Thursday, August 30, 2018

Dances With Wolves

Kevin Costner doesn't have anything over my husband, John. He was dancing with a wolf in our dogyard yesterday afternoon. Our daughter Joanna details the account....

"First time ever for finding a WOLF in our fenced in dog yard this afternoon!!!! My mom and I were in the basement sewing so didn't hear what happened til it was all over. My dad heard the dogs sounding off like crazy so went to check things out... finds a wolf laying in our dog yard chewing on a bone! He must have taken it from a nearby dog, which would have been one of my main older leaders Vader... (we give the dogs raw beef leg/knuckle bones throughout the summer, then we haul the old bones to our dump 3 miles away) all the dogs were going nuts except the ones closest to the wolf were quiet and still... my dad didn't want to leave to go get his gun in case it decided to go after one of the dogs so instead he tried to "herd" it out of the dog yard. He was trying to steer it away from the dogs and back towards the upper gate where it must have crawled under. With a new nickname of "dances with wolf" it ended up being a bit of a chase around the dog yard with the wolf bouncing off the fence and was in close proximity to several dogs, one of which was my other main leader! Thank goodness the wolf was more concerned about getting away from the human than attacking any dogs... finally my dad was able to herd him out the gate he was able to open... wew talk about a close call.... Dogs had a busy day with their first run of the season this morning, then a wolf running around the yard..."

Monday, August 6, 2018

All In

I took an unexpected plunge the other day while preparing to take a relaxing ride on our pontoon boat with Jonathan, Reseth and the kids. We had just finished a delightful time around the campfire roasting brats and marshmallows. Jonathan thought it would be great to take his family out on the lake to watch the sun set. They asked me if I wanted to go along too since John and Joanna had to go feed the sled dogs.
I said sure. It was a cool evening so we all had on warm coats with hoods. Once everyone was on the boat and preparing to leave Jonathan said that we were stuck. I thought he meant that the motor in the back was stuck on the bottom of the lake so I went to the front of the boat to try to lift up the back end.
He said no, the front pontoons were stuck in the shallow end of the lake. So I went to the very back of the boat by the motor to lift up the front end.
I knew that Jonathan had already untied the front and back of the boat that was securing it to the dock, so he put it in reverse to back away from the dock and all of a sudden the boat stopped. I wasn’t expecting that and it threw me off balance.
Since I had nothing to hold onto, I went flying through the air in the form of a cart wheel and plunged into the water. I was laughing so hard when I came to the surface that I could hardly swim back to the boat. Thankfully I had left my phone in the house and my glasses were still on my face when I came up.
Jonathan felt so badly that I had fallen into the lake and explained that there was another rope holding the boat in the middle to the dock that he had not seen. Well, we all had a good laugh over that. 
It's been said of me by those who know me well, that I am characteristically an "ALL IN" person when I do anything.  I'd have to say they were right about that this time.  

Monday, July 30, 2018

Trophy Night on Indian Lake

Our son Jonathan and his wife Reseth are visiting us for a week at camp along with the three chilluns, Aaron, Titus and Evemarie.  The boys LOVE to catch fish, so Joanna and I took them out to our favorite spot about sundown, cast our jigheads to the bottom and waited for some nice Walleyes to come along.  We waited and waited and waited and waited.  Not even a bite.  It was about 8 o'clock and from my experience they really start to bite at dusk. 

It's always good to have some walleye chop on the water, but it was very calm and we would see Smallmouth bass swirling on top of the water every now and then  nearby us.  I couldn't take it any longer.  I took off my jighead and put on a top water lure to see if I could snag one of the smallmouth.  Sure enough , one took the bait.  I gave my rod to Titus to reel him in so he could feel the action since he was getting bored with no fish on his line.  Soon as we got the bass to the boat, he spit out the hook and away he went.

On my last cast of the artificial bait, I saw a very large walleye following it about six feet under the boat.  It wasn't long after that that Jonathan felt a tap, tap, tap on his line and his pole bent over double... a sure sign of a large fish.  What a beautiful 28 inch Walleye it was!!

He threw it back in for another day.  We were looking for some eating size walleyes, about 16 to 18 inches. 

