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2012 All-Canada Adventures magazine

All-Canada Adventures magazine is the show program for the All-Canada Show. Articles include a trip to High Arctic Lodge, the world's northern most sportsfishing lodge, a trip to Thunderhook Camp, Elk Island Lodge, and a Cabela's whitetail hunt. 

 

It has a map of Canada with contact info from each province and territory. The ads are all linked to websites. If you are looking to book a trip to a lodge or camp, all of the exhibitors are listed with their contact info.

 

Click the magazine above to view digital version.

Sam Hutchison with trophy pike caught at

Elk Island Lodge

 

The Road Less Traveled

Chance encounter with the God’s River is simply amazing

by Joel Prunty

Adventures into the Canadian wilderness literally require us to take the road less traveled. In Robert Frost’s famous poem – by the same name – the road was a metaphor for life, road was an actual river.

The less traveled road began on a cool, crisp morning at the dock of Elk Island Lodge on God’s Lake in northern Manitoba. A two tone, white over orange, 1950’s Dehaviland Beaver on floats waited while lodge owner Greg Dick took pictures of me with friend and cousin Rod Schlafer.

We’d been chasing walleye and pike all over God’s Lake the past two days when Greg asked if we’d be interested in fishing for trophy brook trout up the God’s River.  I’d fished for brookies many times in my native state of Wisconsin and quite frankly, catching a 12 inch trophy when I could be catching a 40 inch pike didn’t sound all that appealing.

Greg assured us, “The brook trout are bigger up here and a trophy in the God’s River will test your fishing skill as much as any 40” pike. So, our start down the road less traveled began when Rod and I shrugged our shoulders and said, “aaah… what the heck, let’s give it a try.”

The God’s River wasn’t the narrow, rocky, horsefly infested waterway I envisioned. No, it was open with a brushy shoreline and stunted black spruce off its banks with flat, fast moving water below. The God’s River was amazing and majestic.

Looking to the sky, our Cree guide, Gary Burton, didn’t like the clouds moving in as we unloaded the Beaver at 9a.m. that August morning saying, “trophies feed best in bright sunlight.” While waiting for the floatplane to leave we tied on the plugs he recommended. Then Rod pushed the boat off the grassy bank while I grabbed my fishing rod and immediately cast toward the lone rock beyond Gary’s out stretched finger.

My first cast of the day landed perfectly about a foot in front of the boulder and instantaneously…a missile the size and shape of an actual football broke the surface of the water and rolled right over the top of my lure! I was so completely stunned by my first encounter with a God’s River brookie all I could say was, “Oh my God, did you just see that!” To which Gary responded, “Yeah… and you may want to try a hookset next time.”

Rod and I spent the better part of the morning saying, “Oh my God, did you see that!” Around noon, while eating a sandwich in the boat and watching a bear eat blueberries on what was supposed to be our shorelunch spot, Rod said, “In the 15-years I’ve been fishing in Canada this might be the most incredible experience ever, and the day is only half over!”

The minimum length for a Manitoba Master Angler Brook Trout is 20 inches and we caught as many over that mark as we did under. Plus, we lost as many as we caught for a myriad of reasons, the biggest is that Rod and I may not be as good a fisherman as we think, at least for brook trout anyway.

These brook trout are the most beautiful freshwater fish I’ve ever seen and I’ve caught arctic char and grayling. Amazingly big and solid muscle, they were almost impossible to hold and we all but gave up trying to get a good photo of them.

I think we caught six massive trophies overall, I caught the largest at 23.5 inches and it felt every ounce of the 5.5 lbs my conversion chart estimated.  Every fish we caught was in near rapids, out in front of boulders, some even above the rapids. Trying to keep the brookies from heading downstream was a full-time job.

In the end I’m not sure what was more amazing, the river, the trout, or our native friend. Another guide in the camp described Gary this way, “He lives with the brook trout.” And he did. He was right about the bright sunlight, all our trophies came then and things slowed down considerably when the sky became cloudy.

Rodney with trophy brook trout

His ability to keep our boat above and perpendicular to raging rapids while netting our fish was nothing short of stunning, and as beautiful to watch as a ballet. At times he’d power the bow of the boat up between two outcropped boulders – leaving the motor running and in gear – those moments were the only rest he got all day. He also taught us to sight fish for brook trout. They were impossible to see through the crystal clear water, but we learned to look for the tell-tale shadow their bodies left in the sunlit river.

At the end of the day, I could tell Gary was spent navigating our boat perfectly in this unforgiving river. When asked about the demands Gary just smiled and said, “I prefer not to do it every day.” I smiled and replied, “I could!” adding a heartfelt, “thanks.”

This all gets back to Robert Frost. Because what I learned on this adventure is never lose sight of the road less traveled. Had I missed out on this brook trout adventure, my visit to Elk Island Lodge would have still been awesome.  But, had Greg not pushed us to visit the God’s River, I would have missed out on one of the greatest adventures of my life.

