Canadian Fly In Fishing
Canadian Fly In Fishing

We Miss Our Guests!

It has been hot in the north!  The temperature stayed in the 90’s for quite awhile.  We have been trying to stay busy but the heat has slowed us down.  Aaron and I have spent a lot of time together.  Good thing we get along so well. 🙂

Our friends and family have been trying to do their part to help us out.  We have had a number of groups book a few trips with us recently.  It isn’t much but it is something.  At least we had a reason to start up the Otter!  We have been working on trying to get some Canadian business with the border remaining closed.  It is a difficult sell to get Canadians to do a fly in trip.  They have great fishing within a few hour drive, many have their own cabins with okay fishing right out from their dock.  Our friends and family know how special it is to do a fly in, this year we had quite a few more first timers come along and they really loved it.  We always say that to people “You can tell someone how great it is to be in the North, but until you experience it, you don’t know what you are missing”

There was 13 of us!  We fished at Cherrington.  My brother brought a group of guys and my hockey buddies also had a group.  We went over the pull over one day and had a big shorelunch.  It was great to be able to spend time with all these guys and show them some of my favorite spots on Cherrington.  We fished, laughed, swam to stay cool.  Some of us even fished in the lake…..

It was so hot and Aaron said, just drop me off in that 3 feet of water.  It was deeper all around him and he caught 6 or 8 fish in half an hour.  4 boats were circling him catching fish and having a blast.  

Farmer ingenuity at its finest!  Some of my buddies needed some shade.  Why not just make your own.  It worked.

There are a few fires burning but nothing too serious right now.  We have had quite a few timely rains.  The water is up but not high anymore.  Usually it goes down as the summer goes on.  This fire should be pretty much out as we had some rain  for a few days and it cooled off finally.

We have caught an incredible amount of fish so far this summer.  We don’t take too many pictures but here are a few of the ones we caught the other day.

Of course we had room on one of the trips taking another family friend in to Cherrington so my new flying partner wanted to come.  Jack sure loves flying.  He sees every plane go by and it is either Poppa or Dad in the plane. 🙂  He sits on my lap for most of the flight holds on to the controls and puts his hand out the window, just like me.

We need lumber to finish some projects that we planned on buying this spring.  That isn’t happening right now so we are going old school.  We found a chainsaw mill and are cutting our own boards from the bush.  Aaron loves the new mill and we have lots to do now.  A couple of camps need a new dock and others will have walkways replaced.  We will treat the boards with wood preservative when we can.  Some of the boards we are replacing were cut 23 years ago when Rena and I were living at Cherrington.  The bush lumber lasts at least as long as store bought pressure treated lumber.  It will be much easier in some cooler weather though.

Rena continues to work with our guests trying to keep everyone happy moving dates and juggling to make it happen.  We do not know when this border issue will be resolved but we are doing our best to stay positive and keep our chins up.  I have my own strong opinions about what is going on and it is all political.  We can see the temperature of the people rising up in both countries and if the left gets their way in the USA like they have here in Canada something is going to boil over.  That is all I am going to say about that.  We are ready.

Even through all of this, I still have a smile on my face and have an optimistic outlook most of the time.  I recognize how my attitude directly affects everyone around me. 🙂 We are doing our best to better ourselves every day without spending any money, using up things we already have.  We are healthy, we are together, Jack is great to have near us and things can always be worse.  Although I don’t know what is worse than this.

I will keep the blog updated as to what we have been doing as I know there are hundreds of our guests who are dying to be up here.  Stay positive.  Stay informed. 

Feels Great to be back!

Rena and I have been in Red Lake for almost 2 weeks and it feels great to be back!  The ice is still probably a week away from going out at least.  The weather has been perfect since we arrived.  Warm and sunny everyday.  We have been working around the base and doing jobs we normally don’t have time to do while we are operating in addition to the normal spring cleaning.  The base is great shape and the afternoon sun has been perfect on the deck.  Today though…. it is snowing after raining all day yesterday.  Everything will start to turn green next week if it warms up.

There a ton of birds back and since we have some of the only water around, there is a lot of activity in the river.  Geese, ducks, seagulls, loons, sandhill cranes, blue herons and tons of eagles are here as well as all the other land birds.  For a few days each spring the sound of all these birds is constant.  As it warms up they slowly carry on to the north as spring heads that way.

