Friday, August 17, 2012

Home again!

I'm back!

Joe and I just returned from our fishing trip with Caesar's North Camps on Gouin Reservoir in northern Quebec. We had a great time despite the rain (five of the seven days) and somewhat slow fishing. We've caught more and larger fish on other trips but had a good time and made lots of memories just the same.

Before we left to head north, Joe had gotten a call from Am, the office assistant. She warned that the lake water was down and that the level had been falling quickly (almost a foot a week!) for the last month. Just the word that we were coming, however brought two days of rain and our arrival guaranteed the end to all this "dry spell" talk. Joe and I are going to start a company called Drought Eradicators. We'll work for the cost of a fishing trip/hunting trip in any area you name. You want rain in the desert? Either let us shoot what ever wild game might be resent or stock the oasis pool with fish. A week after we arrive, there will be a bloom on the desert like none you've ever seen.

The highlights included Joe catching a 4-1/2 to 5 pound walleye that measured between 22 and 24 inches and (nearly) landing a 32" pike that broke off just as it touched the net. Those two fish plus our first ever sighting of a lynx made the trip worthwhile. We only caught 40 walleye and 25 pike in about 5 days of hard fishing. (Okay, semi-hard fishing. We basically fished from 8 AM until 5 or 6 PM each day the rain allowed.) 

We got rained off the lake one day when over two inches of rain forced us to retreat to the cabin and fire up the wood stove to dry everything--including ourselves--out. As in previous trips, however, we managed to work around most of the rain that fell.

The lake was loaded with loons that showed no fear of us or our boat and allowed us to to get so close we were concerned they might try for our jigs.

I did all the driving up and back (12-13 hours one way just to get to our float plane in Clova), all the driving of the boat, and the dish washing. Joe purchased our food, fileted the fish we kept to eat and bring home, and did the cooking.

A couple of things northern Quebec has plenty of is water and sky. Often they combine. 

You could watch the clouds for hours and hours.

Don't like the set you've got at the moment? Just wait fifteen minutes. There will be some new ones along shortly.
This one looks like the Roadrunner. 

View from the porch as the sun sets behind us. 

One morning we drifted with the wind casting to some weedbeds along the shoreline trying for some pike. As we got near the end of our drift (too shallow water), this tawny cat popped up from the grass where it may have been waiting for some careless ducks to come within range...or it could have been napping in the sun. (Using a point and shoot I'm not that familiar with, these are the best I got. NOW, of course, I know how I could have gotten better by adjusting some settings. Know your tools before you have to use them.)

Uh? What the heck is that? 
Curiosity could have gotten this cat killed. But not today.

He's seen enough and heads slowly for the woods. 

Joe with the large walleye. It was released soon after the photo was take.

Some of its smaller relatives were not so lucky. 

They, and a couple of pike got fileted for dinner or the freezer. (Note the essential tools of the trade: sharp, flexible knife; firm cutting surface; late for filets; and, most importantly, an adult beverage in the blue can.)

In addition to the lynx we say a young beaver addling around a bank lodge, a black bear along the shoreline, Bald Eagles, terns, gulls, Cedar Waxwings (eating fish?!?), very friendly Red Squirrels we could have hand fed if we had peanuts, a couple of snowshoe hares--one of which looked like a small kangaroo, a little brown bat (awfully far north!), and, of course, deer mice. (We tried to eradicate the latter with little success.)

Things we learned on this trip:

1) Call the credit card company when you leave the US. Our first stop for gas saw our cards rejected. We ended up paying cash (which we hadn't converted to Canadian). A short call to VISA got that problem corrected but too late.

2) Bisquick can be made into reasonably good pancakes using canola oil if you leave the eggs back home in your refrigerator. Taylor ham and egg sandwiches are a bit thinner without the eggs, however.

3) Patience pays off. We did a great deal of trolling to located walleye, but when we did, we were able to catch quite a few in the same spot using jigs or trolling back and forth over the same area.

4) Give 'em something they haven't seen before. When the standard yellow or black jigs stopped producing, I switched to a chartreuse and immediately connected. Then, when that slowed, a watermelon and connected again.

5) When you wish to see how a lure looks in the water, i.e. what sort of action it may have, before tossing it overboard it is wise to first connect it to your line.

6) Caught in a rainstorm while fishing 2 or more miles from the cabin, you might as well keep on fishing. you'll only get wetter--and in different laces--if you open the throttle on that little 9.9 horse power motor to try and get back to the cabin. (I think Myth Busters did something about walking or running to your car in the rain and proved you get wetter running.)

7) If it is raining cats and dogs, NEVER say: "Well, it can't get any worse!"  It can--and it probably will. (This is an old lesson that needs relearning. At least this time it didn't start hailing.)


Rev. Paul said...

Sounds like a very memorable trip, and the scenery is gorgeous. One query: how many lures did you give a float test, before you realized they weren't tied to your line? ;^)

joated said...

Just one, Paul, just one. But if it had been a floating lure it wouldn't have been a problem. Alas, weighted spinners do not float.

We did leave an assortment of jigs on the bottom, howver.

JDP said...

Sounds like a great trip in spite of the less than perfect weather. Glad y'all got to go fishing. I am more than a little jealous


Tina Marie the Willow Witch said...

Love the photo of the cat...Wow...