WATSON’S KABY LODGE
3011 CONCESSION RD. 7, R.R. 3
BRECHIN, ONTARIO, L0K 1B0
PHONE: 1-877-484-1672, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello and Happy New Year from Watson’s Kaby Lodge. The 2013 season has come to an end and we are really looking forward to our 2014 season along with all of our guests and friends.
The 2013 season was our best one yet, since taking ownership in 2009, with fishing being much easier and more exciting than 2012, as our water levels were more in the normal to high range so people did not have to go far to catch some phenomenal fish! It is wonderful for Tom and I to hear that the quality of our fishery on Kabinakagami Lake is improving each year and the term “walleye with shoulders” was used on a regular basis. The biggest walleye of the year, a very chunky 30 incher, was caught by Rose Gerber of Walnut Creek, Ohio. Rose and her husband Bob were first timers to Kaby Lodge and she certainly proved she knows how to catch them! Some of our other guests that caught some walleye monsters were Jim Meeker of Sardinia, Ohio with his 29 incher he kept to be mounted, Jared Wessel of Grand Haven Michigan with his 28 ½ incher which I believe won the betting pool for his group, John Crabtree of Akron, Ohio with a 27 ½ incher, the biggest walleye he’s ever caught, and John Henderson of Valporoso, Indiana with his 27 ½ incher, just to name a few. More big fish were caught in the over 24 inch range than in the last few years and the majority of them were released back in to the waters to live and fight another day! Our biggest pike for 2014 was a 49 plus incher caught by Sue Baker of Manistee, Michigan, and we know that everyone heard of Colton our newest dockhands catch right off the airplane dock with his 43 plus incher! Steven James of Linden, Michigan also caught a big one off the airplane dock at 39 inches! Apparently this might be the place to fish! Pat Burns of Royal Oak, Michigan caught a beauty as well, a 40 incher and Mike Lahaie of Mattawan, Michigan caught a huge 41 incher weighing in at 22 plus pounds! Definitely all fish of a lifetime! Well done! The biggest perch that we know of was also caught off the airplane dock by our Head Chef Robert and came in at 14 inches and tasted absolutely lovely when he cooked it and shared it with all of us for lunch! We did not hear of a lot of perch being caught by guests this season and the high water levels may have given them more places to hide, so we are confident that we shall both see and hear more perch stories in 2014. Whitefish fishing was also popular again this year, especially if you had the opportunity to fly fish for them during their Shad fly run at the end of June! The biggest one we heard of came in at 19 inches and weighed about 5 pounds. Once again this one was caught off the airplane dock by Adam our head dockman. We had many new guests come to visit us at Kaby this year, and with all the kids coming to fish, everyone of them lived up to our “most important rule for kids” at camp and definitely out-fished all the adults in their parties! There were lots of new names on our wall of fame in the 2013 season! We had more families and kids come to Kaby this year as well and yes every single one of them somehow made it to the wall of fame, if not by the sizes of their catch but by the numbers of fish they caught in total! Congratulations go out to Tommy Dewey a first timer who at the age of 5 years, caught a beautiful 20 inch walleye that his Grandpa Don Dewey will be mounting for him, along with his cousins Chuck who caught a big 21 ½ inch walleye without using bait, Corey who caught a 31 ½ inch pike and Corbin Yates who caught a 29 ½ inch pike! Somehow the Dewey family is always in our newsletter and every year at least one of the kids catches a BIG fish to take home for Grandpa to mount! Just to name a few of the other kids that did well, we had Scott Richards with a 22 inch walleye and a total of 112 fish caught in their 3 day trip, along with Matt Skala who caught a 26 inch walleye that he released to grow bigger for his next year’s trip! I could fill this letter up with the names of all those successful fisher guests, but you all know how well you did and we know that it will be an even better year in 2014 for big fish! Way to go! Congratulations to all of our guests that made the wall of fame this year and we look forward to seeing many of the same names as well as many new ones on the board for 2014!
When we arrived at the lodge on the 12th of May, after having flown in by helicopter, as the ice was not out yet, we were happy to see that the water levels were high for spring time and when we left this fall, things were still sitting at high levels so with the promise of lots of snow this winter, things look good for opening in 2014. Hopefully Mother Nature will co-operate this coming year and at least have the ice off for us when we go north in early May! Isn’t it funny how when we are at home we hope for minimal snowfall, but with regards to the lodge we hope for HUGE snowfalls! I guess it’s because we don’t have to shovel it! We look forward to another great fishing season for this coming year, and think the quality of our fishery will must keep improving. At this point in time, we are not anticipating any changes to the 2014 Fishing Regulations regarding allowable limits and sizes.