We remain hopeful that things will straighten out in time for us to have a season.  When it will begin is still up in the air.  We have moved a few guests around that were scheduled in May, we are waiting until we know more on when the border will open before making too many changes.  We have no choice right now than to be patient and be as ready as we can when the time comes.  Aaron and I will be heading north to get the camps ready when the ice goes.

There are many theories and opinions to what is happening to us right now and if you are afraid of what you are being told or not.  Just so we are clear on our stance, we are not afraid, we are open for business.  This virus does not scare us despite what the media and government are trying to tell us.  The time to stand up and say we have had enough is here.  We have been working with our network of Tourism Associations and Airline colleagues to pressure the government about opening up the border to tourism.  We are the Premier Social Distancing Vacation. 🙂 Where else would you want to go?   There are still guests booking fishing trips for later in the season in some of our open dates, it is hard not to be optimistic when we have such great and loyal guests.  

Here are some pics I have taken recently.

Spring is the time to get the Tulibee’s smoked.  The smoker is at my Mom’s and we always have a day each spring where we get together, have a fire all day, maintain the smoker, roast hot dogs and possibly have a few drinks. 

Until yesterday this is what we had every day.  Perfect days for yard work.

Jack is back!  He is a year and a half now and spends all of his time following Aaron and I around.  This little bugger is going to be fun to have around.  We were raking leaves and he found a hockey stick in the shed to come and help with.

This is what we woke up to this morning.  Hopefully it is gone by this afternoon.  It is supposed to be sunshine for the next week at least.

 

We will be ready…….

Here we are, all in the same boat, waiting to see how this all plays out.  We have been in contact with our first few groups regarding this Covid Crisis and will continue to monitor what is happening with the Canada/USA Border as well as the spread of this virus.  As time marches on we will be in contact with more guests as we learn more.  We are optimistic that this event will go by and we will be able to resume our season at some point, but we have to be able to hit the ground running when it does.

When the border opens up again, we will be ready.  Our plan is to have the camps all ready to go when spring arrives.   I am sure we are not the only ones who would like to be in the remote wilderness during this time.  For us, self isolation is normal everyday life.   Especially when we are opening camps.  As soon as we have some open water we will be in the north getting the camps ready to go.  The airplanes have both had their winter work done and are eagerly waiting to be put in the water. 

Spring is slowly coming through the door.  The birds are back and we have had 2 snows since the crows.  One more and then hopefully spring will officially be here.  Most of the snow has finally melted and the water is still on the ice.  Once the water goes through the ice, there is about 2 weeks that you can still be out there before it gets dangerous.  Our winter fishing season ended one week early due to the lack of demand during this crisis.  Just as we were really starting to catch good again…..

Here are some pics I have taken recently.

The Otter is all ready to go, when the prop comes back from the overhaul shop it will be put back outside to wait for open water.  A pretty normal year for maintenance on the old girl.  I can’t wait to fire that beast up again!

The walleyes have made the move to shore with the melting snow and freshwater working its way into the lake. We had a good year for fishing, catching lots until X-mas and then slowed down until now.  Not a bad part time job.  3 days a week, work outside, eat fresh fish whenever you want, and get paid to feed people.  The weather can sometimes be a pain but we have been doing this so long that we only complain when it gets too warm. 🙂

We haven’t caught many crawfish this year but did the other day.  Dustee sniffed it, got grabbed by the lip and threw the crawfish about 10 feet!

We had a new ice crack show up during the last couple weeks.  Most people would be nervous leaving the Bombardier parked right on the crack.  With 38 inches of ice you could park a tank there and it wouldn’t move.  

I have been isolating/ angling since our commercial fishing season ended.  I think I have been on the lake everyday for 2 weeks straight!  Dustee comes out on the nice days now.  She is bored since angling is kind of boring compared to pulling nets.

