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59 minutes ago, Rizzo said:

I read your list but the most common regret was not there....did not pack enough beer

Lol - we learned after one of our first trips to Brennan Harbour to not repeat that mistake!  We went over labour day and it was 30 + degrees everyday and we were out of beer mid week!  Thankfully it was a drive to resort and we hit the LCBO to replenish!

On our last trip I had exactly one can of Blue left on our last day - perfect planning lol 

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We go on an annual trip every year and have done so for the last 12 years.  Some guys come and go but it is the same 3-4 of us that go every year.  We hit a different camp every year and a couple we have been back to 2-3 times.

Bears Den

Mountain Home Lodge

Brennan Harbour

Air Dale - Little Miss (Fly In)

Glen Echo Lodge

Red Cedar Lake Lodge

Mashkinanji Lodge

 

It is a great tradition to have and something to look forward to every year.  Our mantra is "Beer is like ammo......when STHTF I'd rather be looking at it than for it" - LOL

 

 

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8 hours ago, 410001661 said:

We go on an annual trip every year and have done so for the last 12 years.  Some guys come and go but it is the same 3-4 of us that go every year.  We hit a different camp every year and a couple we have been back to 2-3 times.

Bears Den

Mountain Home Lodge

Brennan Harbour

Air Dale - Little Miss (Fly In)

Glen Echo Lodge

Red Cedar Lake Lodge

Mashkinanji Lodge

 

It is a great tradition to have and something to look forward to every year.  Our mantra is "Beer is like ammo......when STHTF I'd rather be looking at it than for it" - LOL

 

 

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Thanks for sharing  - thats a great list

I am interested in how you found the French compared to Brennan Harbour (as I have experience there)   I have never fished the French but recently read a book that had a part that discussed how the voyageurs used to paddle the French to eventually make there way to Lake Winnipeg and I must say I am intrigued 

Cheers

Andrew

 

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1 hour ago, mamona said:

Andrew, you created new post, victory! I am wondering how are you coming with trip ideas?

For the most part I spend time on the internet looking at new area's or reports or lodge sites 

Generally we get to a short list of 5 - 10 places that meet overall requirements (budget, distance, species etc) and then our group votes on a winner 

Some days it feels like work but most times its fun 

 

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17 hours ago, gordy28 said:

Thanks for sharing  - thats a great list

I am interested in how you found the French compared to Brennan Harbour (as I have experience there)   I have never fished the French but recently read a book that had a part that discussed how the voyageurs used to paddle the French to eventually make there way to Lake Winnipeg and I must say I am intrigued 

Cheers

Andrew

 

Hi Gordy,

The French River is a beautiful historic waterway and definitely well worth the trip.  I canoed the French & Pickerel Rivers more times than I can remember in my younger days 25yrs ago.  We went to Bears Den Lodge two years in a row and the first year the fishing was fair, but in the second visit our stay coincided with a big thunderstorm with horizontal rain that shut things down for most of our trip.  Unfortunately, in general I found the fishing in the lower French River (west and South of Hartley Bay Marina) to be hit and miss in that area. 

I liked Brennan Harbour - they run an amazing lodge but it was more big water (deep water trolling) fishing compared to French River where you are  running worm harnesses, jigging in 30-35' deep (max).  Both lodges are great, the main differences are how you plan on fishing.

 

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5 hours ago, 410001661 said:

Hi Gordy,

The French River is a beautiful historic waterway and definitely well worth the trip.  I canoed the French & Pickerel Rivers more times than I can remember in my younger days 25yrs ago.  We went to Bears Den Lodge two years in a row and the first year the fishing was fair, but in the second visit our stay coincided with a big thunderstorm with horizontal rain that shut things down for most of our trip.  Unfortunately, in general I found the fishing in the lower French River (west and South of Hartley Bay Marina) to be hit and miss in that area. 

I liked Brennan Harbour - they run an amazing lodge but it was more big water (deep water trolling) fishing compared to French River where you are  running worm harnesses, jigging in 30-35' deep (max).  Both lodges are great, the main differences are how you plan on fishing.

 

Thanks - great info!  We enjoyed Brennan Harbour as well - we had two days of the best smallie fishing of my life on that trip - my PB (just a hair under 5 lbs) came on that trip

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My biggest regret was putting up with jerks coming

 on our trips. Examples:

1) I always drove as I towed my boat. There were two guys who sometimes ended up in my car. Neither ever offered to chip on gas enroute.

2) A lodge we used to go to provided gas in the package if you were using camp boats. But if you brought your own boat you had to pay for gas (You got a reduced package rate if you brought your own boat). Camp boats were 15hp 2 strokes. I had a 60 hp 4 stroke...obviously easier to decide to travel further, not to mention my boat was very comfortable to fish from. Everyone liked to go in my boat, but not everyone  offered to chip in for boat gas.

3) We generally cast shoreline and structure. As such, I was on the bow running the trolling motor. There was one guy who would always cast ahead of me saying I had an advantage being up from. When I offered to let him run the trolling motor he would decline.

4) Occasionally, someone could not leave business at home for a week, and would often say he had to make one quick phone call in the morning. Sometimes these quick calls lasted an hour...so whoever was riding with him that day had to sit in the boat waiting. On at least two occasions, this same guy left camp early for seemingly weak "emergencies" at home.

5) Occasional riders in my boat would want to go back to camp for IMO dumb reasons...fish aren't biting, it's raining, time for cocktails etc. If camp wasn't far, I could just run them back, but often this was when we 30 minutes away.

You are probably saying why didn't you just leave the jerks at home. Unfortunately, this was usually a group of 8, there were best friends and relatives involved. I thought whining would break up the group, and there were some fine people in it.

