Monday, 15 December 2014

More Exciting Projects

Greetings from the North! Not exactly the snowy, cold North that we are used to... last year around this time we were absolutely buried in deep snow and trying to survive in record breaking cold temperatures. Today, the school busses are cancelled due to freezing rain! We had a bit of a cold snap in November, but we've had a very mild December. Our foot or so of snow is slowly melting and we've had many warm, foggy, even rainy days lately. Luckily, the cold weather in November gave us some good thick ice. Ice fishing has been great, we are all eating fresh Walleye on a regular basis. 

The mild weather and good ice has also allowed my Dad to get his airplane back on skis a lot sooner than last year. He and Chris have done some minnow trapping with the airplane and also went and checked on some outposts.

Minnow Trapping with the Airplane
Lots of Snow at Wright Lake!
The new building at Northern Lights has been on hold for a little while as we wait for the electricians to do their work. The building is completely shelled in; roof, windows, and doors are in, and all of the partitions are up on the inside. Insulating will start very soon. I will post pictures of the progress as we move along. In the meantime, Dad and Chris have been busy in the shop working on various projects as well as doing lots of minnow trapping.

The New Office Building at Northern Lights Resort
I have finally managed to sit my Dad down for a few hours to start on another project that we've been wanting to do for a while. I have started a new Blog. The inspiration came to me last year while sitting down for "rum o'clock" with Mom and Dad at a sports show in Minneapolis. "rum o'clock" is what they call their daily "down time" that happens at 5:00 p.m. everyday; Mom and Dad take that few minutes to have a "rum" and review the days' events, and plan the next days activities. At this particular "rum o'clock" they started telling me stories about how they got their "start" and began building a life in Northwestern Ontario. At first my Dad talked about starting from scratch and living off the land, and then about later when he met my Mom. Some pretty incredible stories emerged. I've been encouraging him to either write a book or to let me start sharing some of these stories with people who would find them very interesting, educational, and most of all entertaining. Judging by the response that we've had from this blog, "News at Clark's Resorts and Outposts" I think these stories will be much appreciated. People seem to enjoy reading about the lifestyle that we live and adventures that we have here in Northwestern Ontario. The few adventures that I've written about in the last year are nothing compared to the stories that my Dad has from his past.

I'll be posting a series of his short stories on our new blog, "Rum O'Clock with Wayne", to share with our readers some of the trials and struggles encountered while building his life and businesses and raising a family in Northwestern Ontario. His experiences are diverse and varied, whether its encounters with bears, thin ice, weather, or technical/mechanical breakdowns of airplanes or other equipment, just to name a few. I think you'll enjoy hearing about them. I hope you will stay tuned, as I will endeavor to post a new entry around the first of every month.

Click the picture below to be directed to our new blog and read the first of many stories from my Dad.



Thursday, 27 November 2014

A Report on Ice Conditions from Wayne

I know everyone is always anxious to hear about the ice conditions as it freezes in the fall and of course, when it melts in the spring. It seems like freeze-over happened fast this year. I was able to get a good report on the ice from the expert himself, Wayne Clark (my Dad). This is from November 26, 2014 when he and Chris were out minnow trapping. We hope you enjoy the pictures. For those that are curious, this blog entry will give you a good idea of what minnow trapping looks like in the wintertime.

Chris is ready to get to their first lake!
It looks like we are finally in for a good winter of quality ice and winter activities. If everything stays on track, we will have very good ice, which we have not seen in a couple of years. Having the cold weather and little snow has given us a great start with an average of 5 – 6 inches of blue ice on area lakes. We have already done some ice fishing and are in the process of putting out minnow traps. Chris and I normally get started around the first of December, however this year we are getting a full weeks’ head start.


One minnow trap set - look at that nice thick blue ice!
Having said that, as usual, with early ice there is a need to use extreme caution when navigating different lakes. To keep myself and Chris safe, we have one rule we never break and that is never venture out on to a new lake without one of us walking in the lead with a needle bar ice pick. Having worked on the ice for over 30 years, whether fur trapping or minnow fishing, from early ice to lake spring ice, you learn that an ice pick will keep you dry at the very least, and possibly even save your life!


