It is September 10....where did the season go??? Where did August go??? Where the hell did summer screw off to??? lol. Was not a warm year...at all!
Speaking of August, I may have been a bit busy to post an update on here, but not for lack of trying! I had 2 drafts started and never finished, so I will summarize August based on all the photos I took and then, with a tear, I will talk about winding down and closing.
August started with family, friends from Montana, new friends/guests and Matt's birthday! The fishing was decent, but not on fire. Nice eating sized pike, lots of deep trout and some good walleyes when you could find them...you had to work for them. Shot some fireworks off for Matt's birthday, there was a nice family from Colorado here and they had their grandkids with so Milo and Freja got some good playtime in...exactly what they needed! Milo even got a girls email, so that was cute! He accidentally beaned her in the head with a bag of sunflower seeds, she was as pissed as a 10yo girl can be, but they made up before she left....oh the trials of a 10yo boy! Freja had a ridiculously cute photo session with Auntie Pam from Montana....oh my word that girl is photogenic!
Gus followed Matt's aunt/uncle/cousin & friend (Rod, Julie, Troy & Todd) out and headed home. The picnic table has never been more lonely over morning coffee. I get outvoted at every union meeting now and all I do is slave away for the boss...Matt hahaha! At least with Gus here, he and I outvote matt, veto work and happy hour starts on time! I think 2 days after Gus left, Matt and I tied into moving the fuel tanks by the quonset...we were sick of looking at them from the breakfast table in the lodge, the area was over grown and it was time. We moved Gus' fifth wheel over to where the fuel tanks were and now we can start prepping to build the winterized bunkhouse next to the guide house!! Super excited for that because it means we can come up in the winter, ice fish and hang out!! Moving everything was a chore but in about 2 days, everything was said and done.
Middle of August, the pike fishing turned on again, we had some more sunshine and some downtime so we fished! Went over to Wathaman and winterized and cleaned up the cabin over there...fished the portage and all over big Davin. Catch some nice walleye and pike...Freja was on fire catching pike! She outfished us all one day for sure which wasn't hard, because Milo wasn't fishing, he was driving the boat!!
Around the 20th or so we had a big private plane fly in and land on the runway. The group of 4 out of Edmonton did really well on the lake....caught some big fish, had some decent weather, but most of all they got a break from their busy professional lives! We always get good feedback from this group and this time was no exception...we treat our people well.
Did I mention it rained lots in August...all season actually, but isn't august supposed to be hot and dry??? Don't get me wrong, I would rather have rain than a raging forest fire, but there was a lot of rain...with rain brings a lot of mushrooms and fungi. It has been really interesting to see the wide variety of crazy things growing. Now I am not well versed in mushrooms, but I suppose I should be because there are lots of edible mushrooms up here! Plus there is some money to be made at them as well...not that I am interested in picking for profit, but I would like to incorporate some native vegetation into a couple of omelettes hahaha! Apparently, most of the mushrooms picked in this area and sold at a mushroom buyer outside of LA and then shipped to the asian market....who knew!
In between guests for the month of August, we fished...like we always do but its just easier in August because we are still running kinda light with guests. Last year we adventured south on the Wathaman Pink River to Collins Rapids...this year we went North on Wathaman up to Wilson Bay! We took 2 boats from the portage, Milo Timber and I in one boat and Matt and Freja in the other. Matt walked on water after gliding up onto a reef...and we caught so many beauty pike up there it was unreal! Once again, I am not the most proficient boater so its not easy for me to drive and fish while Milo is fishing, but he and I did pretty good. Saw some excellent scenery including a big beautiful sundog, had a weiner roast at the portage and caught some walleyes too.
There was more work to be done around camp before the end of the month though. Matts sister, husband and our nephew (Arlinda, Stan and Charlie) were coming up so we knew there would be more time to fish and less time to get shit done!! I finished staining the rest of the cabin floors (not in the bedrooms...yet) and I painted out the little kitchenettes from the terrible apricot color to a nice pale blue or maybe lavender?? My paint wasn't mixed all that well hahaha! Matt finally got his water project done....he put a large water tank up on the ridge behind the cabins and plumbed it in so the cabins have flushy washy at night and the generator can turn off! Saves us money in diesel if we can shut down for sure and it adds longevity to our water pump too! We call it "Mountain Water" just because.
