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James77

Fly In Trip Report - Hearst Air Martison Lake. Lots of Pictures!

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Hey Everyone!

 

A good family friend and I took a fly-in fishing trip in Hearst, Ontario this year.

This is our third annual fishing trip, the two previous involving a fly-in in Cochrane and a drive in near New Liskeard.

Mel at Hearst Air was absolutely amazing at helping us pick out a lake that would cater to our needs and after months of debate we settled on Martison. She is the friendliest host you will ever meet and truly cares about every guest she has. I could not be more impressed with her Customer Service and the whole organization.

 

Martison is great for big pike, but Mel warned us that it can be sketchy in the summer. We moved our trip a couple weeks earlier than we were originally planning.

We departed Toronto at 4am Friday morning and drove straight there. My Subaru Crosstrek only used 1 and a quarter tank to get up there! ($80)! Quite economical.

 

We arrived in Hearst and stayed at the Queens Motel. It was a bit pricey but not only does it have a hot tub, it has two hot tubs. - Sold.

 

Day One -

 

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We were told we would be flying out Saturday Morning. The weather was not great and I am always sketchy about planes.

I met Mike, and instantly his confidence calmed all my nerves about the flight. I asked Mike how many hours he had flown and his answer was a chuckle and "over 17 thousand." That kind of experience really impressed me. When we asked further it turns out that Mike is the son of Georges, who has been with Hearst from day one. Mike was practically born in a plane and had been flying guests since age 17.

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I snapped a couple pics of the Cessna Caravan while they took the first guests out.

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Off We Go!

 

We ended up flying out in the Caravan with Mike. What a beautiful plane. Super comfortable and quiet, purrs like a kitten.Crazy fast.

 

After a stopover at two lakes near us to deliver some goodies, we were finally flying over our lake. Our hopes were high seeing as by the time we got to one camp, they reported over 60 fish in the hour between 4 of them.

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Martison Lake :

Distance from base: 59 miles
Lake Size: 7 x 2 miles
Average Depth: 8'
Sleeps: 4-6
Species: Northern Pike , Walleye
Unique Feature: Two feeder creeks and trail to another lake.

Immediately after landing we decided to hit the lake! We set up our rods and tackle and got out in the boat in the crappy weather.

Within a half hour we had a couple nice Walleye, and I looked over beside our boat and I was shocked! "Scott, Look!" I still couldn't believe we were within 50 feet of this beautiful animal.
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Scott had told me many times about seeing a moose and a calf at a fly in years ago, I finally got to experience it as well. Sadly I left my good camera in the cabin as it was spitting rain- one of the bigger mistakes I've ever made. I pulled out my cellphone and snapped a few pics. Just like that they were gone into the bush and we were left shocked. For both of us this close call encounter made our trips.

 

We were out for a couple hours before being blown off of our lake by huge whitecap waves.

 

Day 2- 4

 

Remember that wind storm I told you about ? It was brutal and lasted for hours and being a shallow lake, it kicked up all sorts of sediment and turned our lake brown. It amazed me how this turned the fishing from great to barely catching anything. It became frustrating as the weather was a bit off sometimes and we put every effort and technique in the world into trying to catch fish. The only thing that kept us happy was the beauty of our surroundings. We were still able to catch some walleye, but we were having a tough time finding any pike.

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On Day 4 I was scheduled to go out on the check flight to take some photos of other camps and some Gopro footage of the plane rides.

 

Immediately when Andre and Kent arrived they couldn't believe how brown our lake had turned- Andre who has been with Hearst forever didn't recall seeing it like this in the last ten years!

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They picked me up in their Turbo Beaver- probably my favourite plane of theirs, the thing is a hot rod with wings. Kent would be flying me around today and his resume was just as impressive as Mike's.

 

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Andre comes along for all the check flights. Andre is the maintenance man, and I can not even express in words how much care he takes in his equipment and camps. Not only is he a gem in terms of fixing everything, but Andre is the man to talk to if you want the hot spots on any of their lakes. He put us on a gold mine which we will touch on later.

