Friday, January 29, 2010
A Broken Window, Rain, Mosquitoes, and a Musky!
If you have ever been on a Canadian fishing trip you know how bad the insects can become during the late spring and summer months of June, July, and August. Especially on the warm sunny days, the biting flies locate you on the lake as if you were a coordinate on their internal GPS units. As evening sets the mosquitoes can sometimes descend on you like a blanket of fog, to where there seems to be no escape. At times it can be quite annoying, but the beauty of this unspoiled wilderness and the quality of the fishing is what keeps us all coming back whenever we can.
It is here where this story begins, on Eagle Lake, Ontario, where my brothers, Kevin(Ronnie) and Keith (Hoy), brother-in-laws David (Hawk), Mike(Bob),and our good friend Will (Young Will) had ventured to South Shore Lodge. We arrived on a partly sunny Saturday afternoon, drove to the parking and launch area, loaded up the boats and headed to our camp. We fished that evening for a little while to get our feet wet (foreshadowing) and then turned in after a long day of traveling. We didn't know it, but it would be the last time that we would see the sun until the following Saturday morning. We awoke on Sunday morning to the clouds and rain that would be our new fishing companion for the rest of our stay. Good thing we packed our rain gear! We got our rain suits on and it seemed as though they stayed on the rest of the week.
All of us tried to do our best to fish as hard as we could but after a couple days of being pelted in the face by wind and rain, we decided that a deck of cards and a warm dry cabin (with food, beer and scotch) was a much better alternative. Even a shower didn't feel like a good idea after being in water all day. As we played cards with our fingertips looking like raisins, we noticed that the mosquitoes that were loving all the rain, were somehow entering the cabin. Every minute or so someone was slapping or swatting a Mosquito and watching it fall on the table in front of them. We drank and played cards for the rest of that evening. While we sat at the table, laughed and dealt the hands, one of us noticed, that a mosquito had landed on the picture window behind Bob. Without hesitation, Bob backhanded the window and it shattered into pieces. We first sat in disbelief over what we had just witnessed, but I will tell you that over the years we have had more fun ribbing Bob about the busted window than we could have ever imagined. With the window now open to the screen porch we figured that our mosquito problem would only get worse. It was then, as we cleaned up the glass, that we noticed that the floor boards in the kitchen had gaps in them and that was where our little bloodsucking friends were coming from.
We didn't catch too many fish that week and my brothers decided they wanted to try a Musky fly-in lake on Friday. A few of us didn't want to spend the extra money, so we decided to stay behind and continue to take our chances on Eagle. On Thursday afternoon another group in camp had told us that they had seen a big Northern Pike come up and follow their lures as they were fishing in Eldorado Bay. After listening to their story of the fish, I quickly surmised that it most likely was a Musky. Friday morning came and my brothers headed off on the float plane to Fisher lake. Bob, Young Will and I decided to head to Eldorado Bay. It would be a wise choice.
Upon entering the bay and setting up our drift over the weed bed, the three of us decided that we would give this area a little time, knowing that a good fish had been spotted here. About an hour or so later, Bob was reeling in a nice walleye that had nailed his daredevil spoon, when a big musky came right over the top of it and tried to grab it. It was the first musky that we had seen all week. It was about 9:00am now. We drifted across the bay numerous times and didn't see another musky. The rain had been on and off for the whole day but it was better than it had been most of the week. It was after 2:30pm now and Young Will decided to change baits again and try a Suick (perch color). I don't remember how many casts he had taken when he plopped the Suick right on top of a muskies head. Immediately as the bait hit the water it erupted into a full boil and the fish thrashed wildly and rolled many times. It was a long way from the boat and it took a while until Young Will was able to bring the fish boatside. I netted the fish weeds and all it measured around 44 inches long, but it was a big fat fish with a large girth.
I remember the feeling I had as captain of my boat, and how excited I was for my guest to have caught such a nice fish from our craft. It was a great feeling of accomplishment. To this day it is though I am standing there still, and I can see Young Will's lure flying through the air and landing on the water. The chaos and high fives that followed. I will never forget that moment. Young Will and I have remained good friends and tonight he is coming over to our house with his wife Krystn. I'm sure as we knock back a couple of Budweisers, eat some pizza, and share stories of our fishing trips past, present, and future, we will remember the real reason that we love to fish! It is the friendships we make, the laughs we share, the memories we take with us, that make each fishing trip a unique and worthwhile experience.