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Ramble

Kesagami Report for 2007

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Well everyone here is the longest report EVER!!!! It has taken countless hours to write this thing, and it’s been quite enjoyable…I think my g/f might be more happy it’s finished then I am.

 

 

 

The last two summers I have guided up at Kesagami Wilderness Lodge. Well the 1st summer you aren’t technically a guide….You’re a “boat captain” that means you’re out on the water with guests most days but you get paid less. I won’t bother covering my 1st season even though I had loads of fun and saw lots of fish and stuff like…

 

This

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This

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Be thankful it’s only a 2 month season! I’m going to start at the beginning of the year and run straight on through to the end. Not everything will be in exact order but it should be close.

 

Here we go.

 

I took about a week to pack and organize all the rubber-maid containers with all my “stuff” I was going to be taking for the season. Then on May 19th we left home for Gravenhurst which is where I catch the Northlander (Train) to Cochrane. On the way to Gravenhurst our van blew a tie rod in Brechin, on a Sunday. *sigh* Thankfully I have a cousin in Bracebridge who came and rescued us. We had dinner at their place and then headed over to our hotel for the evening. Next morning I took all my “stuff” and hopped on the Northlander.

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If you haven’t taken the Northlander any great distance I highly recommend it. Anyway that evening we arrive in Cochrane. Charlie the manager met us their and we all did the “meet-and-great” thing before making our way over to the Cochrane Air Base bunkhouse for the evening. Once their, the sub I had for dinner from subway wasn’t sitting right, so I spent the evening barfing under the gorgeous Northern stars. If any of you, ever have the pleasure of staying in that crap-shack of a bunk house check the telephone pole closest to the back door for one of my kidneys. I’m pretty sure I barfed it up and I’d like it back.

 

Anyway that morning I was back in action and loading planes. I was on the second plane in to camp. The yellow Cessna…I forget the model. We saw 2 moose and 3 bears.

 

About halfway to the camp the signs of logging end. Dave1309.jpg

 

And then you are left with uninterrupted bush…just the way I like it.

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Next up is the lodge.

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As soon as you are on the ground again the work begins. The ice had been particularly rough on the dock that spring and Andre (who can repair ANYTHING and I do mean ANYTHING) and Kyle were in charge of “straightening” out that situation. Andre pulled it off with a spruce pole and a scrape piece of 2x4.

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Did I mention they had snow the night before we showed up? Here is what’s left of the 3 inches on the afternoon of the May 21st.

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A few days later and camp is ready for guests. They don’t arrive for another couple of days. So we take the new guys out to mark rocks and show them the lake. I took out Dick and gave him the tour.

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We got back to the dock right around sunset.

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The next day we did some wood hauling and splitting in the morning then Staff Fishing Day all afternoon. (One of the best days of the whole year)

 

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When we are done shore lunch, (and goofing off) we race back to camp. Unless you are in my boat…we troll. I feel that we are the real winners.

 

 

 

The conditions were really rough when we first came in. The lake level was really low for the beginning of June. Usually the lake will drop about 3 feet between May long weekend and the end of July when we leave, but it was at mid-July level when we arrived. It had us a bit worried. The old reed beds in the shallows are usually stacked with big northerns early in the season, but with the water being low, they weren’t acting like they “usually” do. That’s not to say we weren’t still picking them up, but it was disappointing at times. It took about 2 days before one of the other older guides and myself caught on that the pike were hanging along the deep drop-offs and not up shallow. So I switched my strategy and it began to pay off. Word got around camp pretty quick and the fishing took off.

 

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The next day the guests came in and the guiding began. My 1st party was with the same group I had taken out during my 1st week, the year before…and it was my birthday. The lady in the group caught 2, 38 inchers about 20 minutes apart and the guy footing the bill hooked a 42 inch pig a couple hours after that on a spinner. We also had a true monster over 45 inches, make 2 follows, but we never got a hook up. A couple days later we were back in that same spot, in Opimiskau bay. Despite my better judgment, we stayed longer then we should have and ended up getting caught in a thunderstorm which I had seen coming. We ended up having to beach the boat and wait for the worst of it to pass. The rain was really coming down.

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After the 1st week of guiding, the weather showed that summer wasn’t coming yet. Cold wet and rainy was about all you could hope for. We had fog most mornings, and planes weren’t coming in until late in the day. The wind was making it impossible for them to land on the main lake so we had to shuttle them to camp from the narrows. Not a good situation for the guests.

