We left at 6:00 AM this morning and we're coming home with a full belly, a full battery, and an almost full limit of fish. We can bring home 16 walleyes and 16 northern pike, but we fell two short on the northern pike. I'm sure that if we had fished a little harder earlier this week, we could have easily filled. After eating two fish for lunch everyday I'm okay with having a break.
I hadn't realized it, but it had been two years since I was at camp with the men of the family (well most of them, my brother was on tour being a rockstar). I REALLY missed it. Being isolated (away from the women, the web, and the work) is a great way to build our guy relationships and remind ourselves of why we come.
A typical day at camp.
6:00 am - Wake up. We don't set an alarm, but my Dad has an internal clock the size of Notre Dame's Bell Tower.
6:10 am - I actually get out of bed after using ten minutes to build the body heat to survive a chilly morning in Canada.
6:11 am - Put clothes on. Its usually cold, so it doesn't take long.
6:30 am - One of the most important parts of the week. Blueberry Pancakes! We buy fresh picked blueberries or stop and pick them ourselves. They are wild, juicy, and small. The blueberries combined with my father's culinary skills make for a fantastic meal to start the day.
7:00 - 7:30 am - Pack the coolers, stove, pans, rods, reels, rain gear, and take off for the first fishing spot
8:30-11:30am - Fish! The morning is usually spent trolling islands, bays, and weedlines looking for walleyes. We prefer walleye for lunch because it is less oily and contains less bones than northern pike. We fish places like Jon's Honey-Hole, Todd's Rock, Lee's Bays, and the Alley. All filled with as many fish as memories for the people they are named after.
12 Noon - Shore lunch! Another essential part of the trip. We dock the boats, clean the fish and start melting a block of lard in the frying pan. We eat walleye, potatoes, and beans. The fish is fresh, golden brown, and melts in your mouth. I usually eat two whole fish. Its way too much, but it only tastes like this for one week out of the year. This year, the mosquitos were pretty obnoxious, so we tried something new - Boat Lunch. We tied our boats up in a calm bay and stayed bite-free.
1:00 - 4:30 pm - Fish! The afternoon is spent casting reeds and reeling in pike. This year the pike bite was slow, so we went on mini adventures. We drudged through small streams and rivers to make it to Lake Aldous this year. There, we fished around a small island that was burnt from a small fire. As we trolled around the corner, a small Caribou jumped up and hid in the trees. It was a small island so my boat mate and cousin Alex got out dad's attention and tried to surround the small island. Unfortunately, we learned that caribou swim faster than a four stroke, 25 horse, Johnson motor and the caribou made it to mainland with us only getting a glimpse. In order to get to the lake, Alex and I had to pull the boats through a small bog.
5:00 pm - Get back to camp and start our night duties. The men clean fish and the old guys cook.
6:30 pm - Supper. The first night we eat fish, but after that its pork loin, boneless ribs, ribeye steaks, or chicken thighs. Sweet corn, potatoes and some sort of fish appetizer are the sides. We eat too much.
9:00 pm - After dinner. With a Labbatt's Blue in hand (for us that are "of age") we've finished dishes and showers. Its time for a card game. This year's specialty was 4-handed Cribbage. The dad's beat the boys pretty badly each night, but we definitely had an equal amount of fun.
10:30 pm - Lights out. In the old days this was literal because the owners shut off the generator, but now its only figurative.
Yet again it was a successful year. Although my battery is fully charged and I'm ready for a big work week, my Ipad's battery is not.