Voyageur Canoe Crew at the Races

The Voyageur Canoe Outfitters Crew had a great time at the Gunflint Trail Canoe Races. The girls all remained above water and on their canoes for gunwale pumping and Tony took 1st Place with Alex just behind him for the men’s gunwale pumping. The crew took home a bunch of medals and did a super job! We’re always proud of our Voyageur Crew.

Gunflint Trail

Gunflint Trail Canoe Races

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When’s the Best Time to Go Fishing?

Any time you get a chance to go fishing is the best time to go. Even if you know the catching isn’t going to be good, it’s still a wonderful opportunity to get outside and enjoy some time on the water. It doesn’t matter what way the wind is blowing for me or if it’s blowing at all, a day on the lake is a day well spent. But just in case you want to be picky here’s an article that will tell you the best time to fish from TakeMeFishing.org

BWCA fishing

Nice Walleye

The Best Time to Fish? Read the Weather

How Weather Determines Best Time to Fish

  • East winds. “Wind from the east, fishing is least, wind from the north, blows the fish forth, wind from the west, fishing is best, and winds from the south blows the lure in their mouth.” That’s mostly true, for the saying draws on barometric pressure. High pressure, fish eat, low pressure, fish take cover due to impending bad weather. There are some exceptions to the rule, such as fishing on a beach that faces East. East winds stack striped bass and bluefish at your boots, and since it concentrates baitfish there is usually a feeding frenzy.
  • Barometric pressure. Fish predict marine weather patterns far more reliably than the groundhog in February. They know when bad weather is approaching so they feed heavily before it hits. They’ll sulk for a while, and a few days after the storm passes and the pressure rises they go back to feeding. Look for fish to feed more aggressively during a barometric pressure change and you’ll catch ’em up.
  • Skyrocketing change. These days we see a lot of dramatic weather conditions: no rain for a month and then 4-5 inches in a day. Dramatic pressure changes can shut off fishing. Steady pressure and good marine weather for extended time might not produce the best fishing times for big catches. But, they tend to offer a consistent bite that is pretty good.
  • Clouds and rain. Clouds and light rain provide stealthy conditions. Bright sun can make fish skittish, but cloud cover gives fish a sense of comfort. A light rain decreases visibility and fish can’t give your offerings a closer look. Heavy rain can shut off stream and river fishing as the water table rises quickly and the fish trade heavy currents for slower ones. It’s not bad in the ocean or on lakes and ponds provided that you’re careful wading or boating.

If you’re fishing in foul weather be sure to use extra safety precautions from PFDs and other boat safety equipment.

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Blueberry Picking on the Gunflint Trail

As soon as someone says the word “blueberries” the pickers hit the Gunflint Trail. There have been numerous vehicles parked alongside the road and on the side roads for the past couple of weeks. People are picking blueberries because they can.

I would say the blueberries are a couple of weeks from peak. Most areas have about 1/3 of the berries ripe and the bushes with more ripe ones than that still have a lot of room to grow. But I suppose if you can only get out and pick one time during the summer then it is better to pick now than not at all.

I’m just always thinking about the green berries that will get knocked off the bush or trampled by eager pickers. I guess I shouldn’t worry about it because there are so many places to pick but I’m one of those pickers who will reach and stretch and reach some more just so I don’t have to step in a new place and potentially smash a berry underfoot.

The blueberry crop appears to be much better this year than last year but if we don’t get some rain to go with this heat the 2/3 of the crop that needs to mature won’t fair as well.  So, a little rain dance, a little less intense heat and the more berries there will be for everyone.

picking blueberries on gunflint trail

blueberries

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Beaver Flick

I haven’t been able to load any videos to You tube for some odd reason but if you click this link then you’ll see a neat video of a beaver courtesy of Brad.

beaver in the BWCA

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Saganaga Sunset Loon Serenade

Tony and Brad were out on Saganaga Lake in the Boundary Waters for a little bit of fishing the other night but instead of catching something they were caught. The beauty of the wilderness, the song of the loon and the ever-changing colors of the sunset caught their attention. Thankfully they were able to catch a little bit of it for us to enjoy.

Click the link to watch the video-

saganaga sunset

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Posted in BWCA

Scary Stories of the Storm in the BWCA

We’re grateful all of our groups that were out in the Boundary Waters during the storm have fared well so far. We’ve heard some very scary stories of harrowing experiences and we’re saddened by the two lives lost in the storm. Tony and Brad were out in the BWCA during the storm and said it was something else.

I haven’t gotten all of the details but I do know they had to swim for their canoe that got blown away. They spent the majority of the night crouched behind a big rock. One of canoe groups who returned from their trip yesterday were very lucky. Huge red pines fell within inches of their tent. They are very lucky. Here’s a few of their photos.

BWCA storm photos

BWCA Storm Photos

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That was the kitchen fly that was hung up.

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There’s a fire grate beneath this tree

 

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Trees all around their tent fell down.

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BWCA Storm Updates

Another tragedy in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, this time on the Ely side of the Superior National Forest. Here’s an article for more information about the event.

