8 Ways to Spend July Long on the Lake

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Summer has officially arrived and with it the Canada Day weekend! The forecast looks promising depending which service you check, and it looks like it will likely be a warm weekend! What better way to cool off than to dip your toes in Lake of the Woods and enjoy the summer sunshine for all it’s worth?! We have suggestions for folks who have access to a boat, and those who don’t - keep reading to find out how best to live the lake life this weekend!

No Boat Necessary:

Go For A Dip

Grab the swim gear and a towel and head down to the beach! Don’t forget your sunscreen and the beach bag (filled with snacks, preferably)!

Go For A Float

Perhaps swimming has tired you out, and it’s time to relax in the lake - grab your favourite floatie and maybe an anchor (who really wants to have to swim back towards shore every few minutes?) and get your lake on!

Build a Sandcastle

Revisit your youth (whether you have young ones with you or not) and build the most magnificent sand fortress on the beach! Or, if sand artistry isn’t your thing, keep it simple with classic shapes and designs! When was the last time you set about building something only to destroy it? It can be incredibly rewarding! Feel free to narrate the demise of your empire to other beachgoers, and maybe they’ll be convinced to join in the fun!

Hunt for Seashells & Magical Beach Finds

Search for mementos to take home or keep at the camper! Shells and claws are abundant, and who knows, you may just find a treasure!

Lounge on the Beach

Maybe being water adjacent rather than immersed is more your thing - and that’s okay! Grab a lounger, a beach blanket or towel and catch some rays! Bring hydration, sun protection and your favourite book to really unwind!

Boat Activities

Go for a Cruise or a Paddle

What’s the use in having or renting a boat if you don’t use it! Get out on the lake - even if a big catch isn’t the plan, there’s something to be said about exploring the lake yourself! Practice safe boating and paddling, take some supplies (and snacks) to make a day of it!

Flex Those Watersport Muscles

Grab the skis, the board or the tube and catch the wake (or stay outside of it!) - never done it before? There’s no better time than now! Wear a life jacket, have a good idea of the waters you’ll be in, and make sure you have a spotter! Your arm muscles will be looking tight and toned in no time!

Go Fishing

We hear the fishing is good, head out there and let us know! There’s muskie, walleye, and more to be found in Lake of the Woods!

Provided the weather is good this weekend, you’ll have no reason to not hit the lake, and now you’ve got lots of ideas! Let’s get to it!

We wish everyone a happy and safe long weekend!

Pye’s Landing

Muskie Tips, Tricks and Facts: A Lake of the Woods Specialty

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Muskie Season opens the third Saturday of June in Northwest Ontario! Are you ready?

We call Lake of the Woods home, and so does one of the most entertaining and prized fish to catch - the Muskie! Also known as musky, full name muskellunge, this giant pike is a weedy water beast, with reports of a 102 pounder being caught! Woah! The biggest on record weighed in at just over 69 lbs, which is a whole lot of fun in one toothy package!

With 1 million acres of water, 14,000 islands, and 64,000 miles of shoreline, it’s no wonder the feisty goliaths prey on Lake of the Woods. We know the fishing is good, but don’t just take our word for it! Northern Ontario Travel Magazine lists Lake of the Woods as the top destination for muskie fishing in all of Ontario! Book your stay at Pye’s Landing on Lake of the Woods and learn what all the muskie madness is about! In the words of muskie angler, Dick Pearson, "If you can't catch a muskie in Lake of the Woods, you must be doing something wrong."

Not sure where to start, or looking to up your game? We’ve researched all there is to know (okay, some really good basics) about muskies to get you on your way to one of your biggest and most entertaining catches on Lake of the Woods!

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How to Find the Muskie of Your Dreams

Muskie anglers have endless advice to provide, and sometimes you’ll find one says to zig and the other says zag - so what should you do? Consider all options and try them out! After all, a day on the lake is a day on the lake! By following the tips below, you’ll be sure to have a catch, or at least an “I almost had it!” moment!

Finding sheltered, shallow and weedy bays is a common muskie tactic, and there’s no shortage of these spots surrounding the unending shorelines of LOTW.

The Basics

Muskie Specs:

  • Closely related to northern pike

  • Biggest member of the pike family

  • Native to North America

  • Second largest fish in Ontario

  • Peak angling periods: June and fall

  • Morning & evening are best times to bait - but they’ll bit all day

  • Quite a fighter

  • Size limits are in effect

  • Frequent catches of between 30-50 pounds

  • 30 pounders are around 4 feet in length and many can be found in the renowned LOTW

Rod and lure selection is important - here are the essentials:

  • A short, stiff rod

  • A strong line

  • A wire leader (you know, because of the teeth)

  • Large plugs

  • Spoons

  • Spoons/spinners with feather or bucktail baits for surface luring

  • In summation: heavy tackle!

