Category Archives: Activities

Fall Fishing – Is it really the best time?

This week at the lake I went out fishing twice. Both times had some similarities and some differences.  Both times nobody caught any fish. 🙁 however, one trip was way nicer that the other!

Last Wednesday it was warm, sunny and calm as Shirley and I went out so when we didn’t catch anything we at least had a nice time on the lake and enjoyed the fall scenery on the lake.

ref=”http://www.bigdadoo.com/blog/2018/09/18/out-on-the-lake/img_1241/” rel=”attachment wp-att-2287″> In The Hades[/ca
Yesterday, the weather was a different story. Roy invited me to go fishing and in spite of the cool 3°C with drizzle / rain I was up for the adventure. I layered up in some warm clothing and headed out to Roy’s place on Blindfold lake. What I wasn’t prepared for was the high water level on Blindfold Lake and what that would mean in terms of going over the boat lift into Lake of the Woods.

On the way over to the boat lift there is some casual talk about how the water might be flowing over the road! Sure enough the dock and road are under about 2-3 inches of water and I don’t have boots. So it’s shoes and socks off, roll up the pants and wade around in the water to get the boat over the lift. Going over is not too bad. The water is 60°F and we’ve only been out for 15 minutes. Two hours later we’re much colder, it’s now raining and coming back up to Blindfold is a little more involved.

Step one, get the boat on the dolly and use the hand winch to get it started and then hook on a rope to use with the power winch.

p://www.bigdadoo.com/blog/2018/09/23/fall-fishing-is-it-real-the-best-time/img_1257/” rel=”attachment wp-att-2310″> Getting ready to bring the boat up.

[/caption]Step 2, use the power winch to get the boat up the steep side and onto the flat section

www.bigdadoo.com/blog/2018/09/23/fall-fishing-is-it-real-the-best-time/img_1260/” rel=”attachment wp-att-2309″> Roy and his portable power winch providing the “muscle” to get ‘er done.[/caption]Step

Step 3, here she comes.

bigdadoo.com/blog/2018/09/23/fall-fishing-is-it-real-the-best-time/img_1261/” rel=”attachment wp-att-2308″> Boat coming up the steep side of the lift.

Step 4,

[/caption]Step 4, pack up the rope & power winch back into the boat and push the dolly over to the Blindfold Lake side, which of course requires more walking around in the cold water.

adoo.com/blog/2018/09/23/fall-fishing-is-it-real-the-best-time/img_1258/” rel=”attachment wp-att-2311″> My feet in the water.

A quick 10 m

[/caption]A quick 10 minute but frigid boat ride back to Roy’s and were in the cabin where it’s toasty warm and having a much welcomed  hot coffee.

Out on The Lake

It’s a calm day at the lake with a sun/cloud mix that is quite pleasant with temperatures in the low 20°Cs. A perfect day for some boating and fishing!

After picking up some minnows and catching up a bit with Al of Smith Camps I’m back at the dock picking up Shirley and we head out.

Goin’ Fishin’

However, the fish were not cooperating! We try a couple of spots with no success. At some spots the fish finder shows lots of fish, but the end of the line is still empty.

We cruise through Eagle Pass, Moore Bay, The Hades,  Copper Island and our very own Needle Point before returning home. A very enjoyable couple of hours out on The Lake.

In The Hades

Fun Weekend with Family

Wonderful weekend with family at the lake.

We arrived on Friday evening for a 10 day stay and after unloading we spend some time with Gail & Gord as they are finishing up their month stay. Eric, Parker & Dane arrive late at close to midnight and get settled in for the weekend.

In the morning Parker & Dane meet Bentley & Zoe (schnauzer dogs) and there is a lot of excitement, a few tears and lots of barking. After breakfast Gail & Gord pack up and begin the drive back to Saskatoon.

 

So much happiness and joy especially for me. So special to see the Grandkids taking in the lake life and having so much fun and adventure. We seemed to do it all hiking, biking, swimming, playing games, building Snap Circuits and Geocaching. Strong warm winds make the lake a little rough so no boating but other than that we squeezed in a lot of action. The weather was fabulous with sun and almost 30°C! Seemed like a July weekend not mid September!

Searcing for a geocache on the Storm Bay road
Checking out the new ladder on the tree fort.
The Stewart Boys

Feeding Time

I’m up early and on the dock with two cups of coffee and it’s a sunny clear morning with a light south west breeze. After some reading and just sitting enjoying the view I’ve decided to take the kayak and get a closer look at the 7am feeding.

