Monday, May 24, 2010

Get the Lead Out! Stock your tackle box with Non-Toxic Lead-Free Jigs and Splitshot

Lead is a toxic metal that, in sufficient quantities, has adverse effects on the nervous and reproductive systems of mammals and birds. Found in most fishing jigs and sinkers, this metal is poisoning wildlife such as loons and eagles.

But there is hope. There are alternatives to traditional lead tackle. Anglers can now use sinkers and jigs made from non-poisonous materials such as tin, bismuth, steel, and tungsten-nickel alloy — and they can find them at established sporting goods retailers and on the Internet.

Non-lead fishing tackle is not a novelty product. Ask for it at retailers and shops.  Here at Piragis Northwoods Company years ago we made a commitment to stock lead-free jigs and splitshot exclusively.  We want to protect our beautiful Loons and Eagles!

Hook, line and sinker:
When lead fishing sinkers are lost through broken line or other means, birds can inadvertently eat them. Water birds like loons and swans often swallow lead when they scoop up pebbles from the bottom of a lake or river to help grind their food. Eagles ingest lead by eating fish which have themselves swallowed sinkers.

The dangers of lead poisoning:
A bird with lead poisoning will have physical and behavioral changes, including loss of balance, gasping, tremors, and impaired ability to fly. The weakened bird is more vulnerable to predators, or it may have trouble feeding, mating, nesting, and caring for its young. It becomes emaciated and often dies within two to three weeks after eating the lead.

Check out this document:

and discover more ways you can help on the water at

Friday, May 21, 2010

Product of the Week: The ORIGINAL BUGSHIRT ELITE

You can't beat it with a stick (a big stick as you can see later -- scroll down).  This Bug Shirt keeps the nastys away and it is bug season.  With our recent heat wave up in Ely, it won't be long until the wee ones are out in force.  Protect yourself with one of these!
Below are some testimonials and a link to some crazy, incredible pictures of the bug shirt in action in a way it was never intended to be used (but actually became a life-saver).  I'll just post a link to these pictures, because they are graphic in nature and not for the squeamish.  Read the story first and you'll see what I mean.  OVER THE YEARS WE HAD SOME GREAT PRODUCTS BECOME BEST SELLERS FOR THE BOUNDARY WATERS CATALOG.  THE ORIGINAL BUG SHIRT CAN MAKE OR BREAK A TRIP!

"Yes, the hooded bug shirts you see in canoeing magazines, with their fine mesh face masks, will make you look like an astronaut from a '50s sci-fi flick. So what? You'll be catching small mouths while your companions run screaming into the boonies."
Keith McCafferty, Field and Stream, Page 74, July 2002

"Effective bugproof clothing can make living with insect hordes a lot more bearable. The Original Bug Shirt Company . . . manufactures the design I like best."
Jerome E. Robinson, Field and Stream, June 1996

"Anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors during the bug season - ...gardening, farming, hiking, yard cleaning and tree planting - will like it."
Harrowsmith, June 1992

"Tired of using chemicals to ward off hungry bands of insects?  Made for adults and kids, this shirt is constructed of a tightly woven fabric impenetrable to mosquitoes that's bridged with panels of a polyester no-see-um mesh for ventilation.  The mesh is designed to hang away from the body and be zipped away at the face.  I remember one long night in a malarial jungle in Laos when I would have traded anything for this shirt."
Kevin Vallely, Outpost, Annual 2006

" . . . reclaim your favorite bit of back country from the winged nemesis."
Backpacker - Gear, May 1992

" . . . this could be the answer to your prayers."
Outdoor Photographer, August 1994

OK here's the SCARY but TRUE story:

The pictures are a little graphic, so if you're squeamish, don't follow the link.

To Whom It May Concern: 

I thought that you may find this story and attached photos interesting. While on a fishing trip near Sault Saint Marie, Ontario, I had a very unfortunate run in with a pine tree. (Pictures enclosed)

On our return trip from a small brook trout lake, our off road vehicle collided with a dead pine tree lying along an old logging road.