After a few minor glitches with the new licencing system, things went fairly smoothly with regards to issuing licences at the lodge and we do not anticipate any more difficulties for 2014. It continues to be possible for all of our guests to purchase their Ontario Outdoor Cards as well as their Fishing Licenses on line at www.ontario.ca/outdoorcard prior to coming to the lodge which will definitely save time upon arrival, or you can still purchase both items through the POS (Point of Sale) System that we have at Kaby. We want to remind everyone that should your Non-Resident Ontario Outdoor Card expire at the end of 2013 they will not be sending out renewal reminders. As I stated previously, you will have the choice of renewing on line to save time or waiting until you get to the lodge. I am sure a lot of you remember the number of flight delays we had at Kaby this season, and want to remind you that if this should occur on your trip this coming year, take the time to try to get your fishing licences in Wawa at Young’s General Store as this will mean you are ready to go fishing upon your arrival at the lodge and if our satellite internet is down due to the bad weather you won’t have any more delays. The 2013 season was the worst year for weather and flight delays that Tom can ever remember in all of his years growing up on the lake! Let’s all pray for sun and slight winds this season to keep that fog out of Wawa!
Tom and I are happy to see that all of our guests, both young and old enjoyed the fact that all of our boats are being operated with the Yamaha 20HP 4 stroke electric start motors, along with fish finders, and automatic bilge pumps. We had great feedback from everyone and it has definitely confirmed once again that our investment in these new motors and specialized equipment was a worthwhile one! Once we worked out the placement issues for seats and batteries, it seems as if the motors are making for a more enjoyable and certainly easier to use experience. We also flew in 3 new Mirro-craft boats to try out and are very pleased with their performance. After putting in floors, making a casting deck along with a few other minor changes, we think these boats may be the way to go! Hopefully over the next 2 to 3 years we will be replacing our old boats with new. Thanks to everyone for all of your support and feedback regarding both the new motors and boats. For those of you that were up at the lodge in the latter part of the season, we are sure you will have noticed the improvements to our dining room, guides and staff entrance in the completion of the new siding and in the removal and replacement of the old barbeque deck for all that wonderful cooking our chefs do. We plan on enclosing the barbeque deck this year to make things a little easier for the chefs in inclement weather and are confident that this will help them continue to do a great job for all of you! We are also happy to say that we continually improve the cabins and are in the process of installing new PEX water lines and propane fired tankless water heaters in system which makes opening and closing much easier for Tom and our opening season work crew. We will continue to offer improvements each year to ensure the comfort and enjoyment of our guests during their stays with us at Kaby. If there are any suggestions you may have, please let us know as we strive to make your trip to your “home away from home” more enjoyable. We are also pleased to let you all know that our water treatment plant is doing its job, and Public Health is happy to see all of our clear water tests each month! As for our kitchen and cleaning areas, we are thrilled to let you all know that we take great pride in making sure that these areas are always clean and spotless. Our thanks go out to Rob, Michel and C.J. , for their great job in the kitchen, and Tiff, and Shelby for their fantastic jobs in the cabins and dining room. Adam and Colton did a terrific job in ensuring all of your needs were met on the docks and in maintaining the cleanliness of our fish cleaning house all season, and as we all know, in the heat of the summer that is not an easy thing to do! Well done guys!