Finally, one year I could not go for work reasons. For whatever reasons, a few other guys couldn't go either, and no trip was scheduled. Suddenly, in mid Sept, I got a window to go (court case I was working on got postponed). I was just starting to decide to see who in the group might be available on short notice. Instead, I said screw it...and just went by myself. It was the most relaxing and wonderful trip I'd had in years. That cured me...now, I have only gone with two very close friends, my two sons, and my nephew. I wish I had limited my trips to these people many years earlier.

Long winded post, but once I started thinking about it, the words just flowed. And, honestly, I have other examples, but I think you will get the drift.

I must add that my woes were in this specific group of guys. I've taken several other trips, mostly fly in, with groups of 4-6, including some complete strangers, that were a complete blast.

Edited by bigcreekdad
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Excellent post - and yes we all have those people and those people get to experience one (1) of these trips with is and are not invited back.  

We now have 3 boats and 6 guys and we split everything equally from the time we leave the house.  We drive 2 per vehicle and I arrive at the guys house with a full tank in my truck and a full tank in my boat and when we get back to Burlington we fill them both up and split the cost between us - but more often than not the other guy covers the cost.

We change locations all the time in the boat but if you're in the bow you have the motor as well - period.

On the last day over breaky we throw all our receipts in the pot - groceries, snacks, steaks.......whatever you contributed and we add in the cabin, dock fees, bait and taxes and deduct what you have already paid out (receipts) and we shuffle the money around the table making everyone whole again.  We all round up when paying and round down when asking and it works well for everyone.  We eat very well........very well - LOL.  This year we had Wagyu steaks for one meal and a seafood boil for another meal.  

You may pick your friends but pick your fishing buddies well!!

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Definitely group chemistry is huge - I am lucky that to date we have not had any major issues - our system to divide work and costs is working for us so far

One of the most popular posts I ever did in the early days of Northern Jacks was about "That guy" on your trip.  Think most guys have a few stories about the different personalities that make up a trip

Certainly we have had the odd disagreement but nothing that ever lingered

 

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John is that you ?

On 11/16/2020 at 11:50 AM, 410001661 said:

We go on an annual trip every year and have done so for the last 12 years.  Some guys come and go but it is the same 3-4 of us that go every year.  We hit a different camp every year and a couple we have been back to 2-3 times.

Bears Den

Mountain Home Lodge

Brennan Harbour

Air Dale - Little Miss (Fly In)

Glen Echo Lodge

Red Cedar Lake Lodge

Mashkinanji Lodge

 

It is a great tradition to have and something to look forward to every year.  Our mantra is "Beer is like ammo......when STHTF I'd rather be looking at it than for it" - LOL

 

 

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John is that you ? Been down to WIndsor lately ?

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On 11/20/2020 at 4:28 PM, FILTHY OAR said:

John is that you ?

John is that you ? Been down to WIndsor lately ?

LOL.....yes it is but who am I talking to other than a Filthy Oar (love that handle!!).  We shot down to LaSalle to visit my mother in law in Sept but since the 2nd wave we have decided it best to stay put till things calm down.

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I have no fishing trip regrets. I always took my family. I only do one week fishing trip vacations. I have fished Lake Kipawa, Quebec; Kamineskeg Lake,Ontario and have settled on vacationing on Charleston Lake, Ontario. Charleston Lake is deep for Lake Trout  and has shallower areas for Bass fishing. 2021 will be the first year I will go by myself since my children have vacation plans of their own with their families. I was thinking about asking a friend and his wife if they would like to go with me. After reading the comments here I will probably go by myself and I am okay with that too.

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Oh Bill....be careful of asking couples to go with you, unless they are true fisherpeople. The year after we were married (early 70's), my wife wanted to go with me on my annual trip to Canada. She had gone before when our family took our annual trip to Viamede on Stoney Lake. After we married, we became good friends with another couple and when we mentioned we were heading to Canada in late summer they said .. "that sounds like fun". They were not fisherfolk. Like an idiot, I consented to asking them along. The first bad sign was when they all suggested a different lodge, and thought it would be fun to select one. At that point, I should have put my foot down...big mistake. We ended up at a really mediocre lodge on Lake Cecebe near Huntsville. 

On day one we woke to rain...heavy all day rain. I went out fruitlessly by myself for a few hours, but my wife didn't like me leaving her alone. Next day...ditto weather. We ended up playing cards until mid afternoon when the rain let up and the sun peeked out. The guy and I went out and had a couple hours of decent pike fishing. I started to get pumped. The next day dawned beutifully.... sunny, light winds etc. We went to breakfast at the lodge, and all three of the others decided we should drive to North Bay for the day to see the sights and get a good lunch. I pointed at the weather, and they still insisted we go. This was only a year into our marriage, and I had not tested defying my wife yet with regards to MY fishing trips. So, la dee dah, we went to town for the day. Next morning...you guessed it...downpour, with no decent forecast. It made me sick to think of the wasted day before. We went to breakfast, and the other couple suggested we all pack up and head to Toronto to "take in a few shows". That was it!! I went ballistic. We ended up staying the week out, and had one more decent day of weather and fishing. It was a very long and quiet ride back to Ann Arbor. We used to do everything with this couple....that not only became more infrequent, it actually ended completely within a year. HUGE lessen....do not ask Friends to go on a fishing trip, unless they are tested fisher people.

Gee....I think I could write a book on this stuff, which is really kinda sad. Live and learn.

I'll repeat though, I have taken some spectacular trips, which usually included some strangers. Interestingly, looking back, all these trips were put together by one guy. He was a world famously fly tier, and he would put together trips asking guys he knew pretty well through his fly tying. He took his wife along occasionally, and everyone of these trips was fantastic...fishing, lodging (or fly in cabin), and camaraderie.

 

 

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