Monday, May 11, 2015

Ice is Out

Yesterday we received the much anticipated phone call from Sandy Lake Seaplane that the majority of Central Lake is free and clear of ice.  According to the pilot report, some ice still remains on the north end of the lake.  As many of you know, last year was a late late ice out.  I taxi'd the plane around icebergs on the 24th of May and some lakes were not free and clear of ice until the 28th of May.  Our all time latest ice out was June 1st roughly 10 years ago.

My plan was to travel northbound today, however snow and wind has decided to grace it's presence as winter refuses to relinquish it's grip on NW Ontario.   Currently, Sandy Lake is basking in sunshine and warmer temperatures.  Unfortunately, visibility and ceilings are holding it far from flyable here on Eagle Lake.   But, warmer weather is on the way and the season will get steam rolling before we know it.

Food Restrictions 

Do your research before heading northbound.  Just recently, Canada has banned transporting numerous foods into the country in an effort to combat the spread of the Bird Flu.  The majority of the restrictions are related to poultry products such as: eggs, uncooked chicken and turkey. Attached is a link to an extremely helpful article on the details of the restrictions. 

Click HERE for the article.  

Customers have the option to purchase chicken products in Canada.  Grocery stores on your way north of the border are: 

Safeway in Fort Frances

Dryden Walmart

Safeway in Dryden

IGA in Red Lake

I hope to arrive at Big Hook tomorrow, weather permitting, and am excited to get the 2015 season rolling.
Good luck on the water everyone!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Major warm up

Things are beginning to heat up in the north country.  An incredible warming trend has caused the snow and the majority of ice to vanish in the Eagle Lake area.  I arrived to Vermilion Bay two days ago with my travel companion Shadow the wonder dog. On my travels north from the States I didn't witness any ice on the lakes adjacent to Hwy 502.  Needless to say, if the future forecasts hold true, we should be experiencing an early ice out this year.
Sunset view on Eagle Lake 4/30


Mom, Dad and myself are beginning the early season scramble; gathering last minute supplies and staging goods to head northbound.  I am hoping to retrieve the airplane from Selkirk as early as Tuesday.  Word from Sandy Lake is that a fair amount of ice remains in the area but is melting quickly.  Temperatures the next several nights will remain above freezing and Saturday's forecasted high is a toasty 73 degrees.  Several days like that and open water throughout the Opasquia Provincial Park will appear in no time.  Rain is also in the forecast for Sunday and will only aid in the erosion of ice. 
Another positive to consider, is the majority of our lakes throughout the park have a considerable amount of flow. Both Cocos and Central lead the charge, having numerous rapids pushing water and are typically the first two bodies of water to open.  We will keep in touch with Sandy Lake Seaplane often for current ice reports. 

I expect fishing patterns to be well ahead of last year.  Official ice out for 2014 was May 24th.  The late ice and cool weather last year caused a delayed spawn for both species.  I remember catching walleye full of eggs into the first part of June.  The earlier ice out this season should have both species shaking off their post spawn laziness by the time guests arrive. 

Good luck on the water everyone, we are excited to get the ball rolling for the 2015 season.