ChicagoLand Fishing Forums banner
1 - 20 of 33 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
1,805 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm glad it's easier to just look at the pictures, so I'll leave the editorializing to a minimum. Due to board limitations, this report will be split up into multiple chapters, so enjoy....

Just returned from an another epic 8 day trip to NW Ontario's Keezhik Lake with Northern Outposts. Three hundred miles north of our smooth and seamless border crossing at Pigeon River, we arrived at our outfitter's base camp in Armstrong about 8pm, greeted by rain, wind, fog, low ceiling and temps in the 40s.






Little did we know this would be home for 36 hours unfortunately.
We were hoping that the weather would pass and we would be good to go for our flight into the wilderness the next morning. Bottom line was due to the weather, our 8 days of fishing was reduced to 7...flying by sight only means no flying in these conditions. I've had a good run of about 35 fly ins with no delays going in so it was bound to happen. So, we waited. And waited. And split wood. And burned wood. And had some refreshments. And split wood. And burned wood. Little other to do.


If you have ever been to Armstrong you know what I mean. This place makes Red Lake look like mid town Manhattan. An agonizing wait to say the least. Late in the afternoon, I was climbing the walls so decided to take a drive over to the sea plane base (Mattice Lake Outfitters) to see if there was any activity. Nothing doing whatsoever. Dehavilland Beavers firmly tied down and not going anywhere.


Got up the next morning to some residual cloud cover with some wind but blue skies and sunshine were starting to make an appearance so after a slight morning delay, we were off to the lake. Loaded up the beavers with our gear and it was not long before Mike, Chuck, Eric, Ray and I were airborne and into the depths of seemingly endless boreal forest.


Pilot Mike did the honors of getting us to Keezhik...not bad for his first experience as a bush pilot.








Typical for outposts, living is somewhat primitive but still quite comfortable in our well outfitted cabin equipped with most essential items.





On to part 2...
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,805 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Part 2...

In terms of the fishing, well, spectacular is an adjective that comes to mind. Focus on walleyes in this factory and armed with a few select presentations, 100's in the boat per day are fairly common. Multiple 26 and 27" fish took top size honors with the average fish running around 19".







The first day Ray and I were watching Mike in the distance battle a mid size Pike while walleye fishing. The way the fight ended signified Mike was a bite off victim. About 15 minutes later, as we continued to work the weed edge, I was able to get Mike's jig back.


Shifting our attention to pike and given it was late July, we found most of our larger fish in deeper water, although some were in shallow areas as well. Our party landed many 40" class gators for the week, and you could throw just about any color as long as it was pink.










My partners and I were not the only ones preying on walleyes. This guy got chewed up by a large gator as Ray was hauling him in.


Under duress, this is the only instance you will see a walleye go airborne like a steelie. Fortunately for this one the pike released his hold however for the week I lost several nice eyes to pike predation.
Some eyes returned the favor, attempting to take down large jerk baits, swimbaits and bucktails.


Mike and I were also able to connect on the large whitefish that inhabited a small deep bay near the cabin. This bay is the home to many bald eagles that need not travel far for a meal. A large meal at that as these are not your typical whitefish, ranging between 4 and 6 lbs and simply awesome fighters on light tackle.






Some more to eat and make the long trip home...



On to Part 3....
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,805 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Part 3...

As for eats, no one goes hungry on these trips. We added a few wrinkles in this year, with walleye tacos accompanied by all the fixings including fresh cilantro being the biggest hit.




A twist on the everyday s'More:


Shore lunch was done right many times over...no rookies here, taters get a 15 minute head start before the onions...








Ready for battle with the deep fryer...results were outstanding...cardiologists everywhere rejoice.




To wash it all down, one needed to make a critical and difficult decision...



As is usually the case at this lat/lon, we had wild fluctuations in weather for the week...80's, 40's, bluebird skies, powerful storms and even some hail. Had to get on an island and wait one event out. We made a fire to kill time and Mike modeled some fine Canadian outpost haute couture...gore tex and rubber being all the rage.




Mike also was well accessorized, ready for anything fins or fur that might cross his path.


In the end the skies cleared and look what was found at the end of the double rainbow...



On to Part 4...
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,805 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Part 4...

One day we Mike and I decided to try to chase down some of the world class brookies that inhabit this area and complete the "Keezhik Grand Slam". Running out of the south end of Keezhik is a creek that extends for miles, eventually dumping into Miminiska lake and the greater Albany river watershed. We took the boat as far as we could before tying off and getting into the water. First order of business was tracking down a couple of suitable wading staffs and in short order we were off. The only problem here as we quickly found out was getting to where these fish live.




After about 2 miles of wet wading without a known destination in mind, we reached some dicey areas where the only way to continue on was bushwacking through the almost impenetrable boreal forest.


The bugs kept us motivated to move on quickly and after both of us taking a dunking up to about our arm pits we reached the first fishable pool.

A handful of casts into it and a large brookie cracks my rooster tail spinner. Fish on and I've got to commend Mike with some just absolute sick work with the camera to get the second shot below...






I only wish the pics we had of these fish do the coloring even a small amount of justice. I was amazed at how different these fish looked compared to those I have caught and seen in both Lake Michigan and on the White River down south. The colors just leaped off these fish, with vivid greens, oranges with pink dots encircled with blue rings simply blowing us away.
We got a couple more fish before moving on to try to make it to the next pool...


Mike getting into some nice Panther Martin fed ones..





Some more difficult wading awaited to get to the next pool and after dealing with some quicksand like mud, deeper water and another armpit high swim we hit the next pool.


More brookies were waiting for us, including a hawg of a brookie I'm guessing was between 4-5#.






We ended the last day of the trip catching some whitefish and enjoying a picturesque sunset.


The turbo otter made for a quick flight out of camp and back to civilization.




Funny how at the end of the trip you are so ready to leave and get the **** out of the bush but there is always some part of me that longs for another week or two.

For anyone interested in a trip like this, who can gain admittance to Canada, ;)

:roll: :)2 I would recommend looking up Ryan Brady or any number of outpost operators for an unforgettable experience...

 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
3,452 Posts
Wow, what a trip and post !
I can't even comment on those great walleye and pike you guys caught...

There is no good way to capture a brook trout's true colors. I know I've tried.
Brookies are a work of art.
After your initial problem with bad weather, it looks like the fishing gods were smiling on you.


.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
488 Posts
Fantastic trip and post! :)2

I bet those gator pike eat a lot of walleyes and whitefish too!

Really cool to see a Canadian fly in post that covers more than just spectacular eye and esox fishing!

Always love the Canadian recap report ... not only great fish pics, but you get the latest fashion and culinary trends set by our northern neighbors. :)21
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
2,079 Posts
I fished out of Armstrong with 5 other guys for 6 yrs . with Armstrong Out posts and fished different lakes and rivers each trip , allways had great fishing. Your post reminded me of the good times. Thanks ! My avatar to the left was taken on Mojikit lake , My room with a view of the lake.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
3,937 Posts
Simply amazing post. What a GREAT trip and fantastic fishing experience.. This post is what a fishing site should be all about. Super job !
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top