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Found 8 results

  1. IMG_20210921_134451.jpg
    Coming at this from a somewhat western point of view as we travelled from SK to get to this Mecca of trout and salmon. I got a late start on our first day so only made it as far as Winnipeg. The next day we woke to clouds and rain and it chased us all the way into Ontario ,so much for high fire ratings. We checked into the Northland motel a nice but little independent motel on the south side of the TransCanada as you come into town from the west. Due to a late arrival I had to wait for Canada's smallest Canadian Tire store to open in the morning to get my fishing license renewed. I made a new friend of the stores very affectionate black lab. license in pocket it was time to hit the road for the Alexander dam. I followed a local hauling his boat in the same direction which made it a lot easier to find the ramp down to the river, not that we could have missed it. I Off loaded the peddle drive kayak and made my way upstream against a moderate current, but was able to make decent headway without having to break out the kayak paddle. Low water conditions allowed me to park the boat on a rock bar and fish the channel formed between it and the western shore of the river. As I paddled upstream, I had seen salmon rolling on the surface so the adrenalin was already kicking in before I even had a line ready to cast. The morning was dark with low clouds threatening to rain with a stiff north wind coming right down the river. With limited tackle on hand, I went with the old adage dark day dark lure and put on a small Brass spoon. I started laying out quartering casts down and across the rapid that laid out into a fast slick with a short wing dam of rocks coming off the west bank, out towards the bar I was on. The East end of the bar was occupied by Kyle a local fellow I got some help with later on in the morning. As I was casting, I noticed him hook up to a fish and couldn't help being nosy so ran over to see if I could give a hand. He had it well under control as he already a the decent Pink salmon in the net and was releasing it as I arrived. He shared some suggestions on lures and techniques. After returning to my spot I made another cast across and down and was rewarded with a solid strike. With Chinooks, Coho, Pinks, Steel head and Brook trout all in the river, I had no Idea what to expect. The fish wasn't large but in the current he felt a lot bigger then he actually was, when I was able to beach a decent sized Pink Salmon in a shallow pool on the west end of the bar. I'd broke the skunk so the pressure was off. I started to switch up lures and fell back to an old standard but likely wouldn't have thought of it if it hadn't been one that Kyle had also suggested when I talked to him earlier, a blue back 4 inch Rapala. It made perfect sense in hind sight, with the number of smelt in the river and lake making up part of the natural forage base, it probably should have been my first choice. I moved upstream to the head of the rapid and cast across stream to the shore. I cranked it down to get the current to catch the lure and it just started to cut into the main current when it was stopped dead. The first solid thump left no doubt that this was no little pink salmon, and in a split second this fish had me back tracking down river on the rock bar. When I got to the bottom of it and had no further bar to run on all I could do was keep the pressure on, and hope to get the fish through the main current seam of the river and into the slack water on the downstream side of the bar. At one brief pass and I got a glimpse of white barred fins and I could have melted on the spot this was a fish I had dreamed just seeing once in my life time. But here I was No guide, on a DIY trip, with a truly world class Brook Trout on a lightweight spinning rod in full spawning colours. A quick call out to Kyle and he was good enough to come over and help get the fish as gently to shore as it would allow. After a few very quick photos it was released to make more memories for some other lucky fisher I hope. I was too pumped to get right back to the casting. Kyle was willing to share more of his expertise so I asked how his morning had been(since I hadn't got to the river before 10 am). He quickly pulled out a couple of Chinooks, and a Coho that he had caught as well as the Pinks I had seen him catch. I had to admit he had his technique down pat. Which was using a swim jig with a leach like rubber trailer. As the morning broke towards midday the pinks were still rolling but less inclined to strike. With hunger building, I headed back down stream to the boat launch. We loaded up and headed into Nipigon for Lunch at the Northern Grill Restaurant just west of the Petro-Pass card lock gas station. We had a great lunch and decided to take in some of the fall colours checking the streams and rivers out to the east. We stopped at the Granite and Little Granite Rivers along with a couple of others on our way to Schrieber, and ended up walking the board walks into rainbow falls. A small but highly scenic little waterfall inside