Looking for a great fishing lake that’s away from it all? Then look no farther than Wawang Lake Resort and get back to nature where it’s never changed!
Join us for some OUTSTANDING Fishing
Looking for a great fishing lake that’s away from it all? Then look no farther than Wawang Lake Resort and get back to nature where it’s never changed!
Join us for some OUTSTANDING Fishing
FISH DERBY – GRAND PRIZE $2500 – We just had a last minute cancellation on two of our large 2 & 3 bedroom cottages for the week starting Saturday August 3, 2013. Check out our fishing packages at. These cabins are the perfect gathering place for friends.
Bobbers, corks, floats… depending upon where you come from, fishermen have different names for the buoyant device that suspends a bait below the surface. But no matter where you go in North America or what you call it, the revered bobber rig is one of the most popular presentations in fishing. And deadly too!
There’s a magic and significance to bobber fishing. The sight of that float twitching, popping, or shooting down like a missile in reverse is one of the most exciting experiences in fishing – no matter what you’re fishing for. Best of all, bobber fishing is one of the easiest approaches to the sport. However, there are some tips and tricks to bobber fishing that can help you put more fish in the boat.
Most anglers in America use fixed floats almost all the time. But there are certain applications where slip bobbers are critical. In case you’re not familiar with what a slip bobber is, let me explain. With a slip rig, the bobber has a hollow ferrule through its center that allows the line to slide through it effortlessly. A “bobber stop” is affixed to the line above the float (along with a stopper bead). You can set the stop anywhere on the line that you want, so you can effectively cast and fish at any depth. It’s important to use monofilament line with this set-up, instead of braid. Braided “super lines” are very slippery and don’t allow the bobber stop to “bite” very well.
Let’s say you have walleyes or whatever species located on a deep-water hump that’s 26 feet deep. Set your bobber stop to 25 feet and presto, your bait hangs a foot off the bottom right in front of the fish’s nose. The typical bait used in a slip bobber presentation is a jig or plain hook tipped with live bait (minnows, leeches, crawlers, etc.).
When you make a cast, your bait will fall vertically to the location of the float. Since many species, like walleye, like to hit a bait on-the-drop, pay attention to your line as the bait sinks. If your float is set at 25 feet, and the line suddenly stops coming off your spool at 10 feet, then something has intercepted it on the way down. Reel up the slack and set the hook when this happens.
Another great slip bobber presentation, because of the way the bait drops vertically, is to use the rig for fishing pockets in heavy cover. Spot a little clearing in some cabbage, pads, reeds or whatever and pitch the cast on the spot. Your bait will fall straight down and hopefully there will be a game fish waiting there at that ambush point.
We’ve all used those classic, round, red & white clip-on bobbers, right? They float, so they do the job. But there are other bobbers in the store that can do a whole lot more for you. One such float style is what we call the “pencil bobber”. This is a favorite style for situations where a fixed bobber works best, which is typically when fishing for smaller fish. Why? Because smaller fish like perch will bite one of two ways: sometimes they’ll pull the bobber down, and sometimes they’ll take a bait and rise with it. Set the amount of weight under the long, skinny pencil bobber so it’s just enough to make the bobber float at a 45-degree angle. If a fish hits downward, the bobber tips up. If he hits it rising, the bobber lays flat on the water. Either way, you will see the bite and end up catching more fish! Give it a try.
Fixed bobbers, in my opinion, are also better than slip bobbers when fishing for spawning fish on the beds. Instead of the bait falling straight down, it falls with a pendulum motion on a fixed bobber. From my experience, this triggers strikes from protective spawning fish much better than a vertical drop.
You’re never too young or old to have a blast catching fish with floats. But remember, despite the simplicity of bobber fishing, there are always a few ways to maximize the effectiveness of any presentation. Go get yourself an assortment of bobber styles, shapes and sizes and experiment with them this summer. You’ll be glad you did.
Al and Mary Schwoegler from Madison, WI have been visiting us at Wawang Lake for several years now. “The fishing is superb and the fishing is just getting better and they’re getting BIGGER too”. How exhausting can fishing be? Well, just ask Al and Mary after this trip 🙂
“A reel expert can tackle anything”
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In determining a fishing rod and reel one must consider the species you are fishing for along with the type of lure or live bait to be used. For instance your rod and reel set-up should match the fishing presentation. If you’re pursuing pan fish like perch using light lures or small minnows your outfit should be lightweight for casting and detecting bites, not a heavy bait caster for pike or bass.