Please keep yourselves healthy as we get through these crazy times.  We will continue to monitor the situation and will contact each group leader individually to work through whatever lies ahead of us.  Stay positive, eat healthy, exercise, if you are at home, maybe go through your tackle box and lighten it up a little……

We are always available for any questions by phone 807-735-9968 or by email amikoutposts@gmail.com  

 

Beginning to turn the corner…

The melt is slowly starting…… March is coming in like a Lamb, I hope not out like a Lion.  I prefer to go with 3 snows after the crows 🙂

We had a fairly nice and easy winter this year.  Cold (-25 to -30C) a few times but it didn’t stay for too long.  Moderate temperature for the most part by our standards.  We even had some calm stretches, which is the best part of all. There is quite a bit of snow in the north where the camps are but nothing excessive from what I have heard.  Red Lake has snow but not as much as up north.  Hopefully we have a nice spring to follow…….

My brother and I are still out commercial fishing on Lake Manitoba, it is pretty slow right now.  It has been pretty cold and the fish are just sitting there.  We are catching a few, enough to keep us out there getting some exercise as we say.  Dustee is out there with us for the last 8 years.  Only missing a stormy day here and there.  She used to be able to fit on top of a boat cushion.  

Now Dustee casts a pretty big shadow!

She is always with us out on the lake and is constantly watching and hunting.  Staying close on the stormy days and wandering pretty far on the calm days.

Here she is trying to get to an Otter, that is long gone but she thinks she can get it.

Our schedule is changing all the time as we book people.  We only have a few holes left here and there and then some openings later in the season as well as a date which opened up due to a cancellation.  Here are what we have open at this time.  Please feel free to ask for specific dates and we can do our best or add you to a waiting list in case of a cancellation.

Shearstone Lake, May 30 – June 3, 2020 (5day)

Cherrington Bay, May 28 – June 1, 2020 (4 day)

Shearstone Lake, July 2-7, 2020 (5 day)

Findlay Lake, July 22-28, 2020 (6 day)

Cherrington Point, August 3-8, 2020 (5 day)

Cobham River, July 30 – August 3, 2020 ( 4 day)

Jeanette Lake August 6-13, 2020 (7 day)

Please click here if you would like inquire about one of these dates.  We look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Choose Amik Outposts?

With all of the Outfitters in Ontario, why pick us?  Here is a blog I wrote a few years ago which tells our story. 

Since I wrote this we have added some key people to our business.  Our Oldest daughter Taina and our son in-law Aaron have started to work with us.  We are excited to show them the ropes and teach them all we can to be successful.

This should help you make a good decision on who you want your outfitter to be.  We want everyone to have a great trip each and every time they visit us.  Click on the link below to check out a previous blog.

https://www.canadianflyinfishing.com/2016/01/why-choose-amik-outposts/

Merry Christmas

Christmas is fast approaching.  We hope that everyone is getting ready for Santa and that you plan to spend some quality time with family and friends.  

Our days are very short now.  The sun doesn’t get up until well after 8am and is down just after 4pm.  

We started out cold this fall, but as the entire USA was in the grips of winter for awhile, we were warm and dry.  Once we had about 8-9 inches of ice on the lake and very little snow it stayed beautiful for 2-3 weeks.  It was almost too warm for working out on the lake.  Especially when you are catching 6-900 pounds of fish a day.  Each one has to be handled numerous times before it even gets to town and then to market.  

 

It has since cooled off (-25 C) and we are snowing now.  It was beginning to look like a brown Christmas up here.  The lake has 13-14 inches of ice and fishing is still good.  Our third man, the Bombardier is out on the lake now.  Our lives just got easier, it pulls the nets out for us and then back in once we have taken the fish out of the net, keeps our fish warm,  gives us shelter from the wind and has a radio 🙂

Dustee is out there with us each day.  She loves to run, eat frozen fish and try to catch the ravens.  A couple of weeks ago, she went off on an adventure near Long Point and awhile later we heard a weird howl from where she went.  I took off on the snowmobile to find her.  She fell through the ice near the point.  We never go near the point as the ice is always unpredictable there.  I walked towards her to help, and it started cracking under me.  I was still 15 yards away.  I told her I couldn’t help her.  She had to do it.  She tried one more time and then she popped up and came to me.  She had broke through the ice for about 30-40 yards before she called for help.  She has used up a few lives on that point.  But she was right back there the next day!  She was soaked but scrubbed herself dry on the snow.  She had a ice cold bath!

Dustee also gives new meaning to the term sled dog…  “let’s go”  she jumps on the sled and rides.  We bounce across the lake at 35-50 mph.  She hangs on as best she can.  She hasn’t fallen off yet 🙂  The orange thing behind her is the Jigger.  That is what we use to get our lines under the ice.