The tip of the tree entered my body at my belly button and exited out the side. This was as much of a near death experience as it gets, considering I was over 2 hours from the nearest hospital

Upon impact my bug shirt was actually pulled off my back and followed the tree as it passed through my body. During my post op. conference with my doctors it was explained to me that the very serious risk of infection was basically eliminated due to my bug shirt preventing any of the tree from making contact with my insides.

I have been an outspoken fan of the bug shirt since my first purchase and I am quite certain that I now hold the proud distinction of being your #1 fan and most satisfied customer. It is very possible that your shirt saved my life.

I am recovering fine and am looking forward to replacing my shirt as soon as possible. As you can see from the photos my shirt survived the accident, but did not survive being cut off me.

Thank you for making such a quality garment.

Tom S. Crabill, President


The pictures are a little graphic, so if you're squeamish, don't follow the link.
link to pictures of accident:

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fire Ban Lifted in Boundary Waters

As of noon today, Friday, May 14, 2010, fire restrictions are lifted in the Superior National Forest. Campfires and charcoal grills are allowed at anytime of day. As always, in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, fires are allowed only within steel firegrates at designated campsites.

Becca Manlove
Information Assistant
Kawishiwi Ranger District

Friday, May 7, 2010

Atomic Hashbrowns Recipe

Creating Atomic Hash Browns
By Kerth T. Lundell

            I am a hash brown potato aficionado.  While living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I have also developed a taste for spicy foods that use New Mexico green chile.  Over the years, I have worked on creating a dish that combines these two loves.  I call it “Atomic Hash Browns” (full name:  “Kerth’s Infamous Atomic Hash Browns”).
            Each year, I travel to northern Minnesota to take a wilderness canoe trip with my nephew, Drew Brockett.  Drew is an outfitter for Piragis Northwoods Company, Ely, Minnesota.  Last year, while planning our trip, we decided to bring along ingredients that would allow us to cook up a few meals of Atomic Hash Browns in our campsites.  Up until now, this recipe has been top secret.  But, due to popular demand, the secret recipe for this amazing dish is about to be unleashed.  Following is a list of ingredients needed (for two servings), along with the necessary cooking steps.

            Ingredients:  One box of dehydrated hash brown potatoes (Betty Crocker 5.2 ounce box or equivalent), one medium-sized onion, two packets of Spam Singles (Spam now makes these, “light” or “regular,” in individual foil packets), one 4-ounce can of diced green chile  (Buy diced “green chile,” not jalapeno.  Go for “hot” if you can find it.  Put the green chile into a legal plastic container before the wilderness trip), salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes (like you shake onto pizza), and cooking oil.

            Cooking Steps:  1:  Dice the peeled onion and the Spam from the two foil packets. Saute these together in an oiled frypan.  Once these are browned, set them aside in a separate bowl.
            2:  Pour the dehydrated potatoes into the frypan and add one cup of water.  Heat the pan and allow the potatoes to soak up the liquid.
            3:  Now, drizzle some cooking oil over the potatoes and stir them so that they are lightly coated.  Season with salt and pepper.  Once the potatoes start to brown on the bottom (watch so they don’t burn), start flipping sections to let more browning occur.
            4:  At this point, mix in the onions and Spam you sauteed earlier, along with all the diced green chile.  Also, layer in more heat by adding more black pepper and some red pepper flakes.  The more red pepper flakes you add, the more zip you will get in the final dish.
            5:  Let the potatoes fry and occasionally flip sections over.  When they start to brown and crisp up, they have become Atomic Hash Browns and are ready to serve.  Plate the hash browns.  Enjoy this delicious dish while  listening to the loons and watching the sun set over a beautiful wilderness lake.  Mmmmmmmmm.  Life is good!

            Atomic Hash Browns at Home:  At home, I sometimes make this a hardy main dish by adding a few extra ingredients.  While sautéing the onions and Spam, I add some diced bell pepper for extra color and taste.  Toward the end of the cooking, right before the Atomic Hash Browns are ready, I sprinkle on grated cheddar cheese and allow this to melt down into the potatoes.  Then, when the hash browns are finally plated, I sometimes top each serving with a fried egg.  This dish has delighted many a house guest.