There are five main basic categories of fishing rod and reel combinations, and within each there are multiple sub-categories of specialty types of outfits used for specific fishing applications, for example Walleye fisherman use rod and reel set-ups for slip bobber, slip sinker, jigging and trolling Pike anglers have buck tails, jerk baits and top water outfits. In short, fishing rods and reels have come a long way over time, with new space age materials having been developed for rod construction making them longer and much lighter as well as reels with multiple ball bearings and one piece alloy and graphite frames.
Fishing Rod & Reel Combinations:
This is the preferred set-up for the inexperienced angler. Spin casting outfits are excellent in teaching the beginning angler and children the mechanics of casting. The spin cast reel is mounted above the rod with the reel spool enclosed with a nose cone cover, this prevents line snarling and backlash’s that are associated with bait casting reels. Casting is a simple task, the angler presses and holds down a button on the rear of the reel, this disengages the line pick-up pin, upon the forward cast the line comes off the spool. Once the crank handle is turned the pick-up pin is engaged retrieving the line on the spool.
Spin cast reels have low gear ratios as a result of the size of the spool, which makes it difficult to fish lures that require a fast retrieve such as: inline spinners, spinner baits and buzz baits. When purchasing a spin cast reel consider selecting models with anti-reverse and smooth drag system versus the inexpensive all plastic models with sticky drags that result in broken line. For rods buy fiberglass their durable will hold up from abuse.
Spinning reels where commercially introduced in 1948. The design was of a fixed spool reel mounted below the fishing rod with a mechanical pick-up (wire bail) used to retrieve the fishing line. The anti-reverse feature prevents the crank handle from rotating while fighting a fish allowing the angler to use the drag. In casting a spinning reel the angler opens the bail, grasping the line with the forefinger, then using a backward snap of the rod followed by a forward cast, the line is drawn off the fixed non rotating spool and not against a rotating spool such as a bait casting reel. Because of this lighter lures can be used where the weight of the lure does not have to pull against a rotating spool. Spinning rods have large fishing line guides to minimize line friction upon casting. Spinning outfits operate best using fairly light weight limp flexible monofilament fishing lines and are used for bluegills, crappies, perch and walleyes.
Bait casting outfits are excellent for many kinds of fishing, and come in a wide variety of options and types: Round and Low Profile, High and Low Retrieve Speed along with anti-reverse handles and line drags designed to slow runs by large and powerful game fish. Bait casting outfits are considered the standard when using heavier lures fishing walleye and pike. All bait casting reels are mounted above the rod, when casting the angler moves the rod backward then snapping it forward, the line is pulled off the reel by the weight of the lure. In the early years of bait casting reels the angler used their thumb to control the amount of line travel as well as to prevent the spool overrun or backlash. Today all quality bait casting reels have a spool tension feature for adjusting the centrifugal brake, and or a magnetic ‘cast control’ to reduce spool overrun during a cast and resultant line snare called a birds nest.
For successful casting the most important setting is the casting brake. (The casting brake is the small knob located in the center under the reel handle side) To set the cast control, tie on your lure and reel it to the tip of your rod. Tighten the knob until it feels snug. Push the casting release button. Your lure should not move. Hold the rod at the 2 o’clock position and slowly turn the knob counter clockwise until the lure starts to fall. Let the lure hit the ground and watch the spool. The spool should not spin more than one revolution after the lure hit’s the ground. If it spins more than one revolution, tighten the cast control knob and repeat the procedure. If the spool does not spin after the lure hit’s the ground, the cast control is set too tight. Loosen the knob and repeat the procedure.
Bait casting reels offer the angler a wide variety of fishing line options ranging from the new super lines (Braided Low Stretch) to copolymer “Fluorocarbon” and nylon monofilament. Bait casting rods have also evolved from the older 5-6 foot pool cue rods to 7-9 foot lengths used today allowing increased casting distance and accuracy. Overall bait casting outfits are best suited for the experienced angler, they can be intimidating but you can learn with a little time and effort. In learning the casting technique we recommend practicing on land with a plastic casting plug.