Where to find them:

  • Clear & weedy water

  • Shallow spots & bays

  • Open water - more details below

Open Water Tips

InFisherman mag offers great open water fishing tips:

  • find bait schools using sonar

  • muskies are less predatory in open water

  • they’re looking for an easy catch

  • Pete Maina uses giant spoons in open water, giving the illusion of a wounded flat-sider

    • he’s found muskie won’t follow these lures - they just want to eat it, which is good news for you!

  • June through summer, concentrate drifts in the top 20 feet of water

  • Pause and flutter the spoon, but also play with jerkier movements

Sunset Country shared that studies have shown when water temperatures rise, muskies will go deeper to 20-40 feet - so if you’re not having any luck, let a heavy jig drift down and you might just catch a muskie!

In Summary

Muskie like shallow water…. or do they? They like spoons… no spinners! Basically, fishing for these beasts is a treat, and while following the above tips may land you a great catch, feel free to experiment! You just might find the next best muskie fishing tip!

If you do, we want to hear it!

What’s your favourite muskie tip? Have you caught a big one? Send us your catch or comment below!

Happy Fishing!

Pye’s Team

Bear Etiquette 101: Stay Safe in Camp & the NW Ontario Wilds!

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It's camping season - which also coincides with bear encounter season! 

What can you do to discourage bears from visiting your camp, and what to do in the case of an encounter? Here are some Bear Wise tips to keep in mind!

Prevent an Encounter: At Camp & Home

Though their usual prerogative is to avoid humans, bears are attracted to food, and are creatures of habit. Once a bear discovers a food source, they will return time after time, and may try to enter dwellings! Keeping your yard and site unwelcome to bears helps keep the whole community safer!

Here are some ways you can lessen the chances of a bear visit at home or camp:

  • Don’t leave garbage out overnight, and only put it out the morning of garbage day

  • Store waste in containers that have secured lids, and keep in a bear-proof spot such as a garage

  • Disinfect garbage cans regularly to remove scents

  • Bird feeders attract bears, so limit use to winter season, and during the summer offer natural alternatives such as flowers,

  • Clean BBQs by burning off food residue, emptying grease traps, washing the grill, and dealing with dishes/leftovers promptly

  • Fruit trees can encourage bears to enter yards - minimize risk by picking ripe and fallen fruit

  • Keep pet food inside the home


Prevent an Encounter: On the Trail

Travel in groups - bear attacks seldom occur in groups of two or more. The key while out in the wild is to alert bears (and any other wildlife) of your presence. Sing, whistle, or talk when in areas with limited visibility or when near a noisy water source.

  • Be aware of surroundings, and don’t wear headphones

  • Look for signs of bears

    • tracks

    • claw marks on trees

    • flipped over rocks

    • fresh droppings

  • Keep pets on leash - an untrained pet may lead a bear right to you, and could further escalate an encounter if one occurs

  • Rise slowly if in a crouched or low position to not startle nearby bears

  • Carry deterrents

    • whistle, air horn, bells

    • bear spray - keep it easily accessible and know how to use it

    • consider carrying a long handled axe if in deep bush

What To Do in an Encounter

Bears usually want to flee when caught off guard, and the important thing is to stop what you’re doing, don’t panic, and remain calm. Bear attacks are rare - and the bear will provide warning signs, detailed below, to let you know if it feels threatened. A bear standing on hind legs is not aggressive behaviour, it is curious and trying to catch your scent or see you better.

DO NOT:

  • Run, climb trees, or swim - a bear is much more skilled at these things than you

  • Kneel down

  • Make direct eye contact

DO:

  • Back away slowly with bear in sight, and wait for it to leave

  • If bear doesn’t leave, throw objects, wave arms, and make noise with whistle or horn

  • Prepare to use bear spray

  • If near a building or car, get inside

Bear Warning Signs

  • Defensive Bears (feels threatened)

    • Drool

    • Huff, moan, clack jaws

    • Lower its head with ears back while facing you

    • Bluff charge and/or swat the ground

  • Predatory Bears

    • Will approach silently and may continue advancing despite attempts to deter them

    • Be prepared to use bear spray and fight back

    • Do not play dead unless you’re sure the bear is a mama protecting her cubs

After an Encounter

  • Report the encounter by calling 1-866-514-2327 between April 1 and November 30

  • Tell neighbours/other folks on the trail

  • Remove/secure any non-natural food sources that the bear had access to

When to Use Self Defence

If all means of deterring and preventing an encounter have failed and a bear will not leave the property and your safety is at risk, you have the right to protect yourself. Killing a bear must be an action of last resort, and must be done according to local laws (such as firearm by-laws), safely, and as humanely as possible. A hunting licence is not needed to kill a bear in self-defence. A kill you are not intending to keep must be reported immediately to the local Ministry of Natural Resources. A kill that is kept must be registered with MNR with a Notice of Possession.

Looking for more information on bears? The Ontario website has great Bear Wise tips, facts, and information!

Wishing everyone a happy bear-free summer!

Pye’s Team


Gearing Up for August Long

WHAT TO DO AROUND CAMP - GEARING UP FOR AUGUST LONG!

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Wow! Another long weekend is almost upon us! And it can't come too soon!