We had a very successful black bear and moose hunt in 2013 as well. The biggest bear a whopping 650 pounder, was taken with a bow by Jamie Holbrook of Bethel, Ohio, as well as Andrew Wesner of Grand Haven, Michigan who hunted alongside his daughter Liz with another huge bear coming in at 500 pounds. We are really looking forward to the day when Liz comes up for her 16th birthday to take her bear alongside her Dad. We had more big bears taken this year that we had not even seen on our trail cameras so we definitely consider this last hunting season a huge success! ! All in all, 10 bears were shot with all successfully retrieved, and a total of 45 bears seen, so another great year of bear hunting! We had a total of 8 moose hunters this year and were able to successfully shoot and retrieve 4 bull moose in total. Our first moose taken in the archery season was a nice bull shot by Brandon Hines of Ashville Ohio, who hunted once again with his Dad, Elmer. While guiding Elmer and Brandon, we saw several bulls, had two exciting canoe stalks, and heard a wolf howl that got our hearts beating a little faster with its proximity! There’s nothing like hunting at Kaby to get your heart pounding! Denny Deruchie of Ajax, Ontario shot a beautiful big bull up Bear Creek with his bow that measured in at about the 44 inch range. We had to use Riser our youngest dog to find Denny’s moose, and without him we would not have been able to retrieve it! Riser learned from a master in Jasper and we are confident that between our two dogs we have the tracking covered! For those of you that have ever tried to go exploring in the bush, you will understand when we say without him we would have never found this bull! John Pardington of Canton, Michigan, a long time moose hunting guest and friend shot a MONSTER bull with his Kimber Classic WSM up in 5 Mile Bay that came in near the 50 inch plus range. Beautiful big paddles and a drop tine make this a truly unique looking animal that we are very proud to have shared in its harvest with John! This moose was so big that we actually had to use 3 boats to move it from 5 Mile back to Kaby so that we could get photos of it in its intact state. Tom Bejin Jr. hunting along with his Dad Tom Sr. successfully harvested another nice bull in the last week of gun season after hunting hard all week. Overall, our moose hunters saw many moose while hunting, but as for those of us that do hunt, not everyone is able to actually harvest a moose. All of our hunters were thrilled with their trips to Kaby and many of them have booked to return to us next season! It is always a pleasure for Tom and I along with Adam who is learning to moose guide to have the opportunity to hunt these wonderful animals with our friends and guests. Congratulations to all of you, both successful and unsuccessful, we hunted hard!
We attended a Northern Ontario Tourist Outfitters Convention in Sault Ste. Marie in November, and met with some representatives of the Canadian Border Service Agency. We are happy to report that they are continuing to achieve a better relationship with tourists and visitors to Ontario and have made it possible for anyone to ask questions, report concerns or offer praise for a job well done. We were happy to hear that there were no real issues that came forth regarding any of our guests crossing the border this year, but do want to remind you all that if you have any concerns regarding border crossing issues, you should contact the border office that the problem arose at and file a report. The Border Service Officers must respond to any concerns they receive on paper, and are more than happy to do so to ensure that all visitors to Ontario have a positive experience at our border. For any of our guests that may have received any charge surrounding a DUI or any other felony offense, please contact the Canadian Border Services Agency that you plan to cross at to start the paperwork procedure at least 6 months PRIOR to your planned crossing. This will ensure that there will be no surprises upon your arrival at the border. If you have any questions regarding this process, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be more than happy to steer you in the right direction. If we require any further assistance dealing with border crossing issues please feel free to contact the NOTO office at 705-472-5552 and they will be more than happy to assist you and answer any questions you may have.
You will notice again, a slight increase in the cost of your packages for 2014. With the rising cost of fuel as well as all of our other supplies, it was necessary to add a small increase to this year’s rates. If you have not already done so, we want to remind all of our guests to be sure they have applied for the HST refund that they are eligible for. If you have any questions as to the process, please give us a call at the office and we will be more than happy to walk you through the process.
Once again, we heard many wonderful comments regarding the level of service our guests have come to expect while they are with us. We are pleased to let you all know that Robert will be returning as Chef for his 2nd year, and hopefully for those of you who came in the latter part of the season, Chef C.J. in the kitchen, as well as Adam for his 5th season and Colton for his 2nd, on the docks. Tiff, for her 3rd year and Shelby, for her 2nd year are both planning on returning again so we are pleased to say that there will be many familiar faces for you to see in 2014, and we all know there will be some great new stories that will be shared! Despite the challenges we faced this year finding good chefs, Tom and I are very fortunate to have so many great people working with us and are already looking forward to another terrific year with all of them!
Each year brings both good memories and sad times, and on August 22nd, we faced a bit of both when we celebrated here at Kaby with a memorial service for Michel’s brother Robert who lost his battle with cancer on January 4th of 2013, in Thunder Bay, Ontario with his wife Sheila, daughter Aloysia and son Jared by his side along with Tom and I and Sheila’s identical twin sister Sharon. A beautiful Inukshuuk and plaque has been erected on the shoreline at Kaby and a service to honour Robert was shared by our family and friends. We will miss Robert dearly but know that he will live on in our memories, and we know his spirit will continue to shine down on all of us on Kaby Lake. Thank you to all of those who sent kind words and thoughts to my brother Robert and all of us during his battle. It seems as if no one is untouched by the hand of cancer and we all need to support each other in those battles that our loved ones face. It also brings us great sadness to mention the passing of a dear friend and long time guest at Kaby, Mr. Jim Czegledi of Canton, Michigan. Todd and Scottie came back up this year for the first time without him and we erected a beautiful memorial Inukshuuk in his honour at the shore lunch site on Moose Island where he made so many wonderful memories. We will miss our chats with Jim. We know Kaby held a special place in Jim’s heart and we shall always think of him when the sunrise shines over Moose Island. Another guest who will be sorely missed is Mr. Dennis Mills of North Bay, Ontario. Dennis and his quiet ways always made us feel that we were important to him and we shall miss his beautiful smile, and laughter. For those of you going through tough times please know that we hold you all in our thoughts and look forward to the day when we will all meet again.