The term trolling not only reflects the type of equipment, but a commonly used method of fishing. Trolling is a form of angling where lines with hook-rigged lures are dragged behind a boat to entice fish to bite. Trolling outfits are very similar to bait casting set-ups, as the trolling reels are mounted above the rod. Trolling rods range from long and limber for downriggers and planer boards to stiff for large crank baits. The spool line capacity on trolling reels is greater than bait casting reels to accommodate heavier fishing line that is used for long line big water trolling.
All trolling reels have three basic features: star drag (Line Braking System) on the reel handle for fighting large game fish, an on/off line release lever and a line out alarm (Clicker) other options are a line counter allowing the angler to replicate the amount of line used on successful fish catching patterns. Trolling can be as simple as just letting line off the reel with an attached lure known as flat lining or using rigging systems such as a downriggers, planer/trolling boards and dipsey divers. ( See our trolling section for more rigging information).
Trolling reels are designed to offer the most versatility when it comes to fishing line options. Inland freshwater anglers use monofilament and lead core for walleye and pike anglers use low stretch braided super lines for trolling large plugs and spinners. Trolling is a productive fish catching technique by presenting multiple lures covering a lot of water.
Fishing Rods have evolved over the years, from the early days using natural materials with fixed fishing lines such as sticks, bamboo and cane poles to rods using steel or fiberglass to the rods of today using graphite or composites of graphite, fiberglass, boron and carbon. With this development of the rod materials came the specialty rods, rods designed for a fishing technique or lure such as jigging, jerk bait, worm, pitching, flipping, crank baits, trolling, top water etc… the specialty rods are a specific tool, used and developed by tournament and pro anglers, for the recreational angler the catch rate will not increase based on having a specialty rod or rods, but place a specialty rod in the hands of an experienced fisherman in presenting a certain bait or lure and with their knowledge of fishing it will give them the edge in catching more fish.
As the old cliché states: “You get what you pay for” For the recreational angler we recommend spending as much as your budget allows, the better the rod the more sensitive it will be, the more responsive it will be, you will be able to cast farther feel structure, rocks, weeds and the most important feel fish strikes. Part of being a better angler is the ability to place your lure/bait exactly where you want it, often as quietly as possible, and a good rod will definitely help you accomplish this. With the numerous rod selections available today here’s a few suggested basic rod buying tips that will cover multiple fishing presentations.
5‘-6″-6‘-0″ Spin cast Rod
Test Line Rating 4lb-8lb
Fishing: Perch and Walleye. Spooled with 6lb test. Good combo set-up for children and novice anglers for easy casting and bobber fishing.
7‘-0″ Spinning Rod
Lure Weight 1/32 – 1/8oz
Test line rating 4lb-6lb
Fishing: Perch and Walleye spooled with 4lb test monofilament for Float(Bobbers) with live-bait, small jigs and light lures 1/16-1/8oz.
7’-0″ Spinning Rod
Power: Medium Light-Medium
Lure Weight 1/8 – 3/8oz
Test Line rating 8lb-12lb
Fishing: Walleye spooled with 8lb test monofilament for live bait and soft plastic bottom rigs, jigs, tubes and mid weight lures 1/8-3/8oz.
6’-6″-7’-0″ Bait casting Rod
Power: Medium-Medium Heavy
Lure Weight 3/8 – 1 oz
Test line rating 10lb-17lb
Fishing: Northern Pike spooled with 12lb-15lb test monofilament with a leader primarily for heavier artificial lures 3/8-1oz (spoons, crank baits, inline spinners, spinner baits, top water)
Type: Bait casting Rod
Power: Extra Heavy
Lure Weight: 1-3oz
Test line rating: 25lb +
Fishing: Northern Pike spooled with 50lb-80lb braided line with a leader
for presenting heavy lures 1oz and up inline spinners, spinner baits, jerk baits, gliders, crank baits, top water)
Fiberglass: Fiberglass rods have been popular since the 1950’s taking over the era of steel rods, in terms of performance and features fiberglass does lack the sensitivity of the newer rods today made from graphite and weighs more, but is noted for its toughness and soft/moderate action. Some anglers use fiberglass when fishing crank baits for the slow action and pike anglers use fiberglass in cold weather for quick strike rig sucker fishing where the rod sensitivity is not required but the toughness (setting the hook especially in very cold weather and not breaking the rod) is needed. Fiberglass is also a very good choice for children starting out in fishing where durability is an issue.
