Hello from frozen Saskatchewan...today started out at -33 with a windchill of -41 here in Lloydminster. It has warmed up slightly to a balmy -28 but it is still too cold for Timber and Bark to come with me for a walk today. Its an inside working on the computer kind of day...hot cup of coffee sitting next to me as I sip and make lists for the 2021 season!
Tops of my list is sourcing a couple of new 16' Lund boats. Many of you know we deal with Prairie Rec in Prince Albert for our boat and motors, but they are no longer a Lund dealer. Sure I could get a couple more boats that are non-Lund and they may be of equal quality, but I really only need to buy 2 more 16' and we are set for the next 15 years or so....I like things to be matchy match so 2 more Lund it is!!! I will place a call to Prairie Rec tomorrow and talk to my guy and see if he has an inside track for a couple of Lunds through an industry associate, if not, I have a quoted price from Nipawin Motor Sports that I will follow through on. The pricing is decent but I would like to give Praire Rec the opportunity because they have been so good to us over the last couple of years. Plus, I need 3 new Yamaha 25Hp motors to put on the new boats as well as swap out an old mercury up at the lake...these will absolutely come from Prairie Rec since they have been good to us with service and with pricing!
The next big ticket is a price on a lift of slab rough cut lumber...the kind you see in windbreaks for cattle. I am pretty sure I will go through the mill in Glaslyn, its on our route to the lake, its local and its great quality! We have already purchased a shit ton of cull lumber from Nelson in Lloyd...a variety of 2x4, 2x6, 2x10 and whatever else matt decided he needed from the cull list. Pa (Gus) picked it up for me after I went and paid for it as Matt has been away working near Swift Current. What are we building you ask???? Not really sure at the moment, but I know we need to start doing some boardwalk repair at the portage, I need about 4 loft beds build in some cabins as well as the guide house....Kids need new bunkbeds in our cabin as well!!! Matt and I have tossed around the idea of outdoor showers...not sure what the draft plans for those look like yet, but they will be built and useable for 2021! We would like to build some sort of shelter at shore lunch to at least keep the rain off people, and to keep the rain out of the hot oil we use. None of this happens overnight and it sounds like a lot, but when you pick away at things over 4-5 months its easy to get a lot done.
There are lots of little things I need to get done over the next couple of months too....
I am working with Vital Signs and Graphics in Melfort to update our antiquated Wathaman Map. The latest draft looks awesome and the final draft will be added to the website as a pdf for people to print if they like. Otherwise, I will have copies and laminated maps at the lake to hand out. With such a nice shiny new Wathaman map, I guess I should take another look at the Davin map...I would like to make sure many of the reefs are marked directly from the print shop. The final draft of the Davin Map will be on the website as well but there will also be laminated copies at the lake.
SWAG!!! This week I am picking up shirt and hoodies samples from Initial Stitches in Lloyd. I ask for Sharon to bring in samples of everything she could find in our colours....excited to see what she sourced. Lots of people asked about hoodies in 2020 and I didn't buy any for resale. I have to sell them at about $60 to break even, but if people are willing to pay that I guess I should have them. I liked the shirts we had for 2020...both long sleeve and short sleeve, but I was not overly impressed with the quality, they felt thinnish. I like to feel stuff and ensure it is right and good enough quality for our guests to want to buy and represent Davin Lake Lodge with...excited to see some samples and make those decisions.
KEVIN !!! Our good friend who lives in the campground as much as he can (as much as his wife permits) each season....He volunteered to do my tackle list for me. What a guy! I told him I had a very healthy budget if he would get me a list for each species. If anyone has some tackle/lures they would like us to carry please let me know! You can make a comment on this post, you can text or you can email me the info. I would happy to carry any tackle someone thinks will work on our lakes.
There are lots of other little things I am working on over the next month or so as well....
Source and price an AED
Source a new party island and water toys for the kids
look into a wolf pelt for the lodge
get fire extinguishers re-certified and buy a couple new ones
bear bangers and bear spray
update food lists for 2021 and start a 2021 menu
the list goes on...and on lol
We all know the border is still closed and who knows what the spring will bring with travel restrictions within Canada. I anticipate the numbers will trend downward with the weather warming and the mass rollout of the vaccine. I have set aside the last week of August as well as the first week of September for Americans. That does not mean I won't take bookings for Canadians during that time, it just means that Americans can guarantee a Canadian fishing trip if the border opens. People like to plan and I will assist them with that by setting aside dates if & when the border opens. I don't want to book many American in throughout the season without a definitive date of the border opening...I lose out and so do they. The best thing I could do is hold dates at the end of the season anticipating we will have an open border at some point during the summer.
This will be our 5th year as Davin Lake Lodge owners!! What an exciting thing to say out loud! We anticipate being really busy with guests and hope to have lots of fun in 2021! Matt and I don't take ourselves too seriously and like to have fun while working and running a tight ship from behind the scenes. Instead of doing give-aways online to people who may never fish with us, we will be doing giveaways to our guests in camp! Cabelas gift cards, DLL swag and merchandise and maybe some tackle packages...should be a fun way to show our appreciation for your loyalty! I see lots of fireworks for the 2021 season....literal fireworks lol. We have tossed around the idea of a mid summer beach party with a pig on a spit with DJ Skippy & Party Boi (aka Kevin & Matt after a few drinks) and a fresh seafood fest during fall trout fishing for the final push to end our season. Impromptu ball games and more kick the can after dark are also in order for the 2021 season!
After our first season in 2017, I came home and started to work on our website. I didn't have a sniff of what I was doing and the end result was something I was very proud of! The same site is still in use and I tweak it multiple times a year but the overall look of it is original to the fall of 2017. The smartest thing I did was put a counter on the bottom of the home page. We just rolled 17k visits (although Im sure at least 1000 of those are me) but that is a huge accomplishment!! One year ago, we rolled 10k...in one year we have another 7k visits to our website...that to me is incredible and I just wanted to share with you all!
On the Home Front
Matt and I have both been busy working, Matt has been away lots and is maybe expected home briefly in the next day or so. The kids are happy and healthy, doing very well in school and enjoying a small extracurricular class of curling...Freja is a natural at everything she tries and Milo, well...he likes it and is trying hard to improve and thats all I can ask for!!
Well, that's it for now, Im sure you all noticed the website refresh...it is also optimized for mobile! Follow us on Facebook at Davin Lake Lodge or check us out on Instagram @davin_lake_danica...I just took a course on digital marketing so there will be new content coming on social media.
Drive or Fly...Adventure North to Davin Lake Lodge in 2021...in the meantime, enjoy these extra pics of the lake...not previously posted!
Danica, Matt, Milo, Freja and of course Timber & Bark
This is Ken...He makes multiple trips a year to Davin for his work research as a U of S Professor of Agroforestry and Afforestation. He only started fishing Davin in the last 2 years and needless to say he looks like he is enjoying it!! He parked patiently down in the "T" for hours and caught multiple beasts like this one! Ken is also a skilled painter, an accomplished photographer...and a great friend to Davin Lake Lodge!