Wayne's needle bar ice pick... life saver!
Checking the ice before venturing out.
Another good rule to live by is to never take anyone’s word on ice conditions, or assume that ice thickness is consistent over the entire lake. The ice thickness can be very inconsistent especially if you have spots of drifting snow, which insulates the ice and keeps it from freezing. The ice has to be checked with an ice pick wherever you go.


Some open water where there is current.
Checking the ice again before going out with the sleds.
On today’s trip we worked on different lakes and you can see in the pictures the current conditions along with the ice thickness. Today the lakes were anywhere from 5 inches of blue ice where there was snow cover, to 6 inches in places where there was little or no snow. When using the needle bar ice pick, it will penetrate 4 inches with one chop, so this enables you to quickly get an idea of ice thickness. Also the needle bar is the fastest way to chop through blue ice.


Chris cutting through the ice with a chain saw.
The hole to put the minnow trap down.
The minnow trap is set.
A couple of minnow traps set.
In the pictures, you will see how we place our minnow traps on a lake using anywhere from 6 to 20 traps depending on the size of the lake. With the cold weather and little snow in the forecast, we should have a foot of good ice very shortly. We would always advise that everyone stay off the ice until there is at least 10 inches of good ice as thickness varies depending on current and snow cover.  So to re-cap, good ice conditions ARE in the works and the fish ARE biting….. things are looking good for a fantastic winter of outdoor activities on and off the ice!

- Wayne Clark



I'd like to note that Dad didn't always know this much about ice conditions and he was not always this cautious. I've heard little bits and pieces of past stories. After working in the bush for many years minnow trapping and fur trapping, he has gained a lot of knowledge and respect for mother nature and learned a lot of lessons the hard way.  I hope to get some stories out of him soon and share some with you...

Stay tuned.

Meagan

Monday, 10 November 2014

New Website & Facebook Photo Contest

Happy Monday Morning! Just in case you don't follow our Facebook Page, I thought I would get the news out to you through the Blog. Just last week we launched our brand new website! It can be found at our old url: www.clarksresorts.com. The L&M Fly-In Outposts website has been shut down and re-directed to our new site. Finally, all of our 17 Outpost Lakes can be found in one place! You can also find our three Drive-In Resorts on the website as well. The new website is modern, easy to navigate, and has TONS of helpful and up-to-date information. The website is also responsive to tablets and phones so it is easy to browse no matter what type of device you are using!

On a Computer Screen
On a Mobile Device
We hope you will take some time to look through the new website. You can read about the Clark's, their business, and their family on the "About Us" page, you can read about the "Bush Pilots" and the Charter Services that help make our Outpost business run on the "About the Pilots" page, or you can read very helpful information like "What/How to Pack" for a Fly-In Fishing Trip! You can also read our email newsletters or request to have a brochure mailed to you. I would wait a little while to use this feature as our new brochures are being designed right now! You can also read lots about our Drive-In Resorts and check out lots of new pictures. Please also navigate through the 17 Fly-In Outpost Lakes... there is tons of information about each one as well as lots of pictures to look at and a Google Map to explore and see where the lake is located. The new rates for the Fly-In Fishing Trips can also be found under "Fly-In Outposts".

What/How to Pack for a Fly-In
One more piece of exciting news is that we are starting a Facebook Photo Contest (TODAY)! We are asking people to send us their favourite pictures of their vacation at any one of our Resorts or Outposts. It can be a picture of a anything - a fish, a sunset, wildlife, etc. We are asking for the submissions to be sent to info@clarksresorts.com with the subject: Facebook Photo Contest until November 21, 2014. We will pick our 10 favourites and then post them to our Facebook Page. Whichever photo gets the most "likes" by December 5, 2014 will be our winner! They will receive an awesome gift basket from us as well as their photo will be featured on the homepage of our new website. Please share your photos and join in on the fun!

