Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Loons are starting to hatch

Photos by Doug Billings

Notice distance from water's edge

Doug Billings
Bow Narrows angler/photographer Doug Billings snapped these great shots of a loon on the nest a few days ago. Yesterday a couple of other anglers reported seeing the first loon chicks riding on the backs of their parents.
There should be a good hatch of young loons this year as the water level has stayed relatively constant.
Doug's second shot of the loon nest shows its distance from the water. That is about as far away as you ever see them. Many times the nest is only inches above the water line. Rising water levels can wash the nest away but that didn't happen this year.
The last shot shows Doug as he prepared to board the Lickety Split in town at the start of his week. Notice the small amount of gear he brought. I believe Doug gets our Lightest Traveler of the Year Award! I don't believe his luggage weighed more than 60 pounds.
By comparison, we have had guests who brought six times this much. They would be quick to point out that they were doing their own cooking while Doug ate in the dining room on the American Plan. If that was indeed the difference, then they are telling us they consumed 50 pounds of food and drink each day!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Fids are all bitin' gud

"Hey, Dan! How are the fish biting?"
All da fids are bitin' gud.
I said all da fids are bitin' gud.
"You sound funny. What are you saying?"
I can't tock creary cuz I'm midding a font toot.
"What? You sound really funny."
It's cuz I'm midding -- miffing -- a toot."
"Are you saying you're missing a toot?"
A toot! A toot! A font toot!
"Well, if that doesn't beat all! I knew people can be uncomfortable when they can't toot but you're the first I've met whose speech was affected by it!"
No, no. You don't get it. Da fids are all bitin' gud!
"Are fids those really ugly fish that taste like lobster? There's no limit on them, right? You know I've always wanted to catch some of those. And they're biting good, you say. Where?"
No, no! Fissssss! You know, waweyes.
"Are you saying the fids are biting in Wawa? That's got to be 500 miles from here!"
It's da toot.
"Here we go again. I'm telling you, just let it out."
I can't pownounc -- I can't enunciate, ENUNCIATE! I can say ENUNCIATE!
"Good for you."
Pike are bitin' gud and so are da waw -- no, pickerrrrel. You know pickerrrrel?
 "No. Are they related to fids?"
Uh uh. Wook, what do you want to catch?
"I was hoping to get a mess of walleyes, as well as some pike."
"They're biting?
"Well that's what I wanted to know. I'm going to try for some of those fids too."

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Big pike, lots of walleyes being caught

Jon Mueller

Denny Burich

Ron Kucko
Fishing has been tremendous as evidenced by these photos of this long-time group from the River Falls, Wis., area.
Everyone is pleased to see a variety of sizes on the walleye, from itty-bitty ones up to 28-inchers.
The weather has also been wonderful with most days seeing highs in the low 20s C (70s F). The best fishing days have been those with a good breeze.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

First smallie of the year

Smallmouths are not native to Red Lake but are increasinly showing up in the catch
Smallmouth bass are an invasive species in Red Lake and there have only been a few caught at our camp; however, we already got one this season.
Paul Stowick caught this bass a couple of days ago.
We got our first bass about 10 years ago. From that point on we got about one a season until last year when we caught four.
How did the bass get in Red Lake if they are not native here?
The usual answer -- people.
It's always a bad idea to release a new species into an ecosystem and we would just as soon not have the newcomer bass. The reason is the new species will eventually displace a native one. In this case, probably walleye. Red Lake, however, has an exceedingly healthy walleye population and it might take a hundred years for smallmouths to claim a niche.
Bass are lots of fun to catch but not as good eating as walleye. There are lots of great smallmouth lakes now between Red Lake and the Minnesota border but not as many great walleye lakes any more. The Gullrock-Red Lake water system is still profoundly walleye and northern pike.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

How are the minnows?

Do you like being angry? Peeved? Outraged? Perturbed?
How about disappointed? Miffed? Forlorn? Helpless?
Do you like to swear a blue streak? Say bad words? Cuss? Get red in the face?
Is blame your game? Do you like to find fault with others? Feel the world is out of your control?
Then you probably fish with minnows.
These tiny fish are sure to let you down, whatever your expectations.
For starters, they'll die at the drop of a hat. At the slightest variation in temperature or oxygen content, even a cross word or a dirty look and they will turn fins up.
But then, you already knew that. That's why you bought more than you needed. You needed a dozen so you bought four times that number. Three dozen were floaters before you could even wet a line.
Oh well, there goes $15.
Now's the time to figure out why they died. Were you sold old minnows? Was that really oxygen they put in the bag? Did Obama have something to do with it?
When everyone was unloading the boat at camp, when there was a ton of duffel bags, rods and tackle boxes, totes of canned goods, heavy ice-laden coolers, cases of pop and beer to manhandle up the hill and into the cabin, where were you? Looking for minnow pails and slowly pouring out the contents of flimsy plastic bags?
Did you finally finish just after the others carried all your stuff?
Did someone ask, "How are the minnows?"
And was the news grim?
You need more minnows!
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Best week in more than 40 years

Don Ballinger


Audience while fishing

Ray Gildersleeve


The pike are really hefty
Ray Gildersleeve and Don Ballinger have been coming to Bow Narrows Camp for more than 40 years. I say that to give relevance to their statement yesterday that this was their best trip ever.
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Friday, June 5, 2015

Biggest walleye, biggest pike, best sky

Angler Terry Kopecky has been coming to Bow Narrows Camp for years but this year got her biggest walleye and northern pike ever. She also shot this photo of the dramatic clouds we have had the last few evenings.
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The 'Moose Club' is at it again

Bob Preuss

Doug Oslund

Duane Gudknecht
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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Wildlife seen while fishing

Moose photos by Bob Preuss

Calf No. 1

Second calf
Jenilee Peterson photo
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In a nutshell, everything's biting

Ross Peterson

Jenilee Peterson

Amy Smith

Troy Hanson and Amy Smith
Our anglers are catching fish like crazy and I just haven't had a chance to write about it.
I'm just going to post a bunch of photos in the coming days and hope each tells their own story.