 

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The guiding was brutal! It’s really hard explaining to someone that the fish just aren’t biting if the person doesn’t understand fish. That being said, the steady stream of bad weather didn’t shut the fishing down entirely like a bad weather day at the end of a ncie spell would do. You just had to work for your trophy…really work. But we defiantly weren’t catching the number we usually see.

 

Here is a video of a cold front coming in off James Bay, which is about 64 miles away. When we say “the weather can change fast…we aren’t kidding.

 

 

And yes sometimes you get caught in it. This was taken by one of the other guides he actually navigated through the fog with a compass and a placemat map (literally) for 2 hours and came out right at the dock. That’s the kind of luck he has. The bay he is in is actually fairly protected.

 

 

I actually was guiding a fly-fisherman for 2 days during this garbage weather. He was good spirited for a trophy hunter in bad weather. He has held 12 World Records over the years for various species on the fly and I think he still holds one for grayling. He was at Kesagami attempting to catch the record Northern Pike. He held the record once, but was beaten out. He was after a 47” fish he figured…about 27 pounds. We had a couple big fish chase some flies but nothing as big as 47”. The biggest he landed with me was 37”. Still a great fish on a fly rod, but not a record book fish.

 

The next day with a different guide he caught a 43”er on the fly. The same day I stopped guiding him, I was booked with Lonnie King and his fishing buddy Greg. Both are great guys, and I had a blast. The weather was actually trying to get a bit nicer out thankfully!

Edited by Ramble On

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It was their 3rd day in camp and they had been out with better guides then me, without catching the magazine monster they were after. They had seen some action the day before in Small Bay and wanted to go back. So we went. We pounded the pencil reeds for a couple of hours with only a few fish caught and nothing over 35 inches. So we headed across to a little point to play around with some walleyes.

 

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They understood that it was the weather and there wasn’t much we could do to change that. So I suggested that we go over to a different bay that I have a lot of faith in. My plan of attack was too systematically pound the drop-off (a drop from 3-7 feet).The shallows have pencil reed beds, but I told them to work edge and drop-off and we’ll get to the reeds later.

 

The wind was just right so we could run a drift parallel to shore. We would drift down the run and troll back up. Lonnie wasn’t a big fan of my deep water approach at 1st but he was very open minded. He said “I used to guide and it would drive me nuts when the guests would ignore my advice, so I’ll give it a shot.” (Most intelligent thing anyone has ever said to me in my boat lol)

 

They were tossing spoons like the Williams whitefish and buzz/spinner baits. (All excellent choices usually) I mentioned that they should give an inline spinner like a blue fox a try for a while. They tossed one for a little bit, but confidence in any lure was low by this point. I used the push pole to keep us on a good drift and going slow when not casting my silver vibrex. As we drifted closer the drop off, we started picking up the odd fish. We had an excellent plan in action with Lonnie casting perpendicular to the drop off right to the very edge of the pencils. Greg was casting parallel to it, along the drop off and I was working the deep edge. Greg hooked into a feisty 37” fish and I put my rod down to unhook the fish. After the release I went back to my rod and I could see my spinner blade just barley making a full spin about 3 feet bellow the waters’ surface as we drifted.

 

In about the same amount of time it took my brain to register the spinner flopping I noticed a BEAST of a northern with her nose about 10 inches from the lure. I bent down grabbed my rod and at a steady speed, pulled the lure away from the pike parallel to the boat, without saying a word to the other two guys. The spinner went about 2 feet when she lurched forward and inhaled the lure in true pike fashion. I paused just long enough for her turn sideways and set the hook towards her tail. FISH ON!! I thought to myself. The big girl didn’t know she was hooked yet and just kind of sat for second. I was ready for her to run but her pause gave me an idea.

 

“Hey Greg…Hold this for me would you?” I said with a grin.

 

He took the rod, and as he did I said “There is a fish on that don’t lose it.” It was right about this point the fish took her 1st run. She went about ten yards in a second and a very surprised Greg looked at me and said “What’uve ya go on here!!”

 

I replied “The fish for your article so DON’T lose it!”

 

I was trying really hard to stifle my laughter as I picked up the cradle. She turned at the end of her first run and started swimming back toward the boat gearing up for another run. (The 1st run is always a warm up.) I knew they wanted to get lots of photos of her so I told Greg to pull her right to the boat before she runs again. Greg did executed his task really well, and guided her in with the St. Croix. Just as she came along the boat she turned and I slid her right in the cradle. It couldn’t have gone any smoother.

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She really was a beautiful fish.

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After a bunch of photo’s she took about ten minutes to revive before she powered out of my hand. I don’t let them go until then can show me some real strength.

