Due to our busy schedule I just do not have time to write a new newsletter so we pulled one from our archive. This newsletter was posted in April 2012 and has the year ending stats and many wildlife and fishing stories. Big changes to Wilderness Journey in the coming months. We will not only be guiding but we’ll be able to set you up with rental equipment. All of our clients know what I as a guide provide the clients with…great fishing…great history…primitive skills…great wildlife experiences and great memories. However, there are some people that want to go out on there own and for these people we can set you up with rental equipment. Anyone interested should contact us asap since the season is almost here. April 2012 WJo Newsletter
New Season… New Stories… Are you going to be a part of the experience?!
I love April! Spring is in at full force…although we didn’t have much of a winter. When the snow was falling, we hosted a booth at the various Michigan sports shows where we got to share our love for hte BWCA with all sorts of people. Now that the weather has broke, we are looking forward to a handful of springtime presentations:
Save the Date!
- May 5th 11 am Wilderness Journey Clinic @ Island lake Recreation Center- near Milford (RSVP)
- May 12th 11 am BWCA presentation at REI in AnnArbor… slideshow and equip recommendations (RSVP)
Speaking of weather… last season, we had phenomenal weather. It only rained 2” the entire season which is nothing compared to the usual 15” we usually receive. We went swimming more than I could ever remember. I talked to Mark at the tow boat service the other day and he said unless we get a lot of rain this spring the water will be noticeably lower. This could be bad… or it could be good! The portages will be a little longer but being an optimist, think it will be great for the fishermen/photographers out there because the fish will be more concentrated and it also will bring the wildlife out in the open where they can get to the water.
Still Time to Book a BWCA Trip!
We have a few slots to fill so if anyone is at all interested please call/email and we’ll talk over your options. Permits are going fast and the schedule is filling up so time is of the essence.
Last Year’s Stats!
We are looking forward to the 2012 season and what memories it will bring this was last year’s stats:
1 – The largest bunch of walleyes I’ve ever seen in the Boundary Waters! Normally walleyes are between 15” and 20 “. However, last year I would say that 50% were over 22”.
2 – Even though we had many 40+'” on the line, we could only get one in the canoe and that was achieved by Jacob Ritchie. The average Northern was between 28” to 37”. However, keep in mind we had many monster fish that we couldn’t even bring to the canoe…so we’ll never know?
3 – As usual, the smallmouth were very cooperative and we caught over 40 that were 5+ pounds and hundreds that were over 3 pounds.
When we were working our way near a shoreline, I looked over at Eric & Trenton I could see them heading for shore then both of them got out. I saw Eric bend over then jump on the ground. He then stood up; knee all bloody, a big smile on his faces and then… big High 5! I knew this had to be good. I paddled quickly to see what all the fuss was about. Eric told me they had caught a Northern over 40” dragged it to shore because it was too big to put in the canoe. When they got it to shore, he didn’t drag it far enough away from the water and when he went to grab it, it jumped up and threw the hook. In an act of desperation he tried to wrestle it to the ground. But too no avail; the fish jumped back into the lake and swam away. Neither of them was upset because the fish gave them a great story and Eric has the scars to prove it!
A great moment for me with the boys was when Eric said he had learned more in a ½ a day of fishing than he did in his entire life. That let me know we did our job.
This week we caught 273 fish! We decided to let the others swim around so fellow campers could have at. Walleye for dinner? Yum! Five pound Smallies? Yes please! On one special evening I just sat back and watched what I now call “The Don Show”, where Don caught a bunch of fish and I sort of just watched in amazement. Within a ½ hour he caught 12 fish; a five pounder, three four pounders, and eight three pounders. What an evening! He was very excited, claiming “the best smallmouth fishery in the world is the Boundary Waters!” Don is one tough SOB, but after this evening he was acting like a young boy just sitting in the canoe smiling and shaking his head in disbelief. Don managed to use his fishing voodoo to wrangle two 17-inch Smallies on one lure! I laughed and said he had finally caught his 6 pounder.
Then, I had a personal best; 4 Northerns using my figure eight maneuver. For you that don’t know, the figure eight is when a perusing Northern comes to the canoe, I stick the end of my rod three feet into the lake and swirl in the water in a figure eight pattern. The pike would come back and hit my lure every time! It was driving Don crazy and leveling the tally at the same time.
