We get many appreciative letters from our guests but this one stands out among the crowd.  Gordon K. is a fairly new guest to us and has really fallen in love with Northwestern Ontario!  Please read the story below and tell me that you do not want to go fishing with us this summer.

 

 

“It is now the end of January 2016.  There is snow covering the ground, but all the edges near the road and the driveway are peppered with winter dirt.  Little black clumps are drilling their way through the snow leaving behind a crusty icy grit that defies shoveling.  It is going to be six or eight weeks before winter loses its icy grip and even longer before the pond thaws.  A snowplow rumbles by the house and it reminds me of the deep pounding rumble of John’s plane after he dropped us off at Vee Lake and the joy it brings me when it fades into the distance, because that sound comes only when we are back in the Canadian wilderness with Amik Outposts.  My mind free falls back to Vee Lake this past summer: Instantly I am sitting in a fishing boat by the motor and my brain remembers the chubbing sound of the outboard at 3 rpm above stall.  The sonar is telling me we are in 25 foot of water and it signals higher and lower as we drift over a boulder here and there.  I look to my left and see my blue anti-slip mat littered with various jigs I have used and didn’t like, plus maybe four or five jig bodies destroyed in battle.  Several of them shift or roll halfway as the waves gently rock the boat.  I look up and see Dad half as a silhouette, since he is blocking the sun and half in subdued color.  Beyond him are blue sky, billowing clouds and scrub pine covered hills that reach down to the water’s edge.  I love to see beams of sunlight bursting through the cloud cover.  They are a constant reminder that God is with us, smiling, enjoying the day He has given us.
My left hand is still damp from the last walleye and the breeze cooling my hand reminds me of that 18 inch beauty.  Dad sets his hook and I reflexively reel up my line, then he battles it for a few minutes and I just sit there and watch him.  Then he gets it close enough to the boat and I cast out again.  When he gets it to the boat he messes with the rod and lure for a few moments to see if the walleye can get itself off the hook.  Not this time.  He lands it, tosses it back into the lake, reels up the slack in his line and casts back into the water.  I look up from my line and line us up between the two islands and for the hundredth time check which direction the wind is blowing.  I move the motor handle an inch or two and decide that now we are on a perfect drift.  That feeling of a perfect drift usually lasts two or three minutes before I think I have to adjust or move us, but when you are in it, it does feel like everything is right.  But the wind always messes with you and soon you realize that we are NOT drifting right, so you study the wind for 20-30 seconds, then shift the boat motor this way or that to re-align things and once again you feel that you are on a perfect drift, or at least one that is better than the one you were on.
Nope. We are not catching enough fish.  It is time to move somewhere else.  I announce to Dad that we are going to move.  I broke his trance.  He looks at me for a moment like he doesn’t recognize me, but it is just that his brain was lost in thought and I had interrupted his concentration.  He says ‘OK’ and then begins to reel in his line. I already have a destination in mind; across the lake where the wind is blowing across a rocky point and I can put the drift from the tapering point across the face of an elongated island.  I already have my line out of the water and as I set my rod down I give the motor some gas and begin to spin the boat around and out of the corner of my eye I see that I didn’t give Dad enough time to reel in his line, so I drop the motor rev and straighten the boat back for Dad.  A few seconds later his lure shoots out of the water and springs over his head.  Dad opens his eyes real wide and makes a fake frown on his face and it causes me to chuckle.  The lure spins around and the wind tangles his line around his rod.  Oh well, he can clean that mess up by the time we get to the new spot.
We begin our move by getting the boat up to a plane and start zooming across the water.  The waves begin to pound on the bottom of the boat and I have to grab the top of my head to keep my hat on.  A few sprinkles of water walk up the side of the boat and splay out into the wind and become obliterated as they impact my shirt.  The boat is vibrating up and down a couple of inches several times a second as Dad leans forward slowly to reach for his line clippers.  The boat and his hand are apparently not quite in synch and I stare at him as he carefully tries several times to grab the line clippers.  The reason he can’t quite get them is that as he reaches for them they are vibrating across the seat and never in a straight line and he is bouncing up and down at a frantic pace.  Eventually he does snag them and then he focuses his attention to the jig dangling from his rod tip.  The jig is dancing and spinning in the wind and apparently has a mind of its own and it takes almost another thirty seconds until he has even gotten ahold of the jig.  Then he clips the line and it immediately jumps into the wind and flutters like a very thin flag in the breeze.  Now Dad casually tosses the freed jig back on the seat that held the clippers and approximately ten seconds later the jig vibrates across the aluminum seat and bangs onto the floor of the boat.  The jig body, sensing its new found freedom, immediately begins to grab onto little bits of debris from the floor of the boat to disguise itself and then begins to jump over to the fish stringer where it can cause even more mischief.
Now we have reached the other side of the lake.  I have been watching the sonar depth most of the way over here and settle on a way to position the boat to face the wind and put us on a great drift.  I cast my lure out, countdown to twenty and then flip the bail of my reel and begin to jig on the lake bottom.  Dad however, is just beginning to tie on a new jig head.  This is no easy task and is difficult to do in the wind when you are thirty and is now even more fun as we get older.  By the time he has tied the jig on I am reeling in my first walleye; nice, a seventeen incher that felt like he was nineteen inches.  Dad now begins to rifle through his jig body assortment out of his tackle box. Each bag holds a promise, but it takes maybe six tries to find the exact bag he wanted.  Meanwhile I land another walleye.  He opens the jig body bag and carefully starts to pull out a jig body.  All the other jig bodies in the bag glom onto the one he is pulling and he begins to herky-jerky the one body and only two other jig bodies fall out of the bag as he extricates the twister tail.  As he fishes up the two spilled jig bodies off his pant leg and his left boot I land another walleye.  Dad hunches over the jig and jig body to shield it (ha!) from the wind and then began to run the jig hook through the jig body until the jig is fully assembled.  Success at last, so he releases the jig and it swings over and bangs the side of the boat.  I finish landing my forth walleye.  He reaches down to pick up his rod, then reels up the slack line until the jig is about a foot from the rod tip.  He begins to spin the jig and rod tip so that the line is no longer tangled, then he starts reaching for the bail of his reel: this is the exact moment I have been waiting for the last several minutes. At this point I announce ‘hey Dad, do you want me to move the boat back up to the point?’ Dad’s jaw drops slightly as he stares bewilderingly at the lake around him, frustrated that we have completed the entire drift while he had to tie on a lure.  I love doing that, it just never gets old.
 