Have you booked your site yet? We have limited availability!

If you're new to camp or just here for the weekend, and are looking for ways to entertain your family / guests / friends / yourself, this post is for you!

HIT THE BEACH & TAKE A DIP

Pop down to South Camp and get your beach on! Our beach is full of photo-op friendly spots such as the yellow bench, the life saver, and of course - the docks with the red chairs! OR! Skip the photo shoot and dive right in! There's nothing quite like the refreshing waters of Lake of the Woods!

HIT THE TRAILS

The surrounding area is filled with walking and quad trails - take some time and explore at your leisure! Many trails are unmarked, so explore the area at your own discretion, and always obey posted signs!

FRY UP FRIDAY

Lake of the Woods is world-renowned for its fishing - join in the fun and bring your boat and fishing gear to Pye's! Celebrate your catches with a good old shore lunch at camp! Yum!

FIRE IT UP

 No long weekend is complete without a nightly campfire - and you can pick up your s'more essentials at the store! Don't forget to be fire safe, and burn responsibly! Please obey all fire restrictions!

HANG OUT

Activities are a great way to fill up your holidays - but don't shy away from a little rest a relaxation. Grab a book from one of our mini libraries; play a favourite board game or try a new one; and spend time with the folks who make you happiest!

HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY AUGUST LONG WEEKEND FROM EVERYONE AT PYE'S!

Market Wednesdays & Other Summer Activities!

The Matiowski Farmer's Market at the Kenora Harbourfront

The Matiowski Farmer's Market at the Kenora Harbourfront

Today is Wednesday which means from 8:30am-2pm Kenora's Harbourfont was bustling with vendors and visitors! A special summer gem, this weekly activity is a great event that puts your dollars in the hands of local makers, farmers, growers, and crafters! Catch the Matiowski Farmer’s Market every Wednesday!

What other activities does Kenora and area have to offer? 

Also at the Harbourfront every Thursday evening (July/August)  you can catch the Harbourfront Concert Series!

Other summer activities include:

August:

Harbourfest

Sioux Narrows Arts Festival

Kenora Bass International

Sioux Narrows Moose ‘N Fiddle Music Festival

September:

Sioux Narrows Bassin’ for Bucks Tournament

Crow Lake Bass Tournament

Annual Musky Cup Nestor Falls

 

For some general things to check out: 

Trip Advisor ‘s Top 10 Things to Do in Kenora & District 2018

Stay In Kenora’s Activity Guide

Trails/ Hiking: Kenora City Trail Info

LOTW Trail Guide

Urban Trail Guide

Events Listings to Stay on Top Of:

Kenora City Calendar

Kenora City Special Events

LOTW Museum Events

Kenora Online Calendar

89.5 FM The Lake Calendar

Visit Sunset Country Listing

Sioux Narrows/Nestor Falls Calendar

Dryden Events

 

What are your favourite summer events in Kenora & District? Did we miss any? Comment below!

Hidden Gems in Keewatin

It's Blogsday! A "Special Hidden Gems" edition because what better way to spend the long weekend than to explore a neat Canadian town?!

Keewatin is located a short 15 minute drive from Pye's Landing and has some little known gems such as the Glacier Rock Holes, which can be found just off Highway 17, on 6th Street. There's a small sign indicating where to turn - but if in doubt, take the street directly west of Keystone Security Solutions. The holes are a neat geological feature left behind from the Laurentide Glacier that covered most of Canada, and safe viewpoints can be found down a nicely maintained pathway, leading to a covered viewing section - perfect for those hot sunny days (which hopefully we will get many of this long weekend!) Heads up - this gem will not appear on Google Maps - check out the Facebook page for the natural attraction above to find directions! 

The largest Rock Hole

The largest Rock Hole

Also a hop, skip and a jump from the holes is Keewatin Beach, a lovely spot for a picnic, and a family swim to cool off during these beautiful, and muggy, summer days!

Venture into old downtown Keewatin, and you'll find yourself at the Mather Walls House - built in 1889, you can enjoy tea with the resident ghost in this classic Queen Anne Victorian style home. The ghost is so notorious the house was featured on an episode of Creepy Canada.  To find out more, watch this video!

Another awesome thing to check out is the Keewatin Foot Bridge - where you can walk over the Winnipeg River, gaze at the lily pads, and enjoy a lovely day on, but not in, the water! Parking can be found at the Keewatin Memorial Arena and you'll be able to see the unique arch-shaped bridge from the lot! Warning: this bridge is ideal for photos and daydreaming! Perhaps you can make an afternoon of it, and pack a picnic!

Don't pass up Keewatin - this oft passed-by spot is full of neat houses, and interesting hidden gems - if you stop by, be sure to tell us your favourite spots and new discoveries!

Other Canada Day Weekend activities to look forward to include the annual Camp Fireworks happening in the New Development - seasonal and overnight campers are welcome! Look to the sky Saturday evening at dusk and join in the celebration!

Have a joyous Canada Day!

 

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