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March Newsletter… Spring is Here!

Posted by on March 13, 2012

March is here! Spring is knocking on our door.  We wrapped up the show season at the Quiet Water Symposium and we just don’t want to quit.  We are considering getting a booth for the hunting and fishing show in Traverse City.  We will have a few presentations and the Wilderness Journey Clinic at Island Lake recreation center near Kensington, MI.  We will notify all the people on our email list of these events.  Our schedule is booking up every day so anyone interested please call/email us and we’ll talk over your options.

New Website!

Those who have been on our email list for years know Wilderness Journey just does not sit idly by in the off season.  While we are busy with shows and bookings and eagerly anticipate the upcoming season, we are trying to do more and do better.  We are always improving our company and this year we have been working harder than ever. Our new website gives our clients more information and the ability to interact through social media options and comments on the blog portion (where our newsletters are).  Best of all, she has trained me to manage it from the backend so I can make edits and additions as needed.  I am very proud… she is one of the most innovative, hardest workers that I have ever had the pleasure of working with… it must be in our genes! PLEASE contact us if you have any link troubles or questions with the new site!

New Branches of Business

Wilderness Journey has many repeat clients that come back every year and we have groups that come back every other year.  Variety is the spice of life and our clients are go- getters.  They want to experience everything life has to offer on this great planet.  Not all people fully appreciate what we have on this earth.  We are very lucky that in all of our solar system, we only are the only planet to we have these adventurous people.  Not only do we climb the highest mountains, dive to the deepest depths of the oceans, cross the desolate deserts and venture into the wilderness but we venture into space where we will eventually find other planets to visit.  It may not be in our lifetime but it will happen. So until then grab the reigns of life and ride that adventurous spirit to the most you possibly can because we are just on this great planet only so long…so make the best of it!

Whew!  That is why we are creating a section of our website to help all our clients experience life to the fullest. We have named this section “THE BUCKET LIST” we have teamed up with multiple premier adventure companies…all are the best in their fields.

Here is an example of our “THE BUCKET LIST”:

Boundary Waters Canoe area

Dog Sledding in the BWCA (ice fishing and winter camping)

Kayak trips – kayak trips in Honduras, Roatan Islands in the Caribbean, Alaska and the Great lakes region.

Alaskan fishing lodge – On Bristol Bay near the Katmai peninsula. They specialize in Monster Rainbows, sockeye salmon and silver salmon. They also have many day trips over to the Katmai area where you can get many photos of the bears catching fish the primitive way along with this there are kayak day trips. (This will be on our website shortly)

We are working with multiple other top notch companies from salt water fishing for Marlin, Sailfish and all around adventure travel…keep an eye on the newsletters for all the new options coming your way!

Now keep in mind these are not trips that can be booked today where you can leave tomorrow, it takes time and the seasons on some of these trips are only months long. So if you are interested you have to contact us ASAP so you can get your week booked and prepare for your trip of a lifetime.

A Blast From the Past
This is a Trip report from 2008

July Trips…

July was another incredible month!  Here we highlight three groups who all had a true Boundary Water adventure.

The Dickinson group

dickinson The Dickinson group consisted of 6 people from the ages of 13 (our youngest to date!) to 66 years old.  We were 2 hours into the trip, heading down the Nina Moose River when I saw an Eagle flying toward me and then over me.  As I watched it pass by, it swooped down right in front of everybody in the group and plucked a 15” Smallie out of the water as though it had done it a hundred times before. The group, who was before silent, broke out in celebration as the eagle flew off.  I could tell at that point that this group was not only interested in the fishing but all that the Boundary Waters has to offer.

The Mayfly hatch was in full swing but we still managed to catch a bunch of Northerns.   Smallies and a few Walleyes. This group did well considering they were not battle harden anglers.  On this trip the #1 lure was the j-9 Rapala with the Firetiger finish.  The top water action was very exciting.  With the help of my newfound guide Walt, his son Steve was able to catch a bunch of fish including a 19” Smallie and a 30” Northern.



And we can’t forget Jim’s daughter Stephanie (AKA the Walleye Slayer) who set the bar with her 1st Walleye right off the campsite.

Last but not least were the Vandenbergs who had the patience that all fishermen should have and it eventually paid off.
We had a couple of day trips which included a trip to the Bottle Rapids and a trip to the Lac La Croix pictographs where Stephanie compared her hand with Indians of the past.

The Slater Group

The Slater group was our only all women’s group this year.  This group had women of all ages Lucy, Jill, Kat, Rose and Pam.  They proved that they could not only handle it, but they excelled at camp life and were one of the most organized groups I have ever taken out.  They tackled the wilderness and the rugged landscape like champs and weren’t afraid to get their feet wet.  They carried the canoes and equipment the whole trip. The weather was pretty good except for a 5 minute downpour which they said added to experience.  While paddling down the Nina Moose River, a deer stood within a few feet.  We also saw Otters and Eagles everyday… even a Mink.

  The funniest moment of the trip was when Jill hooked a Pike but it broke her line.  She said the fish was as long as her leg!  We all laughed and resumed fishing.  Moments later Lucy hooked a decent Pike and after a few minutes I grabbed it and brought it aboard.  I was baffled when I saw it had two lures in its mouth.  Then I realized that it was the same pike that line.  We were all cracking up. I hear that Jill still isn’t over that.

While fishing off the shore of our campsite, Pam realized a giant Snapping turtle was stealing fish from our stringer.  I was fed up and had a bout of insanity and jumped in the lake and grabbed that snapper by the tail.  Don’t try this at home.


