Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Rain, Rain and Helipoter Rides

Three days of rain resulted in minimal pictures this week, flooded boats and roads. Over 6” of rain can really wreak havoc on a fishing resort. We had two boats swamp and near record water levels. Many of the fishermen still went out and did well with fishing. As for ourselves, I got out three times last week and Barb got out once.
Road damage from the rain
I finally got a chance to get back up to Northwind to recover those boats we abandoned due to the ice flow that blocked our return to the landing. I had to bring a chainsaw and cut a few trees that had fallen across the river where I needed to get the boats but eventually got them back to the launch. Work done, I thought I am on the lake, I may as well get an hour or so of fishing in. I headed out to one of my favorite spots and quickly had a 17” walleye on the stringer. Pretty soon the wind and the rain picked up but so did the fishing! Within the span of an hour I had boated and released 5 more walleyes, 3 of which were over 26” and 2 more over 23”. The entire adventure reminded me of the scene from Caddy Shack where the priest went out golfing in the lighting storm and had the round of his life. Here I was, in the pouring rain getting pounded by waves, catching one huge fish after another! That scene did not work out so well for the priest in Caddy Shack so I thought I better get off the lake and headed for shore…. but what a memorable trip!

The next day Barb and I went to a remote lake about 70km’s from camp but with the roads in the condition they are due to the rain it took us 2 hours to get there. On the way to the lake we saw a cow moose and a huge wolf. Once we launched the boat we fished the mouth of an incoming river where Barb had caught a 25” walleye last year. The river was really moving into the lake due to all the run off so it made it very difficult to hold the boat in position. After being in this spot for about 15 minutes Barb snags her jig on the bottom of the lake. She is yanking on it trying to dislodge it from the rock or log it is stuck on when the line starts moving out into deeper water, it is not a snag at all but a giant fish! I maneuver the boat trying to follow the fish so it does not run all her line off the reel and help her fight it. For 4-5 minutes the fish just stays in the deep water. She eventually horses it off the bottom and it comes up near the boat and we get our first look at it, it is a HUGE northern! Barb caught at 43” northern two years ago and this one was much bigger, at first glance I would estimate it at 48-50”. The fish sees the boat and simply turns and swims back to the bottom, not rushed, not even acting like it is hooked, just turns and swims away like it is the top fish in the lake and does not care it has a line trying to pull it the other way. Over the next 5 minutes we get it near the boat two more times but not close enough to get a net on it. Eventually the fish swims back into shallow water where there were deadfalls and debris from the inlet of the river. As I am operating the motor trying to keep it in deep water, Barb is trying to keep it away from shore with her rod. Eventually the fish won by getting into the brush and breaking off the jig. I was expecting Barb to be really bummed out losing such a monster fish but the first thing out of her mouth was…”wow, that was cool!” We fished throughout the lake picking up a handful of walleyes and eventually returned to the area where she had that pike on, but it either left the area or wanted nothing to do with us but we will be back! 
I also got out to Onaman and fished with Kazi and Yoko, a couple in the area from Japan. He spoke some English while Yoko spoke very little. They showed up in camp yesterday unannounced and no reservations and asked if there they could stay here and if someone could take them fishing. Kazi, a 69 year old physician from Okinawa, said he bought a fishing pole yesterday and wanted a big walleye as he had read about them but had never caught one.  Kazi and I fished while Yoko watched and took pictures. I went to one of my favorite reefs on the lake and started catching some nice walleyes, meanwhile Kazi was having his own good luck catching northern pike…… Yoko insisted on taking a picture of each and every fish we caught laughing and giggling the whole time! After his 4th pike in a row, I started calling Kazi “Pike-man” and he started calling me “Walleye-man” Yoko thought that was the funniest thing in the world and giggled while she continued to take pictures of our catches. Kazi caught two more pike and Yoko was calling him “Pike-man”. Finally Kazi got the hang of getting his jig on the bottom and started catching walleyes. By the end of the day he was a “Walleye-man” as well. The biggest fish of the day was a 25” walleye Kazi caught late in the day. As we released that fish he said he was done and wanted to head back to camp. On the way back to camp we saw 5 bears including this sow and cub who were nice enough to pose for pictures for us.

Walleye-man Kazi!

The adventure of the week goes to a group that was in camp last week. The group consisted of a father, his two 8 year old twins and an adult friend. They did not get out fishing two days due to rain but when the clouds parted they booked a charter on Lake Nipigon which is about 30 miles away. Lake Nipigon itself is about 60 miles wide by 90 miles long, a huge body of water. They were going for trophy pike and brook trout. Day turned into evening and past the time they should have been back. Evening turned into night and they were still not back. The other groups in camp became more and more concerned about them. So many things could go wrong out there, hitting a submerged rock or log, engine trouble, running out of gas………There is no way to effectively look for them ourselves in the dark on such a big body of water. Chad eventually called the OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) and reported them missing. As a general rule, they will wait until morning to search of lost parties. I woke up the next morning hoping to find their truck parked in front of their cabin but when I looked, there was no truck. Hoping for the best, we waited to hear the search results. About 11:00 that morning we see their truck pull into camp and did they have a story to tell! About 3:00 the afternoon before the head on their engine blew so they were dead in the water. They were able to paddle to shore near an area where the guide had a camp set up several years ago, once they got there they were able to build a makeshift shelter with a tarp, build a fire and even cook a few fish. Once the sunset they knew they were there for the night. According to the dad everyone had slept pretty well except him as he was tending the fire. The next morning about 7:00 he said he heard the whoop whoop of a helicopter in the area and said that he was never so relieved to see it settling down on the beach in front of them. The next part I would not believe if I did not see the pictures myself……. Once they helicopter landed the pilot got out holding a pizza and said “Did someone here order a pizza?” After taking a few pictures the pilot said they could take their fishing rods but everything else had to stay there and be recovered later. The helicopter took off with the group and landed them within a hundred yards of their truck at the marina! Although that group headed home a day early, everything ended well, they even booked to come back next year. You can read more about this adventure and see pictures of the helicopter and kids eating pizza by clicking the link to the Pasha Lake website on the right side of our blog page.

All in all it was a great week and I learned a valuable lesson…….how to get a pizza delivered out in the bush!


  1. Again, sounds awesome! Are you guys camp hosts?

    1. No, the owners of the resort are good friend so we are just hanging out for the summer. Very beautiful and unique area.