May. 24, 2010
Saturday marked the end of our volunteer week (aka: Molly Week) and also the return of staff and guests for the 2010 season! We welcomed back all of of our regular staff members - new and old. This brings us up to nearly two dozen staff here in camp for the season. We also welcomed in the first three groups of the season! The guides were very excited to get back on the water and get re-acquainted with their favorite angling grounds. Before moving ahead, we would like to thank our volunteers for the incredible contribution in making Aikens Lake such a special place. With nearly 40 people coming in and out over the past week, it was a very busy and productive place to be... and in the evenings it was also an extremely jovial atmosphere! We started the week off with our "Aikens Lake Social". Throughout 63 communities across Manitoba, socials were held in honor of our provinces 140th birthday. It was all organized by Travel Manitoba's "Homecoming 2010" campaign. We decided to become the 64th community to do so! The bar was setup with traditional decorations and food trays of cubed cheese, sliced dills, and kielbasa! If you've never been to a social in Manitoba, that may sound weird but social food is a staple here in Manitoba. It was also decreed that hats were mandatory and there were some very creative ones that came out (as you'll see from the pictures!) It was the perfect kick-off to an incredible week. Thanks again to everyone who donates their time to come up and help us open up before every season! The walleyes have turned on big-time over the past week. On the 20th, Pat caught and released the first Master Angler walleye of the year - a 28.5" beauty. That aside, the fishing was superb as the boat he was in had a quadruple-header and multiple triple-headers that evening at the Honeyhole. The following evening, the Honeyhole produced much the same but it was at the dock where the bigger ones were found. Our plumber's apprentice Dirk landed his first Master Angler on Aikens. He's been helping out here for many years, but never cracked a walleye over 27.5". By setting up his lawn chair on the dock and casting out into the Back Bay, he caught and released over 15 large walleyes Friday evening - the biggest of which was a 29.25" hog! As the volunteers left on Saturday morning on the same flights as the guests were arriving, you could sense that our opening had been a success. The camp is in great shape for the season, and our many projects are off to a fantastic start. The shift from full-time opening work to a more service-orientated atmosphere was instant once the rest of our summer staff arrived. A few new faces sprinkled in with many familiar ones gathered on the dock to form the core of our 2010 team here at Aikens. They were all excited to be here and looking forward to a great season. Our guests felt that energy from the moment they stepped off the plane. The fishing was really good right from day 1. Big pike were being raised in the bays and the walleyes were feeding steadily throughout the day. It didn't take long for the guides to get right back on top of this great fishery. Kik had the honor of guiding Igi from Alberta to the first Master Angler of the season on the guest side! It was a big pike caught at the Honeyhole. There have been many big pike lurking in the weeds around there because there are so many walleyes of all sizes hanging out where the Gammon spills into the main body of water of Aikens Lake. So far, this season is off to a fantastic start. It has been an amazing first few days and it appears to be a harbinger of things to come. See you all up here soon!