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Northern Lights in the Boundary Waters

Boundary Waters Blog - 2 hours 48 sec ago

Things are wonderful at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters and the end of the Gunflint Trail. We’ve got guests paddling the BWCA, fishing on Saganaga and enjoying area hiking trails and we have a wonderful summer crew to serve them.  They have all been out enjoying the Boundary Waters on their days off and on a recent trip Evan, back for his third year, took some amazing photos of the northern lights. Enjoying the northern lights in the Boundary Waters? It just doesn’t get much better than that.

Evan Gates

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5/22/15 - Eden Prairie Students Visit Sawbill Campground

Sawbill Newsletter - 7 hours 20 min ago

5/22/15 - Eden Prairie High School students participating in the Camping, Climbing, and Canoeing class stayed in the Sawbill Campground last weekend.

All 108 students were very polite and had a lot of fun.

A student showing off his skills - what a catch!

Already looking forward to next year.

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Swimming in Lake Superior

Boundary Waters Blog - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 5:28pm

Abby went for a dip in Lake Superior already this year. A little chilly but not as chilly as it usually is this time of the year or compared to last year.  There aren’t too many days of the year I feel like jumping into Lake Superior and Sunday, May 17th when she jumped in definitely wasn’t one of those days.

Lake Superior Water temperatures


On May 17, 2015 Lake Superior had an average surface water temperature of 37.7 degrees. This is 2.5 degrees warmer than May 17, 2014 and 0.8 degrees warmer than the 20-year average.


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Time for the Annual Meeting!

Arrowhead Electric - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 1:38pm

Please join us for the Arrowhead Cooperative Annual Meeting on Saturday, June 6th.

Breakfast will be served in the ISD 166 Cafeteria beginning at 8:30am.

Meeting begins at 10am in the Arrowhead Center for the Arts.

Join us for food, fun, friends, and fabulous door prizes!

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Art Along the Lake, Music & More

North Shore Arts Scene - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 2:10am

Northern Lights over Hollow Rock by Travis Novitsky.

Summer in Cook County officially begins over the Memorial Day weekend, and this year  a wonderful new art event will be launched on the North Shore.

Called Art Along the Lake, the three-day festival hosted by art galleries in Cook County, offers a tempting array of cool exhibits, fascinating demonstrations. art classes and workshops as well as a chance to experience the incredible variety of art offered in galleries up and down the shore.

David Gilsvik works on one of the murals for the Grand Portage National Monument Heritage Center.

This weekend’s art experience actually kicks off on Thursday, when the spectacular larger-than-life Ojibwe Heritage Murals painted by David Gilsvik are revealed at the Heritage Center at the Grand Portage National Monument.

One of the murals focuses on community gatherings, another depicts the Ojibwe connections to Lake Superior, the third illustrates the artwork, beadwork, leather and weaving of the Ojibwe and the fourth focuses on inland activities like wild ricing and maple syrup. Gilsvik consulted with Tim Cochrane, Monument superintendent, Beth Drost, interpretive Park Ranger and Pam Neil, chief of interpretation, on the project. Everyone is invited to the opening reception from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, May 21, at the Heritage Center. Refreshments will be served.

Look for this brochure at galleries and shops. It lists all the galleries in the county, what they carry and includes a great map of where to find them.

Art Along the Lake begins on Friday, May 23, and continues through Sunday with three full-days of things to do and see. There’s a bronze pour, two music concerts, new exhibit openings, classes, demonstrations, and hands-on activities, including a puzzle-a-thon.

It’s a bit like an art treasure hunt, said Amy Demmer, executive director of the Grand Marais Art Colony. A brochure of the galleries in the county has been produced by the collaborative effort between the art galleries and the Cook County Events Bureau,  and it describes what can be found at each of them. This weekend offers people the opportunity to get out and explore places they might have never seen before as well as see new work at their favorite galleries, Demmer said.

Here’s what you can experience this weekend:

Friday, May 22:

  • Hand Papermaking Class, 9 a.m. to noon, Grand Marais Art Colony. (fees apply)
  • The Cross River Heritage Center opens for the season on Friday.

    Opening Day at the Cross River Heritage Center, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with a new exhibit on the history of old-time resorts in Schroeder and art by Ojibwe bead worker Marci McIntire and painter Bruce Palmer.