Rainbow falls Provincial Park. We saw fish in a few of the smaller streams but not enough to make the trip back down again the next day. On arrival back at the motel I set about trying to arrange a very last minute charter out on The big Lake Gitchi-Gumee. I'm slowly checking all the great lakes off my bucket list, and a trip for lake trout and possibly a salmon would leave me with just lake Lake Erie to finish them all off. A call to Archie's Charters got me a quick return call, but he was sorry to say he was already booked. It didn't surprise me, I should have had this locked down before we left Saskatchewan. But with Covid playing havoc with everything I just didn't want to book something and have to cancel because of regulations changing every day it seems. Archie however had a fall back for me in Ian Parker, who fills in for Archie with his fully rigged Kingfisher. So a quick call to Ian and the charter was set for 9am the next day to meet at the Silver Islet harbour. We woke to dead still air and heavy fog. The drive out to the harbour is along your standard twisty, turny, hilly, blind curvy road in the dark and fog did I mention the fog! as we approached the hamlet of Silver Islet the fog had lifted and we were greeted with and absolutely remarkable sight the waters of Lake superior were glass calm with seagulls and eagles overhead you couldn't have painted it any prettier. A very short trip out of the harbour and Ian was setting lures and downriggers to depth and low and behold I'd like to say we had some great conversation as we waited for the fish to become co-operative but there was no time in the 4 hour charter we had one quad header , two double headers, and I think 4 singles forgive me on that one I lost count after the quad header. Talk about a fire drill! For value for money I don't think I'll be able to beat this charter. Ian was good enough to share his techniques and opinions on suspended fish that I can't wait to try if we ever get the chance to head back down to ND or Montana to fish their big lakes for Laker's and salmon. We consistently took Laker's in 20 -40 Feet of water over a 100 to 150 foot bottom I have to wonder now how many late season fish I have been fishing underneath of. The day ended with three nice 5lb Laker's and a small un-releasable chinook in the box. Ian had the fish cleaned on the trip back to the landing with the cleanings being quickly and skilfully picked off by Eagles and gulls. We finished our trip off with a stop overnight in Thunder Bay. Entertainment provided by a live performance of a play written by a local to the area woman about the stresses of the COVID situation on three women a comedic ,dramatic, musical with a bluegrass theme. Wow what a pack of talent that town has! I couldn't put the rods away just yet, so I did a walk along Mc Vicars creek and found some more pink salmon to play with. I landed 2 on a small beadhead fly I made up to look like a dragon fly nymph in chartreuse seemed to do the trick. I'm not sure why Pinks have such a poor reputation I had a blast catching them. With a quick stop at Kekabeca Falls and then a long stop on HWY 17 because of a fatal car accident that blocked the road for 12 hours we made it back to the flatlands of Sk Until next time enjoy your day and your waters Ontario Fishers.
  2. 81968095_photo(43).JPG
    Lots of trout caught at the ontariofamilyfishing event held at Wilmer Trout Ponds in Durham, Ontario.-313706 Hwy #6. Great spot to bring the kids.
  3. Custom built fiberglass rod. Built on a Japanese made E-Glass blank, 7'5" 4/5 weight. Burl reel seat, Ritz grip, Snake Brand guides. Blank colour is a light olive, similar to the Orvis Golden Eagle colour. Very nice casting rod, enjoyable softer feel than graphite. Can handle a 4WT line for lighter presentations, but will also handle a 5WT line for small streamers. Shorter length is a bit nicer for tighter streams, would make a great brook trout rod. Would like to get $350, but feel free to make an offer. Includes a rod sock to keep it pretty.
  4. For anyone who liked my backlake fishing reports in the past here, I have a YouTube channel for documenting our adventures now. Our first serious video was uploaded today (our first upload was just a quick trial run). We fish 3 lakes in one day, catching brook trout, lake trout, smallies, and pike and enjoy a killer shore lunch breakfast. We're not professionals but we're both happy with the outcome, hopefully some of you will enjoy!
  5. Do you have a "go to" productive Speck fly that has proven itself over the years/decades? Care to share? Mine is a fly I invented/refined after a mix of experiences that led me to create this pattern. I call it the "ScuCraLee". It is a somewhat complex fly to tie but worth the effort if you are focused on big Specks. It can be fished to simulate either a sculpin, crayfish, or leech. See my video if you want to give it a try. https://youtu.be/1YHJMSVtFX8
  6. I am interested in fishing in the Lower Oxtongue River between Lake of Bays and Ragged Falls. Can anyone tell me what they go for in there? I am thinking there may be Brookies, Pike, Smallies, .... ?. Thanks.
