End of the season update….and ideas for 2014!

The last half of September is usually a pretty quiet time at VBL but a few adventurous guests make the trip and reap the rewards of a great Fall experience here on Eagle Lake.


Cheryl Perkis was the lucky angler who caught and released a beautiful 42 1/2 inch pike.  Good job handling this big boy Dan!


Lee Miller was part of our last group of the season….staying into October.  Some great weather, and great fishing was the result.  Interesting to note that some of the best walleye fishing was on those shallow water mud flats close to the lodge.  The occasional big pike added to the mix……here’s a dandy 37 incher released by Lee.

More photo’s from Lee’s gang……








A nice catch of lake trout and whitefish from an excursion to Clearwater Lake on the last day of the trout season (September 30).   The portage trail was wet, but we all made it there….and back, no problem!

One of those “end of the season” jobs is to put the boats on the portage lakes away for the winter.

This usually entails me walking back into Caribou, Otter, McGregor and Clearwater Lakes to do the deed.  This year I invited Bryce and Hugh (G. Rection) to give me a hand and check out the bite on each body of water.  We head out into the bush on October 6th.  The first stop was Clearwater Lake to see if we could pick up some whitefish…


Bryce and the first fish of the day…a smallmouth.


Next, a whitefish…


Our fishing on Clearwater ends after this unintended triple header of lake trout.  Off to MacGregor and beyond.


Hugh and Bryce cuddle up for the trip across Otter Lake.  Onward to Caribou Lake…



We actually had some pretty good late season action for smallmouth back in Caribou Lake.  A highlight was spotting a cow moose and her calf along the shoreline.  Time to head back, flipping boats as we go.

Having just returned from a trip down to the “Thousand Island” area of the St. Lawrence I was able to reflect on some improvements to the lodge in the very near future……


Many of you know of my “minor irritation” with other lodge boats intruding on my private space (let’s say, a half mile radius around VBL).  I believe this cool item would be a great addition to the lakeshore deck and beach area.  I’m sure a shot across the bow will get the message across to those foolish enough to venture into VBL waters….


A bit of an expansion to the present VBL boathouse might be in order after checking out this rather stylish one that was built to service what is known as Boldt castle on a nearby island in the St. Lawrence River.  You never know when you may need parking space for those 3 mast schooners that ply our waters.


Boldt Castle seems like a great prototype for expanding the current lodge building.  I could hole up in a turret for the off-season….


….and every cabin should have it’s own clock tower.  You will never miss cocktail hour again!

Of course, this may seem rather ambitious, and some may question the economics of such improvements.  Not to worry, I’ve stumbled upon a guaranteed method of increasing cash flow…..and it’s all natural too…


The fishing season here at VBL may be coming to a close for 2013, but before it does here are a few observations that come to my mind…

Spring, summer and fall at the lodge is a blur of people coming, going, fish being caught, fish being lost, sunrise and the weather each morning brings, adventure and good times.  It’s time to acknowledge that the guests that cross our paths are what make the journey rewarding.  Thank you for being a big part of the VBL experience. 

While I’m not much on keeping track of statistics, it’s interesting to note that we’ve seen a 28% increase in business since 2011.  What this means is we are able to make some important improvements in terms of new boats, motors, better docking, cabin renovations,  metal roofs, new beds, grills, and the list goes on.  Hopefully some of you have noticed and appreciated these changes.  We plan on continuing this in the future.  With increased bookings you may have also noticed that some weeks may have been booked quicker than in the past.  If you have something in mind for 2014, I would encourage you to book early to get the dates you really want.  While you’re at it give the “shoulder season” (early spring, or late fall) some consideration as well.  They can offer a unique experience that may not be found during the rest of the summer.

In the meanwhile, keep tuned to the Electric Beaver over the winter for updates on what is going on up here on Eagle lake, and for what might be coming up for the season of 2014.


11 thoughts on “End of the season update….and ideas for 2014!

  1. Gord,
    I can only wish you an even more profitable 2014 season, as I have very much enjoyed the investments that have been made at VBL. I also appreciate those things that have remained a constant with hospitality at the top of the list. Two weeks at VBL spread over two different seasons (spring and fall) was a real treat that should probably be repeated with retirement rapidly approaching. I can say that 2013 was one of the best fishing year’s I have experienced at VBL. The spring excursion to Caribou was exceptional for small mouth bass and pike. The August Walleye discoveries yielded a personal best for walleyes at VBL. Shawn caught his best Laker that same trip. And of course….who can forget the perch? I will be in touch soon regarding 2014 and am hoping for a repeat with perhaps a 50″ class musky. Do you think that could be arranged?

    1. A good suggestion. Much less work than the 3 story boat house, but others have mentioned their desire for a VBL mug. Let me research what is available…..I’m sure it’s doable.

    1. I’ll bite……so. let’s say I wanted the “Canada Day beaver tie”…..how would you customize it to make it a specialty of the lodge? Add VBL somewhere? …..and pricey, would you pay forty bucks for a tie? You are retiring soon….are you planning on fishing in a suit and tie… Keep up the research, you may stumble on something..

      1. I saw a few ties that I would rate in the “exceptional” category. Now whether my wife would let me where them in public is another thing…

  2. Gord,
    I was thinking the VBL Beaver ties complete with your logo would be complimentary. I could see them serving as an emergency fish towel. Maybe you could even add a ruler? And yes, I think its time we start classing up the joint and dressing like our forefathers did for the big fishing occasion.

    1. Andy, due to your interest in coming up with some innovative VBL swag, I hereby appoint you as “Swag Master”. Your mission…..come up with the item, the design and at a price we can hope to sell at least two (you and the professor). I look forward to your acceptance, and an item so irresistible, I will be able to market them on line, from the comfort of my couch….
      …by the way, the idea of a fishing tie isn’t bad….especially with a built in ruler. It could double as a “dew rag” in the case of the professor, or he may choose to wear it stylishly wrapped around his upper thigh…….

      1. Gord…I’ve got a VBL hat, fishing shirt, fleece jacket, several tee-shirts, two mugs and my current favorite–the genuine VBL towel (which makes a heck of a bib when eating ribs at Busters). What I could really use is a VBL blazer. I’d feel very proud to wear this to the Sunday night fish fry. Please consider.

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On behalf of the Boyes Group, I would like to pass on our sincere thanks for hosting the Muskie Madness Week and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at VBL and had a great time!! This was our 7th year on Eagle Lake and we have stayed at a few other lodges but VBL takes the cake hands down! You can definitely count us in for next year. I’m happy to see you post some of my pics, they turned out well. Thanks again Gord for a wonderful week of fishing and your stellar hospitality, you run a first class operation, we look forward to seeing you next year!

Trevor Benner

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