  •  Oil painting class with Joi Electa, 3 p.m., Cascade River State Park (fees apply)
  • Art Along the Lake Gallery Gala Kickoff, Johnson Heritage Post., 7:30 p.m. Refreshments, jazz guitarist Briand Morrison will play.

Saturday, May 22:

  • Intro to Letterboxing and Paper Marbling, 9 a.m. to noon, Grand Marais Art Colony (fees apply)
  • Oil painting class with Joi Electa, 9 a.m., Trail Center (fees apply)
  •  Sculpture Bronze Pour, 10 a.m., Last Chance Gallery with Tom Christiansen
  •  Kids Make-and-Take activities at Joy & Co., formerly known as The Garage,  10 a.m. -2 p.m.,
  • Woodturner Cooper Ternes will demonstrate bowl turning at Joy & Co. at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday.

    Nordic WoodenWare bowl turning demonstration with Cooper Ternes, 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., at Joy & Co.

  • Silver jewelry making demonstration, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Kah Nee Tah Gallery
  • Oil painting demonstration by Neil Sherman, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Sivertson Gallery
  • Ukranian Egg Painting demonstration, 1 p.m., Cross River Heritage Center
  • Throwing clay pots demo, 1 p.m., Grand Marais Art Colony
  • Music from the Tip O’ the Arrowhead exhibit, opening reception, 1-4 p.m., Cook County Historical Society.
  • Natural Dye & Bookbinding classes, 2 p.m., Grand Marais Art Colony (fees apply)
  • Screenprint a T-Shirt, Community Ink Day with Mike Swindlehurst, 2-4 p.m., Grand Marais Art Colony. (fees apply.)
  • Gordon Thorne plays at Last Chance Gallery, 3-5 p.m.
  • Chel Anderson will talk about her new book, “North Shore: A Natural History of Minnesota’s Superior Coast” at Drury Lane Books on Saturday.

    Writer’s Salon with Chel Anderson, 5 p.m., Drury Lane Books.

  • Painting & Wine Party with Joi Electa, 5-8 p.m., Joy & Co.
  • SplinterTones concert at What’s Upstairs Stage, 7:30 p.m., Tickets at the door.

Sunday, May 24:

  • Asian & Western Bookbinding class, 9 a.m., Grand Marais Art Colony
  • Kids Make & Take Activities, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Joy & co.
  • Photographers Larry & Linda Dunlap at Johnson Heritage Post, 10 a.m., for coffee and conversation
  • 3D printer demonstration, 1-3 p.m., Joy & Co,
  • Masterpiece Puzzle-a-thon, 1-6 p.m, Grand Marais Art Colony
  • Eric Frost & Bill Hanson play at Kah Nee Tah Gallery, 2-4 p.m.
  • Sculpture Bronze Pour with Tom Christiansen, 4 p.m., Last Chance Gallery
  • Spring Fling Jazz Concert with Chris Gillis & Friends, 7:30 p.m., What’s Upstairs? Stage.

Betsy Bowen is just about finished painting the floor in the redesigned What’s Upstairs? Stage above her studio at 301 1st Ave. W.

Betsy Bowen’s Studio and the What’s Upstairs? Stage open for the season in the Old Playhouse building this weekend and they are a must-see  — there have been some wonderful changes over the winter.

First, Bowen has changed the name of her studio to Betsy Bowen Studio & Galleries. It now features her studio with her woodcuts and books and other artwork, including  local pottery. Stephan Hoglund has a space in her gallery now, too. His Borderlands Gallery features art jewelry as well as wedding and portrait photography.

Upstairs, Wickwire Clayworks, featuring handmade ceramic tiles and pottery is located and a new studio, Ron’s World Rocks, is tucked into the corner of the redesigned stage area. His work features silver and gems and fascinating rocks.

All the old theater seats have been removed from the stage area and the covers over the big windows in the back have been removed, too, making it light and airy. It has also become a flexible performance space with a bigger dance floor and more sit-down space, perfect for the upcoming concerts this weekend, Bowen said.

