting walleye fishing as good to excellent all summer, but the bite is much lighter. In fact, they indicate that live bait verses a product like Gulp is a more productive presentation.
All-Canada took two outpost trips in August and experienced the same conditions described by most lodges…great walleye fishing with a very light bite. In fact, what we found is walleyes preferred picking jigs off the bottom over a jigging action.
Outfitters are starting talk about how the high water conditions might affect the coming moose hunt. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the sun comes out and things dry up a bit.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Packing for a Fly-in

Steve Cegielski, operations manager – Packing for our bi-annual family fishing trip to Lac Seul reservoir in Ontario is always a challenge. But, this year’s trip is a fly-in into Vaughan Lake part of south central Lac Seul making it even more of a challenge. Past years we’ve boated into Lac Seul, but the only way into Vaughan Lake is via floatplane.

We’re allowed 70lbs per person, but 25lb of the pounds is set aside for food and community gear like nets, depth finders, water, beer, soda, etc. That leaves me just 45lb of personal gear….so every single piece of equipment gets evaluated.

First I pack the essentials…rods and reels. Technically, everything else I can live without. Next, I pared down the tackle bag limiting my self to four small trays. Jigs of every color filled one tray, live bait rigs and bottom bouncers filled another tray, leaving a little room for crank-baits, spoons and stick-baits for the large pike.

Clothes – how much do we really need for a week in the bush? Two pair of jeans, two shorts and enough socks, plus t-shirts and underwear for each day. I rounded off my clothes with a medium weight long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt, and rain gear. Pray for varied weather so you’re not stuck in dirty jeans or shorts all week. If things get bad, wash dirty clothes in the lake.

I used my fish scale to check my progress…wow, I was only at 38.4lbs. I could pack 6.6 lbs of conveniences like: bait buckets, extra rod and reel, and of course some special snacks.
I just purchased new Danner Gore-Tex boots from Cabela’s– so I don’t need rubber boots – every little bit helps.

A good rule of thumb, you should be able to carry everything down to the float plane in one trip. That means one bag over the shoulder, cooler (full of supplies) in one hand, and rod tube in the other hand…..done.

It feels good to be really organized – take the weight issue as a challenge then after the trip analyze what you’ll do different on your next Canadian adventure.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Is Shorelunch a lost art

By Joel Prunty media manager

The past three summers I’ve had the privilege to fish at an Ontario fly-in outpost. And all three times we were the only cabin on the lake and all three times were at least a month into the fishing season at popular destinations.

The common denominator on these trips was we could not find a spot were another group cooked a shore lunch. What? Are you kidding me; fishermen have stopped cooking shore lunch? I know this because we look for well trampled points with level rock pits, offering space between us and the mosquito infested bush and we couldn’t find any.

Why would fisherman skip one of the true highlights of a Canadian fishing adventure? I’m guessing the reasons are many including: it’s a lot of work, it takes too much time, we have to drag all that cooking stuff with us, it’s too dry, it might rain and the list of excuses goes on.

There’s a simpler explanation addressing all these excuses though…the fish fryer back at camp. It’s less work, quicker, your boat isn’t cluttered, it greatly reduces the risk of fire and you’re out of potential rain.

But…at what cost? I admit to using the fish fryer back at camp, but only if necessary. A fire ban is a good reason, sever weather is a good reason, but the rest are excuses and take away from one of life’s great pleasers: battered walleye, panned fried over a wood fire away from everything, on the shores of a Canadian lake. It doesn’t get any better than that.