At every camp we flew to, Andre ensured that every boat and motor was in perfect running condition. I met two great older gentlemen at Mcleister Lake- they had four boats between the two of them and Andre still insisted on making sure they were all perfect! They even refill your gas for you. Service you just don't see often these days.

 

It was no surprise that our motor started with a half pull for the full week we were there- no issues.

Here are a few pics from the flights:

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The sad part - everyone I talked to was catching non stop fish and over the moon happy! I tried to get the guys to leave me at another lake but sadly I couldn't ditch Scott lol. One party in Hilmer had caught over a thousand fish including a 47" pike. We had seen one pike by this time.

 

The TSN Turning Point

 

Thursday was a much better day for us, we had some absolutely amazing weather, an extremely calm lake, and this would really help us change our luck!

We count tonnes of beautiful walleye- still not as many pike. My explanation for this is Walleye's eyesight is amazing, we consistently catch them at night in low light situations, and for me that means they would have an easier time finding our lures than their Pike counterparts.

 

We still caught a few nice ones.

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Thursday night Scott hooked into something big. Peeling drag like crazy- finally it emerges and it's a 28" Walleye! The thing fought like some Musky we've caught at the same size.

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This was the biggest Walleye Scott has ever caught, and he was thrilled. We could sense that something had changed and things were on the up.

 

The Perfect Day

 

Friday morning we woke up early for a morning pee and couldn't believe how calm the lake was. We had to get out and fish! Boy are we glad we did because they had finally turned back on.

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We were catching pike and walleye all over the place on this lake.

We trolled between a log and a rocky point on the lake and had our first double header of beautiful walleye. We decided to try trolling it again and basically discovered that this spot Andre told us about was absolutely money. We kept going until about 12 when it got really hot and the fishing slowed down. In this session we had countless numbers of Walleye, Scott added to his lead with a FAT 24" Walleye that grabbed his lure as he had it sitting 2" out of the water. Nearly gave the guy a heart attack.

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Imagine trolling a 50 foot stretch and catching a nice walleye or pike every pass! This was what we flew here for, this was by far the best fishing either of us had ever had, and Scott has been on over 10 fly-in's. We had two lures that we were absolutely putting a spanking on these fish with- a Silver Flat Rap 10 for Scott, and a Blue HJ14 for Me. I had actually found it floating in the lake earlier that day and put new hooks, split rings on it, and used it.

 

I kept trying to take videos with my camera showing how consistent the fishing was, and I kept having to put it down to handle fish. (Not complaining.)

 

We decided to start our cleanup mid day so we could get back there and stay up late if we had to catching fish.

We headed back to our spot around 6 pm and immediately the results were even more impressive than earlier in the day. Scott hooked into a 25" Walleye- just as thick as the one from earlier.

 

We were killing it, just nailing fish after fish. We were both really hoping to hook into a 40"+ fish this trip, and time was ticking and we were losing hope until ...

 

We saw a Walleye floating belly up, we went over to go grab it and Scott hooked into something, he was reeling it in and we were both more focused on the dead walleye until it got close to the boat and Scott looked down and his rod almost snapped in half when this Pike took off under our boat. Getting this fish in required teamwork- we both took turns with the rod maneuvering it around to avoid obstacles.

Disclaimer: Hearst Air does not Provide Nets. Bring a good net.

 

We had to try to get this beast in the boat, and tension ran high as we had no net. Eventually we were able to get him in, quick measurement, picture, and he was off to grow some more so he's 40" for us next year.
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It was at that moment we both agreed this was the best trip ever, and neither of us wanted to leave. We were haunted by what fish we might have caught had the lake not been so muddy the first 4-5 days. Not only were we catching amazing fish non-stop, but we were surrounded by some of the most surreal surroundings I could have imagined. As it got darker, we had a gorgeous sunset on one side, and the moon coming up on the other. For those that have never been on a trip like this, most lakes are fishable until about 11pm when you're this far north.

 

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Even the Clam fishing turned on!