A lot of hard work went into developing the Art Along the Lake event. Participants included, first row, from left, Karissa Wrich, Jan Sivertson, Amy Demmer. Second row: Marcia Hyatt, Linda Garrity, Jill Terrill, Stefanie   Third row: Don Davison, Danielle Fortin and Abby Tofte. (Not Pictured: Betsy Bowen.)

Bowen is one of the artists who began organizing the Art Along the Lake event. Marcia Hyatt (co-owner of Last Chance Gallery), said in a radio interview on WTIP Community Radio recently, that she and Betsy got together over the winter and started talking about ways they, as gallery owners, could collaborate.  They began talking to other gallery owners and soon a new collaboration was born. The updated version of the gallery guide was one result, as is the 3-day art event called Art Along the Lake. “It’s been the most effective, fun, planning project I’ve ever been involved in,” Hyatt said.

To listen to the interview on WTIP, click here.

One of the photos in the Historical Society exhibit: Live on the Lake in the early 1920s – Ben Seglem, Joe Wishcop, Emil Eliasen, Johnny Nelson, and Floyd Moses. Photo courtesy of the Cook County Historical Society,

Another must-see this weekend is the Music from the Tip O’ the Arrowhead exhibit at the Cook County Historical Society. The exhibit celebrates 100 years of dances, pow wows, concerts, and festivals.

Follow the development of musical traditions from 1917 when the “outlaw” bridge border crossing allowed international gatherings… all the way to today’s music scene. Local venues and musicians are featured with photos, posters, and video. And there are lots of historical photos, too. The opening reception is from 1-4 p.m. Saturday.

Isabel Wahlers with Amy Demmer, Grand Marais Art Colony, left and Leah Thomas, right. Thomas’ family set up the Emerging Artist Scholarship fund at the Grand Marais Art Colony in honor of Eric Thomas.

In other art news, Isabel Wahlers was awarded the Eric Thomas Emerging Artist Award earlier this week. She will receive the opportunity to take an art class of her choice at the Grand Marais Art Colony, all expenses paid.  This award celebrates the memory of Eric Thomas and his generosity, love of the North Shore and appreciation of fine art.  Isabel is the first winner of this annual scholarship.

The Grand Marais Playhouse is seeking student summer interns. High school age students interested in learning about the production elements of theater including set construction, scenic painting, properties, costumes, lighting, sound and stage management are encouraged to apply. Interns are paid hourly. Hours vary and may include afternoon and evening times, dependent upon job and production schedule.  Applications can be picked up outside the Playhouse office.

Briand Morrison will talk about his recent project “Musical Impressions: The Art of George Morrison” on WTIP radio at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Tickets are going fast for the Art & Ambiance Art Auction, a fundraiser for the Thunder Bay Art Gallery. The live auction features the best in art from Northwestern Ontario in a wide variety of media. Refreshments will be served and Robin Ranger and Damon Dowbak will play. The event will be held June 5. The preview starts at 7:30p.m. (EST) with the live auction at 8:30 p.m.  Call 807-577-6427 for tickets and more information.

The Attic Gallery of American Crafts has just received new Minnesota dreamcatchers in a number of different sizes and styles.

Birchbark Book & Gifts has copies of “Falling Through Clouds” by Damian Fowler. The book tells the story of two sisters who were able to survive a plane crash near the Grand Marais airport in 2013. It’s a story of tragedy, survival and justice. The bookstore also has a big selection of books about fairies, including fairy gardens, fairy houses and fairy stories.

A Day in the Clouds” by Tim Pearson.

Sivertson Gallery has new Larchwood cutting boards and Lenore Lampi travel mugs and birch vases. Painter Tim Pearson has also brought in new work.

Thursday, May 21:

  • Rod & Caribou, American Legion, 6 p.m.
  • Gordon Thorne & Chris Gillis, Gun Flint Tavern, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, May 22:

  • Pushing Chain, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.
  • Maria Nickolay, Voyageur Brewing Co., 8 p.m.
  • Gypsy Lumberjacks, Gun Flint Tavern, 9 p.m.

Saturday, May 23:

  • Gordon Thorne, Last Chance Art Studio in Lutsen, 3 p.m.
  • Gordon Thorne with Chris Gillis & Randy Sabien, Lutsen Resort, 7 p.m.
  • Michael Monroe, Log Cabin Concert, 7 p.m., reservations at 387-2919
  • SplinterTones, What’s Upstairs Stage, Betsy Bowen Studio, 7:30 p.m.
  • Jim & Michelle Miller, Voyageur, Brewing Co, 8 p.m.
  • Gypsy Lumberjacks, Gun Flint Tavern, 9 p.m.

