June 20, 2008

Canadian Fishing Trip Gives Long-Lasting Memories

On my daily trip to the bank for change, I saw my hunting buddy, Steve Damron, and he just had to show me his photos of his Canada fishing trip this spring. Steve, his son Stephen and Stephen's father-in-law, Allen Jackson, fished Moberly Lake, which is in a chain of lakes on the Bright Sand River in the Ontario Province.

They were joined by a co-worker of Stephen's, Dave Hadel, of Overland Park, and Jim Irey, a retired school administrator, and Jerry Irey, a retired fire fighter from Topeka.

They left Kansas and drove 13 hours to International Falls, Minn., arriving about 5:15 a.m. They cleared Canadian Customs without any problems and were soon in Fort Frances where Northern Wilderness Outfitters is located. They completed the paperwork for fishing licenses, paid their fees and loaded the Beaver float plane for a 90-minute flight to the lake.

They quickly put their gear away and were on the lake by 9:30 a.m. Steve caught the first fish, a nice 24- or 25-inch pike. Steve fished with Allen the first morning, and they caught four nice walleye and two pike.

When fishing a new lake, it takes a little time to explore the lake and see where the points look good, check weed beds along with gravel and rock out-cropping spots. The first afternoon proved to be a little slow as the water temp was cool.

The camp outfitters had done a nice job of laying in a good supply of food for the week. The cabin was relatively new with a nice deck overlooking the lake, lots of windows, great room, kitchen and wood stove for heat. The cabin had two bedrooms with a shower and sink. The outhouse was just a few steps from the door.

Saturday morning, they went south to checkout the rapids and Ermine Creek area. That afternoon they checked the north rapids. They all caught fish for a great fish fry that night. There is nothing better than fresh walleye, fried potatoes and pork 'n beans cooked over a camp fire.

Sunday morning, they had a heavy rain. After the rain stopped, Stephen caught a 29-inch walleye that weighed 71/2 pounds. That's huge. They all had a very successful afternoon fishing.

Monday morning they woke up to snow, they put more wood in the stove and enjoyed a lazy day. Late that afternoon Dave and Stephen fished and caught eight walleye.

Tuesday was the coldest day of the week with 30 degrees at 7 a.m. and frost on everything. They fished the weeds for pike. Jerry caught a 33-inch northern with the help of Jim's net.

That afternoon they explored a canoe portage trail which is the only other way to get to Moberly Lake if you don't go by float plane.

That evening Dave landed a nice 32-inch pike that put up a great fight. Most of the fish were caught and released. They just kept some to eat and a few to bring home.

Wednesday they fished the marsh weeds where the big northern lay in ambush. The fish were hungry and aggressive. Steve saw a monster pike about 48 to 50 inches following his spinner bait to the boat. The pike made a large splash when it went for the lure next to the boat, but it missed.

The last evening Steve hooked a 38-inch pike. Stephen was going to land the fish when it broke free and got away with Steve's g- fleck rippin' red fin lure still attached. That's a good one that got away.

Thursday morning they hit the lake at 5:30 a.m. to fish the south rapids for the last time. Steve and Stephen caught over 60 quality fish that morning. It was a great way to end the trip.

When I asked Stephen about the trip he said it was awesome, the accommodations were first class, the fishing was great, the scenery was beautiful and they all agreed it was a fantastic fishing trip. They had a great experience and want to go again.

Soldier benefit taco feed

I have hunted the Soldier area for many years and made a lot of friends. Now they need help because of the tornado that destroyed or damaged about 38 farms.

Sunday, Taco Casa will put on a taco feed at the Soldier Community Center from noon to 3 p.m., with a free-will donation for the meal.

If you are unable to attend but would like to make a donation, please send the donation to Farmers State Bank, 209 Montana Ave, Holton, KS, 66436. You may designate the donation go to a family of your choice or into a general checking account for tornado relief.

Al Ward is a local outdoorenthusiast. He can be reachedat taco- [email protected]

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