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When we finally arrived back at the cabin at 11ish, we finished our cleaning so we could head out in the morning.

 

Leaving Day.

Earlier in the week we couldn't wait for this day to come, but now it was breaking our hearts to have to leave.

We headed back to "our spot" to try our luck- there was a fair amount of chop this morning, but the results were the same. Fish after fish.

Scott caught a nice fat 33" pike, and as we were unhooking it we saw our plane arrive to come pick us up.

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Man did that thing put up a good fight.

 

Conclusion-

We could not be any happier with the service and quality of Hearst as an outfitter. Mel is the sweetest and is extremely knowledgeable on all of their lakes. She has a lake for pretty much any parties needs and if she can't take care of you she would be happy to point you to the right place. We flew into some of the most amazing scenic country and had an absolute blast. There is something amazing about being the only one's in that whole area. Being unreachable for a week (Sat Phones for Emergencies.) is just precious during this day and age where everyone is so connected to their devices.

 

Mel has a few openings available for the rest of the year- call her and ask about some potential last minute deals.

 

I was really excited to do a write up about this lake because quite frankly I have not seen any on the internet.

 

Would I go to this lake again? Absolutely. This lake can be a challenge, and can be very temperamental, but at the end of the day I would take 2 days of fishing like that again if I could.

The party before us had a 42" pike, and lots of walleye.

 

Why did Scott catch all the good fish? I have no clue. The guy caught a 39", 33" ,30" pike and a 28", 25" and 24" walleye. I maxed out at a 32" pike and a 24" walleye.

Who caught more fish? Still Scott! He used a smaller lure from the get go. I tried a lot of bigger profile and bigger vibrating baits to try to get strikes in the dark water, sadly that didn't pay off like I thought it would.

 

I leave you with this photo, completely unedited. The beauty of our own country and province will leave you breathless.

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Thanks for taking the time to read about it. If you guys have any questions about this lake or even some of the others, I am more than happy to answer and let you know what I've heard.

Edited by James77

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Would love to see more of these kinds of reports here at OFC. Your excitement overflows right out of this one. Have flown with Hearst Air a couple of times in the past up to Pym and you're right, Mel, Mike, Georges and the gang are fantastic. Need to go see them again really...

 

For best pike opps shoot for Pym or Napken next time... although you'd maybe need a larger group to book?

 

Well done James! Thanks for this great write up.

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Awesome report and thank you for taking the time to put this up. Would love to to a trip like that someday.

Thank you sir! I would absolutely recommend that every angler take a trip like this.

 

Would love to see more of these kinds of reports here at OFC. Your excitement overflows right out of this one. Have flown with Hearst Air a couple of times in the past up to Pym and you're right, Mel, Mike, Georges and the gang are fantastic. Need to go see them again really...

 

For best pike opps shoot for Pym or Napken next time... although you'd maybe need a larger group to book?

 

Well done James! Thanks for this great write up.

Thanks Bunk! That means a lot to me coming from the king of write ups himself.

 

I saw a picture of you on the wall actually. We are planning to try Pym next year if I can gather a big enough party.

 

I was very excited to share this with my fellow OFC'ers.

 

Excellent report James! And it was great to hear how enthused you were given the first several days.

Thanks! We kept motivated with the fishing because we knew the fish didn't just up and leave. We hoped it would clear up and they'd be hungry after a few days not eating and it paid off!

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Would love to see more of these kinds of reports here at OFC.

 

 

You flip the bill dude, and Terry and I, will write up a great report just like this one. LOL

 

Enjoyed this report. Great job.

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Great report James nice to see your self and Scott got into some great fishing after some nasty weather I have been on several fly in trips and have also been blown off some of the small lakes we have gone to with that being said my best trip was on the Shawmere River system out of Foleyet we had 4 days with high winds out of the 7 days we were there and the fishing was incredible with great numbers of walleye being caught fishing the walleye chop sure paid off but I am sure the conditions you faced were a lot different with it being such a shallow body of water anyway I really enjoyed the write up and photos thanks for sharing just counting down the days for our annual fly in trip into the Chapleau Game Preserve.