Sunday, May 24:

  • Eric Frost & Bill Hanson, Kah Ne Tah Gallery, 2 p.m.
  • Barbara Jean, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7:30 p.m.
  • Chris Gillis & Friends, What’s Upstairs Stage, 7:30 p.m.
  • Gypsy Lumberjacks, Gun Flint Tavern, 8 p.m.

Monday, May 25:

  • Joe Paulik, Bluefin Grille, 9 p.m.

Tuesday, May 26:

  • Sure on This Shining Night, Cook County High School Choir, 7 p.m., Bethlehem Lutheran Church 7 p.m.
  • Jim & Michelle Miller, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.

Wednesday, May 27:

  • Open Mic Night, Gun Flint Tavern, 5 p.m.

We found lots of great photos this week. Here’s a sampling.

First, some great bird photos.

Michelle Munson noted that it was a little breezy for this robin when she posted this shot to the Frozen Photographers Facebook page.

Photo by Michele Munson.

And this one, by Michael Furtman is captioned: “Has it stopped raining yet, Ma?”

Photo by Michael Furtman.


For this photo, Thomas Spence noted: “Coffee is on. Tent is up. Time to relax.

Photo by Thomas Spence.

Nace Hagemann calls this “Foggy Morning.”

Photo by Nace Hagemann.

Paul Sundberg calls this beauty “Aurora at Caribou Lake.”

Photo by Paul Sundberg.

Mary Amerman caught this wonderful shot along Amity Creek in Duluth.

Photo by Mary Amerman.

Here’s another shot of Amity Creek, this time by Gregory Israelson.

Photo by Gregory Israelson.

Here’s my pick for the dog shot of the week. Jack was a shelter dog from Virginia that came to Jamie Rabold and soon became “the best photo partner I ever had,” Rabold said. RIP Jack.

Photo by Jamie Rabold.

And last, but not least, here’s the storm shot of the week. Bryan Hansel took this photo at Shovel Point earlier this month after a two-day storm.

Photo by Bryan Hansel.

Have a great weekend, everyone. Enjoy Art Along the Lake!




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Coming Soon to Voyageur Brewing Company

Voyageur Brewing - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 4:39pm

The summer season is almost here and with it will be some exciting changes at Voyageur Brewing Company in Grand Marais.  Beginning Memorial Day we’ll begin our summer hours and be open seven days a week.  Mondays through Thursdays our hours will be 3pm-10pm, Fridays and Saturdays from Noon-11pm  and Sundays from Noon-10pm.  Our tours will be available on Fridays and Saturdays at 11am.

Be sure to check out our website to find out the new musical groups who will be performing this summer. Stay tuned for some changes on our menu and the brewing of a new beer or two.  And last but not least construction has begun on our rooftop deck and we hope to have it open by the 4th of July so folks can enjoy the fireworks and a Voyageur Beer.   We hope you too will be coming soon to Voyageur Brewing Company.

Rooftop construction on Voyageur Brewing Company

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Memorial Weekend Forecast

Boundary Waters Blog - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 3:28pm

I hope you are planning to visit the Gunflint Trail this weekend and of course us at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters too.  The forecast looks like the best weather ever for Memorial Weekend.  With sunshine, highs in the 70′s, very small chance of precipitation and just a breeze for wind the conditions for paddling are going to be perfect.

Some of our Voyageur Crew is out taking advantage of the beautiful weather already.  Hannah took a new crew member into the BWCA today and tomorrow Tony will venture out on a trip too.  It’s such a great time to be out in the woods. Very few people, not many bugs and plenty of fish to be caught! It just doesn’t get much better than this.

