Thursday, June 18, 2015

Northwoods Notes - 2015

Some sport fishermen enjoy the activity so much they leave camp at sunrise, arrive back at sunset and beat the hell out of the water in-between. Not us. Sounds too much like work and our fishing trip is a relaxing vacation.

Our fishing day doesn't begin until about 9am after a big breakfast and coffee. The first order of business after that is dragging the gear down to the boat and starting the motors, a trip to the gas dock for refueling and making sure we have enough bait.

We will stay on the water for 3-4 hours before returning to relax for lunch and a beer or three. The break can last 2-3 hours before going out to fish again for another 3-4. We always manage to catch more than our share and have enough time left over for a fish fry…

...or a grilled venison steak feast.

The experience itself is first and foremost. We do not "rough it". Well, I did that when I was young and finally came to my senses. These days where we stay is no five star resort either. Nobody brings us icy umbrelly drinks by the pool. Playing Reggae or steel bongo Carribean music is strictly prohibited. If we see a woman in a swimsuit at this resort (it has happened before) she will likely bear resemblance to Shamu.

Insects are a big problem to be dealt with up north. "I just pulled a tick off my leg" will often be heard as will the sound of an aerosol insect repellent. Deer flies may buzz around me while on the water as if my head were the infield of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I still have a few itchy welts on my ankles from unknown hungry bugs. But it's worth it.

On the first day while driving to camp on the final half mile of gravel a jogger came down the road just as we watched a black bear move on the edge of the woods next to the truck. We signaled to the clueless jogger and he just waved. We didn't stop. Later we found he was one of a few Canadian college students hippies who were camping in tents on the lodge property doing some study on the local islands.

The cabin we rent was once a private residence adjacent to the lodge property. The camp owner bought it a while back and rents it out. We reserve it each year for the following year before leaving for home. It is capable of sleeping eight but our party is usually six. The kitchen area contains all the appliances necessary to cook our own food. Electricity, hot water showers and two toilets help keep us sane. And it's air conditioned to boot.

The best part is we have a private dock that is secluded from the main camp. While I appreciate the seclusion what I miss is watching the main camp follies.

On the final day my amusement came from watching some inexperienced boaters try to land a 20'+ aluminum runabout on their trailer. Knowing their trailer was not backed far enough into the water it wasn't a surprise to me to see them wrestle with the winch over and over. It must have taken fifteen minutes before one noticed the error but it took them at least a half hour to finally pull the damn boat out (tee-hee).

I try to take as many photos of wildlife as possible but the critters usually disappear before getting a good shot off. Eagles are everywhere. Pelicans are interesting to watch. Ducks and geese are all over. The geese up there are the migratory birds unlike the golf course variety that plague the central midwest. Migaratoriy geese are much thinner than our fat corn-fed lingering loafer geese and there aren't as many hanging around.

Here's a bad-ass snapping turtle. You don't want to mess with these boys. They're meaner than an all-expenses paid Al Sharpton protest member.

One evening we watched a deer graze near the shore of an island while we were fishing. It disappeared before getting a shot because I was busy cranking my favorite Abu Garcia 6500 bait casting reel.

Not many moose at this latitude of Northwest Ontario but we have seen them farther north where we flew in and out of remote lakes years ago.

Often I will put the rod down, sit back in the boat, take it all in for a while and just rest. That's why we go.

Next up: the biguns we caught.


Dan from Madison said...


Melanie Daryl said...

It's alright to lie back and enjoy the trip. Some find excitement with busy days, but taking things at your own pace is okay as well. Anyway, the place you were staying in definitely didn't look like a 5-star hotel, but it does look cozy and welcoming. Which is always better than concrete walls and metal decorations. Hahaha! Thanks for sharing, Gerry. All the best!

Melanie Daryl @ Islamorada Fishing Source