March 7th, 2014: It’s been a relatively mundane winter compared to last year when I was hauling in the new boats and starting an air service but we’ve stayed busy with just a few shows, hiring staff, finding parts and equipment and getting a bit more work done with the air service business. As mentioned in our newsletter, I started a new air service which was a massive undertaking working with different branches of Transport Canada. The new air service is just for our float plane, but it gives us much better control and although there’s more work and responsibility involved we are saving a few bucks already.
It’s been a bad year for staff, as mentioned on our Facebook page, we lost Regi, one of our most popular and longest running guides at Bolton Lake. Sadly he died in February and his Bolton Lake family will miss him a lot. It’s been hard on all the staff but the calls, emails and sentiments are greatly appreciated as we know many of our guests who had the pleasure of fishing with Regi will miss him too. Cedric and Glenda who were with us as long as Regi will also not be returning this season due to health reasons. Cedric’s one of a kind humor had guests in stitches almost daily will also be sorely missed. He was extremely capable around camp with plumbing and carpentry so getting started this spring will be a bit more work for me. Glenda was always happy around camp and she worked her tail off! Most people did not get to see the side of her that came out when there were only a few of us in camp, she also had a great sense of humor that we’ll really miss this year.
Heather the chef and Al the pilot have also moved on to different places. We will still see Al occasionally because he will be flying the Beaver for my brother and Heather has offered to help out if at any time we need a substitute chef. I am pleased to say that the new chef we have hired comes to us with a great deal of experience in the lodge business and cooking in mining camps. Some say the most important position to fill in the mining camp is the chef because people who are fed well are happy people, and that makes a huge difference in a mining camp as it will in our fishing lodge! The pilot and trainee/outpost maintenance man that I’ve hired for this year also have very useful experience and I believe they will fit in very well at Bolton Lake.
I have already hired 4 new guides for this season, two younger guys who are big time Musky hunters and very enthusiastic about fishing in general. I’m looking forward to working with them and seeing how many big Pike they can help their guests catch this year! Another guide has some fantastic experience working on the west coast of British Columbia with lots of fly fishing experience, river running experience and he knows a lot about Pike, Walleye and Lake Trout since he grew up in Manitoba. The 4th guide I hired comes to us with some experience guiding up in the North West Territories as well as in southern Manitoba. He has a wealth of information and he’s a bit older so he has a very interesting background ranging from martial arts to doing wildlife paintings so we could have some new art decorating our walls this year. We have Willie, Marcel, Trevor (T3), Ray, Johnny and Barry who will be with us all season along with Tom, Damien, Nick and Mark who will all be coming and going for shorter periods throughout the season.
Bookings have been coming along better than last year but we still have some holes to fill. The show in St. Charles, IL was really good for us but the other two shows did not work out quite as well. They were good and I was happy to attend those shows but I would have liked a few more bookings from the second Chicago show and the Phoenix show. Unfortunately in my opinion the sport show business is not going to last much longer. All the shows I’ve been attending have been shrinking with fewer exhibitors and fewer guests walking through the doors. Internet marketing and calling on our mailing list will be our focus for sales in the future. Of coarse word of mouth is still our best method to find new guests and we appreciate every reference given by our guests! Here is a list of open dates for 2014 along with some special rates to fill in the holes.
Bolton Lake Lodge Open Spots: (rates are based on a minimum of 2 anglers, single fishermen are welcome at the normal rate)
- June 16 – 19 for up to 6 anglers at a special rate of $1999 per person
- June 27 – July 2 for up to 8 anglers at a special rate of $2599 per person
- June 29 – July 6 for up to 8 anglers at a special rate of $2999 per person
- July 2 – 6 for up to 12 anglers at a special rate of $2299 per person
- July 22 – 27 for up to 4 anglers at a special rate of $2599 per person
- July 31 – August 6 for up to 12 anglers at a special rate of $2699 per person
- August 3 – 6 for up to 20 anglers at a special rate of $1999 per person
Outpost Camp Open Spots: (these special rates are for groups of 4 or more anglers, but groups of 2 are welcome at the normal rate of $2050 for a 7 day trip and $1650 for a 5 day trip)
- July 6 – 13 at Joint Lake for $1750 per person
- July 13 – 20 at Joint Lake for $1750 per person
- July 19 – 26 at Aswap Lake for $1750 per person
- August 7 – 12 at Aswap Lake for $1499 per person
- August 12 – 18 at Aswap Lake for $1599 per person
- August 18 – 23 at Aswap Lake for $1499 per person
Hunting: Our spring bear hunt is sold out for the season but we have space in the fall for one more Moose hunter and 2 bear hunters.
Please feel free to call or email any time for any further information regarding these trips. Slight variations of the above dates are possible.