 

Cheers Mitch

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I was hoping you were going to do a report.

 

Great job, I enjoyed reading that.

 

Sounds like a memorable week. Pym sounds awesome, hopefully you guys can swing it.

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Great report James nice to see your self and Scott got into some great fishing after some nasty weather I have been on several fly in trips and have also been blown off some of the small lakes we have gone to with that being said my best trip was on the Shawmere River system out of Foleyet we had 4 days with high winds out of the 7 days we were there and the fishing was incredible with great numbers of walleye being caught fishing the walleye chop sure paid off but I am sure the conditions you faced were a lot different with it being such a shallow body of water anyway I really enjoyed the write up and photos thanks for sharing just counting down the days for our annual fly in trip into the Chapleau Game Preserve.

 

Cheers Mitch

Thanks Mitch! Good luck on your trip- make sure you post some pictures!

 

I was hoping you were going to do a report.

 

Great job, I enjoyed reading that.

 

Sounds like a memorable week. Pym sounds awesome, hopefully you guys can swing it.

Well Chris you asked me to, so I really had no choice but to buy a new camera and document everything for ya!

 

I'm glad you liked it. It is an amazing lake.

 

 

 

You flip the bill dude, and Terry and I, will write up a great report just like this one. LOL

 

Enjoyed this report. Great job.

Thanks! You and Terry should totally do a trip like this, you guys would tear it up.

 

Nice report and pics. Thanks for sharing.

Thank you sir!

Edited by James77

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We flew in with Hearst Air to Mcleister a few years ago , we also had a great time.

Thanks for sharing your adventure !

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awesome to see a full blown report around her by someone other than the usuals!

 

(not a dig, just nice to see new blood as well)

 

Glad you enjoyed it so much. Its trips like this that become an addiction that make you want to come back year after year.

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Thanks for the great report. It's nice to see them coming from this side of the province. We don't see enough of them.

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Awesome stuff man, really enjoyed this report!!

Thanks! I'm glad

 

We flew in with Hearst Air to Mcleister a few years ago , we also had a great time.

Thanks for sharing your adventure !

How did Mcleister go? We were torn between that lake and Martison. Still not sure which was the better choice.

 

awesome to see a full blown report around her by someone other than the usuals!

 

(not a dig, just nice to see new blood as well)

 

Glad you enjoyed it so much. Its trips like this that become an addiction that make you want to come back year after year.

 

Thanks man, it was a blast!

great report!!

Thanks!

 

Thanks for the great report. It's nice to see them coming from this side of the province. We don't see enough of them.

Thanks! I'm hoping to put one or two out a year from now on! :)

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Wow, sometimes I'm just blown away by the beauty of our landscape! Great pics, seems like you had a great time but especially when the bite was on! Somehow I seem to get outfished every time out too, only it's my wife killing it, lol

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I don't know how I missed this fantastic read and pics. It sure sounds like you guys had a blast with the good weather and looking out the window because of bad weather hurts badly when you only have a week. Been there before, it hurts. Your passion came through in your writing.

 

Thanks James.

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Very nice report and pics of your trip.

Thanks for sharing.

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Awesome report & thanx for the great photos!

Thanks!

 

Wow, sometimes I'm just blown away by the beauty of our landscape! Great pics, seems like you had a great time but especially when the bite was on! Somehow I seem to get outfished every time out too, only it's my wife killing it, lol

It was 100% the most beautiful scenery I've ever seen. We definitely had a great time!

 

I don't know how I missed this fantastic read and pics. It sure sounds like you guys had a blast with the good weather and looking out the window because of bad weather hurts badly when you only have a week. Been there before, it hurts. Your passion came through in your writing.

 

Thanks James.

Thank you my friend, we were very scared that the fishing would turn on the last day like it did because it left us wondering "What if". I wonder what we would have caught if the weather was nice all day.

 

I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thanks.

Very nice report and pics of your trip.

Thanks for sharing.

Thanks! Glad you liked it.

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