May 21, 2022: Opening Weekend

Well, actually the opening of the walleye season…

VBL remains closed till May 27th to allow us to get a handle on the late spring issues such as frost heaving in some cabins and frozen sewer lines……..not to mention the record high water levels that one can only describe as flooding. Moving opening guests to the following week was a tough decision but I think it was the right one. Here’s a bit of a breakdown on what happened here on Saturday and Sunday…


Regardless of what’s on the work list, the opening of walleye deserves our attention, so Susanne and I venture forth to scope out conditions and hopefully end up with a fish fry that evening…

Main lake water temperatures maxed out at 43 degrees. We head into a shallow bay hoping for better conditions. 48 degrees is the best we can do. Trolling Rapalas is our technique today.
Bundle up ’cause the 43 degree water temps are actually warmer than the air! The dogs were not too impressed by being assualted by the re-occuring ice pellets.
The fishing was slow, but so were we. We did not give up on our location and managed to eventually make a successful morning out of it.
A fish fry will happen! It was a cold ride home, reminicent of ice fishing in February. Boat traffic on the lake was minimal…I think we saw one other camp boat.


It’s time to see what’s going on back in the portage lakes. Will the boats be ready? I’m concerned that with the flooding they may be under water. Susanne and I decide to take a boat up the creek to investigate…

There’s some sun today and definately not as cold. Here I’m doing my Kenny Rogers impersonation. Water levels are so high finding the actual creek channel is hard…..
Water levels are high and the entire ramp is floating. Fortunately the motors weren’t under water, but close. After realizing the ramp would be difficult to use we go to “Plan B”…
Plan B is to take both portage boats back to the lodge. Guests wanting the Clearwater experience are now going to be using these to access via the creek. Maybe a bit slower ride than with the regular camp boats but damaging equipment is less likely. It took us 40 minutes to go up the creek. Later in the season as water levels drop we’ll get the boats back on the ramp and continue using the trail.
So we still need to check on the boat and motor in McGregor Lake. With the high water we actually park the boat on the trail.
Ramp in and boat flipped over, I mull over possible reasons why there is water draining from the motor! Apparently there was once a puddle of water where the motor spent the winter. Not good…..the motor needs to go home too!
All I can say is I’m too old for this shit. I know a younger, stronger guest coming next week who will appreciate this experience….Jon Vanator, note the technique.
With our work portion of the day complete, we might as well troll some Hot-n-Tot’s and see what’s happening. 40 degree temps are darn cold!
Again, the action seemed subdued, but we did manage 4 trout in short order.
A bit of a water fall in the background. We saw one other boat on the lake who came in via the creek……they didn’t seem to stick around long!

So for those who didn’t make opener, consider this…

While fishing at anytime is interesting, it was darn cold. We have some sun predicted for this coming week which will only improve the fishing, for both walleye and trout. In short, you’ll be arriving at an opportune time. Let’s just hope the rain stays away and water levels start to drop. We’ll be seeing many of you soon….have a great trip!

11 thoughts on “May 21, 2022: Opening Weekend

  1. I can’t tell you how happy I was to read JON VANATOR’s name on that motor-carrying exercise!! I’ll send him a note to express my gratitude.

  2. Sorry to see the trouble you’re having with high water. But seeing walleye caught on crank baits in cold water warms my heart. Susanne’s cheerful nature will pull you both through. Now, where are my old Kenny Roger’s albums…

  3. Gord, the outdoors is your gym without a membership fee. Glad you are getting things back in order and I expect you to look fit and trim in your crotchless chaps. Some of us would appreciate another blog post of you rescuing the boats on Otter and Carribou. This could be the Year of the Perch, so those walleyes will get you back in filleting form. I don’t look forward to sharing Clearwater with other camps this year but perhaps you could put out some channel markers to assist them?

    1. Andy, I agree with your view on sharing Clearwater with other people. Let’s hope the water levels drop and the creek gets weedy. On a positive note I was expecting to see multiple boats, not just the one. Perhaps the lure of being able to keep one trout will not be a draw.

  4. Wind looks cold and so does the water. Lots of water.
    Now Kenny Rogers look a like will be an entertaining alternative.

  5. So you’re saying my “one over each shoulder” technique is ill advised? Kidding… That’s actually very impressive Gord. The countdown is on, see you soon!

    1. Jon, it’s similar to carrying the “two-four” of beer to your truck. Just make sure your fishing partner is trained in CPR should you go down….

  6. Gord/Susanne…Thanks doing the work that results in VBL being a such a great place to visit. So much to enjoy on Eagle and remote lakes as well. The missus and I have been your guests for about 25 years and we look forward to seeing you again this fall.

  7. Gord & Susanne…..Just checked in to see how your opener went? Sorry to hear about your delay in opening. Last year you wished for higher water levels and as the saying goes,” be careful what you wish for”..Just kidding..!!! Both Sandra and I know how much work it is in running a top quality fishing lodge and the hard work that both you and Susanne put in is much appreciated..!! Can’t say enough about your place and look forward to our two weeks again this summer. Keep up the good work old chap ( pace yourself) and we look forward to seeing you both soon…….
    Slim Jim

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If you’re looking for an outstanding vacation spot for the serious fisherman or a family get away you should consider Vermillion Bay Lodge on Eagle Lake, Ontario Canada. We have stayed at many lake resorts over the years, but none offer the simple pleasures of this one. The lake is large enough and holds enough fish for the most adventuresome fisherman and yet easy for local family fishing for young children. Bring your own boat or use one of the aluminum boats (20 hp) at the lodge. Boat dockage is well protected from the wind and allows easy access to the water.

What sets this lodge apart from most others is it is always clean, well kept with lots to do including paddle boats canoes, bon fires in the evenings and a just plain friendly atmosphere.

Bruce & Sally

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