Dave and Brandy
“John and Wendy,
I wanted to write to you and thank you for such a great time. This was my second trip to the Old Post with the group from Iowa and it could not have been a better experience. I really appreciate your letting me bring my Lab, Brandy, along. Both of us could not have been treated better. I am not sure which of us had the better time. Hopefully the next time we come Marley can teach Brandy her “dive for the rock” routine. That is remarkable. Labs are suppose to be able to dive to retrieve ducks, but I have only seen a few do it. Labs were bred to work in the water, sheperds are not.
In the “for what it is worth”category. Besides the good fishing, good guides and beautiful scenery, the major readon this is such a good experience is that you and your entire staff are such great hosts. You treat your customers more like friends who are guests in your home than “customers.” This includes the grief John piles on some of us. Anyone who cannot appreciate clearly well intended humor, isn’t going to enjoy the experience of a place like the Old Post.
The way I describe the Old Post to people who ask me about the trip first to discuss whole “Old Post” concept and the look and the layout of the camp. It just looks inviting and the history of the old post is intriguing.
I describe the fishing as catching walleye and northern with the frequency that one expects to catch bluegill on a farm pond in Indiana or Kentucky.
The shore lunch is worth the price of admission by itself. I think I anticipate that as much as I anticipate the fishing during the day.
All of the meals are out of sight.
These were the things I remembered from my first trip in 2004. This year was as good or better in all aspects.
Your current website is excellent. I don’t think websites necessarily “get business.” Your business, I am sure, is mostly referrals – other satisfied customers or repeat business. A comprehensive website allows people who have never been there to get a good ” feel” for the camp. It also provides answers to questions that even repeat customers might have. Your current website helped me make up my mind to spend the money to for myself and three boys to come up there in 2004.
As an aside, I have never forgotten that extra effort your staff mad so two of my boys could have an extra day of fishing and still make their flight home. My boys are busy rasing kids fo it will be a while before they make it back, but they still talk about the experience. For them coming back is a matter of when rather than if.
The WiFi access is also a big thing. While I have no problems “letting go” of work, it is just a good practical way to say in touch without tying up your phone line. Like many people not, I use E-mail as my primary way of communicating. Mostly I used it while I was there to stay in tough with my wife, but it also allowed me to deal with a couple of matter that, dealing with them then versus later simplified things.
Lastly, while all the food was great – I cleaned my plate and a few others – The apple crisp was praticularly good. Apple and Blackberry are my two favourite fruits for pies and cobbler. Is that a trade secret or could your send me the recipe?”
“Mike, I just wanted to say thank-you to you and the guys from Monsanto for the fishing adventure. The trip was very well planned and the facility was first class. The fishing was the best I have experienced in a long time. I do have a good idea on what was spent in time and money to put all of this together and it was a pleasure to be included.”
Doc – T. Cooper
“Hi Old Post
Thank you very much for the week I got to spend at your camp I had a great time… I hope all my patients made it ok… Jonathans foot I hope is dried up and looking good. Sending some pictures for you and again this was easily my best fishing trip ever.”
John, Wendy, Family & Staff
We had a fantastic time on our August 2008 trip. Lake St. Joseph is truly a unique fishery, a real gem. I have fished what many would consider some of the best waters in the Mid-Western United States and Northern Ontario, and absolutely nothing compares to the 90 mile long Walleye factory called Lake St. Joe. I have been fortunate enough to have fished here for over 10 years and have caught a good number of Northern Pike over 40″ as well. Some of these fish I would guess to be well over 20 pounds. I realize that the awesome fishing is no news flash to you. My point is this; I have seen time and time again many great fisheries completely destroyed because of poor management. In most cases they never return to what they once were. I would like to commend you and everyone involved in the conservation practices that have been enacted to ensure that the high quality of this natural fishery will remain intact for years to come. Thanks to all at The Old Post and Village for your excellence in customer service, wonderful meals, well equipped accomodations, world class fishing, and mostly memories to last a lifetime. We look with anticipation to returning in late summer of 2009.
Best wishes in the New Year.
Cross Plains, Wisconsin USA
John Waters Lakeside Grain & Feed Limited
The Old Post & Village
I visited The Old Post as Part of the Monsanto group in early August. Mike Verhoef had tried to prepare us for this week, but after being there, nothing he told us about could match the reality. The fishing was incredible, and Mike, our guide was the crowning touch, with shore lunches that he made appear effortless and a sound knowledge of the lake and where to go to catch fish.
Back on shore, John, Wendy, Liam, Katie and all the rest of the Old Post staff made this one of the most impressive outings I have had the good fortune to be part of.
When I saw the pictures that Mike Verhoef had fron the 2005 Old Post trip, I was sold. But no pictures can capture the natural beauty of Lake St. Joseph and the incredible fishing that this lake system has to offer. You can try fly fishing pike but until you get a 40″ plus Northern chasing a home-tied fly – you havne’t really experienced what pike fishing is all about. We got to sample all the types of weather conditions that Northern Ontario has to offer: hot sun, freezing cold rain, wind and storms and we fished them all. And regardless of the weather, we never left the lake disappointed. An average of 25 pike per day was the norm.
The walleye fishing was just as fun and once we figured out the patteren-of-the-day, they proved just as productive as the Northerns. Clouser minnows and even stoneflies worked to reel them in. It actually proved a challenge to catch walleye small enough (with a lake limit under 18″) to be able to keep for shore lunch, since it seemed only the bigger ones went after the patterns we had to offer.
