Sunday, September 7, 2008

Exploration: Fishing in "Gods Country"

Ken Hanley with a massive God's Lake Northern Pike

Part of the "work" in this business is having to venture to remote destinations to explore new fly fishing opportunities for our customers. This week, I am traveling with a team of friends and colleagues to explore the late-season fishing at Gods Lake in Manitoba, Canada. The team includes Ken Hanley, Jim Christensen, and Bill Carnazzo of northern California. Our travels brought us to Winnipeg on Friday, with an overnight at the Hilton. The following morning, Gods Lake Lodge owner, Robert Gates, and his friend (and renowned artist) Flick Ford met us in the lobby of the hotel. Together we shuttled to the Perimeter Air Charter terminal for our flight to Gods River. After a 1.5 hour flight, we landed safely and hopped in the lodge transport boat for the 17 mile ride across the lake to the lodge. Finally, we arrived at the lodge and settled into our rooms. I was very pleased to see the wonderful new guest rooms that Gods Lake Lodge completed this past Spring. The team was excited and ready to begin "work"...

Lake-side Gods Lake Lodge

Our focus this week is to fish for shallow-water Lake Trout and Pike, along with Brook Trout in the river. Well, we just completed day one of our trip and we have not been disappointed! Located about 360 miles north of Winnipeg, this fishery is home to trophy Pike that CRUSH flies presented over the tops of "cabbage" (submerged vegetation). Today, our group landed 4 "master-angler" class Pike,... Pike measuring 41 inches or more. Ken topped the list by landing a massive specimen measuring almost 44 inches on the tape, and a tad over 20 pounds on the BogaGrip!
Gods Lake is renowned amongst conventional anglers for producing giant "Lakers" up to 50+ pounds. One of our objectives for this week is to target these fish that will move up onto shallow-water rocky shoals as lake temperatures drop. Unfortunately, we fished these areas this morning with no luck. This region has experienced unseasonal warm weather that has kept water temps above average for this time of the year. With a cooling trend forecasted throughout the week, we are optimistic about finding "Lakers" moving into the shallows. We will keep checking!
Jim with a Master Angler 43 incher

While we fished the main lake today, Robert and Flick fished Gods River for Brook Trout. They landed some really nice Brookies, 3 of which were master-angler size (over 20 inches). Flick topped this list with his 23.5 inch Brookie that he fooled with his personal tied, articulated "meat" leech pattern.
Well, that is the quick report for today... enjoy the photos and we will post again within the next couple of days. Fish On!!!