Friday, July 31, 2009

Make sure to bring waterproof footwear

It's been a wet summer and while most of our fishermen have remembered to bring excellent quality rainwear many have forgotten to do the same for their feet.
It would be a good idea to have two sets of waterproof footwear: a pair of rubber boots for the boat and something like duckies to wear around camp.
The ground is sopping wet and you can't walk from one cabin to the other without getting your feet wet in normal shoes.
Incidentally the wet soil means we cannot use our golf cart to haul your luggage from the Lickety Split up to your cabin. You must carry it by hand. So with that in mind, don't bring luggage items or food boxes too heavy to accomplish this.
Although it's been wet of late it has not been cold. However, if you do get wet while fishing you will want to change into some warm clothes, so bring along a set.
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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Birds of all feathers in great abundance

This summer is for the birds, literally.

I'm not sure why but the woods and waters have been full of our feathered friends this season.

The yard here at camp is home to dozens of species of songbirds, from hummingbirds to flickers to tree-nesting ducks like goldeneyes.

There was even an immature bald eagle perched atop the biggest spruce by the lodge yesterday. Eagles are common here but it's unusual for one to sit on a tree right in camp.

Out on the lake there are eagles soaring over or perched around just about every bay.

It's a treat to see them jousting for food where we put the fish guts on an island.

First come the gulls, ringbilled and herring gulls, who will just about land on you while you are emptying the fish gut pails. By the time the boat is 30 feet from the island the eagles come swooping in and the gulls split for safer quarters.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Walleyes found in large groups, in the evening!

No sooner do I post a blog saying the walleyes are all over the water column and not stratifying than our fishermen locate large groups of them.
They are at the edges of weedlines, near deep water, but only in 12-20 feet.
And here's the kicker: the biggest catches have been made in the evening, after supper and before dark or on cloudy days.
Anglers were using worms and leeches, back trolled on Little Joe Spinners.
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Thursday, July 23, 2009

The weather and the fishing

Just about all areas in the center of North America are experiencing a cooler-than-normal summer this year.
The same holds true here at Bow Narrows Camp.
Temperatures have been decidedly pleasant: daytime highs in the low 70s and nightimes nice and cool for great sleeping.
But it's different than normal and consequently the fishing is also different.
The biggest effect has been that the fish are not stratified by depth.
Instead of all the walleyes being found at a particular depth and water temperature, they are scattered throughout the water column.
We've had walleyes caught at 40 feet and at two feet on the same day.
This means fishermen need to cover more area to connect with fish. They are still catching lots of them but just not all in one place like they normally would.
Northern pike are biting quite well but fishing for them is more of a challenge this year because the cool temps and high water conditions has meant most weedbeds are not yet visible.
There are no magic lures or baits to report this summer.
Mepps #5 spinners have probably been mentioned the most by pike anglers.
Walleyes are biting any kind of live bait: minnows, leeches or worms.
Hardly anyone has mentioned Gulp Alive this summer. Last year it was all the rage.
Lots of walleyes being caught on crankbaits too. Since the fish are so scattered, trolling with a crankbait and covering lots of water isn't a bad idea.
I would like to emphasize once again that the best time to fish for all species is still probably from noon to 5 p.m. All too often I notice that almost every boat is tied to the dock for several hours after lunch and that everyone then fishes after supper until dark.
I know old habits die hard but you really ought to be on the water for the 2 p.m. bite. Evening is a lovely time to be out in the boat but it's not the best time to catch fish. If you want to extend your fishing day, get up at dawn. The fish are biting.
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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Lots of loon chicks this summer

Almost every pair of loons this summer have one or two chicks.
We are very happy to see this as rising water conditions in the past few years have flooded their nests resulting in nesting failures.
Loons are very common here and are appreciated by everyone.
I've seen lots of loons flying recently, something they do little earlier in the season.
It will take the chicks all summer and fall to gain their flight feathers. Sometimes their first flight is their thousands-mile migration to the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico in October.
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Monday, July 13, 2009

Our new water plant is up and running

Our new water treatment system is now producing great drinking water to all our cabins and the lodge.

This extensive system creates crystal-clear, delicious and safe drinking water that makes bringing bottled water a thing of the past.

Instead of hauling into camp cases of the bottled aqua, we invite you to just bring a refillable water bottle and fill it up out of the tap.

In the bottom photo you can see the huge tank brought on the stern of our cabin cruiser, Lickety Split, that was part of this system.

At top is Mike from Wolframe's World of Water of Kenora explaining to me how the system works. Mike and Derek, also from World of Water, installed this system last week. They did a great job.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Yes, we provide life jackets

I've had several questions about whether we provide life jackets.
Yes! We do!
So if you don't want to bring a life jacket, you can use ours.
This confusion comes from a recent blog where I stated the most important gear a fisherman should bring is a life vest and excellent quality raingear.
However, if you are more apt to wear a life vest because you've picked one out at the sporting goods store that fits your build and has features that you will use, then why wouldn't you spend the $30 to bring it? After all, it is only going to save your life!
The average fishermen probably brings at least $1,000 of fishing equipment, including depth finders, rods, reels and lures -- none of which will save them if they are flung overboard.
Our life vests will also save your life, but not if that are laying on the bottom of the boat which is where too many people leave them. They are the popular, comfortable, vest types, not the orange neck collar ones which really are uncomfortable. Still lots of people don't wear them because they bind them in the middle or chafe them or make them sweat. I suspect they really don't wear them because they think wearing a life vest is for sissies or some other nonsense.
If you are not going to wear a life vest anyway, you might as well not wear ours, I guess.
They are required by law to be in the boat but you are not required to wear them. That's about as useful as requiring cars to have seat belts but not requiring its occupants to strap them on.

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Warm days, cool nights are just great

The weather and temperatures this week have been wonderful.
Daytime highs have been in the low 70s F while nights are cool and perfect for sleeping.
It has been a special treat for some of our guests whose hometowns have been going through heat waves of 100 F.
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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Lots of moose being seen on the lake

All of our guests are seeing moose either swimming or standing in the lake.
They are being seen on virtually every bay of the lake as they come out of the bush to cool off in the water and to get away from the flies.
Most of the moose are cow-calf pairs but some single cows and bulls have also been seen.
Make sure you take your camera fishing with you so you can get some great photos.
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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Sunny skies and good fishing have returned

Within a day of the icy cold weather departing last week and the reappearance of sunny skies we started catching a lot of big northern pike.
The key is to fish extremely shallow areas, apparently where the water is warming up the fastest.
We caught many big northern pike, slot size or larger. The largest was 45 inches.
Virtually every fish was caught on Mepps #5 or Mepps #4 spinners. All colors worked equally well.
Walleyes also started biting with a vengence. These were taken on 1/4 ounce black jigs tipped with twister tails, Gulp Alive grubs, and various live bait.
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