Mom and Dad LeFeuvre, Michel’s parents are well and came for the memorial service and family reunion with their two Great Granddaughters Ellah and Anica, along with dear family friends George and Elaine Leblanc who came all the way from the east coast to join us in honouring Robert! They are really looking forward to another winter in the Zephyr Hills area in Florida and we hope to be able to join them for a few weeks in February. Our daughter Bre and her husband Brian continue to enjoy the farm life in the Orillia Ontario area where our winter home is located, and we are pleased to see all of the children Ellah 10, Anica 8, Vaughn 6 and Cassius 4 1/2 are settling into farm life with ease. They are happily raising their ponies and enjoy riding them whenever they can. Our son Jess and his wife Hayley are the very proud parents of our twin Granddaughters Lily and Irelynn who are now about 1 ½ years old and growing up so quickly! We continue to live on the family farm with them and get to enjoy seeing the girls whenever we can. Jess and Hayley were able to get up to Kaby this year along Hayley’s Mom, Karen and their two dogs Briar and Berkley who had a wonderful time playing the entire week with Riser! It was tough to keep the dogs dry! We think we have another northern convert. Michel’s older brother Randy along with his wife Donna also came to the reunion and we certainly had our share of laughs during the week! Robert’s wife Sheila, along with Aloysia and her boyfriend John, and Jared came to celebrate in Roberts’s life as well. We did have some family members come for the first time as well, in Michel’s Aunt Donna and cousins Cindy and her husband Tom. I think we have created a monster in my Aunt as this was her first time fishing and what a place to start! As tough as the reason was for getting all the family together at Kaby, it only continues to reinforce the strength of family that we are so blessed to share. We are planning on making this an annual celebration and know that we will continue to support each other in all things with love and true understanding of what family is all about.
Our son Jess along with his good friend Rob came to help us open up Kaby this spring and without their help it would have taken much longer as we had a surprise visitor over the winter in the shape of a pine marten. Be sure to ask what that’s all about when you see us next! Sheila also came up after we had been in for a few days and helped to open and organize the store and kitchen areas. She also came back in July for another visit and we all enjoyed sharing time with her before we had the memorial service. We are very blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives and the fact that we get to share Kaby with them is wonderful.
On a cheerier note we were very pleased to see many of our long time guests returning to Kaby after missing a few years because of the current economic times. We also had a number of new guests this year who were able to experience what Kaby Lake has to offer in the great fishing and the true beauty of Northern Ontario. Thank you to all the new and familiar faces and we hope to see you again in 2014.
Please be sure to check out the website for updates and changes as you may see some familiar faces. We are attaching the 2014 Sports Show schedule, so please be sure to come down and say hello if we are in your neck of the woods. We would love to see you all!
While winter prepares to put its tight grip on the north, we are already looking forward to sharing another great season with great anticipation and hope to see you all there! LET’S GO FISHING!
Your northern friends,
Tom and Michel
Jasper and Riser
SPORTS SHOW SCHEDULE 2014
Ultimate Fishing Show Huntin Time Expo, Birch Run Huntin Time Expo, Grand Rapids
January 9th to the 12th January 17th to the 19th January 24th to the 26th
Suburban Showplace Birch Run Expo Center Delta Plex Arena,
Novi, Michigan Birch Run, Michigan Grand Rapids, Michigan
Booth #1300 Booth #54 Booth #397
Allegheny Boat, Sport and Travel Show Illinois Deer and Turkey Expo
February 12 to the 16th February 20th to the 23rd
Monroeville Convention Center Prairie Capitol convention Center
Monroeville, Pennyslvania Springfield, Illinois
Booth #1118 Booth # 818
Bass Pro Fishing Classic Western New York Sport & Travel Expo
February 28th to March 2nd March 6th to the 9th
Great Lakes Outlet Mall Hamburg Fairgrounds
Auburn Hills, Michigan Hamburg, New York
Bass Pro Store Booth #346
Traverse City Hunting & Fishing Expo Kentucky Deer & Turkey Expo
March 14th to the 16th March 21st to the 23rd
Howe Civic Center Center State Fairgrounds
Traverse City, Michigan Louisville, Kentucky
Booth #317 Booth #716