I fire up the motor and begin lining us up again at the point.  As I spin the boat to the face of the wind I reach down for my rod and notice my jig body has been pulled off the jig barb when I took off that last walleye.  I look at it to make sure it is aligned properly and jam it back onto the barb.  I cast it out, count down, take up any excess line and then begin jigging once again.  I think I feel another bite and reflexively drop my rod tip and then jerk it up about a foot to set the hook.  Crap, I missed him.  But something is wrong.  My jig doesn’t feel right, so I reel it back to the boat and the jig body is pulled of the jig barb again.  This makes me feel better because now I know I did get a bite.  I jam the body back over the jig barb and cast out again.  But this time I was successful and caught another walleye.  As I extricate the hook the walleye decides to violently swim in the air and thrash his head side to side.  Luckily my hand snapped back the moment he began to thrash and I avoided being impaled by my own hook, but the jig body took the brunt of the attack.  As I released the walleye back into the lake I see that once again the jig body has pulled off the barb, so I pull the body off the jig and bite off about a half inch and rethread the body back on the jig. This works for a few more fish, but then the body begins to come off the barb again and I keep pushing it back on between casts and finally the brilliant idea smacks me upside the head; you idiot, a jig body costs about fifty cents and you have been struggling with one for the last hour.  PUT A NEW ONE ON!  Generally, I perform this idiotic struggle several times during any week of fishing up in Canada and I always feel sheepish about it as I toss another spent jig body onto the jig carcass pile at my end of the boat.  Personally I blame it on the ‘heat of the battle’.”
Thank you Gordon!  I look forward to showing you around the north and hearing more stories of your adventures with us.