Monday, 27 October 2014

Fall Maintenance Work, Hunting & Fishing News, and More!

Since writing my last Blog entry, we’ve been doing lots of maintenance and updates around the Resorts and Outposts. For the most part we’ve had some pretty nice weather to work with. The progress started out strong with about one week of nice weather. McVicar saw new walkways, a new boat ramp, and a new roof on the fish cleaning house. The floor of the new building at Northern Lights Resort was completed, and the fish house at Northern Lights received a new roof. The deck and walkways at Dobie got freshened up with some paint, and various other jobs got started at different locations. 
McVicar Boat Ramp
New Paint at Dobie Lake
Fish House at Northern Lights with New Roof
New Building at Northern Lights Resort

We then got hit with a couple weeks of freezing cold, windy, foggy, rainy days. Flying was not possible most days and we even got some snow! This is very typical for fall around here. We always have high hopes of getting lots of work done in the beautiful fall weather, but Mother Nature always has other plans. 

Luckily, the bad weather let up and we got another couple weeks of beautiful weather and so the work continued. Lots of work got done at Otatakan. The trees that fell last summer were cleaned up and lots of firewood was cut. Grace Lake got a new outhouse and walkway and this past weekend we spent at Shabumeni and started the clean up there. We also started building a brand new dock at Shab. 

The moose hunters that we had in camp this fall were all successful. Each party got a cow moose. We had resident deer hunters in camp just last week and they ended up with at least 12 deer total, which was fantastic. After such a harsh winter, we weren’t sure what to expect for the deer hunt. The non-resident hunt starts next week so we will see how they do.


We also had “Muskie Hunters” in camp last week at K.C.'s Landing Resort. Between three guys, they were averaging between 10 and 14 Muskies per day on the Indian Lake Chain. They caught three beautiful Tiger Muskies over 40 inches long and several other Muskies over the 40-inch mark using the live suckers that we provide. They also caught a 30-inch Walleye on a sucker! And one other thing worth mentioning, is that the September Crappie fishing was OUTSTANDING on Cedar Lake. 

Not much time left now for open-water fishing. Our bait & tackle shop in Kenora, Sunset Baits will be closing down soon and will re-open when there is ice on the lakes. We will keep you updated with freeze-up and other things going on around Clark's!

Until next time,


Meagan

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Big Plans for the Fall!

Fall is in the air… a cold front came in overnight last night and it is chilly today! The forecast is calling for nice weather, but cool temperatures. The leaves already started changing a while back. The 2014 summer season will soon be winding down for us at both the Resorts & the Outposts.

For the rest of September, the drive-in resorts are almost full with walleye fishermen and bear hunters. The walleye fishing is still great on both lakes and so far our bear hunters are 4 for 6. We have a few more coming, so we will see if they get all of their bears. It’s been more of a challenge this year with the abundance of blueberries in the forest.

October & November will bring on the moose and deer hunters and of course, our regular “Musky Hunters”. They will brave the cold weather and go for the monsters using the live sucker minnows that we provide. We can’t really say our season is coming to an end just yet. Mid-November we will be shutting things down for the winter (aside from the ice fishermen that come up starting in December).

As for the Outposts, we still have a couple more groups to fly out, but that is it for this year. With the Outpost business less busy right now, this is our window of opportunity before freeze up to do upgrades on the Outpost cabins. We have a long list of things to do so hopefully the ice holds off as long as possible. So far we are planning on new walkways at McVicar, and a new roof on the fish house and a new boat ramp at McVicar. We are going to extend the deck at Antenna, put a new boat ramp in at Bertrand, and clean up the yard at Otatakan. Grace is going to get a new outhouse and the walkways will get completed, the cabin and deck at Dobie are going to get leveled-up, and we are going to replace the boats at Meen Lake. And the work continues at Kapikik as we must finish the bathrooms, finish the walkways, and a few other finishing touches before we can call it “complete”. We’ve also started “shutting down” the Outpost cabins. They are getting a good cleaning top-to-bottom, and everything is getting put away properly for the winter.

