Wednesday, October 27, 2010

200 Miles!

Take some time to contemplate on exactly how far 200 miles is. For a good reference, 200 miles is approximately the distance from Chicago to Green Bay. Now take the time to imagine 200 miles of nothing. No roads, no cities, no cars....just miles and miles of vast green boreal forest. So, take away I-94 and I-43 that run north out of Chicago to Green Bay. Take away Milwaukee, Sheboygan, and Manitowoc. Replace all of that with nature. Kind of tough to do, right?

Witnessing 200 miles of forest is an experience that one must see for themselves. As you cruise thousands of feet over the earth surface in a Cessna Caravan northbound out of Red Lake, ON your eyes continually search for signs of life. Your brain has trouble processing the simplicity of nature. You witness no human influence, just trees, rock and water; repeat that mile after mile after mile. Your mind keeps repeating "There has got to be something!" however your eyes just provide visions of pristine lakes and endless forests of pine and poplar trees.

For the past 25 years our family has operated Big Hook Wilderness Camps 200 miles from the end of the road in Red Lake, ON. Situated in the Opasquia Provincial Park, Big Hook is the most remote outfitter in Ontario. We offer guests the opportunity to witness true isolation and escape from the modern world. No cell phones constantly ringing, no daily commuters to battle, no endless hours at the's just you and Mother Nature.

On your next visit to Big Hook try an experiment to appreciate the remoteness of the Opasquia Park. While you are out fishing turn off the motor, close your eyes and just listen to nature. I mean, really listen. There will be no honking horns, no motorcycles accelerating down the street and no sirens wailing in the distance. What you may hear is the faint cry of a loon or the water lazily lapping at the side of your boat. However, most of the time, silence will consume you and your ears will begin to ring. That in my opinion, is when you can take a deep breath and relax because only then you truly know you are isolated.

For another experiment, try stepping on shore somewhere. Just pick a random shore line and dock your boat for a moment. Chances are, you are the only person to stand in that spot, ever! That is how remote Big Hook Wilderness Camps truly is. The miles and miles of forest sprawling before you probably is unexplored. The Opasquia Provincial Park has a population of three. Myself, my mom and my dad. Thus, there is extremely little human influence on the park.

All in all, what I am trying to convey is traveling 200 miles from the nearest road or town can be exciting and at the same time difficult to process. From a business point of view the distance is very challenging to overcome. Months of planning is needed for an efficient season. From a guests stand point, you are witnessing Mother Nature as she has existed for the past thousands of years undisturbed by man. On your next Big Hook vacation, take a step back and a deep breath because it is just you and Mother Nature.

Good luck on the water in your fall/winter fishing adventures everyone. Please remember to practice catch and release.
Big Hook Wilderness Camps

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Get on the Water

It has been quite the warm fall thus far in the Midwest. In my opinion, this is a great time of year to get your boat out of storage and on the water. Generally, waterways this time of year are less crowded due to the fact kids are back in school and many people are switching their focus to hunting. Plus, this very well could be the last outing before temperatures plummet and snow begins to descend from the sky. Personally I prefer fishing from a boat rather than sitting in a shack watching a tip up.

Fall is also another great time to check out your local tackle shop for great deal on fishing gear and tackle. Often retailers will discount whats remaining of their summer stockpile to clear out space for hunting season and holiday products. Great brands to keep an eye on are: Shimano for fishing reels and St Croix for rods. I'll admit these brands are rarely discounted but watch the prices closely in the fall.

Now that the Big Hook fishing season is over Mom, Dad and I begin tackling the off season projects in preparation for the 2011 season. One big project for the winter is driving supplies up the winter ice highway. A large amount of planning is invested before driving the ice highway. The first step is discussing projects for camp in 2011 and figuring out what will be needed. The second step is allocating enough materials and goods from around NW Ontario for two trips up the ice road. The majority of the trips we have more goods than we can haul. The final step is transporting the goods, which usually takes ten days or so depending on the weather conditions.

Another big chunk of the "off season" is directed to the sport show tour. Our 2011 sport show dates are as follows:

All Canada - St Charles, IL -
Jan 13-16
Canada - Milwaukee, WI - Jan 20-23
All Canada -
Madison, WI - Jan 24-26
All Canada-
Green Bay, WI - Jan 27-30
Tinley Park, IL Feb 12-13
All Canada - Dallas TX -
Feb 25-27

We look forward to visiting with many of you during our sport show campaign. Good luck on the water everyone. I am already looking forward to the 2011 Big Hook season.
Big Hook Wilderness Camps