Gunflint Trail


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Chik-Wauk Museum Opens for the Season

Gunflint Lodge - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 7:55am

This coming weekend is Memorial Day.  On Saturday the Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center opens for the season.  They will be open from now until MEA Weekend in October.  Bruce and I went up with our neighbor Fred Smith to install this year’s temporary exhibit.  It is called “The Paper Trail.”  There is an essay about how we all communicated with each other before computers.  We also have some examples of the many journals that people kept about their times on the Gunflint Trail.  Copies of these journals are available to read at the museum.  Take some time while you are on the Trail to read one of the journals and learn about how life really was on the Trail before electricity, indoor plumbing, snow plowing and other modern conveniences were available.
While we were at the museum we looked out the window.  In the bay there is the Ritz Carleton of artificial loon nests.  One of our neighbors gave it to us.  There are high growing grasses that surround the nest to protect it from eagles swooping down to steal a baby for lunch.  On each side there is a slide that loons can easily use to get on and off the net.  Right now there is the crown jewel sitting on the nest.  We didn’t know when she started sitting but on the average loons sit on their eggs for 17 days.  Both the male and the female take turns sitting.  If you go to the Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center, you can visit our camera and see the activity on the nest.
Today I am starting my visit to all the resorts in Cook County.  I will be dropping off rack cards for the stables and the canopy tours to let people staying elsewhere know that we are open.  Many people staying at places other than Gunflint will visit us to go horseback riding or zipping.  It is great fun for everyone.
Of course, there is a reason why I am starting to drop off rack cards today.  The World’s Best Doughnuts shop opens for the season.  I would not want to miss a nice warm fresh doughnut.  There are not a lot of places up here to get a really great doughnut.  When you are going through Grand Marais, be sure to stop for this tasty treat.
Bruce and I spent last weekend in the Cities.  I needed a grandchild fix.  There were some times when it rained alot.  Then we found out the kids favorite indoor activity.  Grant always seems to move over to his Legos.  I have no idea how many he has but there are lots and lots.  He can build most anything with them.  It is fun to watch his assembly methods.
Mae, on the other hand, was into jigsaw puzzles.  Her eyes just see how they all go together.  At age 5 she is now up to 500 piece puzzles.  You watch her and suddenly she picks up what appears to be a random piece and announces, “I know where this goes.”  She does!  Neither Bruce nor I can do as well.  We are going to have to practice!
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Thank you for helping us win Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence for 2015!

Clearwater Lodge Tales - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 4:59pm
Dear Clearwater Friends, We just got word that Trip Advisor has awarded us their 2015 Certificate of Excellence. This means a lot to us, and we want to thank all our guests who’ve taken a few minutes to share their experiences staying with us on Trip Advisor!
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Snow Day in May?

Boundary Waters Blog - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 3:02pm

We received just a dusting of the white stuff on May 19th at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters.  It disappeared quickly as the temperature made it’s way into the 50′s.  Most people camping in the Boundary Waters would rather not wake up to snow on their tent in the morning but as long as it warms up in the afternoon I’d rather have snow than rain on my canoe trip.

Voyageur Canoe Outfitters

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Where are we in May 2015?

Unorganized Territory - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 11:58am

Cook County News-Herald staffers love to get out and about the county. So we decided, while we are traveling the highway and bushwhacking through the forest, to take pictures to see if our readers can guess WHERE ARE WE?

We had a number of guesses of where we were in April, including Devil’s Kettle, Kadunce River, and Cascade River. However, the correct location was below the Highway 61 bridge on the Cross River in Schroeder.

Try your luck! Take a look at the May photo. If you think you know where we were when we took this picture, send us your answer.

You don’t have to be the first to reply. The location will be announced next month and a winner will be drawn from all the correct answers. Whoever is drawn from the correct entries will win a free one-year subscription to the Cook County News-Herald (a $32 value). Good luck!

Answer to the May WHERE ARE WE? must be received
by June 16, 2015.

Send your entry to:
Cook County News-Herald
PO Box 757
Grand Marais MN 55604

Drop it by our office at:

15 First Avenue West
Fax: 218-387-9500
Questions? 218-387-9100

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5/19/15 - Hopefully, this is the last picture of snow this season!

Sawbill Newsletter - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 8:55am

5/19/15 - Hopefully, this is the last picture of snow this season! It's only fun because the forecast is very good for the rest of the week and most of the Memorial Day weekend. - Bill

This looks like a typical summer sunrise picture of the Sawbill Store until you notice the snow on the roof and picnic table.