Once the Outpost work is finished, and if the weather is still cooperating, we are going to start on a new office building at Northern Lights Resort. The new building will be the new “Outpost Headquarters”. This will be the check-in office, storage building, and also living quarters for Wayne & Karla.

Lots of work to be done in such little time! We are also working with a company to build a new website, which will be launched this fall. We will have all of our Outpost Lakes on the site, including our new ones, as well as all three Drive-In Resorts. The new site will have helpful information such as what to pack for your trip, and an online version of our new brochure!

Stay tuned for pictures of upgrades, construction, and other exciting things going on at Clark’s Resorts and Outposts! And of course, watch for our new site to launch later this fall at www.clarksresorts.com.

Until next time,


Meagan J

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Fawcett & Antenna Lake Fishing Reports for August

Fawcett Lake August 8 - August 14, 2014

Great cabin, great equipment - great trip! Lost count of so many walleyes and pike. Week started hot then cooled with one day of rain. Clark's Resorts & Kay Air did a fine job! So did the fish!

- Richards Group

Antenna Lake August 9 - August 16, 2014

Fishing and weather was outstanding for the week. Three guys, 2,400 fish. Biggest walleye was 26.5", biggest pike was 40.5". One guy short and we still caught the most we ever had here.

- Lohr Party

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Outpost Fishing Reports July 25 - August 9, 2014

Bertrand Lake July 25 - August 1, 2014

Northern Pike fishing was slow, but starting to improve. Fish were in 8-10 feet of water on structure, some in deep weed beds. Walleye action was fast, several in the 22"-25" range, largest was 26-3/4". Back trolling with minnows was most productive. Gold or copper colours were best lure colours.

- Traub Group

Antenna Lake August 1 - August 8, 2014

Fishing was better earlier in week. Mornings were slow all week. Northern bite was slow, but 10+ over 30" including 37.5" and 40". Surface temperature was about 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Lots of Walleyes, biggest was 22". Sound end along rock walls in 10-15 feet of water was best for Walleyes. Perch shad rap or something with orange in 4' to 12' for Northerns. Excellent week. Nothing spectacular, but steady and nice weather.

- Veer Group

Fawcett Lake August 1 - August 8, 2014

First off, thanks to all the Clark's for making our trip wonderful!.  It's great to see that you've picked up the service right where L&M left off.  A fresh minnow supply every other day really puts your operation over the top and was GREATLY appreciated.  It was also great to talk to Wayne and fascinating to learn more about his bait operation.

Fishing was the best we've ever had - probably due to live bait each day.  We caught two 27" walleye and three 25" walleye.  Most fish were caught in 10'-12' with jigs and minnows.  We didn't target northerns on this trip, but many were caught jigging and several engulfed our walleyes as we brought them to the boat.  We also were impressed with the killer loons!  We saw one loon swallow and injured 13" walleye and couldn't believe that was possible.  Then on the last day, a loon chased one of our walleyes as we reeled it in, and then promptly attacked it upon release.  Amazing.

All in all it was a memorable trip - great weather, awesome fishing, well-kept accommodations and equipment, and wonderful hosts.  Can't wait to get back next year!

- Larson Group

Wright Lake August 2 - August 9, 2014

Stayed overnight at Kay Air before flying in.  Cabin was great, good individual beds for all 6 of us.  Smooth flight to Wright Lake, then mix of rain and fog for two days.  Fishing excellent right away.  Walleyes concentrated on points and rocky reefs, especially around the islands. Depth changes in 6 to 20 feet most productive.  Northerns found in the weeds and often in packs.  Fished all the lakes.  Water level adequate, but falling.  Big northern was 40 inches, walleye 24.   Group saw 2 caribou, 1 moose, and bear with 3 cubs.  Saw a feeding frenzy with gulls and loons going after a big pod of minnows out in 20 feet of water, many eagles.  By Monday, weather cleared and rest of week was perfect summer days.  great trip !!    Service from the Clarks was outstanding with fresh minnows every two days!  Generator for the cabin much appreciated.  Motors ran flawlessly.  This was first experience with Northern Lights, we are really impressed !!  Can't wait to return.