  7. I'm prepping for my annual trip into the park for trout opener and want to expand my brookie flies inventory. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  8. The boys and I just got back from 4 days and 3 nights in Algonquin Park and here are the details: We were never too concerned about ice out but the park setting an interior "open date" of May 9th, corresponding with the exact start of our trip, was a bit ominous. We contemplated backup plans, but work had been booked off across the board, and we had our minds set on Algonquin. Thankfully the ice melted and the park opened in time. We got our wish and the weeks (months...?) of planning did not go for naught. We picked our dates to correspond with with three things - ice out, brook trout fishing, and the park being void of biting bugs. Maybe it is the "city boy" in me, but going into the park at the height of black fly or mosquito season (or both) is simply not as palatable as it used to be. The park is so much more enjoyable when you're not constantly swatting the air and when you don't have to be in the tent by sundown. After a 3am departure from Richmond Hill and many hours of driving, we picked up our rental canoe from a local outfitter amidst lighting and rain. The forecast called for bad weather all day, but the outfitter assured us that the storm would soon blow over and we'd be in the clear. I told him I'd hold him to that promise, and we were on our way. He also gave us some fishing tips, which I'll get to later. After picking up our permits and another hour or so of driving, we arrived at our access point, to realize that the storm had indeed cleared. The outfitter was right, and the Weather Network was wrong! We let out a collective cheer, loaded up the canoe, and began our journey. After 3 hours of paddling against the wind and portaging uphill, we reached our home for the next 3 nights. We set up camp and prepared for a relaxing evening. However, as it goes, things are never without their hiccups! Through unloading our gear, there was accidental discharge of our bairspray which got on our water jug...then our hands, and then our faces. This rendered two us incapacitated while we dunked our heads in the icy cold lake until the stinging subsided. It was a good confidence boost that the bear spray may actually work if we ever needed to use it, but I'm not sure it was worth the price we had to pay! We took a nap, fished for a few hours with no luck, and then hit the sack after a dinner of ribeye steak, and a few adult beverages, and some cigars. We turned out the lanterns with eager anticipation for the day of fishing that awaited us. We awoke the next morning to sunny skies but a very windy lake. We fished for around 5 hours with not even a bite. We started to contemplate what we were doing wrong or if the fish were simply " turned off." All the doubt that comes with a skunking flooded our minds - are we fishing too shallow? Too deep? Too fast? Too slow? Too big? Too small? Did we bring the wrong colours? Did we get the dreaded sunscreen on our gear? When was the last time this lake was stocked anyways? Should we stick to bass fishing...? We had it on good authority that this lake was full of big trout. Our friend the outfitter, who also appeared to be a weather oracle, had told us the next lake over, while holding smaller fish, was a sure thing. We decided that tomorrow we'd go there and see if he could go 2/2 on his predictions. The next morning we enjoyed a breakfast of pancakes and coffee... ...which was promptly ruined when we noticed a group of 6 canoes, fishing rods in sight, entering our lake, and heading for the same portage as us. You see, this portage they were about to do (as were we) was relatively short, but the next one over was extremely lengthy. We were pretty sure they were not going for that loop, considering the distance they'd already traveled, but more likely the same destination as us. It was a really small lake and we didn't want to be crowded or for them to get a head start on the fish! Nonetheless, we loaded the canoe and headed over to the next lake. Much to our surprise, they had gone for the next portage over after all, and the lake was empty! We had the water and the fish all to ourselves. We started off slow and started to question weather the outfitter's second prediction would hold true. The doubts once again started to creep into our minds. Although no one said a thing, we each knew what the others were thinking. We didn't give up, and we started on a pattern of vertical jigging spoons tipped with pink trout worms near wood structure. Eureka! That did the trick and we were on the fish! The outfitter had been right again and was quickly gaining legend status in our books. I wish I had what happened next on camera. After getting our first fish on the stringer for dinner later that night, we noticed a large gull land on the lake. It slowly swam closer and closer. We kept an eye on it as we knew exactly what it was thinking. After fishing for a while longer, our gull watch became complacent, and all of a sudden the big bird was circling 20 feet above the canoe. No big deal we said, we'll just pull the stringer into the boat. Except the trout had come off the stringer and was now floating on the surface. We tried to paddle over to net the fish but we had the anchor down and couldn't get closer. The gull was circling lower and lower. One of the guys tried to splash the bird with the paddle while we pulled the anchor up. The anchor was down ahead of the canoe, so pulling it up actually brought us further from the fish and the bird. As we got further away, the bird found the courage to swoop down. We expected it to try and fly off with the fish, and maybe even struggle to carry the fish and drop it. The bird came down, grabbed the fish with its beak, flipped it in the air, and swallowed the 12 inch brookie whole. Our jaws dropped and we were silent in the collective acceptance that the gull had bestest us. We continued to fish down the lake and our pattern held true. Although there were no trophies, we caught 18 fish, lost another 6 or so, and saw many more. The wish were between 10-14 inches long and the bite was very light. We were catching them in 10-15 feet of water, close to shore. The water temp was 12-15 degrees. We kept a few for dinner that night and enjoyed them with fried onions and pancetta (Italian bacon), and some cheddar and broccoli rice. That evening we relished the sweet feeling of victory. We savoured our fish dinner, finished the last of our alcoholic provisions, smoked some more cigars, stayed up later under the stars, and declared the trip a resounding success. Any doubts we had about our fishing prowess were forgotten (well until the next future skunking anyways...) The next morning we packed up camp and were lucky enough to paddle out of the park under blue skies and with zero wind. Through the paddle we recounted the stories of the trip - the bear spray incident, the thieving gull, the fishing successes, and all of the other inside jokes that friends share. Algonquin Park is a magical place and it went unsaid that we would be back next year once again. Thanks for reading, Alex
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