 

That fish will be in this springs issue of Ontario Out of Doors. After that we kept fishing…and oddly enough they were throwing in-line spinners now. So I switched out my lure for something else. I try not to use what my guests are using. I feel it’s my job to find what’s working best.

 

A little while later a bear showed up on the shore. I trolled half way over (caught a 32 incher on the way) and then push-poled the rest of the way over. Lonnie and Greg took some amazing shots of the bear eating some shrubs.

 

Then we moved to a new spot.

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After Lonnie and Greg left campwe had a few foggy days where guests couldn’t get it in, so some of the time I spent out on the lake with Phil (another guide) “Marking Rocks”.

 

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Double-header! Notice the piece of gill hanging out of the little pike? I see many of these little guys like this each year, and they are all as scrappy as ever. Keep an eye out for them, I’m amazed they survive.

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Right around this time in June while I was on shore one day, Tyler (a dock hand) decided to have an afternoon nap. I found him to be a very heavy sleeper…I think he was surprised at how heavy he sleeps as well. (The pictures say it all)

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Job Well Done! ChrisMay27007.jpg

 

 

The next guests came in shortly after and a few days later the weather took a turn for the worst YET again. The 1st of June was calm and overcast and I was guiding 3 boat loads of Canadians. The 1st afternoon I had them we went out to tag a few walleye. There was little wind to work with, but we were catching some fish. We started doing some trolling around a sand bar on the left hand side of “the Gap”. I felt the wind starting to pick up so we started drifting the drop off. Each drift I noticed the school moving closer and closer to the sand bar as the wind continued to pick up. In about half an hour there was a good wind blowing straight onto the point and the walleye were pounding pretty much anything we tossed in.

 

About half an hour into the frenzy the fish were right up against the edge of the point. There is also a little trench that runs across the top of the sand bar that drops to 4 feet and each pass over the bar you’d have just enough time to get the last fish off from the deep school before popping a couple out of the trench. It was awesome fishing. The fish had turned on with the wind just like flicking a light switch. About hour an later the bite was slowing down and the walleye were moving off the point so we headed in for dinner happy.

 

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That was about the nicest day those guys were going to get. The next day the temperature dropped to around 10 degrees again and the wind really picked up and swung around to the north. When the wind picks up on that lake, the water visibility goes to hell for about 3 days if it’s been calm.

 

On the 2nd of June we caught some northerns in the mid-30’s and some walleye. The whole day was accompanied by dark skies and sporadic rain showers, which put a noticeable chill in the air.

 

On the 3rd my journal entry starts off “Rained all damn day!” That’s about as good as the day got…outside of shore lunch which is always great.

 

The 4th was a real treat. It had snowed over night and I went down hard (slipped) that morning between 2 boats due to frost while I was putting the plugs in at about 7 am. I actually managed to knock myself out for a couple of seconds. Not too long after that it started snowing again...wet snow. It switched between wet snow and rain ALL DAY! They waited around onshore until 10 am then we hit the water. It was no day to be out on the lake, but the trip wasn’t going to wait for the weather to brighten up.

 

The wind DID NOT help the cold or the boat handling. They wanted a shore lunch that day despite hot soup and sandwiches at the lodge. So we headed out for walleye (on a wish and a prayer). The windy shoreline had 3 footers, and it was really hard to keep the boat straight in it. They didn’t like fishing in the wind, so we moved to the lea side of a point. At noon we met up. One boat had one walleye and they still wanted to do lunch.

 

I said “I’m not doing lunch for 6 of us with one fish.”

 

So I took the boat out into the wind to work a point I know holds fish. It was rough work, but the 2 guys in my boat toughed it out and caught shore lunch. Just as we were about to go, one of them says to me “I’ve got a snag!” In this wind I knew there was little to-no hope of not breaking the line. Then it started to move sideways. “Keep the tip up it’s a big northern!” I told him. The wind had us and we were blowing out into the big waves while buddy was fighting his fish. I had through the boat into reverse and tryed to get us behind the point so we could land the fish.

 

About 5 minutes later and some fancy driving we were on the lee side of the point, and the fish was in the cradle. A healthy, fat, 41 incher. I released her none-the-worse-for-wear. Now my hands were terribly cold. I had no strength in them at all after getting my hands wet. Without thumb strength I couldn’t get my gloves back on. So I just hit the throttle and headed over to our shore lunch site.

 

What a fiasco that turned out to be!

 

I couldn’t even pull a match from a match book to start a fire my hands were so cold. I then proceeded to have one hell of a time filleting the fish with no strength in my thumbs. (Turns out they are quite important.) I had to stop twice to warm my hands up. After a wet, snowy lunch all but one wanted to head in. So I took the lone fisherman to pound some weed beds.