The Old Post epitomises what a fishing camp should be all about. The host and owner, John Grace, puts the customer first in all aspects. His staff are professional, courteous and knowledgeable. The accommodations, the facilities, boats, guides and food are all first rate. What other fishing camps have meals provided by trained chefs (including the shore lunches!)? Mr. Grace has respectfully restored and maintained the historical buildings and surroundings at the site to add to the rustic charm. The trip was originally supposed to be a once in a lifetime experience, but now I’m planning to make it an annual event!
See you Next Year,
James K. Bartleman
The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
It was such a pleasure to stay with you and your family at The Old Post and Village during my time visiting Lake St. Joseph. I appreciate you and your families hospitality during my recent visit.
It was a wonderful trip and I thank you for extending such a warm welcome and for making our time together so enjoyable.
Sioux Falls, SD
Jon, Mike, and Staff,
I had a great time at the Old Post! I just wanted to extend my thanks to our guide and guitarist Mike and the staff for creating a fun atmosphere for us, including our out of control and less than talented jam sessions in the bar!
I was with Todd Strohkirch and we both plan on returning sometime next year. Over the next few months we will organize and get back to you regarding deposits, dates, and a head count.
Have a great remaining season!
I just returned from a five day stay at the Old Post with Jack Likens and his group.
From the fantastic fishing to the execellent service and very clean cabins you have a top notch lodge wich is five star.Also I loved the history of the Old Post and reading about the lives and cluture of the Ojibwa people very interesting.
Wow, what great fishing Jack and I caught around 100 walleyes each day and had doubles on many times, thats a fishermans paradise for walleyes. I didn’t fish the big pike as Jack isn’t a Pike fisherman but I know you have great pike fishing.
I’m a full time guide on Leech Lake in Walker and I have fished The Red Lake area and Ear Falls and Guided for our Govenor’s opener on Rainy Lake, I’ve fished in Canada for over thirity I would highly reccomend the Old Post for a trip.
It’s a big plus to be able to drive to Lake St. Joe and fish out of your own boat especially when Jack runs over thirty miles to fish each day.Your son’s are very polite and work hard I enjoyed meeting them it reminded me of my two Son’s and thought how fun it would of been if they came with. Maybe someday.Funny thing happened the last day of the trip your dog would visit us at the cabin and we would give her treats, she’s a polite begger, but the last day when we came in by the beach she came running at me and jumping I thought she was going to bite me but I think she knew we were heading home and that was her way of saying goodbye so I pet her. I have two dogs also so she just knew I liked dogs. I got a good chuckle out of that.
I’m on the Pro Staff for a fishing site www.lakestatefishing.com I’ll be posting a report in the open water forum for our members to read I hope it gets you some business
Thank you for a great trip, take care
We had a great time at the Old Post, and you and your staff were terrific hosts. I was traveling with a group of novice anglers, and even though we had limited experience, we all caught some great fish…both in quantity and quality. It was a great place to entertain, relax, and catch a lot of fish. We all had a great time.
All the best in the future,
Wendy and John,
Arrived home safely at 12:20 pm our time. Left your envelope with an employee of the airport and tell Kristen her package was also delivered to the airport.
I want to thank you both for making our stay at the Old Post so enjoyable. Your staff is the best and sure added to our positive experience.
The chef prepared wonderful meals and we were well served .
The boats were comfortable and clean and efficiently launched and beached by the boat crew. Our guide Neil was enthusiastic and got results as noted by the number of fish we caught. My best pike was 40 inches which is a good pike in any lake.
I have now been to the Old Post three times and I think it is better every time. You and Wendy are the reason everything goes smoothly from Goderich by plane, to the van in Pickle Lake, to the boat ride to camp. I hope I am able to visit the Old Post many more times. You may have to lift me into the damn boat.
I wish you both great success in the future in all your ventures.
You can be very proud of your boys. They have been raised well.
THANKS AGAIN FOR EVERYTHING.
Hope to see you this winter in Goderich.
Just a quick note to let you know we had a great time at the Old Post.
The fishing was fantastic,The cabins were warm and comfortable, and the meals delicious. The boys
- 9 and 11 – will never forget this trip, or the fact that they caught
so many big fish, most of which went back in the water. I just love the
I really need to say something about Jonathon. He is a fine young man
in so many ways. He was an excellent guide and shoreline cook, and he
also took great pains to make sure our trip was safe and comfortable.
Tommy, the 9 year-old, thought he was just about the coolest man on the
planet. Tommy loves to fish, and Jonathon took great care to help him
fine tune his methods. It was a joy to watch. Besides fishing, he’s
world-traveled, thoughtful and articulate regarding many issues, and in
all ways a great guy to sit with in a boat all day. We talked about
music, travel, and politics, to name just a few of our topics. You’ve
raised a good one, John.
Finally, Liam and Liz: fine young adults who bent backwards to make
sure our trip was enjoyable. I never felt for a minute that they were
just going through the motions before leaving for the winter. It’s
obvious that they love the Old Post and their jobs.
So, in all ways, a huge success. We will be back, and my hope is that
next time Jake will be with me. He hasn’t, in any way, forgotten his
times there (especially the 23 inch walleye or the big northern) and he
sends his greetings. I work at a resort in the summer so getting time
off in June through August is tough, but we’re talking about the week
right after Labor Day. I’ll firm up dates with you in February/March.
Again, thank you, and please pass on my greetings to Jonathon. I look
forward to our next trip. You do it the right way up there!
After bragging about our fishing trip for 2 days, I must tell you what a class show you run.
I wish that all who fish could have the experience we had.