Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cracking the Whip

We have been working hard the past week getting camps open and operational. The weather overall has improved and stabilized. The ice finally gave up it's hold on Favourable yesterday. With the nicer weather we have been able to focus on a couple of spring projects.
Today's project included installing power at South Lake. South now has a brand new fridge and freezer along with 4 lights that all run on a quiet and efficient Honda 2000 generator. South is also getting upgraded with 5 new Yamaha 4-stroke 15hp motors.

On the fishing front......Central guests have been hammering the walleyes in the current and shallow muddy bays where the water temps are rising. The walleyes look like they have spawned already. I made it out with our hired help from Sandy Lake (Anthony and Corey). In just an hour we managed to boat a 37" and 41" pike in the East rapids. Lots of big pike were cruising the area chasing and scaring all the walleyes out. Smaller baits and slow retrieve's are still key to catching big fish. The fish are still pretty cold and won't hit a bait that is being retrieved to quickly.

Burnt Lake quoted "they are catching more fish than they can handle." I'll hear more tomorrow when we stop in for a camp check.
Hope everyone is well and look forward to seeing you soon.

Monday, May 18, 2009

We Have Arrived

Everyone has made it into camp safely. Freezing rain and blowing snow were not enough to keep us from arriving at Big Hook last Saturday (May 16th). For the past two days all of us here (Mom, Dad, Myself, Andre, our two helpers Elvis and Anthony) have been lugging motors, cutting wood, cleaning cabins, flying freight, etc... as fast as we can.
Saturday night was a chilly one. The lake actually froze over again over night! Again this morning (May 18th) Mother Nature decided to play another joke on us today by dumping another inch of snow in our front yard (see the attached pic). Fortunately, warmer temperatures are along the way.
I am itching to get on the water but for now it's time to put on a layer of under armour and get back to opening camps.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Batten Down The Hatches!

Mother Nature always has her way of letting you know she is the boss. Today, she is having her way with us here at Eagle Lake. Lashing us with 45 +mph winds and stinging rain, Mother Nature is telling us spring has just begun.
On days like today winds only stress out pilots and aggravate outpost camp owners, mostly because we have to succumb to the weather. The only thing we can do is sit back and wait.....and wait.
When the gusts top 45mph our stress levels elevate and our eyes turn to the dock where the wind and water pitch our float plane around like it was made of paper. We can only hope that the dozen ropes we have lashed to everything in sight will hold fast and keep our only means of transportation stationary and grounded.
As a guide, I do enjoy foul weather of sorts. Dark skies often increase the bite and trophies are more often caught. However, when the howling winds are splashing gallons of water over your boat and temperatures are hovering around 35 degree's and lower, I draw the line. I am a tough tough fisherman, I'll guide through most of Mother Nature's tantrum's. I'll admit though, the wind...it is my enemy. Nothing is more disheartening than seeing three foot rollers lumbering down the lake. At that moment my fishing instinct is turned off, I set my rod down and sulk back to the cabin for a nice warm cup of coffee.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Patience is a virtue

Still all quiet on the northern front. Ice is still holding steady in the Sandy Lake/Big Hook area. Yesterday Dad and I, admittedly getting a little restless, decided to take a drive to Red Lake and drop off a load of supplies at Wasaya Air. Along the way we were surprised to see many lakes still with ice on the surface. Howie Bay in Red Lake was still completely white with ice. However, after talking to several pilots and looking at weather forecasts, we left with the impression that we should be getting into camp soon. Tomorrow will bring warm temperatures to the area, with lots of sun and hopefully a little wind to start cracking up the ice.

Also, tomorrow I'll be heading to Winnipeg to pick up our pilot Andre and our 185 Cessna. We will fly the plane back to Eagle Lake here and wait for the green light. Once we get the call that an airplane can get into Central Lake, Andre and I will jet out of here ASAP.
Here's to warmer weather and a non icey future. Take care all.