It's hard to get motivated to wash snow covered canoes.

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Canoe Trip Plans

Boundary Waters Blog - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 8:26pm

When are you paddling the Boundary Waters? I have a couple of trips I’m wanting to take this summer; one with my family and one with my son and his friend.  Of course my son and his friend think they should be able to canoe and camp in the BWCA by themselves since they are 14 years-old now.  The  problem with that is as soon as I let them go out alone then I’ll never be needed or welcome on their trip again.

I obviously can’t let them go out on their own this year, or next and possibly not until they are 21 or older. I need to accompany them for their sake and mine!

Boundary Waters Canoe Trip

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Dual Fuel Control Monday, May 18th

Arrowhead Electric - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 2:46pm
A DUAL FUEL interruption will happen today, May 18th, 2015 from 7:30 pm until 9:30pm. You can check out load control schedules at out
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One Simple Reason I’m Not Catching Fish

Boundary Waters Blog - Sun, 05/17/2015 - 6:10am

I came across an article on the Take Me Fishing Blog called “5 Simple Reasons You’re Not Catching Fish.” There’s just one reason I am not catching fish this year and that’s because I haven’t been out fishing yet.  Sad as it may seem it is the truth.

Yesterday Josh had a triple header for baseball south of Duluth and Abby played in a volleyball tournament in Duluth.  Today is the second day of her two-day tournament and the good news is, it’s the last tournament of the very long season.  She has a play-off game for softball on Tuesday and if they lose that game then they will be done for the season. There are just a couple of weeks left of school and then it’s Trail time again.

Band concerts, dances, team dinners and sports keep us very busy during the school year. I’m not sure who looks forward to summer more, the kids or me? All I do know is Josh and I are both ready to go fishing and we don’t care if we don’t catch any fish!

5 Simple Reasons You Aren’t Catching Fish

Every angler has experienced at least one crummy day of fishing that they would rather just forget. As much as no one wants to admit it, most of us have come home (GASP!) skunked at one time or another. It happens. However, if your landing net actually has cobwebs in it or if you have absolutely no clue what “bass thumb” means, you should probably read on.

Here are five simple reasons you aren’t catching fish:

1.  You tend to stay in one spot even when you aren’t catching fish. There is no magic formula that dictates the precise length of time you should fish one particular spot before moving. However, if you’ve been in the same spot for a half hour to an hour without a single bite, it’s probably time to rethink your location. Take a look around. Are you fishing an area where there is structure? Are you fishing an area with current? Baitfish and other game fish prey will usually be found near structure or in areas with current.

2.  You aren’t monitoring the weather or tide conditions in advance. Weather and tide conditions can play a large part in your level of fishing success or frustration. Anglers often avoid fishing on “blue bird sky” weather days because these clear days usually follow a cold front and the fishing can be very challenging. Conversely, fish will often feed aggressively right before a drop in pressure or arriving front. When fishing saltwater (or freshwater tidal areas), it’s important that you check your local tide charts and plan to fish during times of a strong incoming or outgoing tide if possible.

3.  You over-think your fishing strategies. Any angler who has fished a competitive tournament has likely experienced the frustration of over-thinking his or her fishing strategy. If you start second-guessing yourself when it comes to tactics that have consistently worked well for you, you can end up spending your entire day switching baits, lures, tackle or spots without giving anything enough of a chance to work. There has to be a proper balance between this reason and reason number one above.

4.  You are either not using the right lures or fishing your lures too fast. Just because you caught a nice fish on a specific lure five years ago, doesn’t mean that you will keep catching fish on the same lure regardless of the conditions. Test different lures under a variety of conditions. When it comes to the speed of your retrieve, remember that during the summer months certain species (such as trout, smallmouth bass or largemouth bass) can become somewhat lazy as the water temperatures increase. This means that you will need to slow down your retrieve in order to make your lure an easier target.

5.  You aren’t tying strong enough knots or the right kinds of knots. If you are hooking up, but are losing fish before you can land them, it could be that the quality of your knots is to blame. Are your hooks, lures or leader lines coming off? Do you know how to tie a couple of good fishing lure, hook or rig knots? How about a couple of strong line-joining knots? Research and practice tying reliable knots so that you come home with a photo of your catch instead of telling a story about the big one that got away (and took your $10 lure along with it).

