2005 Echo Lake Lodge Newsletter

 

P.O. Box 1137                                                             P.O. Box 124

Red Lake, Ontario P0V 2M0         Amherst, WI 54406

807-727-2543                              715-824-5876

(summer)                                                                                    (winter)

 

   www.echolakelodge.com     tehr@echolakelodge.com

 

Finally!  After six years, renovation of the main lodge is completed!  Once the chinking was done, the fireplace was cleaned with acid and the concrete patched.  Wow!  Does it look nice!  Electrical work was finished in late September.  The kitchen has all new appliances and plenty of cabinets and counter space.  In the past, large groups prepared and ate all of their meals in the lodge.  Now this tradition can continue.  Other improvements to camp include new wood stoves in all of the houses and new cook stoves in Black Bear and Caribou. 

 

Again this summer, Mother Nature raised havoc.  The road to camp did not escape her wrath.  The south access from Ear Falls has many washouts and is no longer the recommended route.  The north access from Red Lake should be used and you will need a high clearance vehicle.  When referring to the adventure of getting to camp on the rough gravel road, Jackie Jaques said this was the most ‘unique vacation’ she has ever been on.  Near record rainfalls brought water levels to the highest Tom can recall.  Our boat dock was lifted off the log cribs and broke apart.  Rather than repair it, the decision was made to replace it.  Two trips to town, 9 boatloads across the lake and three weeks later, the floating boat dock was launched and anchored into place.  Special thanks to our son, Dan, and his friend, Steve Kubisiak, for spending a few days in the cold water removing the old log cribs.  The high water covered many rocks that are usually visible making it very difficult for even repeat guests to avoid hitting them.  On Detour alone, we replaced 3 lower units, 1 tilt assembly and 11 motor propellers.  High winds knocked down many trees again this year.  Why do they always seem to fall on the portages?  Speaking of portages.  You will be happy to know that the first two swamps on the Detour portage have been repaired.  A big thank you to Mark Ipson, Doug Eggers, Mike Schneck, and my brother, Harry.  All of the rotten logs have been removed, so you can now feel comfortable walking on it.  We have good intentions of completing that project next summer.  Check out some of the photos on the website. 

 

Despite the high winds and almost constant rain, most of our guests managed to catch their limit of fish.  Most of the 50+ “Book Fish” registered this year were released.  They included several northern from 36-42”, walleyes from 24-29” and lake trout from 25-30”.  Our guests who practice catch and release are definitely making a noticeable difference each year. 

 

The fishing was good, but the berry picking was poor!  We only had blueberry pancakes twice and for the first time ever, we did not have any blueberries to take home.  We saw a merlin (falcon-like hawk) in camp this summer.  The gray jays stopped in camp earlier this year and were still there when Tom left.  They sure like bread with bacon fat and bear tallow.   

 

A first at Echo Lake this year!  Jim Jones returned for a record “third week” in one season!  Gary Pribyl, you might have to retire to match (or beat) Jim’s record!  (Rumor has it that Gary and Jim might even book a trip together.)  Thanks to our new friends, Eric and Ellie Kern, from Ohio for introducing us to malt vinegar as an alternative to tartar sauce with many less calories.  Thanks, also, to Gene Dubin for the “safe walk home” and the “Kraemer” group for the Texas Hold’em lessons.  The chips are stacked…… J Jack Dupal and his dad, John, weren’t even in camp 5 hours when they brought in a 9½#, 30-inch trout and commented, “We didn’t even use our good baits yet.”   Josh Staggs, Florida, felt so at home he could smell watermelons while sitting on the porch.    

 

Comments heard around camp this summer:  These Honda motors are really nice.  How much did it rain last night?  Sure is windy.  Nice fish.  How come there aren’t any berries this year?  Wow! What a nice dock! 

 

The bear season started out with a bang.  Tom had to shoot a hungry bear after it tried to get into the Loon’s Nest and then went to visit newlyweds, Curt and Jane Strasburg, in Caribou.  The bear spent about four hours in camp.  The first week of season was a great success with both Jack Dudley and Joe Beyers harvesting nice blacks.  After that, the bear started roaming due to the lack of berries and natural food.  They managed to elude the next four hunters despite the hard work and unique strategies they used in their pursuit.  Oh, well, it is the hunt, not the kill that produces memories.  The bear will be larger next year.   

 

Another first at Echo this year was a moose hunt.  Bill Paryniuk, former owner of Medicine Stone Lodge, was looking for a place for his family group to hunt and chose Echo.  The season opened on October 8 with several inches of snow and cold weather.  The weather warmed up and the moose stayed in the bush, but according to Bruce Berglin, “Our success was in the adventure and the hunt, not the kill.”  They did bag one moose compliments of Petro's 300 Weatherby and Robert's expert guiding!  The camp chores and the fellowship in the main lodge were 75% of the fun for this group.  A special thank you to Myron for all the planning.

 

As always, our mailing list guests have first priority to make reservations for Summer 2006.  We encourage you to reserve your trip to Echo Lake Lodge as soon as your group has finalized their plans.   We require that you put 50% down within 2 weeks of making your reservation and send the balance by May 1, 2006. 

 

We hope all of our guests took home fond memories of their 2005 adventure that will last until they are able to return to the Canadian bush.  Thank you for choosing Echo Lake Lodge.

Send us your favorite pictures so we can post some of them on our web site.  Wishing all of you a healthy and safe holiday season. 

 

From the Wisconsin Loon’s Nest,

Tom & Mitzi