And so we come to the close of another wonderful season. It seems like yesterday we were arriving at the lodge and opening her up for our 30th summer! This summer was one of many dimensions. We were 100% sold out from the open until August and all systems go right out of the gate.
First off was the weather. We have never had more rain in decades than we did this summer. It seemed like fronts were in/out every 2 days or so for the first 8 weeks. Brutal storms, hail, heavy rain the works. We lost our driveway on 3 occasions, flooded boats repeatedly on the out-lakes, lost a dock, power for an extended period of time.. The list goes on and on. But our fishermen persevered! Our trophy walleye fishing continues to improve if you can believe that. Our trophy count from the open until mid July (6-7 weeks) came to the following:
That’s like 275 trophy, trophy walleye in a short period of time during a difficult summer conditions wise. Well done fishermen and women. Well done indeed.
We also had a record year for fishing shows. Those of you that follow us on Facebook saw James Lindner, Troy Lindner and Dan Lindner, Babe Winkelman and Colin McKeown along with Orvis’ Pete Kutzcer, head of their fly fishing school all make guest appearances at the lodge. All there to experience and see firsthand what we have known all along. And experience it they did. The Lindner crew crushed the big walleye and I do mean crush. 30+ inch fish in shallow water. Tons of them. They were blown away. So much so that they decided to film a second show at one of our lakes focusing on bass. We can’t wait to see what they come up with!
2 days after that crew left Babe walked in. During prime time. I just smiled as he caught fish after trophy fish. In fact he had just come from another shoot in NW Ontario and his largest walleye during an entire week of fishing was something like 22 inches. By my count we had 42 walleye over 26 inches, with a dozen 29+. We also got into several schools of fish in the 18-23 inch range and caught them one after another for hours. So, once again after filming an entire show in less than 36 hours they too decided to film a second show just focusing on bass. When it rains it pours. Oh, they also caught a 45 inch pike on camera. What a monster.
And finally the New Fly Fisher made an appearance and were the last guests of the season. With the fall foliage starting to turn they attacked the fishery with fly-rod in hand getting some wonderful shots. To be honest they had a tougher time as some of the big fish were deep but they didn’t give up and had a few great evenings with incredible shots.
All 5 TV shows will air this off-season and we will be sure to keep you in the loop when they do.
As the summer faded to August we made a conscience decision to slow down our marketing, take a step back and continue to perform upgrades in and around the lodge. Our kitchen is done with a state of the art fire system, duct work, and fireproof ceiling and floor. Cabin #2 has been re-leveled, a huge task. ALL hot tubs have been fixed quite a task seeing as we have increased the count from 2 to 5. The last of the roofs have been re-done. The wi-fi coverage has been doubled. The list goes on and on.
Not to rest on our laurels but you know me, I have a new list for next year. I am planning to completely re-do the bathrooms in cabins 3 and 4. Tear out the tubs (and everything else) and upgrade with new showers, granite counter-tops, cedar ceilings the works. More new boats for the out-lakes, a back-up generator (think huge) that will power the lodge along with all its cooking, washing and water systems. So if we do have an extended outage we can still have plenty of water and more importantly food!
A few housekeeping items. As you know we are very proud to be the only Orvis endorsed lodge in Ontario and twice a finalist for best lodge in North America (as well as the winner last summer for best lodge in Ontario). One key part of the endorsement is current reviews from our guests. If you would take a minute and do a quick on-line review for Orvis I would very much appreciate it. The link is: http://www.orvis.com/hawklakelodge About 1/3 of the way down the page is a link that says “write a review”. Just click on that link and away you go. Again, the review will take less than 5 minutes. Of course if there are any suggestions for the lodge feel free to email me directly, I listen to every one of them. Some of our best upgrades came from this group. From the light on the skeet deck to heated coffee mugs, portage bridges to a longer happy hour. This lodge is your lodge and always will be.
As an added incentive for your review, we will be giving away a ST. Croix guide rod from this summer. Essentially brand new, it is a Premier Rod engraved with the Hawk Lake Lodge logo. We do not sell these and it will be the only one in existence in personal hands. Just let me know when you post your review and you will be entered into a random drawing for a piece of this summer.
Reservations are in full swing. We still have a few cabins left from the open until mid-July.
Thanks for a wonderful 30th anniversary. We could not be more happy to share it with all of you.
Ted, Virginia, Caroline & Sophia