Saturday, May 28, 2011

The opening

Much apologies to my blog followers, I have been out and about opening up Big Hook Wilderness Camps for the 2011 season.  The past eight days I have been stationed at several different outposts.  Opening up the resort every spring presents numerous challenges.  One always hopes the camp weathered the winter favorably. However, I'd like to mention the gremlins do like to come out of the woodwork and keep you on your toes this time of year.

Our new pilot Andrew and I arrived at Central on May 14th flying under sunny skies and one heck of a north wind.  The trek north from Eagle Lake to Central was a smooth but tortoise like.  We felt like a salmon swimming up stream battling a 20+ knot headwind to Big Hook.  Upon arrival, Central was half iced over and at the resort every thing appeared to be as we left it.  One of the three windmills was damaged during the winter months and was in need of a new set of brushes for the alternator, a tedious fix to say the least.  It takes one hour to crank the windmill down for repair and then another long grueling hour to crank the turbine upright.

Two days after arrival we managed to haul in 11000 pounds of materials from Sandy Lake with the help of a Twin Beech.  It was a much needed sauna night after a day of playing pack mule.  That night, for the second year in a row I was the first to grace the waters of Central lake. I'll admit the water hardly acknowledged my presence as I streaked back up the dock  into the sauna, teeth chattering and all.

The weather has been anything but stable the past two weeks.  We were graced with 80 degree temperatures for several days only to get dumped on with 6 inches of snow last Monday, don't worry the snow was gone by morning.  For over 7 days we witnessed a strong east wind, a rarity for us.  North and west winds are commonplace in the great white north.  Not counting the snow, this Saturday is truly our first rain we have had in the past two weeks.

Now to the fishing report.

Central and Cocos we the two outposts brave enough to tempt opening week.  Water temperatures began last week peaking out at 57 degrees in some shallow bays.  However after the snowfall, temperatures plummeted to 47 on the surface.  They have been slowly on the rise, averaging in the low 50's on the surface.

Cocos reported a 43" pike as the largest for the week and a 28.5" walleye.  The pike was boated and released just a stones throw from camp.  The rapids are flowing at a pretty good rate considering the high water throughout the park but are still drivable.  According to the guests, about 80% of the female walleyes still had eggs which means they are late to spawn this year.  The pike have spawned and are holding in the shallow waters absorbing as much sun as possible.  The suckers are packing the rapids and are readying to spawn.  The pike are close by.  Hot colors for Cocos were gold gold and more gold.  Gold spoons seemed to have the magic touch for pike and jigging slowly for the walleye.

Central Lake was finding fish in every moving current.  The walleyes also are in the process of spawning.  The west narrows are holding large amounts of fish.  Shallow sunlit bays have pike prowling everywhere.  Another couple days of sunshine and the fish are going to get ravenous.  Shallow running crankbaits have been really effective in the muddy bays, along with jigging in the currents.

As I get out and around this week to the outposts I'll be able to see how the other outposts are fairing.  I'll make sure to bring the news directly to the blog site.  Good luck on the water everyone and looking forward to seeing you soon.

Big Hook Wilderness Camps     

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Spring Fever...continued.

May is a surreal time of year for a resort owner.  The anticipation for the up and coming fishing season is almost overwhelming.  In our case, making sure all the necessities for the 2011 season are purchased is a top priority.  Once at the resort it is tough to go shopping at the store down the street; especially when considering that store is almost 200 miles away.

Eagle Lake ice
A lot of attention is now focused on Mother Nature and more particularly the ice.  An early ice out is always appreciated.  A long cold winter created plenty of stubborn ice, on some lakes ice was recorded at close to 40 inches thick.  It was close to record year for the local trucking companies on the ice roads to Sandy Lake.  However, warm temperatures in NW Ontario over the past week put a formidable dent in the ice.  Ice in the Dryden area has been reduced to floating slush. (Attached right is a pic of the ice on Eagle Lake).

This weekend a rather wicked low pressure has traversed through NW Ontario brining plenty of snow/rain.  Snowfall totals in Sandy Lake have surpassed 4 inches and is still accumulating.  The large amount of precipitation will only raise the already high water in the area.  The back side of this low pressure is dragging plenty of wind which will aid in ice break up.  Also, looking at the forecasts warmer temperatures (50-60F) are to return to the area next week.  Coupled with the warm temperatures last week we should be on track for an on time season opener.
Rapala Shad #5

I'll keep everyone posted with ice out updates. I have all my equipment sorted, reels freshly lined and greased and ready to hit the water.  Attached are a couple pictures of lures I just bulked up in my tackle box that I think will be really effective this summer.

Reef Runner Lil Ripper
Good luck on the water to everyone.  It is only a couple of weeks until I can start posting fishing reports.
Big Hook Wilderness Camps