Canadian Fly In Fishing
Canadian Fly In Fishing

Category Archive: blackbirch

Summer is flying by.

The season is flying by and September is almost here already, it seems we just got started. Opening camps and there were no leaves on the trees. Today, on my way to Blackbirch and back, I noticed lots of trees starting to turn yellow, that only means one thing….Hunting season is getting close!! My favorite time of year. There are still some fishermen yet coming to see us and many have gone home recently happy and refreshed after a relaxing vacation.

Here are some recent highlights:
Blackbirch had the Ryan and Schultz parties fish them recently and they both had great times. These people from the same area of Minnesota, love Blackbirch lake and it shows. The smiles on their faces when I pick them up is kind of a dead give away! There were many stories from the last 2 trips in there but here is a couple. Dave and his buddy Ben from the Schultz party caught 302 fish in one day. They were on the lake by 6:30 am and fished until around 6 pm and had a blast. Ben said to me that this has to be the best walleye fishing in the world! I just picked up the Ryan party this morning, a group made up of mostly couples. The boys had to have their guiding hats on this week since they brought along the women this trip. And as I expected the women outfished the men again….but Kevin did catch the biggest walleye of the trip measuring to his personal best of a fat 28 inches.

The Love party fished the Cobham River last week and were very impressed! They had been fishing in the Armstrong area for 25 years and saw a huge difference in the quantity and quality of the fish they caught. Much more walleyes and way bigger on average than they have ever caught before. LeeAnne was ecstatic on the way out when she told me that they had many double headers but one day her and Jim both had 5 pound walleyes on at the same time. They will be back!

Daniels had some regular visitors back again, the Herrington/Clark party. Here is last years post regarding their 40 inch club Brad C. is the last member waiting to catch his 40 plus inch northern. He has a large number of 39.5 inch northerns to his credit but just has been eluded by his Holy Grail. This was his year, finally catching a fish big enough to join the club his own son has been a member of for some time. There was no disputing this one, measuring 41.5 inches. I will share the pictures when I get them. They said walleye fishing was quite normal and the northerns went absolutely crazy one day before we had some bad weather which was a lot of fun.

Shearstone had the Thaller family back in 2009, 2 years ago they fished Cobham Morley and caught some Big fish. Here is the link to the post from their last trip. The boys are getting older and can catch fish with the best of them. Fishing right off the dock was awesome too. Peter caught a 25 inch walleye and a 38 inch northern, the biggest of the trip. They also had a bigger northern on but did not get the net in time and lost it but they were really excited. Joey who is 7 or 8 now caught a 32.5 inch northern….on a 18 inch walleye. They could not get the northern to let go so they just netted both of them!

The boys and I spent the night at Morleys the other night to rebuild and raise the first section of dock near shore. The water has been high for 2 years and has finally gone down to a point where some work can be done. Nice to have this job out of the way. Of course the fish fry was great too!!

The Otter looks good on a nice night.

The new dock is higher and drier.

New Pics from Blackbirch

The Walter party fished Blackbirch recently and sent us a few pictures to share. It looks like they caught fish in all types of weather!!

Good rain gear is essential when you are going on a fishing trip. Lots of our fishermen say the fishing is awesome in the rain.

Looks like fishing is good when the weather is nice too….I guess it is good all the time!

Glassy water.

Blackbirch Lake, A perfect place to unwind and catch some Big Ones.

The Tom L. crew headed to Blackbirch last week and did very well. First time on a new lake sometimes takes awhile to find yourself a honey hole, but these veterans of the bush had no trouble finding a couple of reliable spots in addition to catching fish everywhere else they tried. Sand beaches seemed to be the order of the week on Blackbirch. The fish were on the windy shore but more prevalent where there was a sandy shoreline.

Here are some pics.

We got an early start on the way in but got delayed 8 miles from Blackbirch with fog for 2.5 hours 🙁

There were some big northerns caught. Here is a 42 inch!

The Rookie with a 40 inch northern pike!

A beautiful peaceful morning. This is one of my favorite things.

Not sure on the size of this one but it looks like at least a 26 inch walleye to me!

More Big fish pictures!

The weather is still great and we have more new pictures to share this week as I get time. Fishing has been awesome and many exciting stories/memories await me at every lake! It feels good to be able to see so many people having the trips of their lives. It is not all about the fishing, definitely, but it sure helps to have caught the biggest fish of your life

Does this guy look like a hockey player to you? I have known him for a long time and we have traded a lot of hockey war stories over the years. Dick has a reputation as a bit of a wild man on the ice hmmmm, just like someone else I know. LOL The group that is in Cherrington right now are also from Colorado and knew quite well of and played against the bruiser from Vail. I would not want to fight him 🙂 It is a small world. He fished the Cobham last week and caught 60 walleyes in one afternoon in 4 feet of water on a fly rod! He said it was so much fun. Pictures to come this week.