Graphite rod building started in the 1970’s and has continued to this day. Most all quality rods today are built using graphite and have become the preferred choice for rod blank builders. The benefits of graphite rods are many, they’re extremely light, sensitive and flexible, which is vital for light biting fish, along with being strong and powerful to handle larger game fish.
In marketing graphite rods a few common terms have been developed to associate the quality of the rod. The first is “modulus graphite rating”, graphite comes in what looks like sheets of cloth. The cloth is measured to determine the amount and stiffness to weight of modulus fibers. If your shopping for a new rod don’t base your decision solely on the modulus rating, the higher the rating the better the rod. For high performance rods the combination of fiber strength, resin toughness with the amount of fiber, resin and cross-scrim construction (overlapping layers to achieve exceptional strength and action) are more important than the modulus count or rating. Rods with high graphite modulus ratings tend to be brittle and need to have a secondary chemical added on the blank to increase the strain/strength rate. This is called a composite blank. The other term that rod companies use to identify a blank style is IM with a following number such as IM6 or 7 and currently up to 10. The IM rated rods are not regulated by industry standards or an indication of quality but rather a trade name for particular graphite produced by the Hexcel Corporation. Since some rod companies use the IM designation ratings to refer to their rod blanks that are not supplied by Hexcel, at least you can compare the rods built by the same manufacturer, being assured that the higher the IM ranking the higher the graphite quality of the rod.
Rod Ratings: Action / Power
Action refers to the flex characteristics of a rod, in other words how much the rod bends when you put pressure on the tip and how far the rod flexes. Action ranges from extra fast where just the tip flexes to slow or softer where the majority of the rod flexes. Fast action rods are the best choice when the fishing technique requires the sensitivity of feeling light biting fish or when fishing for large game fish in heavy cover and weeds where the key is to setting the hook fast with just a snap of the wrist moving the fish’s head up and away. For instance, fast action light rods are used for jigs, soft plastic worms or twitching minnow/shad shaped crank baits for walleye. Heavier fast action rods are used for Pike in burning buck tails, walking top water lures or a cadence retrieve on gliders and jerk baits. The moderate action rod is the most common choice due to the versatility of fishing applications, in casting a moderate action rod it will bend for about half of its length which will provide more casting distance and still have the capability for an adequate hook set. Ideal for slip bobbers/floats live bait for walleye fishing because the fish is less likely to feel resistance from the soft tip and drop the bait, along with reaction lures such as crank baits, spinner baits and spoons for bass and pike where the slower action will not pull the lure out of the fish’s mouth. Slow or Soft Action rods will bend starting in the lower third using nearly the entire rod providing the most flexibility. Because of this parabolic action the angler is using the rod as a shock absorber in fighting the fish, this allows the use of very light line. These rods are used for perch especially for the paper thin mouths on fish so the hook is not ripped clear on hook sets.
A rod’s power describes how much a rod will flex under a load also referred as a rod’s “backbone”. The thickness and type of rod material will determine this, power ratings are usually described as:
Some rod companies use a numerical system:
The rod’s power rating is closely related to the suggested line strength. It is important to follow the line test guideline limits printed on the rod since a heavy power rod will snap light lines too easily and heavy lines can snap a light rod. Another factor to consider is the fishing presentation for pike in weeds and cover will require a strong power rod using heavier line, on open water where hard to see light line is used for walleye use a lighter power rod. Quite often anglers get confused with rod power ratings and action. As an example the power rating is listed on the rod, the flex of the rod is considered the action.
Rod Line Guides:
These are the circular loops affixed to the rod and run the length of the rod blank, The concept is simple, keeping the line from touching the rod, this offers a smooth surface for the line to pass over. The technology of rod guide designs has improved dramatically over the years from the old metal guides and the classic agate inserts of earlier rods.
Most of the new guides today are made of two parts:
The newest line guide introduced is made from titanium wire, which will spring back even if they’re bent flat unlike the stainless guide that will break. The overall purpose of the rod line guides manufactured today is to provide less friction along with reducing the line fray and wear in the guides during the cast. Less friction means longer casts and less heat, and heat definitely doesn’t help when it comes to fishing lines. The total amount of line guides on a rod are an important feature as well, the higher amount of guides the better, as they ensure distance on the cast, and when fighting a fish the energy/ stress on the rod is dispersed though out the entire rod blank. Depending of the rod power rating line guides are available in two different styles, single and double foot. Single foot guide’s adds less weight on the rod and help retain sensitivity, these are used for mainly ultra – light to medium power rods. The double foot line guides are used when sensitivity is not required but strength is as they are wrapped twice on the rod blank. These are found on heavy to extra heavy power rods used for larger game fish.