The girls made me laugh every night over the campfire as we played “Would you rather?”  One afternoon, Jill and Rosie gathered wood and built me a kitchen table.  We left it for the next group to enjoy. These ladies did well. They were very proud of themselves, as they should be.  They met their goals and learned some wilderness skills that will last them a lifetime. They tied their own knots, fished with artificial lures, caught, netted and ate their own catch.

But the highlight of the trip was the last night.  Just before night fall, Jill and Pam paddled up, secretive but proud.  We all knew they had fish!   They lifted the stringer to reveal 2 Northerns and 3 Walleyes.  We let the Northerns go and filleted the Walleyes for our last supper. This was an incredible evening and the sunset was inspiring.

The Mike Douglas trip (not the actor) but just as entertaining!

Last but not least… there was Mike… the smallest group to highlight here… it was only me and him.  Mike has good wilderness skills and is an avid angler and canoeist.

Before entering the BWCA, he was backpacking for three weeks in Montana.  We reached our campsite in record time!  He not only had his heart set on the usual Walleye, Pike and Smallie but he really wanted big Bluegills.  (I don’t mind telling you that it put a little bit of pressure on me.)  We went … we caught… we slammed (!) the bluegills along with all the other species we caught. (~ 40 to 50 – 9+” gills) He is a hardcore angler as we fished 8 to 9 hours a day.

MONSTER Northern trying to steal our stinger of fish!

A once in a lifetime thing happened on this trip!  We were fishing in the middle of the day and the fishing had slowed down a bit.  I was laidback and soaking it all in when I felt a tug on the canoe.   The fish on the stringer were a little feisty.  I grabbed the stringer and gently pulled on it.  I thought it felt a little heavy then I checked the other side of the canoe to see if it was caught in the anchor rope.  Nope, it was all clear.  When I pulled the stringer from underneath the canoe I pulled up a 40” to 45” Northern with my stringer in his JAWS.  I yelled for Mike to look.  Mike was so caught off guard he didn’t know what to do… put on a bigger lure or keep fishing?  The Northern came slowly to the surface right next to me, it let the stringer go and slowly swam off.  I noticed it had one of our Jigs in the corner of his jaw.  We were laughing at what just happened and then we looked down and the fish had come back again.  I tried to grab the stringer with my hand and saw there were two monsters… both the same size trying to grab the stringer!  I reached down and grabbed one of the slimy Northern by its tail but it slipped through my grasp and swam off. Mike threw me a landing glove and I spent the next few minutes jigging with a stringer of fish in one hand and a ready with a landing glove in the other.  We never saw them again but that is a memory that we will never forget.

The WJO Challenge

This challenge is for all “those people” out there… you know who you are! The ones that come up to me at all the shows and tell me how visiting the Boundary Waters is on their bucket list.  Then there are all “those (other) people” who really want to do it but are apprehensive… don’t worry we’ll take care of you!  Well guess what?!…the time is now! We are not getting any younger and if you want to bring your friends or even better, your family then there is not a better place to take your vacation than the Boundary Waters. Where else can you catch trophy fish in such a pristine setting? Where else can you hear the sound of a pack of wolves howling or a loon wail singing a sweet lullaby?  Even better, where else can you, your friends and your family bond together without the interruption of a phone call, text or breaking news on the television?  I say get off your behind and head into the wilderness and create lifelong memories that none of you will ever forget!


Permits are NOW on sale on a first come first serve basis. Keep in mind that there are only so many permits per entry point, once those permits are gone, no one else can go in that entry point that day. There are 85 entry points so there are always permits available but the ones for the really great places are the first to fill. Needless to say, the earlier you book, the better off you are.

Free Trip Raffle

Everyone who is currently on the Wilderness Journey email list will be entered into a raffle to win a free trip with Wilderness Journey. We will be recruiting new adventurists’ emails by referral and at the outdoor shows. The raffle drawing will take place March 18th 2012. The free trip is 6 day trip for one person.  This can be used by the winner alone or with a group. Anyone who has already booked a trip will still be eligible for the raffle.

Here is a photo of Neil Childs the 2011 winner.

Show specials, discounts and packages

Checkout our new 2012 show specials The specials are available to everyone on our email list. We are also offering a new reward for all our past clients. From now on, all past clients will eligible for a 10% discount on all canoe trips. To accommodate different budgets, we will have a variety of packages with new menu and equipment options.   Tow boat packages for those who have time constraints or a slight aversion to physical activities; Presidents Package providing gourmet meals where each client will have their own personal guide. We really encourage anyone that is interested in a 2012 trip to please email or call ASAP!

For a complete list of newsletters click here.

Fishing – The Tapley trip: Three Men and a Boy

Wildlife – The Hector trip: We had great fishing, great wildlife encounters and we even experienced a spectacular celestial event.

Contact us to be added to the email list.  Wilderness Journey newsletters are sent the first week of every month!



Checkout the three photo slideshows below: Fish, Wildlife and Scenery. We think these photos are a great example of what you can expect.



Share our newsletters with other adventurists and encourage them to join our EMAIL LIST!.

28285 Summit Drive, Novi, MI 48377

Ramsey Dowgiallo

One Response to March Newsletter… Spring is Here!

  1. Toim Funderburg

    Hi, you might wonder about me. I am deaf & I inquired you about canoe trip. The sad is that my family is againist me going alone to B.W.C.A. either with you or solo. There is always next year, I hope to make that, as I am 71 years old. My son has talked about canoeing & camping on Au Sable River from Grayling to Osconda, Michigan this summer. I might as well go for that. My son used to do in Canoe Marathon Race there.

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