 

A few hours later I had noticed I was feeling really lazy, I wasn’t talking much and I had stopped shivering. A little while later and he was ready to go in, so in we went! I let him out at the dock and parked my boat between at about 4pm. When I tried to stand up my legs didn’t want to bend the muscles were so stiff. So I sauntered off to the Guide Shack to warm up and dry off.

 

That’s when I discovered that again my hands were totally useless …I couldn’t get my jacket zipper undone by myself, so one of the other guides helped my undress. I was wet through 5 layers…and two of them were jackets! My gore-tex outer layer didn’t leak, but water had come in around my face and soaked me down to my waist. All I wanted to do was go and have a nap, but one of the girls who used to be a lifeguard forced me go have a warm shower. Apparently I had a “touch” hypothermia.

 

The next day was nicer the last but still wet and windy. They didn’t want to go out fishing because their gear was still wet. I had dried mine out over night and was ready to go again. I didn’t mind staying on shore I got to have a pretty good chat with Italo from Canadian Sport Fishing. He was in camp doing a show that week.I think they caught a 47”er on a big black buzz bait. He knows a lot about fishing around my area at home, and I learned a thing or two that is defiantly worth knowing.

 

The 6th of June was flat calm and sunny… the walleye didn’t like that weather much either but a 1/8th ounce jig with a 2 inch white twister tail dragged across bottom persuaded a few to cooperate.

 

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My guest’s last day was really windy and I had a guy who loves to sail and loves the waves in my boat. The fish weren’t cooperating too much, so I pulled the plug and we took turns driving out in some 3-4 footers. A couple of really big waves came right over the bow into the boat…we had a blast pounding the waves in the wind. The next day they were on the 1st plane out.

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Did I mention there was a bear hanging around camp?

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The weather progressively got better over about a week as I guided various parties. Then the wind stopped for about 3 days…and the temperature sky rocketed!! Hardly enough air movement to make a ripple.

 

This was taken at noon.

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We keep a thermometer inside the guide shack just to see how cold it is when we wake up. However on the on June 13th at 10pm we used it to see how hot it was inside. It rea 28 degrees Celsius with all the windows and doors open. It was less then an IDEAL sleeping temperature.

 

It got so hot in the afternoon we would take the huge party we were guiding over to a beach for a swim and not even bother fishing. They said it was too hot between 1-4pm. (They weren’t wrong.) The surface water was like a bath and the water at the bottom made your feet hurt. While they were swimming I walked the beach looking at caribou tracks and wading around in the shallows.

 

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There air was barely moving, just enough to register on the water and I noticed that the lake was significantly warmer at one end of the beach then other. I used that knowledge (temperature difference) later in the year to boat some big northerns which had been sunning themselves at the warm end of sandy beaches.

 

During this hot snap Charlie had Hurst Air bring their Turbo Otter over to fly in supplies. A turbo otter supply load is something worth cussing at. She brings 3100 pounds in and can take 3400 out. That’s a lot of lifting.

 

If any of you every fly in that blue plane and sit up front, AND you are piloted by a cool, bald guy named Mike. Ask him what all those specs are stuck in the caulking around the wind screen. It was so hot when he was in that the caulking became really, really sticky again like glue. There was a hatch of tiny little gnats coming off the lake and a whole bunch of them became permanent residents of that plane. He mentioned them to us almost every time he came in after that.

 

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For a week the weather was crazy hot, and the last 3 days we finally had some wind and the fishing took right off. On the second last day my boat had 20 fish over 30 inches alone. 12 of those fish were over 35, including a pair of 39 inchers, and a fat 37. That evening I had 2 of kids in my boat about 14. One was really teasing the other and generally making a dick of himself, despite my threats to make him swim back. The other kid I fixed up with one of my favourite spinner baits and he pulled a 40 inch northern out of a reed bed on the last cast of his trip. It was beautiful fish, and he ended up with an excellent photo.

 

 

The hot weather also made for some great sunsets.

 

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By the 18th the weather had gone to hell in hand-basket yet again and we were back to the rain and wind. The whole “summer” was wet and windy. It seriously put a cramp in the fishing. Pretty much every morning we put on our rain gear before we left for breakfast.

 

The Morning Ritual

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More then once I was in some “amazing” weather while chasing walleye. Here is the view from my office.

 

Off the bow.

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Off the Stern.

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This one I call “Of course I know where we are! Now pass me the map.”

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A huge school of shiners decided to spawn around the dock this year and every now and then we would catch a few and feed them to the resident pike. We had 4 northerns living around the dock all summer.