- Schmitt Group



Friday, 1 August 2014

A Few Fishing Reports for July 2014

I have a couple of outpost fishing reports to share... I haven't been getting a lot of written reports back from the groups, but I will share the ones I did get!

Bertrand Lake July 12 - July 19, 2014

Tremendous lake, loaded with big Pike, big Walleye, and lots of 18-20" Walleye. If you enjoy catching 10-12" Perch - go to West end of lake. For the week we caught the following sizes of Walleye - 29", 27.5", 27", 26.5" (x 2), 25" (x 2), 24", 23" (x 3), 22" (x 3). Northern Pike we caught 42", 38", 34", 33" (x2) and we spent about 1.5 hours fishing for Pike.

- Firchau Group

Nice 29" Walleye!

Bertrand Lake July 19 - July 26, 2014

Fishing was good. Party of 5 and estimate landed over 1,000 fish. Average walleye 15-18". Everyone in party boated walleyes over 22". One 29" walleye was caught. First day we landed 2 x 34" northern pike and had another well over 30" at the boat. A 33" was caught later in week, but overall we had some trouble finding the big pike. Good trip. Thank you.

- Whitenack Group

Antenna Lake July 26 - July 31, 2014

Great camp with great service! Any issues or needs, the base camp was quick to respond. Cabin is well maintained. Fishing was GREAT! All the walleye we could catch, lunch was easy to find, and numerous big fish. 19 northern 30"+ (2 were 40"+) Caught a 41", 42" and many high 30"s. 

- Herbert Group

That is all for now!

Until next time,

Meagan

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Painting Party at Kapikik

It's been a while since I've been able to write about Kapikik Lake! I hadn't been there since Easter weekend. Shortly after that, the ice began to deteriorate. Ever since ice out, the cabin has been rented every week! We've had nothing but fantastic reviews from the guests who have stayed at Kapikik this summer. The cabin was beyond expectations and the fishing has been off the charts! One group of nine guys pulled in over 6,700 fish in one week.


It was so great to bring my husband, Devin (who hadn't seen the cabin since it was just a shell last fall) and some of my friends to this special place where I spent lots of time over the winter. It was different landing there with greenery everywhere and no snow on the ground!


We weren't exactly there just for fun... we brought with us lots of paint and deck stain. On day one we had beautiful weather so we got started on the painting right away. As we were painting away (about an hour into it) a fish actually jumped out of the water and was flopping on the dock! Adam went down to release it back into the water. We quickly wrapped up our painting for the day and jumped in the boat.


The wind was so strong that day. The lake was all white-caps. We took our boats behind the island where it was a little more sheltered. We caught a few walleye, a few northern, and two sauger. I had never seen a sauger before... I thought it was just an oddly-colored walleye. We hadn't caught enough for a meal yet, but we'd had enough of the wind so we headed back to camp to try our luck off the dock.


Turns out - the fishing off the dock was incredible! Despite the rainy weather, we caught lots of walleye for dinner.


The rain hung around for the rest of the trip. Whenever there was a break in the clouds, we would hurry outside and paint. We managed to get the first coat of paint on the cabin and we got a good start on the fish cleaning house. We ended up running out of paint so we decided to do some yard work. We had a campfire on our last evening and of course we did some fishing off the dock for dinner.


We woke up early the next day to find the sun shining and not a cloud in the sky. After 4 days of cold weather and rain, it was hard to believe our plane was coming in an hour to pick us up. My Dad brought my Grandma and Grampa with him. It was there turn to stay for a few days and they lucked out with great weather.




I hope to get back there soon... summertime or winter - love that place!

