Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Update

Hey Everyone...Hope you're having a great Christmas season, and that this posting finds you all healthy & happy! A couple of quick updates....

We received about a foot of fresh snow - great fluffy powder - on the weekend. Snowmobiling has been awesome, although the snowmobile trails aren't open or groomed yet.

Atikokan's world class cross country ski trails are open though. Looking like another great year for skiers!

I'm hearing rumours that Mount Fairweather - Atikokan's downhill ski facility is opening soon. Should be a great winter for that too.

We're making a big rink on the ice on the lake today. As we had some cold weather in December with no snow, the ice is nice. Shouldn't need too much flooding to make it very good.

For anyone considering cabin based trips next summer a quick FYI...June is filling in really quickly. Let us know if you have any dates in mind & we'll hang on to them for you!

Anyway - take it easy everyone. Hope to talk to y'all soon!


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Quick Update!

Hey everyone...

Been a great year here in Quetico Country...some great canoeing, fishing & loads of stories & memories created.

We had several milestones, including doing some outfitting up in Woodland Caribou Park & the Albany River....pretty cool.

Anyway - a quick couple of items....


We now have a Facebook page ....we are updating it more frequently than this page (not that that is very hard - but we're getting better). Search Facebook under "Branch's Seine River Lodge" and become a fan. We love seeing your posts & pics!


They've fixxed that huge washout...as of right now, I'm guessing that it'll be open for next season. I have heard that it was fixxed due to the fact that the loggers are working down there again.

Everything else is going great here....hope the same for all of you....

Hope to see some of you up here on Atikokan's world class snowmobile and cross country ski trails (not to mention our fantastic ice fishing). We will be open - but with limited cabins available so call ahead.

Talk to y'all soon - hope to see some of your comments on our facebook page!


Monday, July 27, 2009

Mack Lake Fly In

Hey Guys & Gals,

Quick post to let y'all know that, due to low water levels on Greenwood Creek, you can fly into Mack Lake on Quetico's east side (for the time being)...

Here's an excerpt from a notice from Quetico today....

Due to current low water levels in Greenwood Creek access into Mack Lake is being made difficult, therefore we have opened up the option for groups to fly directly into Mack Lake.

In accessing Mack Lake by aircraft we will only permit landing in the eastern bay of Mack Lake (near the border). We also ask anyone flying into the lake to access it by flying outside of the park boundary on route to Mack in order to reduce complaints about aircraft noise by those seeking a wilderness experience in the park.

If levels of rainfall during the remainder of summer make Greenwood Creek passable then we will expect everyone to paddle in this way once again.

We had two groups last year do a fly in to this area...the first had to fly to Clay, just outside the park...the next group however benefited from this same scenario last year & flew to Mack cutting much paddling time off their route. Nice little bonus...

BTW - we still are taking fly in / paddle our groups for those trips....I will be putting a trip price together that will likely be a week long, complete outfitting, including the fly in & a pick up at the take out point....We will outline a great route for this, through some awseome country....slightly longer jaunts will be able to check out the Chain Falls area early in the route.

Anyway - gotta get going....refinishing canoes & getting ready for our annual canoeing rush in early August. Talk to y'all soon!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Heart of The Continent Partnership

Hey everyone,

A quick post to let you all know about a great organization that we recently had the pleasure of learning about.

Heart of the Continent is a group of people & organizations from both sides of the Canada / US border that are working together to find ways to benefit the lakes, forests, wildlife & communities / people of this vast area.

Specifically speaking, this "vast area" is the largest public greenspace in North America covering 5.5 million acres and including Quetico Provincial Park, The Superior National Forest, Voyageur National Park & the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness.

These folks are very pure in motive - they're "non - political" which I really liked, and in my dealings with them they are a class act.

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Quetico & The Superior National Forest there is a rotating group of 9 people that are canoeing pretty much a circle around the area in a 24' voyageur canoe. They hit Atikokan for Canada Day on July 1, they're supposed to be in International Falls today for the US celebrations (btw - Happy Independence Day to all our US friends!), heading down through Crane Lake, over to Grand Marais, Grand Portage & then finishing at Fort William near Thunder Bay for the Rendezvous & Dragon Boat Festival (on July 17 & 18).

On July 2nd, we welcomed them at our camp for breakfast as they paddled through. It was great meeting them and a great learning experience. The contingent that we met had a vast array of experience, from scientific knowledge to historical expertise, and of course a love of the land that presented itself in many anecdotes. They were passionate, creative, good spirited, humourous and energetic.

To bring awareness to one of the issues facing the area, the bottom of the 24' voyageaur canoe was painted with many of the invasive aquatic species that jeopardize our ecosystem.

The group that we welcomed included:

Rich Kelley, Chair of Heart of the Continent Partnership and Trustee of
the Quetico Foundation from St. Paul, MN

John Rafferty, Member of Parliament - Thunder Bay/Rainy River, resident
of Fort Frances,

Pamela Cain-Hawley, Curator of Fort Frances Museum

Spencer Scott, 2nd year student at Lakehead University,

Brian McLaren, professor, Lakehead University - Forestry, Thunder Bay

Darryl Bathel, retired, Department of Natural Resources - Fisheries -
Duluth, MN

John Radosevich-Craig, Superior National Forest Volunteer and group chef

Liz Roat, U.S. Forest Service, Superior National Forest, Duluth, MN

Robin Reilly - Superintendant of Quetico Provincial Park, Atikokan

If you'd like more info on this very worthwhile organization their website is: http://www.heartofthecontinent.org/

Anyway, here's a couple of pics from their visit....

