Thursday, August 09, 2007

Fish Stories

Our hot spell is broken which is rather nice. The temperatures are still in the 80’s during the day. At night, the story has changed. We are now getting down into the 60’s at night. It makes for great sleeping. Today even looks like we could get a few drops of rain. That would really be a blessing.

The peak has passed for raspberry and blueberry picking. There are still berries to be picked but they are winding down. That’s okay. We have lots of jam plus blueberries in the freezer for the winter. I had fresh raspberries on my cereal this morning.

August is not generally known for its great fishing but one family of guests has had a super week. The parents, George and Mary, started out the week limiting in walleyes on their first day with Guide Dennis Todd. They also caught about 100 bass which were all thrown back. Bass are such fighters that they are just fun to catch.

The next day Dennis had them jigging for walleyes on Gunflint. That type of fishing generates lots of snags along with the fish. At some point Chris got a snag. He just couldn’t seem to drag it in or get it to release. Finally Dennis said, “Give me the line and I will break it off.” While Dennis starts this, he notices that the boat is not moving but the line is moving. That’s a sure sign that you don’t have a snag but do have a huge fish. Quickly they start reeling in the line to take in any slack. A little later Chris reels in a 40-inch northern. The fish had been lip hooked with a jig and no leader. That is a really unusual catch because northerns can bite right through line with no steel leader on it.

So now we are up to yesterday. Dennis is out fishing with them again. This time it is Laura’s turn. She hooks into a large fish. The fish starts to wrap itself around the anchor rope. They have a real mess getting the fish and the anchor in at the same time. I can just see it in my mind’s eye. Laura’s catch ends up being a 29 ½ inch walleye. The funny part is that about 15 years ago Dennis was guiding this same family. That day Dennis got the 29 ½ inch walleye. The family now has pictures of both catches.

If you are planning at canoe trip in the BWCA, there is a total fire ban on right now. Everything is dry, dry, dry. Bruce and I were picking berries on the Magnetic Rock Trail. We passed lots of greens that were just wilted to the ground due to no water. The blueberries were also starting to shrivel up.

Lunches and dinners at the lodge have been just wild. One of the big attractions is the new patio. I was down last night helping out. The people sitting out on the patio were having a wonderful meal. There is something about eating next to the water that makes everything taste better. On one hand we would love to get rain but not during meal hours. We need every extra seat on the patio for guests. It is terrible to be so picky about when we get rain.

My job during the dinner hours is nothing special. That means I pour water, clean tables, and talk to people. Luckily I have never learned to operate the new computer system so I can’t take orders. The advantage to having me is that I can SEE what needs to be done. Also I have a limitless fund of stories to tell people who are waiting to be seated or to get their meal.

Bruce and Tucker are about to leave to check the minnow traps. They have been slow lately. Our saving grace has been that the guides are doing lots of jigging which does not take live bait. Even the lake trout we caught last week were caught on jigs.

I am about to do my weekly harvest in the garden. Today I will get snow pea pods, zucchini, parsley, basil, fennel, lettuce, and jalapeño peppers. The tomatoes are not ready yet nor are the green beans. The planting of both of these items was delayed due to the fire. Lettuce has been wonderful. I bring down a 2-gallon bag to the lodge each day for dinner salads and entree salads in the dining room. My lettuce patch is 40 feet by 4 feet long. It produces a lot!

Have a good day!

2 comments:

Annette Cozzi said...

Sue ~ My daughter Annie is working there at the lodge. I look so forward to your blog updates, as it gives me a picture of the daily 'goings on' up on the trail. I live vicariously through your entries. My Mom has had a long standing passion with Gunflint's history & the pioneering life that Justine lead. I visited the Gunflint Trail & Lodge for the first time this past June & left my heart there. Keep up the wonderful writings & updates...I can almost taste the blueberry pancakes & raspberry jam.
Annette Cozzi ~ St. Charles, IL

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