Here is the write up:
All in all, the drive up to Canada was uneventful which is always a good thing on a 1500 mile trip. This year I left around lunch time since I would be making the maiden voyage of my new to me Subaru Outback. I passed all of the familiar landmarks that I have come to look forward to on the trip like the state lines, the big cities, the area attractions, humorous billboards and signs, certain bridges with scenic rivers flowing beneath, and this year I was able to add the Subaru plant just south of my Uncle’s house. I arrived at his house about 10:30 this year so that gave me roughly 3 hours to sleep before it was time to wake up and get on the road. My brother was arriving at the Minneapolis airport at 9:30 a.m. so we were going to try and make it there a little earlier than normal so he didn’t have to wait as long. Along for the ride was my 12 year old first cousin once removed, Riley. This would be her first trip out of the country and was a last minute guest. She only had to give up a weapons training camp (she is in the process of earning her black belt) to go on this trip so we were happy to have her. We arrived at the airport around 11:00, the border around 4:00, and the cabin around 7:00 where we were greeted with a cold beer and a warm greeting from my parents. After a couple of beers and talking about how hard the fishing had been over the past couple of weeks, we laid down and listened to the loons out on the lake as we fell asleep.
The next morning we awoke to a nice looking day. We did the necessary chores of launching the boat and going to town for fishing licenses, adult beverages, and miscellaneous food items. We did stumble upon a new one at the package store this year. It is the Canadian equivalent of Red Bull, a high gravity (only 6%) condensed can of Molson called a Cold Shot.
Once the chores were done, it was time to go fishing. For the first afternoon, it was me, my brother, and father in a boat and we went out looking for Musky. Over the last few years, my Dad has really been concentrating on fishing the backs of the bays where the fish will be laid up under lilly pads or in the bull rushes. He used to always avoid these areas because he thought they only held snakes, a term used for juvenile musky. Within a couple of hours we landed a couple of snakes, probably around the 25” range. The fish were on the move and were really coming after the lures. A little bit later I managed to catch a nicer fish that I estimated to be around 32” but my dad said would probably go 36”. Looking at the picture now, I think I am going to lean towards my father’s guess even though he tends to be a good guide and over exaggerate the lengths a little.
One of my Dad’s life long friends also owns a cabin on the same lake and his son and daughter were in town. They are both avid fisherman and like to portage the same lakes my brother and I do so we knew we better hit them as quick as possible. We decided to head over to Boot Lake first thing the second morning. Boot Lake is a pretty little lake that doesn’t get a lot of traffic and holds a large quantity of small Musky. Not a lot of size but what they lack in length, they make up in character. You have to follow a creek that comes into the back of a bay for a couple of hundred yards, then walk through the marsh grass to the bank where you find the trail to Boot.
The weapons of choice for Boot are fly rods and poppers. The wind happened to be coming out of the West pretty hard which isn’t what you want on the main lake or on Boot but you play the hand your dealt. We did the best we could battling the wind and had only picked up three fish before lunch. After some lunch on “Lunch Rock,” a few pulls off the bottle, and some wild blueberries, we got back on the water.
The next section of shoreline was a little more sheltered from the wind and the fishing really turned on. With only three fish before lunch, we were really hurting as far as numbers were concerned. We managed to end the day with 14 muskies on the fly, probably 13 of them on a popper.