Let us take a brief look back at Big Hook's 2009 season.
Year in and out Big Hook Wilderness Camps faces many challenges as Ontario's most remote outpost fishing resort. As a fly-in outfitter, Mother Nature has always been our biggest competitor. Some years she cooperates more than others, blessing us with blue skies and calm waters. However, in 2009 Mother Nature was quite defiant. May started out cool and with a later than usual ice out. The ice departed from the shores of Central Lake around the 13th of May. Typical ice out usually lands around the 4th-8th of May. The last lake free of ice in 2009 was Cocos around the 1st of June. June remained cool and blasted us with an ice storm in the first week, our poor air plane was covered with over an 1/2" of ice. Also, an unexpected snow storm on the 11th was another surprise Mother Nature had up our sleeve for us. July brought us gray skies and a late May Fly hatch, which occurred in the third week of the month. Mother Nature saved her best weather in 2009 for the last couple weeks of August and the month of September. Unseasonably warm, September 2009 was one of the nicest on records, providing us with several weeks of 70+ degree days.
The cool summer of 2009 didn't affect the fishing, it just altered the hot spots. The dark skies actually helped produce some of the bigger fish (on average) that Big Hook has recorded. In my experience, dark skies have always aided the fisherman in catching the elusive trophy walleye and pike. The cool temperatures of the spring held the fish in shallower waters up until the beginning of August. Typically, walleye begin descending mid July to depths of 15'+.
The water levels throughout the park remained a little higher than in past years. The flowages and rapids were pushing more water. The higher volume of water flowing throughout the Opasquia Provincial Park attracted more fish to the highly oxygenated areas.
We accomplished several projects in the 2009 season. The new solar systems at Burnt, South, Southwest and Cocos were fine tuned. Each of the previously mentioned lakes also were equipped an efficient electric freezer. South Lake saw several improvements starting with a new porch. We then replaced the majority of the propane appliances with electric. A new refrigerator, freezer and lights were installed and powered with an incredibly quiet Honda 2000W generator. Also at South Lake, Yamaha 4 stroke motors replaced our 2 cycle Mercury's. The new Yamaha's thus far have received rave reviews.
Two cabins at Central Lake were updated with metal roofs. Also, a new floating dock was built.
We have several projects were are looking to tackle in 2010. New docks at West, South and Cocos are just to name a few.
Big Hook Wilderness Camps wishes the best for everyone in 2010 and we look forward to seeing you in the up and coming summer months.
-The Hartle Family
Steve, Evie, Ricky and Nathan