Yesterday’s temperature soared up to 80 degrees and it was wonderful. I can’t remember a Memorial Weekend where we have had such beautiful weather. The lake has been calm, the sun shining and the temperature warm. An added bonus to this terrific weather is the lack of bugs. I haven’t been bitten by anything yet and I really haven’t seen any bugs. To make things even better our guests paddling the BWCA and staying at Voyageur are catching fish!
It’s been an amazing weekend made even better by the awesome Voyageur Crew. We’ve got a wonderful crew hired by Tony and Hannah this winter and they are just waiting to serve you. They are enthusiastic, energetic and fun to be around and I can’t wait for you to meet them. Hopefully you have a trip planned for the summer or are in the process of planning one. It’s going to be a great summer and we want to make sure you make it even better by visiting us at Voyageur.
Our guests have been having lots of wildlife sightings on their Boundary Waters canoe trips so far this season. It’s easy to recognize a moose standing on the shoreline or a bear climbing up a tree but when these animals are swimming it isn’t quite as easy. It takes the mind a minute or two to compute that the head bobbing in the water is not a loon or a duck but a bear. Our guests have reported seeing swimming bears, moose, wolves and of course the normal loons and ducks. It’s so exciting to see one of those “big” animals and especially so when they are in the water.
Moose sightings on land have been frequent on the Gunflint Trail too. We have our neighborhood moose at the end of the Trail, one with a brand new calf. Guests have spotted moose mid-trail and elsewhere on the Gunflint and it’s always a highlight of their trip.
I still love seeing moose and it’s a highlight of my day when I see them, I don’t think I will ever grow tired of it. Pretty soon you’ll be seeing people swimming too, but not me for a week or two.
Things are wonderful at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters and the end of the Gunflint Trail. We’ve got guests paddling the BWCA, fishing on Saganaga and enjoying area hiking trails and we have a wonderful summer crew to serve them. They have all been out enjoying the Boundary Waters on their days off and on a recent trip Evan, back for his third year, took some amazing photos of the northern lights. Enjoying the northern lights in the Boundary Waters? It just doesn’t get much better than that.
Abby went for a dip in Lake Superior already this year. A little chilly but not as chilly as it usually is this time of the year or compared to last year. There aren’t too many days of the year I feel like jumping into Lake Superior and Sunday, May 17th when she jumped in definitely wasn’t one of those days.
Lake Superior Water temperatures
On May 17, 2015 Lake Superior had an average surface water temperature of 37.7 degrees. This is 2.5 degrees warmer than May 17, 2014 and 0.8 degrees warmer than the 20-year average.
I hope you are planning to visit the Gunflint Trail this weekend and of course us at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters too. The forecast looks like the best weather ever for Memorial Weekend. With sunshine, highs in the 70′s, very small chance of precipitation and just a breeze for wind the conditions for paddling are going to be perfect.
Some of our Voyageur Crew is out taking advantage of the beautiful weather already. Hannah took a new crew member into the BWCA today and tomorrow Tony will venture out on a trip too. It’s such a great time to be out in the woods. Very few people, not many bugs and plenty of fish to be caught! It just doesn’t get much better than this.
We received just a dusting of the white stuff on May 19th at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters. It disappeared quickly as the temperature made it’s way into the 50′s. Most people camping in the Boundary Waters would rather not wake up to snow on their tent in the morning but as long as it warms up in the afternoon I’d rather have snow than rain on my canoe trip.
When are you paddling the Boundary Waters? I have a couple of trips I’m wanting to take this summer; one with my family and one with my son and his friend. Of course my son and his friend think they should be able to canoe and camp in the BWCA by themselves since they are 14 years-old now. The problem with that is as soon as I let them go out alone then I’ll never be needed or welcome on their trip again.
I obviously can’t let them go out on their own this year, or next and possibly not until they are 21 or older. I need to accompany them for their sake and mine!
I came across an article on the Take Me Fishing Blog called “5 Simple Reasons You’re Not Catching Fish.” There’s just one reason I am not catching fish this year and that’s because I haven’t been out fishing yet. Sad as it may seem it is the truth.
Yesterday Josh had a triple header for baseball south of Duluth and Abby played in a volleyball tournament in Duluth. Today is the second day of her two-day tournament and the good news is, it’s the last tournament of the very long season. She has a play-off game for softball on Tuesday and if they lose that game then they will be done for the season. There are just a couple of weeks left of school and then it’s Trail time again.
Band concerts, dances, team dinners and sports keep us very busy during the school year. I’m not sure who looks forward to summer more, the kids or me? All I do know is Josh and I are both ready to go fishing and we don’t care if we don’t catch any fish!
Every angler has experienced at least one crummy day of fishing that they would rather just forget. As much as no one wants to admit it, most of us have come home (GASP!) skunked at one time or another. It happens. However, if your landing net actually has cobwebs in it or if you have absolutely no clue what “bass thumb” means, you should probably read on.
Here are five simple reasons you aren’t catching fish:
1. You tend to stay in one spot even when you aren’t catching fish. There is no magic formula that dictates the precise length of time you should fish one particular spot before moving. However, if you’ve been in the same spot for a half hour to an hour without a single bite, it’s probably time to rethink your location. Take a look around. Are you fishing an area where there is structure? Are you fishing an area with current? Baitfish and other game fish prey will usually be found near structure or in areas with current.
2. You aren’t monitoring the weather or tide conditions in advance. Weather and tide conditions can play a large part in your level of fishing success or frustration. Anglers often avoid fishing on “blue bird sky” weather days because these clear days usually follow a cold front and the fishing can be very challenging. Conversely, fish will often feed aggressively right before a drop in pressure or arriving front. When fishing saltwater (or freshwater tidal areas), it’s important that you check your local tide charts and plan to fish during times of a strong incoming or outgoing tide if possible.