Until next time,

Meagan

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Great Friends & Great Fishing: Upper Wapesi July 2014

After sending off many groups to our fly-in lakes this summer, on July 5th it was my turn to go! Three friends of mine, Kyle, Anna, and Drew drove up from Northern Wisconsin to fly out early the next morning with my friend Erin (who also works at camp), myself, and my husband Devin. This trip has been in the works for almost a year and it was finally here! We flew out on Saturday morning at 5:00 a.m. to Upper Wapesi, which would be our home for the next 4 days. Wilderness Air picked us up at the dock at Northern Lights Resort. It was a gorgeous, calm morning, and our flight was great!


By 6:00 a.m. we had already settled into our cabin and we were out in the boats looking for the hot spots!  The 3 girls jumped in one boat and the 3 guys in the other. The guys immediately found a sand bar in the middle of the lake, which was marked with a milk jug. I would say that's cheating, but man did they catch fish! In the girls boat, we trolled the shoreline finding fish the entire way. We found a couple "hot spots" that we came back to throughout the trip.


We all fished using 1/8 oz. jigs with minnows (provided by the Clark's) and found that the Walleyes were still in pretty shallow. By 9:00 a.m. we had caught and released hundreds of fish. Many were over 20". We kept enough smaller ones for lunch and headed back to the cabin.


We feasted on fish, played games, relaxed, napped, and fished some more. We ended the day by sitting around the campfire reflecting on our day, reminiscing, and sharing stories. The next few days that followed were much the same as the first. We caught more fish than we could have imagined, even catching some nice ones off the dock. We did some swimming despite the cooler temperatures, and just enjoyed spending time together.


One day, we ventured over to Pusher Lake where we have another outpost cabin. Dad said to just boat down the river - it was easy! That turned into quite the adventure as we had to get the boats through some very shallow water and over a beaver damn! We did make it, but not without a little struggle and a lot of laughs. The ride down the river was beautiful and the cabin on Pusher Lake was great. It is in a really neat spot, situated on a gorgeous point. We sat in the sun, fished off the dock, and ate lunch. Our day spent at Pusher Lake was awesome.


The next day, when the airplanes came to pick us up, we were all sad to have to go home. We had such a good time together and the days flew by too fast. There is just something about being in the wilderness, with no one around but your best friends, no contact with the outside world, and that peacefulness that cannot be found anywhere else.


Hopefully we can do this again sometime soon. There is no better way to make memories that will last a lifetime! 

Until next time,

Meagan

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Outpost Fishing Reports June 13th - July 2nd

Here are the rest of the outpost fishing reports that I received for June! Enjoy!
________________________________________________________________________________

Dobie Lake June 13th - June 20th

L&M would be proud of how the Clark's are continuing their tradition. Weather was tough, but the fishing was great. We are impressed with the Clark's attention to all phases regarding our fishing trip!

Thank you.


- The Wenten Group
________________________________________________________________________________

Kapikik Lake June 14th - June 21st

Unbelievable fishing for our group of nine! We caught 6,707 total fish, with three guys catching over 200 each in a day, and one boat bringing in 417 (2 people) in a day. Big Northerns were; 43", 42.5", 42", 41.5", 41". Big Walleye were; 29", 27.5", 27", 26.5". The cabin was awesome, equipment worked well, and the fishing was fantastic. The Clark's run a top notch camp!


- The Wuestenhagen Group
________________________________________________________________________________

Fawcett Lake June 21st - 27th

Great weather! Great week of fishing - 1,894 walleye caught. Biggest walleye 27", lots over 20". Bonus - pair of loons with 2 babies on backs! Girls rule once again in games.

- The Oran Group
________________________________________________________________________________


Otatakan June 27 - July 2

Great trip! Countless walleye & pike each day. Cabin and facilities outstanding. Weather came in and blew a couple of trees down, but fish still bit. Otatakan is just as good as always!


- The Richards Group
________________________________________________________________________________

Until next time,

Meagan