Next thing I knew, my rod bent over double with a huge fish.  I then landed a 28 inch Walleye too.  What fun!

Titus and Aaron both caught a few smaller walleyes that we threw back.  And then Titus quietly announced that he felt a fish on his line.  He says it so calmly and quietly that you tend to doubt him.  But when his pole bent over from the weight of the fish, it was all hands on deck, grabbing the net and getting the camera ready for a picture.  He reeled with all his might while I held onto his pole to make sure it didn't go overboard.  It was the biggest fish he had ever caught... a 28 inch Walleye.  Soon after that he caught another 28 inch Walleye.  Maybe we were all catching the same one. 

But then Aaron who was nodding off to sleep waiting for something to happen on his line, felt a tap, tap on his line and his pole bent over with the weight of a big fish.  He landed the biggest fish of all, a 29 inch walleye. 

Later, I snagged a 28 inch Northern Pike.  All the fish got thrown back since they were all to big to keep and eat, but what an exhilarating, fun-filled night of fishing for us all.  It was the only time I can remember that Joanna didn't catch a thing.  She usually out fishes us all.  But she was very thankful the boys had such a super time.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Unique Experience

Joanna and I were driving back from Dryden Sunday afternoon after church and decided to turn onto a gravel side road off Hwy 17 to check out a blueberry patch and see if they were ripe enough to pick. We both were walking along the edge of the path filling our bellies with big, delightful, juicy, blueberries.
After we had our fill, we got back into the car and turned the corner to head back to the Hwy. Suddenly, I saw an animal running along the side of the road that looked like a large dog. It was actually a Timber Wolf. She stopped to look at us, so I stopped the car, rolled down the window and grabbed my phone to take some pictures.
She didn't seem to be the least bit afraid of us. And here we were picking berries without a care with him wandering around near us. We wondered if the people who had been logging in the area might have fed her because there was a trailer close by. It's possible she was a mama wolf with a den nearby. It was difficult to tell whether it was a male or female at first because of the poor lighting, until we could look more closely at the pictures and video.
When she started walking toward our car getting about 15 feet away, I decided I had better move along. I didn't want her lunging at me through an open window. It was a pretty amazing experience.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Ya'll Com Back Now, Ya Here?

My brother Rick from Georgia drove up to spend a couple of weeks with us. He just left this morning and we were sad to see him go. We had so much fun with him. He LOVES to fish and tries to make it up here once a year for sure. This year he had a friend from his church in Georgia fly into Thunder Bay where he picked him up and came to stay for a week in one of our cabins. Kelly is a great fisherman too and is pictured holding up the pike. They especially like to catch Smallmouth Bass since they put up such a good fight. We so enjoyed getting to know Kelly and showing him our neck of the woods. One day Rick, Kelly and I went to fish on Heathwalt Lake about 6 miles from our camp. Though it was tough fishing because of extremely strong wind, we were blessed to come around a point and see a Cow moose with her little one eating grass by the water's edge. I'll have to get Kelly's pictures of them to post here too. We also got to see a large linx on the way to the lake. It's a great experience to just be outside and relax in God's creation.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Some Mighty Fine Fish

Our guests have been finding Nemo... well not really Nemo, but other mighty fine fish.  We're featuring Greg Neumeyer and Randy Neumeyer with a few healthy pike and Jason Koskela with his son Wyatt and Grandpa who brought him a variety of fish from different lakes in the area.  All John knows is the fish remain barrels in the fish cleaning house have been getting pretty heavy these days. 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Exploring Mystery Lake

Yesterday Joanna and I decided to take a canoe and do a little exploring in our area.  Some campers that stayed with us this spring found this lovely little lake and had such a great time there that we wanted to try to find it and fish there ourselves.  However, we promised not to disclose the name of it, so we will call it Mystery Lake. 

John loaded our 16 foot Grumman canoe in the back of the pickup truck and we loaded up all our gear, heading out about 8 am. 

