The Gunflint Trail is filled with families exploring the north woods. They are out hiking, fishing, and searching for blueberries. Of course, every lake has kids enjoying the water while parents lazily watch. For many young children, it is their first experience playing in a lake or riding in a canoe. These children are having the woods and waters of this area imprinted in their lives. We will be seeing them for years to come.
Many are out trying a little fishing but not all are as lucky as one father was. Deb Smith of Golden Eagle Lodge reports that Tom Zemlin (Edina, MN) was out fishing with his family on Flour Lake when he hooking a large northern. They didn't have a bigger enough net in the boat to land the fish so they decided to beach it on shore. But they didn't want to take a chance on the line getting caught in the motor so they rowed to shore. It was a very successful beaching operation. Once the fish was in the boat, they hurried back to Golden Eagle to weigh it. The northern was 22 lbs and measured 41 1/2 inches. What a great catch!
Carl Brandt from Nor'Wester Lodge had some guests fishing on Saganaga Lake with Guide Curtis Blake. Using leeches and slip bobbers, one of the party hooked a 13 lb. (31 3/4") walleye. There were also many smaller fish in the stringer before the end of the day.
Ever so often even the outfitters and resorters get out to fish. Debbie Mark from Seagull Outfitters found herself sitting in a boat on Seagull Lake the other day for the first time this summer. Her reward was a 29" walleye. She was also using a slip bobber and leech.
Animals are regularly appearing all over the Trail. Shari Bake from Gunflint Pines had some employees and their friends go down to Trail Center for breakfast. On the way back they spotted 2 fox and two wolves. We are just not used to seeing as many wolves as have appeared this summer. Sue Arhendt of Tuscarora Lodge had some staff members spot a porcupine at the resort. There used to be lots of porkies on the Trail but the pine marten have reduced the population until they are rarely seen.
Dave Seaton from Hungry Jack Outfitters reported seeing a large Western Racer Snake (a garter snake to me) trying to eat a big toad. The snake's eyes were bigger than its stomach and the toad got away minus one leg.
Yesterday the Gunflint Trail greeted the Canoe The Heartland paddlers. These young people are canoeing the Quetico and BWCAW in honor of the 100th anniversary of both parks. Their big voyageur canoe was a joy to see. About 150 people gathered at Chik-Wauk Lodge to watch these modern day voyageurs arrive. There were games for the kids, canoe rides, and a shore lunch cookout for everyone. The rangers from the U. S. Forest Service and the Quetico Provincial Park presented several very interesting talks about the area.
Tomorrow evening is the annual Gunflint Trail Canoe Races at Gunflint Lodge. For over 25 years this event has raised money to support the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department. If you are in the area, be sure to stop by.