Canada: As good as it gets!

The ability to take and enjoy harsh weather. Getting along with eight family members and friends for seven days without seeing another person. Staying up very late at night and thoroughly enjoying fishing. These are all requirements for a seven day Canadian fly-in fishing trip.

Wednesday, June 21

Last night was another one of those nights where the first of us went to bed at 3:30 a.m. and the last two were still standing at 6 a.m. That may sound a bit off the wall to you but we come here from as far away as Walker, La, and each of us knows the importance of getting every possible minute out of an experience like this and we always have.

So, here is the scoop! Today is day five on Shultz Lake (Chimo Lodge and Outposts). As usual, we have had an excellent breakfast and everyone will head out of camp at about 11 a.m. and will return at 10:30 tonight.

Our new guy this year is David Nelson who is in his late 20s and is Jeff Moll’s nephew. David was just married in March (I went to his bachelor party on Fox Lake – camping, fishing, staying up late).

When we leave for the day it’s a big deal as you have to pack everything from a day’s worth of nightcrawlers, to snacks, rain gear and some beverages.

All nine of us were about to head out when David mentions his wedding ring is missing. After a quick hunt we find it on the edge of our boat pier. David had put on sunscreen and it made his ring fall off.

We are all happy and David is putting his ring on and in front of all eight of us, he bobbles it, just about catches it, misses it and it falls between the boards on the pier, bounces off the rocks underneath and vanishes.

That, my friends, is life for the Canada Gang. After hard work and a hunt, the ring is found in the water, between some rocks.

Something that is tradition and stupid, unless you are part of this gang, is when you come back to camp at the end of the day, you do several circles in front of camp with your boat, and hoot and holler. If someone else is coming into camp at the same time a friendly game of “boat wars” takes place.

Lures that catch us fish and win the most daily/weekly northern pike and walleye bets: the nightcrawler harness with a 1.5-ounce bottom bouncer or a floating jig on a bottom bouncer wins almost all eight of those bets.

For gators (northern pike) that can be pretty interesting. Last year, my 16-year-old daughter, Selina, picked out a pink and white Dare Devil for her new lure to try out. That choice caught Selina a 40-inch gator and three over 35.

This year my nephew, Trent Schuster, who is 25ish, is leading the big gator contest with a 38-5/8-inch fish with the pink and white Dare Devil.

Friday, June 23

High 59, Low 47

Today is our last full day on this adventure and I would be fishing with Selina and my brother-in-law, Dick Schuster. We would travel seven miles by boat, do a hike to another boat/ lake, drive this boat to another trail and then hike to a lake called Thunder.

As soon as we reached Thunder Lake we could see the storm clouds were brewing. Thunder Lake is known for having big northern pike and naturally I was throwing the 2-ounce Musky “Red Eye.” That lure has won me the gator contest the last two years. Though it does not catch you a lot of fish, big fish like to eat it.

We know our time is limited due to the approaching weather which has been the norm this week. We are doing 500-yard drifts in a bay that is about 6-8- feet deep. I like to fan-cast the Red Eye and figure Trent is going to win big gator and Selina will win big walleye with a 28.5 that she caught on Tuesday.

A big fish hits my lure. It is close to the boat and strong. The wind pushes us hard and fast and the big gator is under the boat. I get lucky and maneuver the gator away from the boat and upwind.

Dick is great with the net. The gator is 41.75 inches and the true definition of obese. Just before we released it Dick says, “sorry Trent,” and life is grand in my world.

Deer Camp and Shultz Lake – the best two weeks of the year!


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