Next time I visit a fly-in lodge I’m going to ask where their “roads” will take me, because to quote Robert Frost, …I took the road less traveled by and that has made all the difference.

 

Lake of the Woods...

               perfect place to fish and relax

by Josh Krull   

Fishing Lake of the Woods, Ontario

         As lives goes by – at what seems to be sonic speed – finding time to “get away from it all” is one of the biggest challenges I face.  But when the opportunity arose for me to visit Canada, I didn’t hesitate for a second. 

     By midsummer last year, I was fired up for the big adventure. So fired up I couldn’t stop working my packing list…“check, double check…okay how many spoons do I have, should I take a few bucktails, maybe I need a few top-water lures”.   Finally, on an early morning in August, my girlfriend Jennifer and uncle Rod Tonn and his son Shawn took off for Canada…Ontario, Canada, to Whitefish Bay Camp on Calvert Island to be exact!

      Whitefish Bay Camp is a boat-in on Lake of the Woods, south of Sioux Narrows and is owned and operated by Bob and Peg Hunger.  Fishing Lake of the Woods is a challenge many anglers are eager to pursue.  For starters, it’s unbelievably huge, but you’d never know it because there are so many islands. Which is how the lake got its name …the water is the LAKE and the islands are the WOODS. There is also an unbelievable amount of structure which makes it such a challenge.

     The boat ride into Whitefish Bay Camp is like a huge “welcome mat”. As we traveled past many bays and through canals Bob pointed out fish structure. At the main lodge, Bob reiterated those and more on a map of Lake of the Woods, along with several ‘hot spots’ for northern pike, large and smallmouth bass, walleye, perch, and the ever elusive musky. After moving in to our cabin, we geared up and hit the water.

The author Josh Krull heads out for fishing

    On the water one I was amazed at the breathtaking beauty and serenity of the area. I could actually feel myself “unwind” from the stress of daily life.  The rock faces, the trees, the water, the smell of clean, fresh air, sunrises and sunsets.  We choose our lures and let the fishing begin! 

    The first cast and catch were made and the nerves settled a little.  The northern pikes seemed to be our favorite to catch, as they were rather abundant in supply wherever we went.  We were able to find a few hotter spots for walleye, which we ended up having for our shore lunch.  The elusive musky ended up being more elusive than any of us had anticipated.

    For this trip we had opted for the ‘American Plan,’ which means all meals were provided.  Breakfast and dinner were served in the main lodge, and lunch was packed.  Along with the lunch staples, all the supplies were also provided to cook shore lunch.  The meals were excellent and more than sufficient for our hearty appetites, plus Peg was kind enough to accommodate everyone’s palates.  They also accommodated our fishing schedules providing opportunities to fish before breakfast, through lunch, and going back out on the water until dusk.

    Most evenings were spent discussing the events of the day, who had better luck and what lures and presentations were working in what spots.  We’d make plans for the next day of what new locations to check out and which ones would be revisited.  Each night we also found time to throw some cards and throw back a few Labatt Blues.  Most mornings we were out fishing at sunrise, which seemed to be the best bite of the day along with dusk. 

Fresh caught walleye shorelunch can't be beat

    Although no one likes rain on their vacation, the storms that blew through during the middle of our trip gave us the opportunity to sit down with Bob and Peg.  We learned about the history of Whitefish Bay Camp. It is a classic Canadian camp with the original lodge and some original cabins that have been revitalized by the Hunger’s. Bob and Peg have a wealth of knowledge about the area including the remnants of a steam clipper that previous owners brought to the island. It now rests below the depths of Lake of the Woods not far outside the docks.

    One particularly windy day we found ourselves scratching our heads off the island Bob had marked as a shore lunch spot. There was a small campsite with a clearing for a tent and a nice fire pit, perfect, except, in that wind we just might burn down the half acre island.  Even the face of the island, next to a 50 foot drop into the water, was not completely out of the wind.

    We eventually found a safe cove the cooking began.  Potatoes were sliced and seasoned, beans were warmed, and fish filleted, breaded and fried.  It felt great to get on land and out of the wind – I could have stayed there all afternoon!  If you have the opportunity to prepare a shore lunch, do not pass it up.  It is perhaps one of the best meals you’ll ever have.  

Jennifer gets her first taste of a Canadian shorelunch.

    No one ever wants their vacation to end, especially me, and although we tried our best to get Bob and Peg to allow us to extend our stay by a day or two…all good things must come to an end.  We packed our belongings, loaded them onto the pontoon boat, took some memorable photos, and said our goodbyes.     

    Canada is such an amazing place and the lodges there are unsurpassed for hospitality, remarkable fishing and great food, which is exactly what we found at Whitefish Bay Camp. As the Visa commercial says…the trip was priceless.  On our next fishing trip we’re headed back to Canada and Lake of the Woods will definitely be at the top of our list.  After all we only experienced a small portion of what Lake of the Woods has to offer; it will be worth the trip back.

Shawn and Rod keep a few walleye to take home

 

 

 
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