 

Here is a couple of video’s I took with my under water camera.

 

 

 

 

Right around the summer solstice all the guides and all the dock hands slept in one morning due to one person's mistake. Let me explain.

 

We have a morning routine. Sweet Pea’s alarm goes off, I roll over hit the stereo and blast some tunes. All the guys rely on this. Sweet pea forgot to set his alarm…so the entire morning wake up system came to a grinding halt. We were down at the water for 7am…but we had only been awake for about 2 minutes if that. Sadly we missed breakfast. Due to just waking up, and a lack of food .Tyler forgot to plug a boat he had actually been standing in. It was brought to our attention later when Charlie brought us a box of cookies for breakfast.

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The water is well over the transom. We had to push the boat down into the water so the back would come up.

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By the 23rd I had new guests and a stretch of better weather stuck around for a few days. These guys were a RIOT. They live in Cambridge, if anyone knows them let me know! I lost their email address.

 

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The day these photos were taken we were at one of my all-time favourite walleye spots on the lake. A shallow bar stretches across the entire width of the bay we are in except for a 20 foot wide channel that drops to 5 feet at its deepest point. There is always walleye in that channel someplace, and on a day with the right wind they can stack right up. On this day they were actually out of the channel feeding in some eel grass on the flats. It was an excellent school of walleye 18-25 inches long. The feeding frenzy only lasted about an hour, but we were getting double and triple headers. We didn’t even have to cast. Jigging right beside the boat in 2 feet was resulting in fish with less then 10 jigs. Near the end I had them using big sassy shads about 5 inches long, and we started catching the biggest fish of the school. We caught around 50 in the hour.

 

After that slowed down we took a drive over to North Bay to target some pike. Another guest was just on his way out, and he stopped to tell me they saw an absolutely massive northern in the bay, on the right side. So in we went with our spirits high. On about my fourth cast out over deep water I hook up with a fish. They both refuse to take the rod from me and I land the fish with one of them doing the netting.

 

She was a 39” TANK!

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A few casts later and one of them had a pike chasing his buzz bait. He hooked up on his second cast, but it shook the hook at the boat. A classic “Conservation release”. It was defiantly a 40 inch plus fish. We had some more really big swirls before getting to the spot, where we had been told the big girl was hanging out.

 

Sure enough she came out teeth and fins flying. She was a beast of a fish too. Defiantly in the high 40’s. She spooked herself trying to hammer a black buzz bait beside the boat. We never saw her again. The next day the weather was back to overcast with a bit of rain and they decided not to have me guide them. They rescheduled me for the day after instead. So I told them where I would fish and off they went. They got into some pike in Small Bay without me sadly. They caught 3 around 40 inches.

Edited by Ramble On

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The 24th arrived and I was with some guys from Florida. They were salt water fisherman and their rods where too heavy for walleye fishing. They were missing all kinds of fish. So I showed them how to hand line…Talk about getting back to the basics! We had a good day and he caught a really nice walleye. I even managed to get a 34 inch northern to the net on my 10 lb test hand line when we were walleye fishing.

 

27” The biggest walleye of their trip.

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We did a little pike hunting but nothing of any real size was cooperating. We did however get to see a bull caribou that let us get pretty close.

 

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By this point it’s now July. The weather is starting to get a bit nicer out. Day time highs weren’t getting much over 20 degrees…Which is just fine by me. 20 degrees is a good temperature to be out working in.

 

My next guests were a father and son team from the U.S. We had mixed success chasing pike. It seemed that everytime we got to a spot there was 1 active fish. Everyday I was wishing we had of got to the spot half an hour earlier. One of the days we were fishing a cabbage line that holds trophies without any success. We were going through everything in the tackle boxes.

 

I was having one of those “Well I am totally out of ideas” moments and I couldn’t come up with a good reason to even move to another spot. I was sitting thinking about what to do next and decided maybe it was time to troll a few points and see if we can’t make something happen. I suggested the idea, and they were game for anything that might produce a fish. He asked me “What do you think I should put on?”

 

So I was digging through his tackle box, and in the bottom came across a large black husky jerk. It caught my eye immediately. I took it out, removed all the trebles and put on a single barbless in the middle hook position. I set up his son with a silver/yellow spoon and we started out troll to the 1st point. Nothing.

 

We passed the point, and were just coming across the second point along the shore when the father’s rod doubled over with a good strike. The fish took off for the deeper water, and would not give up. Eventually it came to the boat, and after a quick picture with there camera and I released her. A thick 40” fish. The next 2 days of their trip were accompanied by showers off and on. A big red/white buck tail spinner bait was just the thing a certain 42” northern was looking for on their last day. It was fish of the trip, and the son was beside himself when I closed the cradle around her. I got the cloth tape measure out for a girth measurement because they were going to get a replica made.

