May 6, 2020…More “Tales from the Lodge”

What’s been happening since the ice went out on the 3rd?

Bayview Brent launching the day the ice went out.
Lodge boat in on May 4.
…and some fishing. Ice piled on Johnson’s Point
No bites….
Stella … “Wake me when you catch something”…
New / recycled kitchen cabinet in cabin 8 (minus sink)
Putting in new flooring for cabin 8

Tales from the lodge…

Two contributions in this edition of the blog from long time guests Dave Kaufman, and Len Belpedio. Let’s kick back and hear what memories VBL conjures…

Dave Kaufman’s First Trip to VBL (2003)…by Dave…

My first trip to Vermilion Bay Lodge was when I went with my father in the middle of June, 2003.

I’ve always heard stories of his first trip to Canada with his father back in 1955 when he was 25. He always said it’s not just the fishing but the experience’s you get going on the trip. Bringing fish home was a bonus.

Instead going to the shorter route via 502 my dad wanted go the old way and stop at Sioux Narrows at the Provincial Park.

Here’s a shot of the stream at the park my dad had taken in 1955.

Rushing River 1955

And the shot with him in 2003 standing bravely in the middle…

Bob Kaufman, Rushing River in 2003

My first good size walleye (24 1/4 inch) trolling by Strawberry Island..

Here’s a picture of dad with us trolling by Gull Rock, in the old 14ft. StarCraft & 25 HP Evinrude.

Our cabin and Dad’s green Dodge Dakota.

cabin 4, 2003

Look at the pier, it’s right off the beach!

2003 was a year of very low water levels

Photo of dad and me late Friday before leaving the next day. I’m sad we’re leaving tomorrow, or was it the baked beans? I’ll blame it on the photographer, thanks Gord!! You were supposed to say “smile”….

Dave and Bob Kaufman @ VBL 2003

I hope to be coming up twice this year! One trip with my 2 boys for their first trip to Vermilion Bay Lodge to continue the experiences! This year will be my 14th and 15th trips to VBL. I have quite a few experiences…like losing my $500 prescription sunglasses at the dock while launching the boat….and walking into the wrong cabin one morning to go back to get something I forgot before going out fishing. Is that why cabins are numbered?

Thank you Gord & Susanne for the memories and being the best hosts!

VBL & Coping with the Wu Flu…by Len Belpedio

Quarantini by the fire….

As a comparative rookie when it comes to the number of years at VBL, I have learned quite a bit from my time there.  I have learned to respect my elders (Gord); listen attentively to those with no “inside voice” (Suzanne); avoid “triggering words and behaviors” during the screen perch discussions; Mary can never find her cocktail, and perhaps most importantly, keep the fish house cooler stocked! 

I’ve learned that Hugh doesn’t like people going too fast in the creek, and that Bonnie is in charge.  I’ve seen the full moon rise in the afternoon over cabin #3, although I truly wish I hadn’t!  I’ve learned that the LCBO selection of bourbon is very limited, but after a certain point it really doesn’t matter. 

The current situation has not only allowed time to consider what I’ve learned at VBL, but has given rise to creative ways to improve my vocabulary. I am now a master at the use of profanity with respect to marine borne hydraulic systems; the many different ways to sharpen a hook, and that it doesn’t matter how much time you spend organizing tackle, it’s still a mess!

Enjoy this time with family and friends, and try to make the best of a bad situation!

Thank you Dave & Len…

Let me add my 2 cents to these VBL memories. The picture of cabin 4 back in 2003 is a classic….it’s come a long way since then! Even the trees are much bigger! I have a good memory of the time Dave and Bob were at the end of the season “Musky Madness Week” in 2010. Who would have guessed that Bob would be so competitive in the Shuffleboard Championship game! Check out the link (yellow underlined)….see if you recognize the winner that year!

Seems like Musky Madness is a common link for Len Belpedio as well. Len can be somewhat competitive in his musky fishing and has graced our Musky Madness Week for the past number of years. Is he opinionated? As Len would say, “Does a hobby horse have a hickory dick?”….

Yes, it’s Mr. Hickory Dick himself!

Thanks for sending in your stories, and for reading the blog! I have more stories in the formative stages, so if you have an idea you would like to submit, don’t be afraid, give it a shot!

10 thoughts on “May 6, 2020…More “Tales from the Lodge”

  1. O Johnson’s Point!!!
    Bet you did not catch any walleye on Johnson’s Point
    You need to have the right technique Gord

    1. Didn’t give it much time , and the water temps were too cold. My best times for catching trout are when the temps are a bit higher, but below 50. Your secret spot is safe.

  2. Hey Gord,
    Since I cannot be there opening week, how about you have a live YouTube broadcast of
    “Opening day at VBL” including the world famous fish fry? Just a thought…

  3. This blog is great. Love Eagle Lake and the great operators who try their best to deliver a better experience despite strong headwinds. Best wishes this season to one and all.

  4. Dave – you have some great old photos in your story! They brought back memories for us…of all the work we had to do!! I have fond memories of your Dad too.


  6. Susanne: At the very real risk of inciting VERY LOUD DEBATE; I HAVE GROWN QUITE FOND OF THE INSIDE VOICE!!! I truly hope the debate can begin in July!

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Thank you very much for making my get a way week so enjoyable. Dan and I had a great time. You and Susanne should be commended on how clean and well maintained your cabins and lodge are. I will recommend you to anyone that is looking to go to Canada fishing and I look forward to the time I can come back.

Jody Hansen

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