Arlinda, Stan and Charlie rolled in at the end of the month and we had some less than desirable weather if you can imagine that. We ended up doing a day of shooting/target practice on the runway which was super cool! I don't have a lot of experience with guns, nor do I desire to have lots of experience with long guns. I only am interested in my 30-30 lever action that was my granddad's. Period. I don't shoot often nor had I shot this gun at all...but when I do shoot, I have one hell of a shot. I like to know how to handle a weapon from A-Z...not just how to load and fire rounds but really know a gun which is why I had never even picked this gun up until then. I know one day I will have to shoot something up here and I better be able to get it going on in a panic...and now I can. Anyways, we had targets stapled to pallets set up down runway plus some jugs sitting on shitty plastic chairs at the end so matt could shoot his 300. Stan had just bought a new Henry and also had a 7mm long gun...Stan is a gun nut and had brought like 10 different weapons, which is cool for sure. So, Matt is stepping me through it 2-3 times before its my turn to shoot and I got it for sure. I get a couple turns at my 4 shots and we walk up to the targets to check out my damage and YES, I did it. Bulls eye. I know you are thinking beginners luck, but it's not. Matt thought I was aiming for the other target and I was like no dear...this one. I can now pick that gun up, with confidence and hit and stop a bear if I have to...or any trespasser.
We did get out fishing with them, Matt and Stan got the kids in the workboat and Arlinda and I fished together in one of the new 16'. The fishing was great, Stan and Charlie caught lots and so did Arlinda and I...mainly pike and the odd trout. Stan caught a beauty 40" on little Davin and he was so happy! Before they left, we had a clear night and the Northern Lights were spectacular out! We all layed on the runway in the dark and took them in for over an hour...was a very special evening for sure!
Arlinda is our family photographer and I want to thank her for this years family photo. We didn't go all out and find an interesting spot on the lake, but retook the photo from year 1. I like the concept of every other year redoing the photo so we can compare how the kids have grown and changed. I love it. Thanks Arlinda.
SEPTEMBER...my tears are starting.
The leaves are changing, the Tamarack are yellow, the geese and cranes are flying south in huge flocks and of course the temperature is falling and so is the water temp. That means the trout are coming up!
We pulled the dock September 3..that took about 30 minutes from start to finish. It took longer to get the tractor going than it did to pull the posts and yank the dock.
We did a road trip North on September 4 up to Points North. Was nice to get out of camp, the kids needed a change of scenery but they both got car sick...Milo twice. Always a joy! Got them ice-cream from km147 which they were super happy about...stopped at Courtney Lake and took in the view while they ate it.
Had a couple of calm days Sept 5&6 so we fished. I slaughtered the pike on the 5th! I bet I caught well over 25 fish and Matt caught a big trout laying in 6' at the mouth of the Davin River...game on! I used a pink with black dots Chippewa hook and by the end of the day it was beat up! The next day, the fishing was less then...my hook from the day before did nothing and neither did any of the other 6 hooks I tried...Matt caught a couple and I finally caught a nice 29" pike as we were trolling home...at least I wasn't skunked!
September 7...KELLY FROM TULSA ARRIVED!!! He got in late, but was before midnight. He and his buddy Chuck had a full day of travel but they were ready to roll the next morning. Matt always guides for Kelly and so far, they have done really well! Yesterday, the water hit a solid 55 degrees and they nailed the trout in shallow waters! Kelly had a monster pike on around the rock face of Hidden Bay...was pulling the boat all over, but he never got it landed. Too bad, but he has until sundown on Thursday to find her again!
This morning it was -2 and there was frost...my waterline in the lodge was nearly froze and only a trickle of water was available to fill the coffee pot...nothing like praying over a water tap to get a cup of coffee! I have 5 cabins closed and winterized, I am working on storing dishes etc in the lodge and packing to go home....the kids and I are heading back to Lloyd on Sunday. They need to get back into school and I need to resume our daily lives again. They and I are excited but still really sad to leave here. At this point, we have slept here more than we have at our new house in town...not looking forward to the opposite being true. Once I am done this post, I am packing up my computer and printer to take home. My financial books will be wrapped up and sent to the bookkeeper by October 15 and then I will have my sights set upon 2020 and will be taking reservations for Wathaman and Davin.
This was a great year personally and professionally, we had a lot of growth, many returns and a list of new inquiries for 2020. We asked many guests for constructive criticisms and received a few...I feel there is no way to improve if you don't know what people want. I appreciated all the positives and negatives, compliments and criticisms. Our guests turn into our friends and it has been a pleasure getting to know each one of you. Cheers to 2019! Drive or Fly...Adventure North to Davin Lake Lodge in 2020
Danica Matt Milo Freja and Timber of course