Some finely dressed men on their way to Vee lake.

This is the reflection on the water from 4500 feet!

The fog rolled in under the bridge coming off of Red Lake just before a thunderstorm one night.

A Lady Slipper at Blackbirch.

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Weather is turning, Big ones turning on!!!

It was a busy weekend with lots of fishermen heading out to the bush and many coming back with big smiles on their faces. Fishing overall was good but the colder weather definitely slowed down the fishing early in the week compared to the sunny weather during the last few days. The northerns are done spawning for the most part and the walleyes are in the process as we speak. Water levels are still high but Vee lake went down quite a bit so the rest of the lakes will follow soon as long as the weather stays decent.

There were some real trophies caught and released this week, many Northerns over 40 inches with a 42 inch on Vee and a 43.5 inch on Cherrington. Here is some of the highlights from this week.

Morleys, Mirick Party, These guys have fun no matter what the weather, good thing too this week. Mark, Andy, Patrick and Mats fished hard but never got over the 40 inch mark. Plenty of 38-39 inch northerns but no “Big” ones this year, They will be back next year to remedy that!

Daniels had fishermen from Montana this week and they had an awesome last day, here are their pictures…..

Those fly rods got a lot of use this week!

Vee Lake had the Johnson party, Our guests for many years, they have seen it all. Barry’s 20th year fishing in Canada and he said it was the coldest and windiest yet. Numbers were down from last year,(which was one of their best years) but the quality was great! Cody, Barry’s son, was a rookie this year and he had the biggest and smallest fish of the week, a 5 inch perch on a 8 inch Rapalla and a 42 inch northern! They had 12 trophies over 40 inches and 6-8 that were 39 inches. They stated that all the northerns were really thick across the back and heavy, I will put up the pictures when I get them.

Cherrington had the biggest northern of the opening week. A 43.5 inch Monster right at one of the spots I had marked for him on the map! That was caught by Bob C. and his partner Jeff was not disappointed either landing a 40 inch Pike in the same area! Walleyes as usual on Cherrington ran Large! Bob’s largest was a 25.5 inch and Jeff had a 25 inch walleye. They even caught some Lake Trout, Jeff had a 30 inch and a 25 inch not too far from the cabin. One was caught almost right on the surface because his hook was caught up on itself and just running the surface and he jerked it to try and straighten it…The trout came right up and took it and straightened it out alright. They almost got stuck out on the big lake one day too as the ice shifted after they were out there.

First Moose Hunting Video

Here is the first one, Turn Up the Volume or put some earphones on…..It is so awesome!!!


Moose hunting this season was very good! We had 8 guided hunts and 4 unguided hunters. We ended up with 5 moose for the guided hunts and the unguided guys from Tennessee saw 2 and heard multiple moose calling but were unsuccessful in bagging a moose. They were so close to a moose one day they could here the moose pulling the leaves off the branches just up in the bush from where they were. Another time they heard one whacking it’s antlers on the trees, and also heard a cow on one side of them and a Bull grunting on the other. So close. They really enjoyed themselves and were really happy on the way out! I have so many stories to tell that it will take a couple of posts to get them all out. I am only going to give you the 1st weeks stories today. I have to head up north tomorrow to finish some jobs and close the rest of the camps. It looks like the weather is going to be quite wet…..Great!

During the first week of hunting I was guiding on Blackbirch with a couple of younger hunters from Northern Wisconsin, Franz and Ben. This was the first time that I ever guided someone younger than me, maybe I am getting old? We had a great time and drank the odd beer together in the evening after hunting:) Bob, Franz’s Dad, and Gene were also along for the ride and fished and helped around the camp while we were hunting. We hunted long hours, 13-14 hours a day, usually never coming back to camp. The weather was ever changing during the first week but we had some really good calling weather. Right from the first day we had some action. Cows calling me back the first day, bulls starting to answer the second, and things only got better from there.

