Whew, I am finally back home after spending most of last week with buddy Mark Stiffel up at Arctic Lodge on Reindeer Lake in northern Saskatchewan http://www.arcticlodges.com/
The trip was a resounding success and emphasized, once again, why every angler needs, at least once in his or her life time, to fly into a remote, far northern body of water with family and/or friends.
Indeed, while we were staying and fishing at the lodge we met some new friends from New Hampshire: Richard Previer, his son Jake and Richard's 18-year old grandson Josh. As Richard told me while we were enjoying a walleye shorelunch one day, "A Canadian fly in fishing trip has been on my bucket list for a long time."
When we shook hands and said our good-byes after our charter flight touched down in Winnipeg yesterday, I gathered from the smiles on Richard's, Jake's and Josh's face that they more than adequately fulfilled their quest. As did Mark and I.
As a matter of fact, I was up on Reindeer working on an upcoming trophy northern pike magazine assignment - I know, "work" hardly sounds like the appropriate word - and was able to gather some great story material and photos that I'll share in future blogs.
Mark and I landed dozens of fish each day - as many as 72 pike and 7 lake trout one day - but our focus wasn't on numbers. We were determined to land some big bruising lunkers. And we did daily, catching several pike in the 40- to 47-inch range. The biggest and the best, however, was a thick-backed, big-bellied, 48.5-inch brute that turned out to be the biggest pike caught by any guest staying at the lodge this year! It weighed a conservative 28-pounds but I think it was actually a bit over thirty.
Talk about a thrill.
Mark caught the giant toothy critter casting a beloved Williams Whitefish spoon in my absolute favourite "go to" half gold and half silver hammered finish.
There is probably not a pike angler alive who isn't aware of the effectiveness of throwing a spoon for pike, but trust me on this account: there are spoons and then, well, there are SPOONS.
Fact of the matter is, so many pike anglers throw so many of the "traditional" heavy spoons in the standard red/white colour and five-of-diamond yellow pattern that the fish become totally conditioned to them. That is why we were pitching the big C80 and C90 Williams Whitefish - adorned with 5-inch white Mister Twister grubs - and the northerns attacked them so ferociously it was ridiculous.
By the way, we were throwing the spoons with the new state-of-the-art Shimano Tranx reels which are so awesome that I am going to write a special field test report on them in an upcoming blog.
Indeed, using the Tranx reels to deliver the Williams "meal-on-wheels" was so effective, I sat down with Mark one evening, when we wanted to rest our weary arms, and shot this little "how to" video that I think you'll enjoy and that will explain precisely how we did it.
Click Here To Read More