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danc

Red Lake stories, photos and more

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You may, or may not have noticed that I haven't been around here much lately. I've been living in Red Lake 3 out of 4 weeks since the beginning of March. Unfortunately it's been mostly for work purposes and it leaves me little time for play. Each of my 21 days there has me working 10 hours per day with not a single day off. The good news is that I’m living right on Red Lake and just steps away from our dock. My co workers and I gather on the dock each evening for a few beers, relaxation, and yes, some of us even throw a line in the water. Fishing is incredible in the Red Lake area. I swear that you could catch a fish in a mud puddle up there. Tossing a Gulp tipped jig off the dock usually results in a few Walleye each night. Lately we’ve been dead baiting with frozen ciscoes with decent results. Just letting them sit on bottom has resulted in plenty of decent Pike. Here’s one that a co worker caught. As you can see, we’re pretty much right downtown Red Lake. Don’t mind the hold. It was deep hooked and tasted great out of the deep fryer.

 

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A few nights ago I caught back to back 25 inch Walleyes. It was a bit of a surprise because we had only caught Pike with the Ciscoes up until this point. But I wasn’t complaining.

 

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My last night there resulted in a big surprise. I caught a 38 inch Lake Trout off of our dock. Man, what a fight it put up! It was about 10 minutes before I got a look at it. Unfortunately the only photos that we have of it were by cel phone cameras and I don’t have any of them yet. I’ll post them later if they are decent.

 

Red Lake is an awesome place to be in the summer. Perhaps the thing that I’m most amazed with is the amount of float plane traffic that I see each day. I took a few hours off one day to do some laundry and I counted 27 planes coming and going in an hour and a half. The Norseman float plane is king up here. In fact, Red Lake is the “Norseman” capital of the world. These massive single engine planes are coming and going from dawn until dusk each day carrying American fisherman and their gear to nearby lakes. My alarm clock is set for 5:30 am but I’m usually woken at about 5:00 am by the sound of a Norseman taxiing right outside my window.

 

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Watching the Norseman take off and land is an amazing experience. Loaded, they need lots of room to take off. The amount of water that the prop whips up is incredible.

 

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Landing is almost as exciting as the takeoff. They usually bounce a time or two before settling into the water. I can’t imagine how much water that they displace. By the way, that’s the head frame of the mine that I’m working at in the background of this shot. It’s about 5 miles away.

 

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There’s a Norseman festival in Red Lake in late July. If I’m not scheduled to be working at that time, I’m thinking of coming up anyways to see it. Apparently Norseman owners from around the continent come up to participate in the festival and our dock will provide a front row seat to the festivities. Not to mention that I can have a line in the water as well.

 

There’s lots to see from our dock. Besides the float plane activity, there’s plenty of other water activities going on. With the recent jump in gold prices, there’s lots of money in Red Lake. And Red Lake residents seem to love their toys. We see plenty of boaters and water skiers each evening. Some of the skiers put on a great show.

 

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Funny thing is that we never see anyone fishing in Howey Bay, which is the bay that the town of Red Lake surrounds. I guess that it’s the same old story. You have to travel to the far side of the lake for the good fishing. Our results off of our dock aren’t too bad. The far side of the lake must be out of this world. Not to mention the fly in locations.

 

And of course the wild life is just about everywhere in the area. I’ve seen plenty of Moose, Deer, Bears, Bald Eagles and such. I have taken a few photos when I have my camera with me.

 

This Loon pops up a few feet from our dock pretty much every evening. He sits and stares at us for 5 or 10 seconds and then disappears into the water again. I think he’s waiting for a hand out. I’ll have to try to remember to have a Cisco ready for him next time. I posted this shot in the photo section a while back but I’ve since brought out the detail in his eye.

 

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I see Moose pretty much every time I travel to and from Red Lake. In fact, I once saw between 15 and 20 Moose in one place while driving home from Red Lake in January several years ago. Often it’s not possible to get a shot, but this young one was well away from the tree line and wasn’t alarmed when I stopped, allowing me to get several decent shots. Too bad the light was behind him.

 

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And just yesterday on my way home, I came across this wolf, who seemed unbothered by my presence. I got a bunch of shots of him, but this was the best one.

 

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Finally, I have to share a real life blonde joke that I experienced a few weeks ago at the tackle shop in Red Lake. We stop at the shop every other day or so on our way home from work to buy Ciscoes and other items for the evenings fishing and there’s a young, pretty blonde girl that works the evening shift there. She’s very pleasant and always strikes up a conversation. Anyways, as my co worker was paying for some lures, the conversation went something like this.

 

Co Worker. “So, are these lures any good”?

Blonde. “Yeah, those are good” she says.

Co Worker. “How would you know? You probably don’t even fish”.

Blonde. “Yes I do. I caught my first Lake Trout just last weekend”.

Co Worker. “Sure you did. Got any pictures”?

Blonde. “Yes I do. Let me get my camera”.