Thursday of the hunt was the first day we saw a moose, and he was coming fast! I have never seen a moose move so quick. A bull had been messing with us for a couple of days in one spot and Thursday evening as I was calling around the shoreline we heard a big “whoosh” as his antlers cleared the brush. He had stepped out on the far shore across the lake and I was trapped in the open about 200 yards from Franz. By the time I had Franz on his way to me to meet up with this 40-45 inch Bull, he was almost on top of us already, but I was not worried, we were in good position, we were going to meet him halfway on a point. I was quite confident we would have a shot, and it would be around 30 to 50 yards. This determined bull barely stopped as the shoreline he was walking on was a nice sand beach and he was going really fast, not the usual slow stagger a Bull does on his way to a call, not even grunting. Just as he was to the point where we were to meet, he disappeared! Ducking into the thick bush just before he was getting to a spot where we could get a shot. I continued to call and walked in the water to simulate the cows getting nervous. The wind even continued to be in our favour, I still thought we would have a chance at him at this point but the shot would be much closer than 30 yards, more like 10!!! Just when I thought he was going to stick his head out of the bush, right on top of us, he grunted at us, LOUD. He must have smelled us or just knew something was up. As I have heard many times in my life, he vanished silently. The next time we heard him he was a ways off and getting further away. I continued calling like a banshee and worked up the shore where he went and then back to our original position. My calling was working…. we could hear him coming back, in the bush this time. He messed with us until dark about 50 yards behind us but never showing himself again. Quite disappointing but I knew we would be successful yet. Attitude is key during a Big Game Hunt. I have taken a Bull at 7:00 on the last day of a hunt so I never give up.

On to Friday. The weather was a little windy but I could tell that it would go down by the evening. I had the boys out at some spots as I continued to check spots for the most recent sign. Walking in some places that no man should be going. Thick rugged country that was horrible to experience, but that is where there was another Bull. I picked up Ben mid-afternoon and took him to a spot I had never hunted before. I posted him on one side of a small point and i called from various sides in different directions. I was across from Ben when I heard an answer, Ben had heard him a few times before I did since he was closer. Such a sweet sound. This Bull was not an easy one to bring out to the lake. He came within 150 yards I guess from the shore and wouldn’t come any closer. The bush along the shore where I had walked earlier was really thick, Really Really thick! He did not want to go through that stuff. He must have grunted 150-200 times. Then he left… I kept working him and then he came back! Grunting along the thick bush trying to get downwind of us but the lake and more thick bush stopped him from going to far. Again he started to leave. I put on my Cow moose charm and brought him back once again. This was a most excruciating experience. It was almost an hour by now of low angry grunts! This time when he came back he was louder and mad! As I heard him make up his mind to come through the rough terrain, you would have thought he was a Freight Train! Ben was about 15-20 yards from me and he needed no coaching, the Bull was about to come out of the bush 50-60 yards across the bay from us and we had talked about what to do when he came out. I saw the last tress moving and the a black spot. He stopped just back from the shoreline, for what seemed to be an eternity. I knew to wait….. Then a few more grunts and I could see the Stagger and the Huge Rack on him coming through the remaining brush to the shore. He was Impressive! We had high water on Blackbirch so the moose had to come out into the water to be in full view. As he Staggered out into water about knee high he stopped!!! Looking to his right and then away from us to his left. That was the time, and Ben knew it too. BOOM!! I could see he shot him right where I had told him to when they turn their head away. He stumbled slightly and turned to his right and stood again, BOOM! Another perfectly placed shot, he took a few more steps and stood again. BOOM! That was the final shot, down he went, in the water. Good thing there was a nice smooth rock nearby to winch him up on. Good times to follow! Everyone came out to the kill site to help butcher and made a big fire to work by since the shots were taken around 6:00. We were all done by 9 or 10 and ready to try to find another one for Franz. I have great video of the whole affair so keep an eye on the Blog for it soon.

As we continued hunting, we had more answers from Bulls but no more willing participants. These guys had an awesome time and plan on hunting again in 3-4 years. I am looking forward to it!!!

This is the spot where Franz and I had the cagey one get away!

Jerry and Dave hunted Shearstone during the first week of the hunt with my long time buddy James. He is an excellent guide! He takes Moose hunting quite seriously and likes to hunt just as long of days as I do. He has experience on Shearstone and knew where they would be. Right from the get go they saw moose. Jerry passed on a spike bull early in the hunt and Dave shot his first moose fairly early in the hunt, a nice spike Bull. Jerry was pleased he passed on the first one he saw because he ended up getting a shot at a nice 2 1/2 year old bull. James said he made a perfect shot. Jerry loves it up here and is already making plans to make another trip next year.

James and I both got some awesome video of some of these moose this week and I have a number of really good stories to tell! I will work on these soon and put them up as soon as I can.