Handle / Reel Seats:
The combination of a quality rod handle and reel seat are as important as the rod blank itself. The reel seat is where the reel is attached to the rod and constructed of graphite and aluminum or both. Graphite is lighter and more sensitive, while aluminum is stronger. Some reel seats offer a cutout that allows direct finger contact on the rod blank for greater sensitivity. The rod handle is also referred to as “grips” and are located below and above the reel seat. Cork is the preferred choice on rod handles as it is lightweight, durable, and transmits rod vibrations even when wet better than synthetic materials using EVA foam. There are varying grades of cork based on the rod’s cost, the higher the rod price the better quality of cork used. Another alternative is cork tape to achieve the look of cork. Composite cork is made by combining a mixture of cork particles and resin, this combination is more durable than using straight cork.
We are so happy to welcome back long time guests Al and Mary! Today Al was so happy to report that he broke his all time walleye size record for walleye by landing this lovely 27″ beauty! He said there is only up to go from here and is determined to get into our Master Angler Club by landing at least a 28″! Go get her Al!
‘All men are equal before fish‘
Join us for some OUTSTANDING Fishing
Well, it’s not always about trophy fish at Wawang Lake but catching a few of those can really get that adrenaline rushing for any fisherman. The week of July 20, 2013 proved to be an EXCELLENT trip for Bill and Chuck for sure. They caught a total of 393 fish – with only catching a few northern pike. Primarily they were fishing for walleye and obviously were very successful finding them. Here are a few photo’s of their bragging rights.
Join us for some OUTSTANDING Fishing
Fishing weights (sinkers) are made from two basic materials lead and steel. The two types of sinkers are: attached on the line by pinching, twisted on using rubber insert or tied directly to your line (Bottom Bouncers / Bead Chain Sinkers). The other is sliding: which allows the fishing line to slide or pass through the weight from a hole or an eyelet. The same principle applies in using sinkers for your set-up use the lightest possible sinker in order to detect fish strikes.
Popular Common Sinkers / Weights Types:
Pinches easily onto your line where you want to set depth at. Removes just as easy by pinching the other end. Used for live bait and lures.
Split Shot Rig
This is about as basic as you can get on a rig. The nice thing is, you don’t have to re-tie any knots to change the sinker position on the line; just pinch it on and off.
The stream rig also known as a drift rig are used commonly by walleye anglers in certain situations, such as in light current or when drift fishing in relatively shallow water.
Attach to line through the slot in the sinker and twisting the inner rubber core around line to secure it. Used when heavier weight is required.
Many tackle companies manufacture designed drop shot weights, round or rectangular of lead or tungsten and come with a tie on clip on the top. The weights range from 1/8 oz. to 1/2 oz.
Drop Shot Rig
The drop-shot rig is a finesse technique that has been made popular by the walleye fishing anglers as well are now using the drop shot with many successes.
The bottom bouncer is an effective rigging tool while trolling or drifting presenting the lure/bait rig above snag laced bottom of small rocks, logs, over mud/sand flats, or open basins. A weighted wire feeler arm minimizes hang-ups while riding upright across underwater structure deflecting snags.
Bead Chain / Trolling
Great for trolling lighter lures without having to use lead core line or down-riggers.
Similar to the walking sinker but comes in heavier weights 1 oz. – 6 oz. Squared edge design helps you keep your bait where you want it.
As the name implies it is shaped like a Bullet used on Texas rigs in front of the worm, lizards or on Carolina rigs, with it’s pointed nose it slides easily through the weeds or wood without getting snagged. Weight Sizes 1/8 oz to 1 oz.
The Carolina rig is a popular and effective way to rig for bass. Just about any soft plastic can be used when Carolina rigging.
All around general sinker used on many rigs, the top loop makes it easy to tie on or let the weight slide up and down the line. Weight Sizes 1/8 oz. to 1 oz.
Three Way Rig
The three-way rig receives its name from the main swivel used on the rig. It is also recognized as the wolf river rig.
Used in fast water currents lays flat on the bottom where snags are a problem. Weight Sizes 1/2 oz. to 4 oz.