What other reasons have had you skunked instead of catching? Share your comments by logging into the Take Me Fishing Community.

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Go Canoeing

Boundary Waters Blog - Sat, 05/16/2015 - 9:56pm

This article about getting kids to spend more time in the great outdoors saved the best for the last. They listed a bunch of different activities you can do with your kids and guess what the last suggestion was? Yep, go canoeing!  I’ll add to it by saying, “Go canoeing with Voyageur Canoe Outfitters!”


Great ways to get your kids outdoors and active Get them off the screens and get them outside

By Apr 21, 2015

Too often these days, children default to sitting in front of screens to interact with the virtual world rather than getting outside and experiencing it for real.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with playing on the computer or video console, but there needs to be a balance.

Sadly, the passive ease with which our children now choose to spend their time seems to have robbed them of the attribute we parents were forced to develop by dint of there being no computer or video games to mindlessly play when we were growing up: imagination!

So there’s now a campaign urging children to take back their ‘wild time’ by swapping 30 minutes of screen use for outdoor activities, such as conkers and camping.

The Wild Network‘s Andy Simpson said: “The tragic truth is that kids have lost touch with nature and the outdoors in just one generation.

“Time spent outdoors is down, roaming ranges have fallen drastically, activity levels are declining and the ability to identify common species has been lost.

“With many more parents becoming concerned about the dominance of screen time in their children’s lives, and growing scientific evidence that a decline in active time is bad news for the health and happiness of our children, we all need to become marketing directors for nature.

“An extra 30 minutes of wild time every day for all under 12-year-olds in the UK would be the equivalent of just three months of their childhood spent outdoors.

“We want parents to see what this magical wonder product does for their kids’ development, independence and creativity, by giving wild time a go.”

David Bond, who made the film Project Wild Thing, added: “I wanted to understand why my children’s childhood is so different from mine, whether this matters and, if it does, what I can do about it.

“The reasons why kids, whether they live in cities or the countryside, have become disconnected from nature and the outdoors are complex.

“Project Wild Thing isn’t some misty-eyed nostalgia for the past. We need to make more space for wild time in children’s daily routine, freeing this generation of kids to have the sort of experiences that many of us took for granted.

“It’s all about finding wildness on your doorstep and discovering the sights, sounds and smells of nature, whether in a back garden, local park or green space at the end of the road.”

Sarah Blackwell, from Get Children Outdoors, said: “I’ve made it my mission to to help children establish and grow in confidence, self-esteem and emotional awareness through activity in the outdoors.”

Sounds like a good idea, yes? So why not start with these nostalgic memories from our own childhoods as featured on the Wild Thing Project and Get Children Outdoors?

• Create some landscape art – draw or write names with twigs, stones or leaves, and then take photographs.

• Dig the garden/allotment together.

• Go collecting – pebbles, shells, pottery, hazelnuts, fungi, kindling for the fire.

• Go on a ‘blindfold walk’ to use sound and touch rather than sight.

• Climb the highest hill near where you live – race to see who can get to the top first.

• Go out in the rain.

• Roll down a really big hill.

• Camp out in the wild.

• Skim a stone.

• Run around in the rain.

• Fly a kite.

• Catch a fish with a net.

• Take a bag to collect wild treasures, and a notebook to write or draw in.

• Take your kids outside with a camera or phone, and see how many different types of wildlife you can find – for identification help go to iSpot.

• Eat an apple straight from a tree.

• Play conkers.

• Go on a really long bike ride.

• Make a trail with sticks.

• Make mud pies.

• Dam a stream.

• Play nature eye spy on the journey to school.

• Make a daisy chain.

• Set up a snail race.

• Create some wild art.

• Play Pooh sticks.

• Jump over waves.

• Pick blackberries growing in the wild.

• Snail watching – count the number of snails that you see on the walk home from school.

• Visit a farm.

• Go on a walk barefoot.

• Make a grass trumpet.

• Hunt for fossils and bones.

• Go star gazing.

• Climb a huge hill.

• Explore inside a tree.

• Explore a cave.

• Hold a scary beast.

• Hunt for bugs.

• Find some frog spawn.

• Catch a falling leaf.

• Track wild animals.