Most days during the summer a small aluminum boat comes out of Smith’s Camp at the end of our bay at around 7am. One of the staff is responsible for disposing of the fish remains from the filleting shack from the previous day’s catch. They have a plastic garbage pail on board that is dumped on an rock out cropping around the corner from the camp.

Prior to this at about 6:30am a flock of pelicans congregate at this spot awaiting their breakfast delivery. They are joined by dozens of seagulls that circle overhead in anticipation. Bald eagles are also perched high in the trees awaiting this event. Today I spot 5-6 of them. Some are easily spotted, others are tucked away in the branches and others fly back and forth along the shore line.

All of a sudden all the pecans take off and fly around the corner to Smith’s. Sitting in my kayak I can bairly hear the faint sound of the outboard motor of the “delivery” boat. Sure enough, a few moments later the boat rounds the corner and comes into view with all the pelicans following in formation.

As the staffer pulls ashore and dumps out the fish guts the pelicans eagerly land and then edge ever closer to their breakfast. They can hardly wait until the staffer gets back in the boat and backs away before they attack the fish remains.

Today, the eagles remain in the trees for some reason, perhaps it’s because I’m there. On other days I’ve seen them swoop in and the pelicans and seagulls scatter as they take over at the top of the pecking order.

After watching for a while it’s time to paddle back and rejoin the family for breakfast.

Wednesday FROG ride

I’ve been off the bike for 2 weeks, and this might have been a bit ambitious given the circumstances. I did pretty well until 55km in and then I just had to stop, too tired to keep going. I might have sat around for 15-20 minutes before I could get back on the bike. By that time Rene had looped back around to check on me. He graciously trailed me all the way home to make sure I made it  as I limped back another 10km at 20-24km/hr. Thanks Rene!

 

Fish Finder ≠ Fish Catcher

Spent a nice couple of hours out on the lake today doing some fishing. It was sunny with a light west wind and a little cool at about 8°C. While I was picking up some minnows I received a tip about a spot in Moore Bay from a local guide that was producing yesterday, but for me today, nothing.

I then went to the other end of Moore Bay were I’d been with my brother inlaw and caught fish previously. This spot is the “Fall Spot” and is supposed to be very good around this time of year. Upon arrival, the fish finder lights up and is “beeping” so much I turn off the fish alarm. Below is a screenshot of the Garmin echoMap.

Lots of fish but no takers!

Well, they may have been on the finder, but refused to get on the end of my line! After about 45 minutes and several passes over multiple areas that claimed to have lots of fish, just one nibble and that might just have been my wishful thinking.  I gave up and boated back to the cottage empty handed, but still enjoyed my time out on the lake.

Cottage Opening 2016

Opened the cottage a little early this year, the Thursday before the traditional May long weekend. I took a few days off and came down Wednesday evening. Part of the early opening was a group ride that was taking place in the Kenora area, billed as a “Spring Training Camp” which seemed like a lot of fun, and it would be nice to have the water running for a hot shower after the rides.  Plus, Gail & Gord are coming down on Friday and staying at the lake until they take possession of their new house in Saskatoon sometime in June. 

After last years pump problem where it wouldn’t prime, but in the end noting seemed to be wrong with it after I dragged it into town for servicing, I was a little apprehensive about this years startup. But, no problems! It started up just fine on the first attempt and after starting at about 6:30am I had the bulk of the cottage opening chores done by 8:30 and was sitting down with a cup of coffee and waiting for the hot water tank to do it’s thing.

 Being pretty lazy and enjoying the quiet. After a trip to town to look for an Apple power adapter for the laptop (unsuccessful) and enjoying the first Chip Truck of the year, it was time for a nap. Life roles at a different pace at the lake, well, at least for me. 

I’m thinking there are not too many people around right now as Netflix ran fine all evening without buffering. Normally, on a summer weekend, the wireless bandwidth is getting sucked up by all the neighbours and the Internet slows to a crawl, making Netflix almost unwatchable. 

The weather is cool at 0°C and drizzling, in fact right now it’s snowing kind of hard . HArd to see in the photo, but it’s like a micro blizzard which I’m sure will disappear momentarily, right?


The planned big group rides for the weekend have been cancelled because so many guys bailed because of the weather forecast. I guess I’m on my own. If there is a break in the weather I’ll take a spin over to Rushing River and if things really turn around perhaps a longer spin out to Minaki and back.

First Group ride on Zwift

Over the Christmas holidays I said goodbye to TrainerRoad and hello to Zwift. TrainerRoad is awesome and I enjoyed pairing it with The Sufferfest videos, but Zwift with it’s interactive and social riding,   workout plans similar to TrainerRoad, and integration with my Wahoo Kickr takes indoor riding out of the Pain Cave of solitude into a shared suffering experience of the most engaging kind.