As we traveled along the narrow road enjoying the scenery, all of a sudden a young bull moose leaped out of the trees and onto the road right in front of us.  Joanna and I gasped and were amazed as he immediately began trotting down the road in front of us.  We tried to get a picture of him, but he kept disappearing around the curves in the road before we could catch up to him.  We could only travel about 10 mph.  Soon we saw him again, but then he turned into the trees on the right and we lost sight of him.  Pretty exciting. 

We were looking for a certain trail that would take us down to the lake, but accidentally made a wrong turn down another small road and ended up at someone's gate.  Oh boy. Lots of lost time on that one. 

We backtracked the way we came and finally found a turn into the woods that resembled the trail we were looking for.  But it didn't look like it was made for a vehicle.  We decided we'd better walk it first to make sure we were in the right location and see if it would work to drive down it with the truck. 

When we reached the end of the trail, we knew we were in the right place.  What a gorgeous little lake.  We longed to get on it with the canoe to check out the fishing.  I knew I could not begin to carry the canoe that far even with Joanna's help.  The next best thing was to do some road clearing to make it possible to drive the pickup in a bit closer to the lake. 

We thought we did a pretty good job of removing obstacles, but once I began driving the pickup in reverse on this path, I wondered what I had gotten myself into.  Yikes!  What a maneuvering test this was in weaving to and fro to miss hitting branches, small trees and brush along the way.  I'm afraid we did end up putting a small dent in the door of John's pickup and added a few new scratches.  Uh oh. 

I was already exhausted from THAT ordeal when we unloaded the canoe and proceeded to walk down the sloping hill to the lake.  The canoe seemed heavier than ever.  Maybe I have just aged and gotten weaker.  At first I carried the back end of the canoe and Joanna the front end.  But I couldn't see where I was going and kept tripping on rocks and logs on the path.  Maybe the front end would be better for me I suggested.  At least I could see where I was going.  We both wore rubber boots since  there was a muddy spot at the landing. 

Soon we reached the landing.  I safely skirted around most of the mud, silently rejoicing that I could soon set the canoe in the water, when unfortunately, my right boot sunk down about eight inches in the last bit of mud.  Of course Joanna had no idea that my foot was stuck and kept moving forward with the canoe.  It all happened so fast.  Next thing I knew I was face down flat on the ground.  Joanna set down her end of the canoe and worriedly asked if I was okay.  When I finally stood back up, she began to laugh hysterically as I was covered in mud from my waist down.  I walked into the lake and rinsed myself off while we both had a good laugh. 

We got ourselves situated in the canoe, baited our hooks with spinners and leeches and started paddling out in to the lake. ( Note to self-  check the weather forecast before venturing on a lake in a canoe.)  Once we got a bit further onto the lake, a gale force head on wind pushed hard against us.  We paddled ferociously to get a little ways up the lake.  Soon Joanna felt a tug on her line and began to reel in a large walleye.  Yahoo!!  She got it near the canoe, grabbed the net and without warning, the end two feet of her fishing rod bent over and broke off!  As soon as the rod broke, the line broke and away went the walleye.  Joanna was aghast that we had finally gotten to the lake only to have a broken fishing rod.  Well, at least we got to see the fish and knew we would have released it anyway because it was well over 18 inches.

We couldn't figure out why her rod would have broken, but then surmised that the canoe must have bounced on it in the back of the pickup truck and damaged it enough to break it when pressure was applied with a fish on the line.  She managed to use it without the tip, but I think it hurt her ability to feel the fish on the line and she was only able to bring in a northern after that.

We decided to try to get to the other end of the lake, but fighting the wind made it almost unbearable.   Two beautiful trumpeter swans were floating nearby, softly playing some deep trumpet sounds from time to time.  Joanna attached a five gallon pail to a rope and threw it in the lake to help slow down our drifting from about 15 mph to 10 mph.  No walleye could keep up to that speed.  Soon, we had drifted back down to a bay that was too shallow to fish.  We paddled back to where we started and Joanna had caught her nice walleye.  We even tried to still fish with an anchor, but found we did better drifting.  I was able to get four more walleye, all nice size, keeping the smaller ones and throwing back the bigger ones. 

We've got enough for a meal we said and headed back to shore to call it a day.  It was a memorable adventure to be sure, but we unanimously decided we didn't have a hankering to ever to go back to Mystery Lake.