Once again fall color is still coming to the Gunflint Trail. I think the true color has held off because we just haven't had any cold weather. September has been our summer.
Meanwhile, fishing continues to hang in there. Jon Schei from Gunflint Lodge says that everything is biting on minnows. Lake trout are still in deep water because the top water has not cooled down. Walleyes are biting well but there are few big ones. Smallmouth bass are also biting well but they like the larger minnows. Down at Hungry Jack Lodge, Forrest Parson still sees some large walleyes coming in. One guest released a 31" fish this week. His walleyes are biting on leeches and minnows while the bass like night crawlers. With this nice weather it is really pleasant to be on the lake all day.
As there get to be fewer people on the Trail and in the BWCA, the animals becaome more obvious. I have a slug of animal stories this week.
At Tuscarora Lodge, Andy and Sue Ahrendt were awakened the other morning between 4:30 and 5:00 by wolves howling over towards the public landing. A little later a moose mother camp into camp. She seemed a little dazed. Did the wolves get a calf from her? There was no sign of this yet but it certainly can happen.
At Gunflint we had some guests come off a canoe trip with their own wolf story. Apparently the Mrs. was using the biffy out back when two wolf pups came into view. She got scared and called for her husband. He was too busy to come immediately because he was taking a picture of a wolf in camp. Eventually he came to help her scare off the pups.
Some neighbors had to make an ambulance run into town the other night. Everything worked out well but my story is about the ride home. Shari Baker from Gunflint Pines says they saw a wolf pup, a moose, 6 fox and a bear. It is getting to the time of year when we see animals on the road regularly.
Nancy Seaton of Hungry Jack Outfitters had her attention drawn to an aspen tree across a split of water. For some reason four pileated woodpeckers were creating a ruckus over one poor aspen tree. It is unusual to see two together let alone four.
In spite of the nice weather there are signs that winter is coming. Barbara Young at Poplar Creek Bed and Breakfast has seen a couple of Juncoes migrating south as have I. These are on the early end of the migration. Of course, the real sign of winter is when the snow buntings migrate through. Also our hummingbirds are gone for the year. Barbara says another sign of winter preparation is that they got a load of firewood this week.
Sue McCloughan at Bearskin Lodge reported that they have just about finished mowing all their ski trails. This is a real boon to the fall hikers. These newly mowed trails are wonderful to explore during the fall. It is time for all of us to get out and hike a bit.