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It was right around this time of year when OFC’ers T.J., Sucro, Moosebunk and Floatfishin were in camp. I didn’t know about OFC yet. Moose told me that when I get home I should join up…so I did.

 

Anyway, I was pretty busy around camp and other then in casual passing I didnt have a chance to chat with T.J and his wife. If I recall we did watch a few videos of pike and walleye doing their thing at the dock one day.

 

Moose and I got along fairly well right off the bat, and I one of the 1st things we did was trade some lures. He had some hand tied buck tail spinners I was interested in and I had some Johnson Silver Minnows that he was after. After that we did some chatting. Moose confirmed that spring was late coming to the north, and that the fish were acting strange. Shortly after he introduced me to Float, I didn’t talk to Float very much as he was often off doing something else when I was around. I watch him fishing off the dock one night and believe me when I say that he can CAST a bait caster…launch might be a better word.

 

I also “helped” Moose with his fly-casting a little, and he was getting better. However, I’ve noticed in a couple of his more recent pictures he is still going a little too far back with his back cast! ;o) We may have to schedule another lesson Bunk.

 

My introduction to Sucro is a slightly longer tail. I had a father, daughter, son group in my boat and we were doing some fishing on an unpleasant, overcast day. The fish weren’t cooperating. The boat load of us were having a “long day” and getting a little fed up. So I suggested we go down the river to try some creek mouths for pike. The main idea here being that it’s about a half hour boat ride down and a half hour back and It was already 4 in the afternoon. I figured that we could fish for an hour or so and come back in time for dinner. Maybe we’d find some active fish. There is also some nice scenery down the river as well that you don’t get to see on the main lake.

 

About ¾’s of the way down I saw a boat on the shoreline and as soon as I saw them they start waving various objects in the boat. So I make a bee-line straight too them and discovered that their motor was shot. I tried a couple of tricks to get the old Johnson back in action but it wasn’t happening. Something had gone in the lower unit. So I tied their boat to mine and started towing them back to camp. They were pretty happy to see me.

 

(Picture courtesy of Sucro)

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They don’t know how lucky they were. No one EVER goes down to the river that late in the day. As far I as I know, I am the only person to go down the river that late in the day in the last 2 years. But they lucked out and I had them back to the dock in time for supper.

 

We started off the next day with a clear sky, and some lake affect fog. I was unsure of how the fish were going to be acting. I was thinking that the pike might be a little slow, and that it was going to be one of those days where the fishing gets better as the day goes on.

 

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We were on the water early and we were hanging out close to the lodge seeing if we couldn’t get a few quick fish for shore lunch. I was trying to give the fish in some of my better spots time to wake up before we showed up. We caught a few fish but didn’t find anything too exciting. Around 11am my hopes were high as we started fishing one of my favourite holes that holds both big pike and walleye. We were drifting in about 8 feet of water, with the breeze working us along the edge of a drop off. Everyone had a different colour twister tail on, and I made sure the daughter was rigged up with a pink twister tail. (One of my personal favorites on that lake.)

 

We went about 10 yards when she says “I have a snag.”

 

“Just keep the tip up for a couple seconds” I replied incase it was a fish.

 

It didn’t move, so I grabbed the line and gave it a quick tug to try and free the snag. To my surprise it pulled right back. So I let go immediately and told her to hold on she has a good fish. She stood up and the fish made a short run and then bolted STRAIGHT UP out of the water, did a complete flip in the air and landed on its back. I was amazed! We all were. It was a big Northern and it was the 1st one I’ve ever seen fly like that. She fought it like a champion. The reel she was using was garbage and I had to keep tightening the drag, because it would work itself loose as the fight went on.We had a blast and the fish fought like a champ. Sometime later we had the fish in the cradle. It was beautiful 42”er.

 

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We kept fishing and it wasn’t long before her dad had a fish in the cradle.

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A nice 43”er with some battle scares on her back.

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Another trophy released.

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Then I was on to another set of guests. A father and son. Finally we had a few days of summer like weather. We even had a warm wind! The fishing was like it should be. The first day we started off with some walleye fishing and began with a visit to the shoal at Manido island

 

After a little searching we located a school of walleye and I parked the boat on top of them for a couple of hours. We were in about 5 feet of water and caught plenty.