WIND STORM CAUSES DAMAGE ACROSS SUPERIOR NATIONAL FOREST

Duluth, MN – July 21, 2016.  Early this morning, a powerful wind storm swept across northeast Minnesota, blowing down trees in areas of the Superior National Forest, including the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW).

Many roads and trails are blocked by downed trees within and around the Forest. Forest Service crews are currently working to clear access and to remove hazards. This effort may take several days to complete.  Electric power was interrupted for some locations. There are no emergency closures on the Superior National Forest at this time.

Following the storm, the Forest Service has also assisted St. Louis and Lake County Sheriffs in search and rescue operations including an incident on Basswood Lake, within Quetico Provincial Park, that involved two fatalities and two serious injuries requiring hospitalization.

The National Weather Service is predicting another strong to severe thunderstorm to pass through northeast Minnesota on Saturday and Saturday night with damaging winds, torrential rainfall, and large hail.

Superior National Forest managers urge visitors to:
Be aware of current conditions on the Forest and to stay up-to-date with the forecast.
When planning travel on the Forest, especially in the Wilderness, understand that search and rescue takes longer in the wilderness than in an urban setting. Cell phones do not work in many parts of the BWCAW.
Be prepared! Prevent the need for a search and rescue operation that may impact the integrity of the Wilderness area or put others in danger
Lastly, leave a trip itinerary outlining your travel plans with someone at home and remember to check in with them when you return safely. The Forest Service does not automatically initiate searches if a group doesn’t leave as planned. If someone is concerned because you are late returning from your trip, they should contact the county sheriff’s office.

Updates will be posted at:
Superior National Forest web site:  www.fs.usda.gov/superior,
Facebook:  U.S. Forest Service-Superior National Forest
Twitter: @SuperiorNF

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Another Storm in the BWCA and Beyond

If you’re trying to get a hold of us today then you probably aren’t having much luck. Our phones are sketchy right now due to last night’s storm. It was a doozy.

The light show outside of my bedroom window was amazing.  Lightning lit up the sky in all directions and it even lit up an electrical transformer nearby. Trees bent over and snapped off and some became uprooted. The wind speed gusted over 40 miles per hour and we received just under an inch of rain.

We have not heard any reports of injuries on our side of the BWCA. There appear to have been some injuries of campers near Ely, Minnesota but so far so good for us.  We do have campers in the woods and we’re praying for the safety of all.

We’re hoping this is the last of the severe storms of the summer.

Storm Boundary Waters

Voyageur Canoe Outfitters

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Gadget Insanity

I thought I would be super happy now that we have broadband at the end of the Gunflint Trail but it turns out I’m not thrilled.  Don’t get me wrong, I love faster internet and the fact we can actually connect to the internet to get our work done.  When the internet was slow it was super painful to reserve a permit, print a fishing license or do anything online. Now that it is fast it seems more people want to use it and abuse it and that’s what I’m not happy about.

I wish I could say it is just kids that are obsessed with their gadgets but that would be lying. People of all ages are hooked on their technology and have a very difficult time not using it when it is available. Today I had a Grandpa bumping into things in the store because he was trying to read text messages on his phone. I also had a man come in to complain about his family all being on their phones upstairs in the lodge while he was waiting to go to Chik-Wauk Museum.  I told him to tell them it was against our rules to use the internet to make phone calls, then I said I was lying it really wasn’t against the rules, but then I created a new rule sheet and had Rachel make copies to post around the lodge so I can honestly say, “It’s against the rules.”

I don’t like to see people on their phones or iPads when they should be outside experiencing the great outdoors at the end of the Gunflint Trail. I understand there are a couple of instances where it may be necessary to check in with someone or check on something but I don’t want people wasting their precious vacation time on their gadget.  I also don’t want other people who are taking a gadget free vacation to have to be exposed to someone else using gadgets. It just looks and feels bad.

I hope you understand my need to have a rule in place at Voyageur. There are some things I’m not ready for and one of those is people sitting on our picnic table outside of the store talking on their cell phone.  I don’t ever want to have that be OK.

Go Gadget Free on the Gunflint Trail!

technology free vacations

Thanks for your Cooperation

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Voyageur Crew Member Cassidy

Cassidy is technically in her first year at Voyageur but since she is Matt’s partner and has gleaned a bunch of information from him she’s quite advanced. She spent the winter here with Matt and learned a ton about the business. Answering phones and emails she quickly learned about different routes, camping equipment and more. She’s had crash courses in marketing, hiring and retail sales. Through it all she has done an amazing job and we couldn’t be happier with her performance.

Our guests all love Cassidy as much as we do. She enjoys listening to people’s stories when they get back from canoe trips and she also likes helping our cabin guests make the most of their stay at Voyageur. When she’s not working she likes to paddle and spend time with nature laying in a hammock and reading. Cassidy’s favorite lake is Lake of the Clouds and she too is looking forward to her Quetico Park trip with Matt.

We’ve received so many compliments about how great Cassidy is and we encourage you to come up and meet her.  She plans to spend the winter at Voyageur again and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have her.

Voyageur crew end of Gunflint Trail

Cassidy

 

 

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