 

So she disappears into the back room and comes back with a camera. Sure enough, she then proceeds to show us some photos of her holding a Lake Trout that looked to be about 5 lbs. or so.

 

Co Worker. “Nice!! What did you catch it on”?

Blonde. “I caught it on my dock”. :whistling:

 

Anyways, if you ever get the chance to visit Red Lake, do it. I’ve worked all over Northwestern Ontario and Red Lake has quickly become my favourite remote destination.

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wow sounds like a great place to work and a better place to fish

 

don't know what I think about 10 hour days every day......

but I guess the money makes up for that....

 

 

real good report Dan

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Great report! Some day, I'm gonna make up there and well, as already mentioned, the "Bucket" list comes to mind!

Great shots to!

HH

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Great report and pics Dan, we missed you!

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i almost felt sorry for you until you mentioned you manage to fish every night off the pier/dock....lol...j/k Dan.

 

awesome pictures....the wildlife on the highway alone on your way up there from dryden never ceases to amaze me.

 

Hope to see the laker pic....that is a beast of a fish.

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You've been gone???? I hadn't noticed :lol:

 

Well I hate to hear how much you been working but I'm glad to have heard where you are at. I've been on a few of those float planes in the past, it's a beautiful area that is for sure.

I hear you had a visitor awhile back just before turning in for the night, at least it was late so you probably didn't get to hear to much or get a good look at him :lol:

I would really like to see the Red Lake Area during the summer in full foliage, I've have the honor of seeing it while it's waking from it's winter sleep and that is pretty cool in my book.

 

Take Care

 

Phil

 

PS You haven't lost any of your photo taking skills that's for sure, NICE PICS!

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Hey Dan, thanks for bringing us a report on my second home. I've been back home almost a month already and I'm missing it terribly.

 

I told Whopper that you were in a pretty good mood the evening of May 13 considering I interrupted your sleep. Anyway it was good to finally meet you.

 

TG

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Thanks for that Dan !!!

 

I needed to see some water and airplanes, as I've been stuck in the hangar 7 days a week since March!

 

Closest I'm getting to a Norseman right now.. is the spare parts I have for same on the shelf, 20 feet from where I'm working...

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Amazing pics Dan. Real refreshing stuff. I sometimes wish Bren had loosened the grip on the Ottawa valley and agreed with me more on Red Lake, Nipgon/Thunder Bay or Kenora. A doctor friend of mine works in that town and her outdoors pics make me wish I had a third life outside of here and James Bay.

 

All the best bud.

Edited by Moosebunk

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I spose you could be working in lots worse places, eh Dan ?? :lol:

 

Great story and as always, fantastic pictures, specially the one of the wolf !!

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Man you are a whiz with a camera Dan. Fabulous shots. thumbsup_anim.gif

 

Thanks for bringing me up to speed on Dan's world.

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Great report and a joy to read. Loved the pictures. Yes, Red Lake was my home for twenty years. McKenzie Island actually. Loved the pics of the Norsemen. They look axactly the same as when I left 15 years ago. They just don't seem to age at all. Looks like you were fishing near Carlson's property. Excellent fishing around the point at Cliff Harvey's island also off the point at Finntown. And a lot of other spots I use to favorite nearby and no you don't have to go far to catch them either.

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Yes, Red Lake was my home for twenty years. McKenzie Island actually. Loved the pics of the Norsemen.

 

I was at the Goldcorp property on McKenzie Island a couple of weeks ago Guppy. Goldcorp hosted a bar b que for the construction crew for our safety record. It's quite the place. Lots of history there. We are staying and fishing at the Red Lake Inn Annex, right across the street from the main Inn. Glad to have brought back some memories for you.

 

McKenzie Island

 

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Hi Dan:

I thought of you a few times this past month while fishing for our favourite. Your photos are excellent, especially the telephoto shots. Will you be able to go on the annual trip this year? If not, here is 24" of what you will be missing.

Alan

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Guido, I don't know nothing about finding specks like that one around Wawa. That must be a Nipigon brookie.

 

Dan, missed your posts and your photos.

 

If you can fly out of Red Lake into Trout Lake, it is amazing. 7 - 10 lb lakers, 35 in pike, and 23 in walleyes, all on Tuesday. See if you can go with someone other than *pm me*. There are two lodges on this 10,000 acre jewel, and the one you want is this one. Green Airways

Edited by douG

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Hi Dan:

I thought of you a few times this past month while fishing for our favourite. Your photos are excellent, especially the telephoto shots. Will you be able to go on the annual trip this year? If not, here is 24" of what you will be missing.

Alan

 

Ouch Al. That hurts. I had a few cocktails with Colin tonight trying to figure out when we'll get out. It's a tough call considering my situation. I'll get out one way or another. Hopefully we'll see you in late summer. How was Daytona? Did you learn how to fix a pot hole??? One thing for sure. I'll be taking time off for the Kansas race this fall. Fishing and NASCAR is why I go to work everyday.

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