We had a 73 fish day and we are pretty sure 50 of them were over 3 pounds. What a day!
This is one of the top wildlife encounters of my career. We were up early and making the move to a lake 8 miles away. The fog was thick but lifting, which made a beautiful morning! We made our way around the peninsula, a few miles away from camp, when I looked over about 200 yards I saw a new boulder. From all my experience in the Boundary Waters, I know this area very well so a new boulder sticks out like a sore thumb. When it started to move I told Don to paddle faster so we could get closer. As we closed the distance, we realized that it was a bear swimming across the lake! We were within 20 yards when it scaled a small rocky outcropping. Once it reached the top it shook off the water like a dog, stood up, turned and looked at us and ran down the trail. This bear was very large and beautiful. Our guess was she weighed about 300 to 400 pounds. Don is a die-hard fisherman but when that encounter happened he turned to me and said that was one of the best things he ever saw!
2 – Then we had a trip where we saw an eagle take a goose down and plucked it like it worked at a poultry processing plant. There were feathers floating for at least a mile down wind.
3 – Otters were everywhere. I even took some great photos of three pups on a rocky outcropping playing like puppies wagging their tails. It was like a scene from a Disney movie… a sight I will never forget.
4 – I’ve noticed over the last 4 years we have seen and heard more wolves howling than ever before, the population is definitely on the rise.
The upcoming season
We are looking forward to the upcoming season so much and especially since we have more return clients more than ever. Just to mention a couple, John Stefko brought his 18 year old son a few years back. His other son just turned 18 so now its his turn at an adventure he will never forget. The trip report from the last Stefko trip.
Dave Tait went on a trip by himself with me as his guide. This year he is bringing his 2 sons with along with him. Tait trip report.
Then of course, we have our other return clients who have upgraded to be known as “regulars” who I have written about numerous times.
Wilderness Journey’s New Website & EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS!
We are up and running… What do you think of our new site? Show your support by subscribing to our email list! The “new” Wilderness Journey site is full of information and everyone on our list will be notified by email to any new posts: newsletters with great trip reports, wilderness advice, weather reports, event details and more!
Look for “Subscribe to WJ newsletters” on the sidebars of the website and follow the directions. PLEASE Sign up! Next year’s FREE TRIP raffle will be pulled from our website email subscribers. Sign up as you will not only get all the important info but you could be the 2013 winner! Be sure to verify your entry by clicking the feedburner link that will be sent to your email inbox.
We received some wonderful feedback on our new site in the comment sections: (contact page).
Just emailing to say the website looks great! Hope you have a great season in the BWCA this year. But how could you not? I started a new job this year, but I hope to get back the BWCA one of these days when I earn some vacation time.
and another one:
Dreaming of the day the boys ask me to go back to the Boundary Waters. I frequently look at the pictures of the trip and smile. What a great experience to share with friends and family.
All of our recent posts can always be found on our front page: Wilderness Journey
Thank you and enjoy the new website!
Want to join a group?
In bookings this year, we are going to try something a little different. We have a few small groups of people who are interested in joining other small groups. In doing so, we will be able to give the show discount to the entire group. We will try to match the groups to be compatible with each other. This is something that we are really interested in…getting new people with similar interests to meet each other on a wilderness adventure. After all, variety is the spice of life.
All interested people please contact us. If there is anything hindering you from taking a trip, call and see if we can help you find a way around it. We have already combined a few groups together but still have a few more people that want to go on a trip of a lifetime.
PERMITS are on sale!!! – Booking early is very important not only do we close our books early but you will also get a shot at a premium entry point. Entry points only allow so many groups in per day and they went on sale January 28th on a first come first serve basis.
Please Subscribe to WJ Newsletters & Posts
Enter your email address to receive notifications of new WJ newsletters… full of trip reports, events, BWCA info and up to date info! You will find the subscription application on each page here is a link to the website. It is very important that everyone subscribe to our newsletter and posts. All those who subscribe will improve their chances of winning our annual WJ free trip, which we will draw on March 28th.
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Checkout the three photo slideshows below: Fish, Wildlife and Scenery. We think these photos are a great example of what you can expect.
Check out our “NEW” Video: Top-Water Boundary Waters Style
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28285 Summit Drive, Novi, Michigan 48377 (734) 664-0353