Beautiful Weather for Closing Camps

The end of our fishing season is almost here but we are having some fabulous weather. It is around 75 degrees today and nice and sunny have been up north closing camps for the past 10 days or so and getting some work done at the same time. Sleeping in a different camp every other night. If you have to get up in the middle of the night you better make sure you know where you are:) All camps that we do not use for moose hunting are closed up for the season. Last year at this time I was at the Cobham closing it down and it snowed four inches!!

Here is last years fall video.

Findlay Lake has new sleeping arrangements and New Bunk Beds.

I put the bunks on either side of the window and with light in the middle it give a lot better light and better use of the space. Good solid bunks.

The weather was good for working and windy enough to keep the bugs away.

We also moved the boat house over to the side to open up more of the view from the cabin. New walkways and a new fish cleaning table. The fish cleaning table was kind of forced to be rebuilt as the big trees out front blew down a while ago.

A nice sunrise at Shearstone Lake.

The summer sure flew by but here it is….The last fishing report.

Vee lake’s last party was the Darling group. Quite experienced fishing couples had good fishing but had to fish as deep as 30 feet at times to catch the BIG ones. A 24 inch fattie was the largest walleye and a 38.5 inch Northern.

Jay and Duane from South Dakota brought a couple new guys and fished the River previous to the last group of fishermen and had a Blast. Duane had the largest walleye at 24 inches and Glen had a 39 inch northern.

Today I brought out the last group from the River. The Fuhs party. They had excellent weather, just enough beer, no problems catching walleye and 3 northerns over 40 inches,a 40,41,and a 42 incher. A great bunch to have. Very organized, nice to see.

Springpole Lake saw the Nicklaus Party from Wi. The first question I heard was “Did the Packers win?” I was in the bush just like them but come to find out that they did:) Ron had a 41 inch Northern and they had excellent walleye fishing catching many over 23 inches and a 25.5 incher. They had 6 nice Lake Trout also on their last day. They will be back next year but a little later to fish those Big Trout shallower!

Blackbirch had the Mc Brown Party. They had a bunch of huge walleyes with a few 28 inchers and one quite a bit bigger, they figured it was 9-10 pounds. The water came up fast when they had a day of heavy rain. Good times.

Thanks to all of our fishermen who made the trip up to see us this summer and keep an eye on the Blog for fall happenings and moose hunting reports and hopefully some good video from the Hunt!

Pictures From Blackbirch!!

Here are a few more pictures we recieved lately from Blackbirch Lake. The weather was perfect and the fishing was Great!

The Weather is still Great and the Fishing is Too!!

The Jones Party came out of Blackbirch this morning from their first trip with us. They had a Blast. The weather was perfect and the fishing was Great. One morning 3 of them caught and released 107 fish in 3 hours, Jenni was fishing off the dock and caught 12 fish, these are just a few of the stories we heard this morning. They also saw a bear swimming across the lake and eagles who befriended them and followed them around all day, waiting for an easy meal.

Jenni was so happy to be the co-pilot on the way home:)

Here are a few highlights from the past week,

Findlay had the Longshore Party from Ohio. These guys have fished here many times and Findlay did not disappoint once again. A Pair of 27’s and also a Pair of 26’s in the Walleye category. It was fairly hot for their liking but it cooled off at night. They also saw a bear crossing the river coming out of Russell lake.

Morleys on the Cobham had the Cook Party fishing this past week. They had a number of 40+ inch northerns up to the boat but…those ones got away. Seeing them up near the boat and how big they are is almost as good as actually having the pleasure of holding one of those monsters for a picture! They did catch 3-35 inch northerns and tons of walleyes. One 35 inch northern was caught on an ultralight. The mid-sized fish are generally the hardest fighters and catching a healthy northern on light tackle with no leader is a lot of fun!

Cobham River had our Hardcore Northern Fishermen from Parts Unknown! These guys love to eat walleyes but only fish them long enough to catch supper, then its back to the hunt for the Big Ones!!! This year they did great once again. The Largest fish of the week were 42.5, 42, and 2-40 inch Trophy Northern and had 41 measuring greater than 30 inches. Scott told me if you looked at each years pictures, you can see the fish pictured are larger each trip they make. They are getting more experience on the waters they are fishing and our conservation policy is paying big dividends. Here are last years pics from them and I will put this seasons up when I get them.

Bob H. and some friends came out of Cherrington yesterday, one of his friends was from Berlin, Germany and had never fished walleyes before. They said that the walleye fishing was totally crazy!! Bob H. said that their walleyes averaged between 20 and 24 inches. One of the many times they had a double header on, it turned out to be two Beauties, a 25 incher on one side of the boat, and a Big 27 incher on the other side. He said they make a trip every other year and he definatly wants to go back to Cherrington!!

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