• Discover what’s in a pond.

• Make a home for a wild animal.

• Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool.

• Bring up a butterfly.

• Catch a crab.

• Go on a nature walk at night.

• Plant it, grow it, eat it.

• Go swimming in the sea.

• Build a raft.

• Go bird watching.

• Find your way with a map and compass.

• Climb a rock.

• Cook on a campfire.

• Learn to ride a horse.

• Canoe down a river.


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Nature Center Building

Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center Blog - Sat, 05/16/2015 - 11:09am

Started breaking ground this week for the Nature Center Building Project. What a week, they first had to cut all power, phone and internet to the museum. It was a bit hard working in the building this week without any heat or lights. I just had to make sure I wore my heavy long johns, stocking cap, gloves and heavy winter jacket while I was getting the gift shop together for the season. Then came time to start digging the power, phone and internet lines up so they could get them moved to another location. Bob Baker, Dave Tuttle along with the phone company were the foreman’s on the project they put me in the ditch to help with digging up the line. Dave did have some equipment to help with the digging process. I don’t think that was in my new job description. I kept trying to tell them I want to renegotiate my contract at least the black flies are not out yet. A huge thank you to everyone involved in getting this building project up and going. It is going to be a wonderful place to hold activities.

During the construction we will be open from 10 am to 5 pm daily. There will still be plenty of parking available for you to come up and visit the museum as well as enjoy the hiking trails on property. I hope you will stop up and visit and check out the building project as it progresses during the summer months.

It is a bit difficult to get to the bathroom right now but that will all be ready by opening day the 23rd of this month.


We have had so much wildlife activity here this week, despite the heavy machinery running around. Some hikers spotted 3 moose on the Blueberry Hill trail. Mother & father loon have been over by the nesting location. The mother has been on the nest all week. She is starting early this year, I hope all works out well for them this year.



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The Eagle Hasn’t Landed

Boundary Waters Blog - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 12:29pm

The nesting eaglets are testing their wings but haven’t flown from the nest yet. If you haven’t checked out the eagle cam then I urge you to do so. It is so neat to see them at such a close range. The nest next to Highway 61 is in plain view but you can’t see what is going on inside.  Take a peek, you’ll be glad you did.

May 14, 2015 – EagleCam Update

Up, Up, and Away

As many of you have already noticed, the eaglets have started to “branch.” Branching means they are moving onto branches neighboring the nest. Both are also exercising their wings, jumping and hovering over the nest, and will be soon taking their maiden flight. The camera cannot be zoomed out any further than it is.  In order to have a great close-up view, we had to sacrifice seeing the larger area around the nest.  We will pan the camera around from time to time when we are able, to provide a view of the nest as well as the branch above it.

Food on a string?

Many saw the eagles bring prey into the nest that appeared to be on a string or leash. Rest assured that the eagles did not bring someone’s beloved pet into the nest. Instead we were able to determine that the prey was a fish attached to a stringer. It isn’t likely that the eagles ‘stole’ the fish from an angler though… More likely the eagles found a dead fish that an angler had abandoned or lost accidentally.

EagleCam FAQs:

Q:  Why are the eaglets’ heads and tails not white?

A: The transition from their brown juvenile colors to their adult colors with a white head and tail takes four to five years. Here is some additional information describing this transition:

Q: How old are the eaglets?

A: The eaglets started to hatch on Feb. 24. This makes the eaglets approximately 11 weeks old as of this update.

Q: When will the eaglets start flying?

A: Eaglets typically make their first flight between roughly 10 to 13 weeks of age (so it could be any day now). They may hang around the nest and their parents for another one to two months.

Important Links:

Watch the MNDNR EagleCam live at:

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Do not forget to checkout past EagleCam Updates.

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5/15/15 - Wilderness does make you smarter!

Sawbill Newsletter - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 8:09am

5/15/15 - Listen to this interview with Dr. Frank Ferraro about the effect of wilderness on the brain from the WTIP-FM North Shore Community Radio show, "The Roadhouse." Ferraro's research may lead to your doctor writing you a prescription for a canoe trip! - Bill

Here is the latest edition of the Cook County West End News from WTIP.

Listen to the West End News to find out why Sawbill friend, Jenna Wagner, is sporting a surgical gown.

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