The egg sinker is used on multiple rigs, as a sliding sinker or pegged to function as a stationary weight. Weight Sizes 1/8 oz. to 1 oz.
Also known as a No Roll this flat sliding sinker planes right to the bottom and hold for use in heavy current. Weight Sizes 1 oz. to 8 oz.
Great sinker for fishing swift rivers and heavy surf that have a soft bottom (mud and sand) the corners dig in keeping the weight stationary. Weight Sizes 1 oz. to 8 oz.
A very popular walleye angler sinker. A rectangular sinker with rounded outside edges a top eye for the line with the bottom slightly wider and larger in size than top, holding more weight. The bottom is also rounded and bent upwards. This allows the sinker to “walk” on the bottom over rocks and rubble reducing the chance of snagging. The semi-flat design also prevents it from rolling in faster currents. Weight Sizes 1/8 oz. to 1 1/2 oz.
Sliding Sinker Bottom Rig
The sliding sinker bottom rig is the most popular and versatile rig for live bait fishing. Depending on where you are from and the species of fish you’re targeting this rig it has many names the most common is the trade name Lindy Rig.
Nothing is better than catching fish all day on the lake and then thinking of how to prepare your fresh caught fish for the evening meal, once back at camp.
You’re in for a yummy treat with this fish
dish for sure!
4 pcs. 6/8 oz. portions fresh walleye (or pike) fillets (about 2#)
1/4 cup melted butter
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. chopped parsely
1/4 t. dill, rosemary or marjoram, crumbled
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. coarsely ground pepper
Directions first be sure to remove bones.
Line broiled pan with foil and place the fillets on the rack. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Combine remaining ingredients and use to baste the fish. Place the broiler pan 4 inches from heat and broil, allowing 10 minutes cooking time per inch of thickness. Do not turn the fish. Baste several times during cooking. Makes 4 servings.
“No angler merely watches nature in a passive way.
He enters into its very existence.”
She sits tall with her head held high as her soft brown eyes span the width of the beach and sparkling blue lake beyond the dock. This is her spot where she stands guard by the corner of the lodge watching anything and everything that moves in any direction. Her ears suddenly perk up as she hears the high pitched laughing sounds of the kids and she turns her head in the direction of the main house and where the noise is coming from.
Always and forever in love with children the sound of their voices was as intoxicating to her as the fresh, clean air of northwestern Ontario is to visiting tourists. It made her heart pump happily as she slowly begins to stand and with her front feet out in front she has herself a long, satisfying stretch. Awe, it’s good to live here she thinks to herself I would never want to be anywhere else.
Soon the kids; Riley, Taylor and Jessie come bounding up the walkway to the lodge as Dakota eagerly waits for each of them to give her the usual morning hug around her neck and a pat on her head. Oh life is so good and these kids are so loving and kind to her. She knew it was their breakfast time and afterwards they’d be out throwing a ball for her and playing chase, and maybe even a little tidbit. She laid back down watching the door close behind them and waited in anticipation for the kids to return.
Dakota is a 75 lb., pure bred, female yellow lab, born in Sioux City, South Dakota, hence the name Dakota. She could’ve been called Sue but her master would have none of that. So Dakota it was and besides she liked that name……sometimes. She was one from a litter of six and she was the only female. Too boot all her brothers were very BIG and very black – quite obviously a contrast from her golden blonde color. Her mom was a black lab and her dad was brown, so what the heck happened with her? All in all though Dakota was a beautiful girl with a HUGE heart and the best temperament that a labrador retriever could ever have. Absolutely the best!
Life for Dakota meant growing up in northern Ontario at a fishing/hunting lodge with a family. There was Tami & Terry who built the lodge and then there was their three fun-filled, energetic grandchildren who were just the perfect companions for Dakota. During long, lazy days in the summer Dakota and the kids would go swimming.
Tami, along with Riley (the eldest granddaughter of the children) taught Dakota to save the people especially children from drowning. If the kids started splashing and yelling loudly, Dakota jumped into the lake and swam out to where the noise was coming from and the kids in turn were to grab her by the neck or tail and she would swim back to shore as they held on. Dakota felt so proud and knew this was a very important job and she took it very seriously too. She always sat on alert and watched over the kids. Nothing would ever happen to them as long as she was around, she thought.