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Quick Update

Hey Everyone - Happy Canada Day & an early Happy Independence Day for all our American friends.

Well, June's over...seemed to go quick....I just wanted to let you know of a couple of things...

The weather has been very crappy the last 5 days or so - incessant winds, temperatures that peaked in the 50's (farenheit), and rain, rain & more rain. I felt bad for canoeists heading out in these condidtions......

Anyway, looks like the weather's going to improve in the next day or so....the bush I've been in is wet, but had seemed to recover from the spring run off before this batch of precipitation happened. In other words, it's handling this rain just fine.

Waters high, but not as high as I thought it would be.

Ticks are pretty bad...actually they seem worse in the last few days, but still not as bad as the last couple of years

The blackflies have been terrible...should be on the decline soon (hopefully!).

Mosquitoes have started......with all this rain, look for some nasty skeeter conditions....pack your repellant!

Anyway, we have two groups coming in today - one old & 1 new .....the interesting thing about both these groups is that they're heading to non traditional areas for us (ie they're not heading to Atikokan / Quetico / White Otter)...We're really looking forward to this & will give more details once they get back.

Things are getting busier....early August is really busy (as it always is).....running out of kevlars that week - still have aluminum. Check in with us though even if you need a kevlar....there may be cancelletions, and it's only a few days at this point that we're maxxed.

Just a quick FYI - we have posted a 10% discount on canoe rentals (& cabins & fishing packages), for September. September can be a terrific month to canoe / fish etc. The "regulars" that come then love it. We're usually slower after early September, so we thought we'd try this promotion to help "kick start" some interest in fall trips. Kinda our own "stimulus package"!

Anyway - gotta go....talk to y'all soon!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Passport required For US Citizens To Re-Enter US

Yep....after years of delays, it appears as though that you will need a passport to re-enter the US effective next Monday June 1 2009.

There's lots of stuff on the web regarding this.....here's one link that may help.


If you don't have one & you're stuck here in Canada - great - we've got lots to keep you busy!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Laker Update & Stanton Bay Road Closed.

I was originally going to try & work all the Quetico Park / White Otter Wilderness canoeing stuff onto our main fishing blog, but it just seems too cumbersome.

So anyway, what I'll do to start is copy over all the canoeing related blog stuff from that blog over to this blog....after this, all the canoeing stuff will be here....so here goes.....

Quetico Lake Trout Update From Fred S

Hi Guys & Gals,Just got an email from Fred Shermock....he ventures into Quetico solo often several times a year. Over time, he's gathered some invaluable insight into the park & fishing there.Anyway, he braved the cold last week to do some lake trout fishing, and did very well - mainly from shore on one of Quetico's north end lakes.....I know lots of you inquire about spring laker fishing - both in Quetico and / or on some of the perimeter lakes. I thought his email may help paint a picture for you of what you may expect.....lot's of fun, but with the cold water etc, it can be dangerous in the park in spring....

Quent, I decided to just scat back home on Sat, so all’s ok. Overall I had a great trip with 15 lakers caught – but none trolling!The water was viciously cold, I washed my hair and froze my scalp. Got to wondering how long I would last if I capsized in that. Seems a bit dangerous.

Trolling up and down both shores Thurs & Fri of the channel produced nothing, not a single hit. I must have passed laker schools, they must have been deeper. (ed note: see our lake trout page http://www.seineriverlodge.com/ontario-lake-trout-fishing.htm for info on how to get depth when trolling for lakers even in a canoe & without downriggers!)

OK at the channel point campsite, I caught 15 lakers over Thur and Fri just casting from shore, and putting some twitches and subsequent drops (usually hit on the drops) in the spoon. They were all caught in a certain area lakeside of the submerged reef that runs from the camp to the island. I had an absolute blast fighting them, which every one of them ranged between 4-5 lbs and full of fight, like shiners whipping around….great springtime lakers. Easy & quick to release with barbless!

Thanks Quent and have a great summer up there! (bugs hatching in the bush at dusk bigtime eh?)….

Fred J. Shermock

Thanks very much to Fred for the email & to let me use it on the blog. BTW - there's a good chance you may hear Fred speaking on Quetico at an event someday. If you meet him say "Hi" from all of us at BSRL.

Also....anyone wanting to send me emails - particularly ones that may help others on their trips here, I'll be glad to post them here on the blog.

Oh - and those bugs that Fred refers to in his last sentence "....hatching in the bush big time at dusk....".....consider them "hatched"!

Stanton Bay Road Washout

A quick FYI - Stanton Bay Road is washed out......anyone with Pickerel Lake entry permits to Quetico will have to enter Pickerel via french Lake until further notice....

Here's an email I just received from Ontario Parks.....

In early May a break in the Stanton Bay Road grew from a hole to a full breach. Late ice melting and high water has washed out the road to make it impassable. As of yesterday a break of approximately 50 feet x 13 ft (16 meters x 4 meters) was formed. The gap is expected to widen with further rain and possible thunder storms forecast over the next few days.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Forest Companies who use this road are monitoring the situation and investigating options.

The road is impassable and will likely remain so throughout the summer. Site evaluation and project plans will be considered during this period. The wash-out has occurred in a location that has had frequent culvert and fill repairs. Potential future treatments may require bridging or similar more expensive responses.

Park users with French Lake - Pickerel Lake permits will need to enter Quetico through French Lake for the foreseeable future..

As always, I'll keep you posted with future developments!