3. You over-think your fishing strategies. Any angler who has fished a competitive tournament has likely experienced the frustration of over-thinking his or her fishing strategy. If you start second-guessing yourself when it comes to tactics that have consistently worked well for you, you can end up spending your entire day switching baits, lures, tackle or spots without giving anything enough of a chance to work. There has to be a proper balance between this reason and reason number one above.
4. You are either not using the right lures or fishing your lures too fast. Just because you caught a nice fish on a specific lure five years ago, doesn’t mean that you will keep catching fish on the same lure regardless of the conditions. Test different lures under a variety of conditions. When it comes to the speed of your retrieve, remember that during the summer months certain species (such as trout, smallmouth bass or largemouth bass) can become somewhat lazy as the water temperatures increase. This means that you will need to slow down your retrieve in order to make your lure an easier target.
5. You aren’t tying strong enough knots or the right kinds of knots. If you are hooking up, but are losing fish before you can land them, it could be that the quality of your knots is to blame. Are your hooks, lures or leader lines coming off? Do you know how to tie a couple of good fishing lure, hook or rig knots? How about a couple of strong line-joining knots? Research and practice tying reliable knots so that you come home with a photo of your catch instead of telling a story about the big one that got away (and took your $10 lure along with it).
What other reasons have had you skunked instead of catching? Share your comments by logging into the Take Me Fishing Community.
This article about getting kids to spend more time in the great outdoors saved the best for the last. They listed a bunch of different activities you can do with your kids and guess what the last suggestion was? Yep, go canoeing! I’ll add to it by saying, “Go canoeing with Voyageur Canoe Outfitters!”
Too often these days, children default to sitting in front of screens to interact with the virtual world rather than getting outside and experiencing it for real.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with playing on the computer or video console, but there needs to be a balance.
Sadly, the passive ease with which our children now choose to spend their time seems to have robbed them of the attribute we parents were forced to develop by dint of there being no computer or video games to mindlessly play when we were growing up: imagination!
So there’s now a campaign urging children to take back their ‘wild time’ by swapping 30 minutes of screen use for outdoor activities, such as conkers and camping.
The Wild Network‘s Andy Simpson said: “The tragic truth is that kids have lost touch with nature and the outdoors in just one generation.
“Time spent outdoors is down, roaming ranges have fallen drastically, activity levels are declining and the ability to identify common species has been lost.
“With many more parents becoming concerned about the dominance of screen time in their children’s lives, and growing scientific evidence that a decline in active time is bad news for the health and happiness of our children, we all need to become marketing directors for nature.
“An extra 30 minutes of wild time every day for all under 12-year-olds in the UK would be the equivalent of just three months of their childhood spent outdoors.
“We want parents to see what this magical wonder product does for their kids’ development, independence and creativity, by giving wild time a go.”
David Bond, who made the film Project Wild Thing, added: “I wanted to understand why my children’s childhood is so different from mine, whether this matters and, if it does, what I can do about it.
“The reasons why kids, whether they live in cities or the countryside, have become disconnected from nature and the outdoors are complex.
“Project Wild Thing isn’t some misty-eyed nostalgia for the past. We need to make more space for wild time in children’s daily routine, freeing this generation of kids to have the sort of experiences that many of us took for granted.
“It’s all about finding wildness on your doorstep and discovering the sights, sounds and smells of nature, whether in a back garden, local park or green space at the end of the road.”
Sarah Blackwell, from Get Children Outdoors, said: “I’ve made it my mission to to help children establish and grow in confidence, self-esteem and emotional awareness through activity in the outdoors.”
The nesting eaglets are testing their wings but haven’t flown from the nest yet. If you haven’t checked out the eagle cam then I urge you to do so. It is so neat to see them at such a close range. The nest next to Highway 61 is in plain view but you can’t see what is going on inside. Take a peek, you’ll be glad you did.
May 14, 2015 – EagleCam Update
Up, Up, and Away
As many of you have already noticed, the eaglets have started to “branch.” Branching means they are moving onto branches neighboring the nest. Both are also exercising their wings, jumping and hovering over the nest, and will be soon taking their maiden flight. The camera cannot be zoomed out any further than it is. In order to have a great close-up view, we had to sacrifice seeing the larger area around the nest. We will pan the camera around from time to time when we are able, to provide a view of the nest as well as the branch above it.
Food on a string?
Many saw the eagles bring prey into the nest that appeared to be on a string or leash. Rest assured that the eagles did not bring someone’s beloved pet into the nest. Instead we were able to determine that the prey was a fish attached to a stringer. It isn’t likely that the eagles ‘stole’ the fish from an angler though… More likely the eagles found a dead fish that an angler had abandoned or lost accidentally.
Q: Why are the eaglets’ heads and tails not white?
A: The transition from their brown juvenile colors to their adult colors with a white head and tail takes four to five years. Here is some additional information describing this transition: http://www.featheredphotography.com/blog/2013/01/27/a-guide-to-aging-bald-eagles/
Q: How old are the eaglets?
A: The eaglets started to hatch on Feb. 24. This makes the eaglets approximately 11 weeks old as of this update.
Q: When will the eaglets start flying?
A: Eaglets typically make their first flight between roughly 10 to 13 weeks of age (so it could be any day now). They may hang around the nest and their parents for another one to two months.
Watch the MNDNR EagleCam live at: mndnr.gov/eaglecam
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