The first few rides were a learning experience as I got used to the controls, routes, graphics and the immersive experience. I’d been used to the TrainRoad training plans, so it seemed natural to latch onto the Zwift Workouts. Even an interval workout is fun when you’re watching other riders around you and watching the ride chatter as people text & ride at the same time.

It’s surprising how engaging the ride experience is. If I’m just casually riding along and someone passes me, the competitive nature kicks in and the next thing I know I’m accelerating hard to see if I can catch a wheel or blow by the other rider.

Today was the 1st attempt at a group ride. I selected the Saturday Sit-in group as it fit my schedule and seemed like a group I might be able to hang with. I “arrive” at the start/finish line to join the group about 10 minutes before the start. Actually, I go by the start/finish a bit and try to turn around and back up a bit (down arrow for a U turn) but it’s not working for me. I switch my view to the ride leader so I can watch for the start and I’m tracking the text messaging countdown.

The ride starts and I start peddling but my display is still locked on the ride leader and he goes by me and now I’m a little lost and confused as to where I am in the group. I can’t get the display to show my avatar (figured this out post-ride) so I opt for restarting the Zwift app and now I’m back and the group is nowhere in sight. With virtually know warmup I’m now hammering to try and chase back, scanning the rider list looking for other SSI riders.  After a lap of hard riding and noting from the test messages how far ahead the ride leader is I realize that while I’m gaining a bit, I’m never going to catch up.  I slow up a bit but still have some delusions of joining up and sprint away from time to time. Here I am sloughing  up a grade on the 2nd lap somewhere trying to catch those guys in the distance.

Chasing the pack
Chasing the pack

Not the best 1st experience, but I’ll get the hand of it yet and I’ll probably look for another group ride later in the week.

And of course, Strava says…

I’m a winter cyclist

That’s right, I cycle commute to work year round and this is the 4th winter for riding in the snow & cold.

Some think I’m a little crazy, perhaps.

Some think it’s too dangerous, perhaps.

Car drivers dislike cyclists, and especially winter cyclists, perhaps.

So far this winter the riding has been going well, and I’m very impressed with the motorists that I encounter on my route. They have been very considerate, giving me lots of space as they pass and no honking or rude gestures. I can’t say the same for some pedestrians.

Actually, most pedestrians are just fine, but so far this year I’ve received the most “comments” from those on two feet. Perhaps that’s just because you typically can’t hear what the people in the vehicles are saying or thinking, which might be a good thing. Ignorance is bliss.

<rant>

About a week ago, after the 1st big snowfall, I’m cycling along on a path that parallels Fermor along side Windsor Park, near my home. A gentleman is our shoveling his sidewalk. He sees me coming down the path, and it starts.

“You’ve got to be kidding” – repeatedly in an unfriendly tone.

“Take a bus!” – louder

“Are you crazy!” – really getting agitated now

I wave to him in a friendly manner.

“Do you have no consideration for others!?!”

“Are you trying to get yourself killed? Do you have a death wish?!?” – hitting a crescendo now. I’m thinking he’s expecting me to turn around and go home.

I wave to him again, in a less friendly manner, my bad, I should have just let the whole thing slide.

A week or two goes by and we get another big snowfall. Of course this is when the riding is the most challenging for a couple of days until all the ploughing gets completed. My next encounter with a pedestrian is riding into work right after the snowfall. A lady is walking two dogs down on the Assiniboine River Walkway. As I approach from behind I slow down and wait for her to notice me. I cough a couple of times just for good measure. She is walking right up the middle. The dogs are on both sides of her at full leash extension so the 8′ path is totally blocked.

When she notices me I hear “Sorry” and she reels in one of the dogs so I can pass. No problem I think, I’m not in a rush and this is fine. Just as I pass I hear “You should get a bell”, in the kind of tone that implied I’ve done something wrong. I say nothing, and ride off.

I’ve had a bell on the bike and in my 14+ years of cycle commuting, the bell is no better that not having a bell. Here is what typically happens with “the bell”.  You ring from a ways back, they don’t hear it, you ring again at a closer range and then they do hear it and things typically get worse. They get startled and either jump right in front of you, or swear at you for scaring them, or both. So, you really can’t win.

</rant>

In over 200 days of cycling a year people and cars are generally very good but you always need to be ready for the exceptions. Typically, once a year, I have a close encounter with a vehicle, thankfully never a full contact kind. I find that as long as you’re aware of your surrounding and make plans to get out of the way, things go well.

Safe cycling everyone.