 

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The next day we headed down to another of my favourite walleye spots. The wind was perfect for the location and by the end of the day; we had caught 113 walleye and a 40 inch northern. On one of the drifts the son put his rod down and was digging in the cooler when a walleye grabbed his twister tail. The rod went over board just like it was written into a movie script. As soon as it went over I had a marker buoy in the lake showing the spot. I told the father to let his jig drag bottom sure enough he picked up the line and he pulled the rod in. I grabbed the other end of the line and pulled it in only to find that the walleye was still hooked! That was fish 89 of the day. The next day we were back down in that same spot. Denny Leason, one of our other guides asked if he could join us, and I told him that he was more then welcome too.

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Both of our boats hammered the walleye all afternoon. Here is Denny giving the thumbs up.

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We also stopped at one of my favourite bays and worked a certain cabbage I hold in high regard. It didn’t take too long before they had a beautiful 41” Northern on a black buzzbait.

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When they left I had one of my few on shore. After the planes were done coming in for the day I asked Charlie if there was anything out on the water that needed doing. He told me there was some buoys need placing. I said ok, and then talked him into believing that I was going to need some help…and he agreed to let Sweet Pea and Jen come with me.

 

Sweet Pea works the dock, and I share a room with him. Jen is the head house keeper and doesn’t get to get out on the water often at all, so it was a treat for her. Sweet Pea cut some hand lines to jig with, and I loaded the boat with markers. It wasn’t very long before we were out on the water. About a dozen markers later and we arrived at one of my favourite walleye spots.

 

It was time to locate some fish.

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It wasn’t long before we were on them. Pea had cut the hand lines too short to troll with (or so I thought). I could see the grub about a foot under the water while we were trolling. He said “It’s fine!” …with a big grin. I looked back to see the jig at the same place it was before…about 2 feet behind and to the side the motor. I just shook my head. About 2 minutes later I had my foot in my mouth when a walleye darted up and nailed the grub. Only at Kesagami!!

 

A little while later we had a great drift going, and the fish were biting.

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We stayed long enough for 3 trolls over the spot, and 3 drifts down….we caught 16 walleye and headed back to camp.

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The next day I was expecting guests, but before they came in it was time for another prank. Rob loves to pull pranks, and it was time for a little payback. Kyle and I put the biggest rocks we could find into the front of his boat. He threatened us when he wasn’t laughing too hard, and singled me out for payback. He emptied his boat and went back to work on getting some line out of the motor. While his back was turned, we put them all back in and took off running. The next day Rob was leaving camp…and I got my pay back.

 

I was out on the water all day while he was waiting for the plane to come in. He took my entire bedroom and moved it outside onto the point. It was defiantly the best prank of the summer. He set it up exactly like it was INSIDE. Here are some pictures.

 

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Rob enjoying his victory.

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The guests I had out were a father and son pair. They liked to catch walleye but like most people, they were here to catch some big pike. The son didn’t feel much like fishing so we cut a deal. I would fish and if I hooked up with any pike he’d reel them in. We were both happy with that. We started off in small bay, working a few of my favourite spots. Black buzzbaits were the lure of the day and I had 2 fish over 40” hooked up. The son had a go bringing in both fish, but it didn’t work out for him. It was disheartening to say the least. We moved on and didn’t have much luck after that spot. The next day we headed into the back lake. A short portage later, and we were ripping around in the ‘lumie, tracking down some walleye. This lake can be a lot of fun. We were the only group to hit the back lake this year. On a good day some guys have caught over 300 walleye on that lake. There is also pike in their and you could spend all day catchin snot-rockets if you wanted too, but who’s going to go chase snot-rockets, when the average walleye is 18 inches? I haven’t ever heard of any big pike coming out of their….but I suppose they must be around.

 

The 1st point we tried we were on top of the fish. They were hitting any colour we put down, and we kept on top of them with some double and triple headers. We had a blast, and caught about 40 fish….all over 18 inches. Then it was back to the big lake. We were only in for a couple hours so we could hit the big lake for some northerns.

 

When we got out we could see a front moving in, so they decided to call it quits for the day and get something to eat.

 

The next day was dark, windy and you guessed it rainy. No one was out on the water until the evening, and there wasn’t much happening.

 

The next day was cold with more rain. We got into walleye and some pike but nothing to major.

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The day after we were in casting a cabbage bed when a beautiful northern slams my silver vibrex at the boat. I keep the fish on while the son clambered to the back of the boat. I handed off the rod and grabbed the cradle. I took the time to snap this picture.