The ice makes for some great pictures.  

We went to talk with our mechanic the other day and plan the winter maintenance.  I just could not resist taking a picture of the old girl at rest.  It will come into the hangar in the New Year and the inspection will be done.

 

We continue to book people for 2020 and if you are interested in an excellent fishing vacation next season, please contact us.  If you have never fished with us before and are on the fence about which outfitter to choose.  The only thing we will say is that we have more experience at showing people a good time than any outfitter in the area.  Our fishing is first class, we are very organized, everything at our camps is in great shape and works, and most of all, we appreciate our guests and treat them like family.  We know what we are doing.  

Our schedule is ever changing with dates and numbers of fishermen, so please enquire about any dates you may be interested in and we will let you know if we have anything open.  Here are some dates that we have open for our 2020 season.  We look forward to hearing from you.  Please click here to email us.

Cherrington Bay June 1-6, 2020

Jeanette Lake June 6-9, 2020

Shearstone Lake June 28- July 2, 2020

Loree Lake June 30- July 5, 2020

Vee Lake July 5-9, 2020

Cherrington Point July 4-8, 2020

Black Birch Lake July 18-21, 2020

Loree Lake July 21-27, 2020

Findlay Lake July 22-28, 2020

Cobham River July 30- August 3, 2020

That is all of the holes that we have at this time.  Please let us know if you have any questions or if you would like to reserve one of these dates.  We do have some availability in later August if you need some alternate dates.

 

Take care of yourselves. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us.

John and Rena

Aaron, Taina and Jack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall is here.

We are down to the last few groups of fall fishermen headed to the bush.  It is always bitter sweet to see the end of another season.  Lots of work to do and camps to close up before moose hunting.  We will see how Mother Nature treats us this fall.  We have gone from hot and dry to cool and damp.  We have had a fair bit of rain which has brought up the lake levels which is nice to see.  Fishing has been good, just deep, walleyes are down in 18-30 feet of water but the big pike have started to move into the bays and are feeding heavier as fall approaches.  The sizes have gotten bigger in the last week or two with many 26-28 inch walleyes being caught and released as well a more 40 plus inch pike.  Our guests continue to have a great time, no matter the weather or depth of the fish.  Just being in the bush away from the rest of the world should be your main reason for getting away, the great fishing is a bonus.  The silence and solitude are good for your soul and waking up with no alarm clock in such a place resets your mind.  I always look forward to fall.  It is my time of year……

 

Here are a few pictures from our last trip up north after getting some work done and closing the first couple of camps.

I had a ticket to the Packer game in Winnipeg but I had a bunch of flying to do that day.  Then was delayed by fog in the morning.  It wasn’t looking good to make it to the game.  Once we finally got going, there was just enough time.  We got the flying done and made the flight to Winnipeg.  Aaron and I were walking up to the stadium just as they were playing O’Canada.  Met up with my buddies who are also in the tourist business and had a great time. 🙂

The time of year where I disappear into the bush is upon us.  Working in the bush is nice.   You only have the task at hand to contend with and then move on to the next one.  We have accomplished a bunch of jobs already and have a couple of weeks to get some others done before we start our Moose hunt.

Lulu has become a good flying dog once she got used to it.  She jumps right in the Otter now and doesn’t mind it at all.  She is more needy than Dustee as you can see by this picture. Inside Aaron’s personal space….

You have never seen a dog as happy as Dustee when fall comes around.  It is nice and cool, she has mice to hunt and is always watching out for us.  She feels like she is our guardian I think. 

We work hard all day so that we can go fishing in the evening.  Always taking plenty of food but end up eating fish more times than not.  It is so good when it is fresh.

Dates for next year are booking up fast.  We seem to see a high demand for trips in 2020.  Please do not delay in getting your trip booked for next year.  You can inquire about dates for 2020 by clicking here.

Almost done another one!

Where does the time go?  Another season is almost done as we head into September.  The weather has continued to be great, sunshine and dry although we have had a lot of wind.  It always seems like fall gives summer a big push and we get a bunch of wind most years.  It makes fishing tougher and it also causes the lake temperatures turn over leading into fall.  This puts the bigger fish down into 20-35 feet of water.  Trying to catch fish in deep water is tough enough, never mind in a 20 knot wind. 🙂  The more experienced fall fishermen have been doing great but it is tough in the wind for everyone.  We are supposed to get some rain over the next couple of days and that should hopefully let the weather settle down a bit and freshen up the lakes.