Retrieving was one of her most favorite things to do in the world because that’s what labs to best…..retrieve. Riley would make her wait up by the lodge (250 ft from the lakeshore) and then start running down the hill towards the lake while she held a stick and shook it in the air for Dakota to see, all the while daunting her. Dakota would shiver in great anticipation and in a low, stern voice Riley would command; ‘stay, stay’. As Riley got closer to the lake she held the stick higher and then yelled back to Dakota; ‘Go get it girl’. No sooner had those words come out of Riley’s mouth, Dakota was racing as fast as she could down the hill, her eyes never left the stick and as Riley threw it high in the air over the lake Dakota’s goal was to reach the stick before it hit the water. Didn’t always work that way, but, it was so much fun trying. They would do this over and over until Tami had to remind Riley to quit otherwise Dakota would keep running for the stick in the water until her heart gave out. Dakota never minded though…..but the kids knew grandma meant business and knew it was time to stop.
One day the young family moved away and the kid’s voices were no more. Dakota sat by the corner of the lodge and waited but they never returned…….not for a very long time. She didn’t understand that they had other things to do and the lodge wasn’t where they could be while they went to school. Humph! Dakota groaned as she layed her head on her outstretched front legs……humph and then a sigh!
Every once in a while the kids would come back for a visit and play just like they did before and these were very happy times for her, but, they never stayed long and this saddened Dakota because she really missed their hugs, gentle patting, playing, swimming and retrieving – her days became longer and longer as time went on. Guests of the lodge would come and go and many were very nice to her, but, to Dakota it just wasn’t the same. She just missed the kids.
It was during a hot spell at the end of June in 2010 that Tami brought home a little dog, at least that’s what Dakota thought it was. Wow, was that thing ever small, smaller that Dakota’s entire head. Where’s the fun going to be with that one she thought. Lexi is a female Shih Tzu and at first glance at Dakota backed up nervously. Then ever so slowly she moved forward and then backed up again. Not sure what to make of this little thing Dakota laid down and continued looking a Lexi. Soon Lexi sensed that Dakota was not a threat and approached her face and began sniffing and tail wagging. Curiosity got the better of both of them and with a sniff here and a sniff there they soon realized they were both dogs. Phew, good they thought! Dakota thought that Lexi was definitely not going to be as fun as the kids and even though she’s real cute and all she’s just way, way too bothersome. Go away you pesky little dog, she says to herself!
Dakota’s owners (Tami & Terry) closed up the lodge each fall and travelled down south for a well earned winter break. Dakota went everywhere from the east coast to the west with them and met many new people from so many different places. The road would bounce underneath the coach as they went from one city to another and one state to another. I’d rather be at the lodge she thought as she laid her head back down on the floor of the motorhome to daydream of wonderful summer days. So much more to see from my perch back home.
As time went on Dakota was getting older and began to slow down a little more with each passing day. Papa would have to help her in the vehicle as she wasn’t strong enough to get in to it on her own any longer as her back legs would fail her. Lexi would bounce around in front of the door making it even harder for her to get in, boy that young pup is annoying Dakota thought. Can’t you see I’m having a hard time here as she glared at Lexi? Those young-un’s…..so much energy and no brains, ugh!
This spring we finally returned home from travelling and Dakota was so happy to be back again but as she jumped out of the truck she winced as her achy bones cringed under her weight. Oh, this is my most favorite place in the whole wide world she thought ignoring the pain that shot through her legs. I’ve been to a lot of places but nothing compares to being here – at home – where I belong as she once again took in a long sniff of that familiar air.
Dakota sat at the corner of the lodge one warm day and the heat from the sun penetrated her coat, oh this is such a welcome feel she thought as the warmth soothed her achy muscles. As she laid her head down on her front paws the wind was just right and kept the bugs from landing on her – she closed her eyes and just before she drifted off to sleep she thought……I have been loved and cared for all my life, I have never wanted for anything, my masters took very good care of me, never left me alone and saw to my every need. I am one lucky dog ……. her ears perked slightly as she thought she heard the faint sound of the kids laughing voices and as the end of her tailed happily wagged at that beautiful sound, Dakota took her very last breath.
Dedicated to the best friend we could’ve ever had:
May you rest in peace dear girl and thank you for the joy you brought into our lives and know that you will be
sadly missed by all of us at Wawang Lake – your home, your friends & your family!
July 24, 2013