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It was the most healthy and beautiful northern I had seen all year. She was a truly a beautiful fish. She measured in at 43”

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Their last day out was the 2nd last day of the season for me. We’d be on the plane back to Cochrane in 3 days, so we were all relaxed and having a great time. The father still had yet to land a 40” this trip and I was doing my best to get him onto a trophy. We couldn’t make it happen as the day passed by. So I took him to a spot that does hold fish on a regular basis without any success. It was after dinner and we only had 2 hours left, so we didn’t want to go far from the lodge and waste time traveling. I grabbed my bino’s while we were drifting and spotted 3 of 4 clumps of pencil reeds that I had never scene anyone fish. So we reeled in and may a zipped over to them. The father put on his favourite buzz bait. It a 4 bladed prop that that moved slow and had made a lot of noise. It looked like an easy meal by any ones standards. We systematically worked each clump of weeds with out any success.

 

There was tension in the air as the clock approached 9pm. I had to go back to the dock, but I stayed out ten minutes longer then I was supposed to. Then I told him to make one last cast, and it had better be a good one!

 

He launched his buzz bait clear across a clump of pencils and started the retrieve. Right in the thick of them there a nice swirl. The fish didn’t hook, and he kept reeling. The bait went another 10 feet and the northern slammed it hard this time. He had a solid hook up.

 

The fish made a run right into the pencils, and the tension left the line. The fish was hung up in the reeds! I slammed the boat into reverse and made my way to the reeds, while he kept the tension on the line the best he could. When we started to get close I lifted the motor and switched to the push pole. There was no action of any sort as we moved in. Out hearts sunk. I reached in the weeds and grabbed the braided line, and worked it out of the weeds while the father reeled in the slack. There was still no sign of the fish or the buzz bait. I went to work with the push pole again to get us away from the reeds, and I notice the line was under the boat heading out into deep water. I think my heart missed a beat. I shouted he went under the boat, and the fight was back on, as soon as the he the slack in. The fish was just sitting out their, with the buzz bait in his yap. The fight began again and after getting the line, fish and fisherman on to the same side of the boat everything was looking up. A short time later and the fish was in the net. She measured in at 41 inches. He was thrilled.

 

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The last day of the year Phil and I were guiding the CEO of a seafood company you all would know, and two of his friends. The weather was perfect and we hit all of our favourite pike spots. We ended up with 5 fish over 40 between us. My guest ended up with a 42 incher on a white spinner bait. We also spent some time jigging for walleye in a favourite spot and caught over a 100 between us.

 

It was a fantastic way to end the season.

 

The next night we had the camp closed up and we were in Cochrane at the Chimo Motel celebrating the end of another great season. A few weeks later and I was catching smallies in Algonquin…..but you have seen that report already.

 

I’d like to thank Bunk for advising me on writing this thing. I didn’t actually think I had it in me. If he hadn’t of kept saying “Are you done that Kesagami Report yet” I would never have been finished. I asked him about what format I should use and he said “JUST WRITE IT!” Well here it is!

 

Anyway I’m going to shut up now!

 

Tight Lines

 

-Ramble

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Congratulations...excellent report. I'm not sure how long it took me to read this...I am guessing a good 30 minutes if not more, I only know that I went through one and a half cups of coffee and a smoke. I so enjoyed reading this, the pics were excellent, the videos were cool as well, but your ability to convey yourself made this an entertaining and interesting read. I laughed out loud :w00t: , frowned :huh: , smiled :) , eyebrows lifted <_< , it quite simply was a great read to start my morning.

Keep writing...keep fishing...just keep on!! :thumbsup_anim::clapping:

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Excellent report and pics!!! :thumbsup_anim:

 

The Pike porn almost made me mess up the front of my britches from the inside!

 

I thought the Wall-ice would be bigger than that up there.

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INcredible report Ramble. Almost like we were there with you all summer. I'm sure that took a long time to put up and I'm glad you did.

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Awesome report. Those big number walleye days would be nice to try some day, thanks for posting.

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Gotta be one of the best reports i have read!! I have always wished i had worked at a lodge when i was younger!1 Those are some great memories that you are makin,,,,thanks again!!

:thumbsup_anim:

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Amazing report...Thanks for taking the time to write it....With all the cold and snow, was a perfect time for an early summer getaway... :Gonefishing: the pics and vids were awesome

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Thanks so much for the effort that you put into this report. I enjoyed it.

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Thats too long even to be a novel, more like a tome :lol:

Great read, and great pictures.

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Now thats what I call a report. Amazing report bud!!!! :thumbsup_anim::thumbsup_anim: I really enjoyed the whole thing from start to finish.It actually almost felt like I was there.Great stuff :clapping::clapping::clapping:

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