All of our guests have been heading home with smiles on their faces already looking forward to next year, in the bush with no cell service or internet, a beautiful view and a lake full of fish.

 

Here are some pictures from the Otter.

My grandson, Jack had to have his first plane ride.  I wasn’t about to let it be with anyone but me.  He sat with me for most of the flight and took to it naturally.  He monitored the gauges and had his hand out the window just like I do. 🙂  I am sure in the years to come he will be my right hand on most flights.

 

The view for the morning coffee is pretty special.  I had a lot of these mornings but fall is coming.  The weather is going to change…..

We have started to do some jobs at some of the camps and get to spend the odd night in the Bush.  Colten caught this nice walleye on Cherrington.

The fire situation is pretty good, a couple of newer fires had started to act up and the Cobham fire continues to live on.  It has been going for 2 months or more.  It is not very active but breathes once in awhile and throws up some smoke.  Far from the camp now.  Our guests are amazed at the size of the area that was burned during the fires earlier this summer.


We will be getting work done at the camps soon and closing things up for the season in a few weeks.  Our 25th season with Amik Outposts has been a great one so far.  We see certain people at certain times of year and it signifies what point in the season you are.  Our fall people are showing up.  The leaves are changing and the geese and sandhill cranes have started to move.  Fall is upon us.  It will be hunting season soon!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

First Timers

We have had plenty of first time flyin fishermen recently.  They are always so pumped to get on the airplane and head into their own lake with no internet signal or cellular service.  Just peace and quiet.  Here is a great letter from one of our first time guests who got hooked on Amik.  Being in the bush is good for your soul.

“Hi Rena,

I wanted to send you a quick note thanking you for providing such a wonderful place for a fishing get away.  Our group enjoyed every minute of our trip. For me personally, being able to spend a few days alone in a boat with my 25 year son with no distractions was truly priceless.  I know the other guys would agree that those type of situations were the true highlight of the trip.

The fishing was superb. The cabin was great, and the hospitality was fantastic.  The maps John marked for us were a great way to get started.  We got better each day at finding and catching fish. This was the first trip of this kind for any members of our group, and it certainly more than met expectations. We ate fish every day and enjoyed it immensely, but did manage to get some top quality Iowa beef up there too!

I also wanted to thank you for your help in organizing and coordinating our trip.  Everything from adding additional guys along the way, to getting supplies and bait. It really did go very well.  

The guys are already talking about next year.  Maybe a little earlier in the season.  We will be in touch soon!

Take care and thanks again!

Gary”

More pictures

The days are getting shorter and it has finally cooled off a little bit.  I think I saw some Birch trees with leaves on it that were already starting to fade, but that could be just from it being so dry most of the summer.  We haven’t had much rain in the north where the water levels are low.  Further south we had a few more rains which translates into normal water levels for this time of year.

Fishing has been consistent, our guests have been happy.  Lots of fish and plenty of big ones to go around.  Walleyes have been caught up to 29 inches recently with most groups catching multiples in the 24-26 inch range.  Big pike were slower during the hot weather we had with most fishermen catching a number of pike in the 38-40 inch range.  Since it cooled off recently, the bigger ones are coming back to life with more of our guests reporting some 42-43 inch pike.  The largest caught so far has come from Cobham Morley.  48 inches!!!

Here are some more pictures from our guests who have been up recently.

The McGill party looks forward to their trip to Loree Lake every second year.  They always enjoy the peace and quiet and the time away from Cell service and the Internet.  A trip to the bush is the best reset a person could ask for…..

The Master Angler!!!!

The Clark party always fish the same lake, at the same time, every year.  The stakes are high and bragging rights for an entire year are at stake.  This year it was decided on the last night.  When James caught the last fish he needed to take home the Heavyweight belt in 2019.  Here are some of the pictures that they shared with us of their excursion to the Cobham.

Daryl B. took this great rainbow picture on Vee Lake after a good rain.  Golden walleyes at both ends of that rainbow I bet.

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