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  Voyageur Quote:  "Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth."        Walt Whitman  

 

 

Seagull Falls

 

   

Weather Report

Thanks to some warm weather and wind the ice is out on Saganaga! Read more about it in the What's New section of this newsletter.  The temperatures were consistently in the 40's during the last week of April with lows in the 20's.  We had very little rain with the exception of a brief thunderstorm on the 28th. This thunderstorm brought reports of a tornado touchdown on Seagull Lake, just a mile from us.  The dopplar radar picked it up but none of us noticed it, so we're not sure what exactly occured.  There was no damage done and everyone was safe and sound.   The water levels keep rising as the spring melt of the remaining snow and the thaw of ice on the lakes continue. Average temperatures for May are highs in the 60's and lows in the 30's.  The bugs are not out and about so it makes for a great time to come enjoy the wilderness.

 

  

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May Specials

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Wildlife

Black Flies-  Someone suggested I write about Black Flies in my newsletter.  What I didn't realize is there are over thirty species of black flies in Minnesota alone.   We are lucky that of these thirty species very few of them take human blood and of these only the females are blood suckers.  Black flies tend to emerge as buds are bursting from trees before the arrival of mosquitos.  They only live a couple of weeks but due to the different hatching dates they can be present in most of June and into July.  For most people it isn't the bite that "bugs" them about the black fly; it is the constant buzzing around their head that bothers them.  There is one sure way to keep black flies from buzzing around your head; stop breathing because the flies are attracted to the carbon dioxide that you exhale.  Since this is impossible to do you may want to try a headnet instead.  Wear a light colored long-sleeved shirt and some dark pants that are tucked into socks.  The dark pants will draw the flies attention downward, away from your face, and they can't bite through your clothing so you should be safe.  Avon's Skin So Soft, Deet, and a Bounce Fabric Sheet stuck under your hat have been rumored to work well too.  The black fly tends to bite the most at dusk and dawn so be sure to protect yourself at these times.  They like sheltered, shady areas with dense vegetation so stick to the open breezy areas to avoid black flies. Even though black flies emerge from water they can fly over 10 miles so in the BWCA or Quetico Park they will always be near.  Only you can let the black fly "bug" you, so do your best to block out the noise and protect yourself for an enjoyable wilderness experience.  More about black flies...

 

        

Ice on Saganaga

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What's New?

The ice is out on Saganaga!  Our friends the Powell's who live on the Canadian side of Saganaga Lake made their way down to the public landing on the 2nd of May.  They had to skirt the edges of ice to find open water but they were successful.  We took a boat ride out on the 3rd and the ice for the most part was gone.  There is probably a big sheet of ice floating on the large section of the lake, but it is sure to disappear quickly.  Other lakes on the Gunflint Trail are following suit and will be ice free soon.  So, grab your paddles and come on up to the wilderness where the waters are running freely once again.

The melting of the snow in the ditches allows us to see remnants of last summer and fall.  With the grass matted down we can see items that may have blown out of a boat or that were tossed carelessly from a vehicle.  We have been taking our walks along the roadside and picking up litter for the past couple of weeks.  The kids, Joyce and I have managed to clean up the entire mile of Sag Lake Trail to our place and a three mile stretch along the Gunflint Trail. The Gunflint Trail businesses have organized a trail clean up for the first week of June so by the time most of you arrive the Trail should be free of debris.

 

       

      

Wenonah Canoes 

 

 

 

 

Product Review 

Wenonah Spirit II - This is a stack of our new Wenonah Spirit II Canoes that were delivered last week. The Spirit II is an exceptional canoe that works well in almost all types of paddling conditions.  It is a versatile canoe that travels nicely on the lakes of the Boundary Waters as well as in the rapids on rivers.  Canoe and Kayak magazine tested this canoe and here is what they said, "...this canoe is simple and functional.  If you could have only one canoe to serve all your paddling needs for the rest of your life, the Spirit II would be one of very few candidates."  We outfit with the 17' Royalex Canoe because it is roomy and can hold a large amount of gear and still remain stable. Why not try a Spirit II canoe on your next wilderness trip? 

 

         

Abby

 

Skills

Driving on the Trail- Driving in different parts of the United States you notice differences in the way people drive.  Some cars must not be equipped with blinkers and others must have problems with malfunctioning horns that continually sound.  Rearview mirrors must really distort because it doesn't seem like some drivers are aware there is even another car on the road with them.  Well, on the Gunflint Trail things are a bit different.  Most people who drive the Trail pay attention to other vehicles on the road and wave when they pass one.   If a car starts coming up too close behind us then we look for an opportunity to pull over and let them pass so we can travel at our own pace.  Who knows, it could be a first responder or firefighter on their way to an emergency so it's best to get out of their way.  We like other cars and trucks to see us coming so many of us drive with our lights on, even in the daytime.  We stop when there is a car on the side of the road because cell phones do not work up here.  A person may need a ride to a phone or point out a moose cooling off in a swamp.  Driving on the Trail is like taking a step back in time when people were courteous and friendly, so please behave in the same manner when you come to visit us and try it out in your area before you come! 

 

 

Dark Greenish areas are Walleye

(We saw hundreds of them on May 3rd)

 

Fishing Report  

The Spawn is On!- The ice is out, the water temperature is increasing, and the walleye spawn is on.  The fish are making their way from Saganaga through the Seagull River to the base of Seagull Falls where they will spawn.  The walleye like this area because of the rocky bottom and the current that cleans the eggs and keeps them aerated.  The temperature is between 40-50 degrees, just how they like it.  One 5 pound female can release up to 100,000 eggs in a season, usually over a couple of nights.  The success of the spawn will depend upon the weather.  A cold stretch of weather can cause a delay in the hatch while a warm stretch can cause a premature hatch. The eggs take about 1-3 weeks to hatch depending upon the weather and then they will move back into the lake.   A cold snap after the hatch can limit the walleye frey's food source preventing the proper growth of the walleye hatch.  If all goes well, then we'll have a great batch of new walleyes to catch! Learn more about the spawn at this website.