Thursday, August 17, 2017

Fly In Fishing

As a young lad growing up, I would walk or ride my bicycle to the local country store and look through the racks of outdoor magazines with amazement and wonder. Color pages of remote destinations. Sheep in Montana, Mule deer in Colorado, Northern pike in Canada. I have dreamed of accomplishing some of these adventures. 

Many seemed and still seem so far away - but hope lingers and pursuit continues. One never knows how a chance encounter can lead to the fulfillment of this dream or that one. A few months ago, one such chance encounter occurred in south Florida. This encounter led to a trip I just returned from with Kashabowie Outposts, in Atikokan, Ontario. 


Fly-in fishing and hunting is as wild as it can get for many. Float planes loaded with gear travel through and across remote wilderness and boreal forest to some hidden lake full of fish waiting for the occasional angler to cast a spoon or other lure into the water. Cast after cast, lines are tight and reels scream. 

Kashabowie Outposts helped me to fulfill this life long dream of fishing in remote places. Places where the silence echos across vast nothingness. A place where the reflection of the lake captures images of soaring eagles and the cry of the loon pierces the silence like a knife slicing through skin. Desperate cries from one loon to another. Each feeling more desperate than the previous. 

Four of us loaded our float plane and taxied across Eva Lake. The 1956 nine cylinder Beaver roared and strained to carry the load of four men who have not known to omit second and third helpings of dinner, along with all of our gear to use for five days in the remote Grew Lake. Gradually, we lift from the water and quickly climb to one thousand feet and move northeast for forty minutes to our destination. 

The horizon is dotted with a landscape of ancient lakes carved by extinct glaciers. Tea stained water fills the lakes and provides a haven for walleye, northern pike and beaver. Loons, a few gulls, and bald eagles visit for a few months before the cold sends them on their way. Gradually the roaring of the engine becomes mundane until I see the pilot adjusting knobs worn bare from fifty years of adjustments. Ahead is our destination, with the ease of a surgeon wielding a scalpel we touch down. Water sprays from the floats before we even felt contact. Drifting to the dock we moor and begin our journey into the wilderness. A warm cabin, fresh mattresses and boats with motor and gas awaits us. 


The week is filled with hours of fishing, telling tales, poker with match sticks and a few libations to top off the tales. None of us had ever caught walleye or northern pike. But before the first day was complete, all of us had scratched our name into the book of anglers who had accomplished the feat at Grew. 

Every day we ate walleye, fried or grilled (admittedly, the fried is far better) every day we caught fish, a lot of fish. Walleye and northern pike dominated the catches. If there are other fish in this lake they avoided us. The catches of walleye and pike together exceeded 250 fish for the five days. Most of us agree that the catch was greater but without solid proof, we are not willing to say. Suffice it to say that our goal of fifty fish a day were greatly exceeded. Walleye in the 23-25 inch that were common the first part of our week ran thin by the middle of the third day. the Fish got smaller and the pike became more plentiful. Twice we hooked trophy pike only to lose the fish before netting them. 


By weeks end we caught around 275 fish, made good friends and spent some time in the wilds of Canada. For more information on how you can also participate in this wonderful experience; contact Carol or Fern at www.kashabowieoutposts.com. 








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