Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fireside Lodge Fishing News/Photo Report 6/13 to 6/20 2009

Fireside Lodge Fishing News/Photo Report 6/13 to 6/20 2009

Hello from Fireside Lodge in Northwest Ontario. Our weather finally turned, having a few spring like days, and then we had summer temperatures move in with daytime highs reaching the mid-80’s. People were talking about the heat but I reminded them that just 7 days ago Fireside Lodge guests looked like they were fishing in late fall gear. This weather sure helped the Smallmouth to start their yearly spawning ritual.

Tom Nayder from Orland Park, IL, son Joel from Chicago, IL and Tom’s sister Leah Bezin from Berwyn, IL were back fishing at Fireside Lodge for their 10th consecutive year maybe 11th as none of us were sure of the exact year. On their day of arrival they caught fish with Leah landing 3 Northern Pike and a Smallmouth, Joel caught a 17.5-inch Smallmouth and Tom caught a Pike and Smallie. First full day of fishing they had a great day catching a mix of Smallmouth and Northern Pike and some were while fly-fishing. Second day these three caught many Smallmouth Bass, Joel landing the largest at 17-inches, some Northern Pike up to 33-inches, and they had a lot of Muskie follows Tom catching a nice 3-footer. They had lunch at Twin Falls and while fishing in rushing water at the poolside they caught 12 nice Lake Trout. Fun day was had by all. Third day was fabulous as they caught many Smallmouth Bass testing some new areas. The tendency of all fishers is to go to the same areas they have been successful in the past. Makes sense, but after a while we tend to make a 5500 acre lake only 100 acres of fishing water which does not make sense. So after some discussion and planning in the morning Tom, Joel, and Leah caught Smallmouth Bass in every new spot, along with a few Northern Pike. They also caught a few Lake Trout at Twin Falls while having lunch. That evening after supper Tom and Leah had fantastic fly fishing for Smallmouth Bass and landed four Master Anglers Award Smallmouth, Leah with three and Tom catching one. Leah’s measured 18,18.5, and a HUGE 20.5-inches, and Tom’s was 18.5-inches. The action was so hot Tom and Leah doubled up while fly-fishing. The photos are great and can be seen on our website at
Fourth and fifth day were full of fun catching many Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike and Tom landed two Muskie. They also had some great wildlife experiences as they got very close to a nesting Loon and also watched a very large Moose walk along a shoreline in the distance for what seemed to be 30 minutes. They got memorable photos of both and again banked another set of wonderful memories fishing together.

Good fishing buddies Charles Row from Maitland, FL and Jim Deck from Easley, SC were fishing at Fireside Lodge for there first time. First day on new waters they spent a half-day getting acquainted and then they found fish. They caught 12 very nice Smallmouth Bass up to 17.5-inches and lost at least as many, having to adjust their methods to accommodate the fighting ability of Smallmouth Bass. Second day was great as they caught 28 Smallmouth Bass with 60% being over 14-inches, each caught a 17-incher and Charles came up with the Smallmouth of the day landing a Master Anglers Award Smallmouth measuring 18-inches. Third day was fantastic Smallmouth Bass fishing as they caught 34 Smallmouth Bass and they were all on top-water techniques. This was a perfect calm day for surface fishing and in addition to the 34 Charles and Jim caught they each had as many blow-ups, or fish that got off after being hooked. Over half of the Smallmouth were 14-inches or better, only 5 under 13-inches and Jim caught two 17-inchers. Charles also caught a 28-inch Northern Pike. Things just get better every day for Charles and Jim as on their fourth day they caught 40 Smallmouth and each missed a dozen and again it was all on top-water fishing with Tiny Torpedo’s. Charlie caught another Master Anglers Award Smallmouth while Jim caught two more 17 to 17.5-inchers. Another great day for these two which had them talking about and planning their second trip to Fireside Lodge. Fifth day they did even better catching 42 Smallmouth Bass all being quality fish. They had 27 Smallmouth over 15-inches with 11 being 16-inches plus, 6 were 17 to 17.5-inches, and 4 were Master Anglers Award Smallmouth measuring 18 to 18.5-inches. WOW what FANTASTIC day Smallmouth Bass fishing. Their sixth and final day was even better as they caught 57 Smallmouth, Jim catching two over 18-inches, 4 at 17.5-inches, 4 over 16-inches and 3 at 15-inches, and Charlie caught a HUGE 19-incher, 7 between 17 to 17.5-inches, four over 16-inches and 6 over 15-inches. Great finish to a fantastic fishing trip at Fireside Lodge.

For the sixth consecutive year Bill Goodwin returned to Fireside Lodge with his wife Rosanna, and Grandson Jack for his first trip ever to Canada. For the third straight year good friends Mike and Darlene Dittoe from Rockwall, TX joined the Goodwin’s. Grandpa Bill and Grandson Jack wasted no time as they headed out to some of Bill’s familiar spots. Bill and Jack within a few hours before supper caught about 10 Smallmouth Bass with Jack getting 4 and a perch. Great start. First day fishing Bill, Rosanna, and Jack caught 15 nice Smallmouth 14 to 17.5-inches. Mike and Darlene had the same number of Smallmouth and each caught big 17.5-inchers. Second day Bill, Rosanna, and Jack caught 22 Smallmouth and had to use very slow retrieves to do so, as they saw many Smallmouth, Northern Pike and Muskie that seemed to be just sunning themselves and not responsive to any presentations. Mike and Darlene only fishing a half-day catching a few fish. Third day Mike and Darleen caught 21 Smallmouth by 1:00 PM, had lots of fun spending the rest of the afternoon enjoying a beautiful day on their cabin deck. Bill, Rosanna, and Jack had a fabulous day catching a lot of Smallmouth Bass and both Jack and Bill caught Master Anglers Award Smallmouth. That’s a Grandpa / Grandson double Masters Award. GREAT day for Jack. Also Jack replicated his Grandpa’s act as he cast his lure over a low tree limb, only to have a Smallmouth come out of the water and attack his lure. With the fish dangling over the limb, Grandpa motored the boat close enough to net the fish. That’s’ team work and a memory Jack and his Grand Parents will not forget. Fourth day had Mike and Darlene catching 16 quality Smallmouth Bass and ten called it a day at noon to enjoy the beautiful view from their cabin deck. Bill, Rosanna, and Jack caught a lot of Smallmouth in the 15 to 17-inch range. Fifth and final day was the best of all as Bill, Rosanna, and Jack caught quality Smallmouth Bass up to 17.5-inches and they ended up with 47 before super time. Great finish to another memorable trip fishing at Fireside Lodge, and having grandson Jack on this trip made the memories very special for Bill and Rosanna.

Long time guests of Fireside Lodge Larry Psyk and Larry Jr. (LJ) from Onalaska and LaCrosse, WI. Jim and James Nelson, from Oak Brook, IL and Livonia, MI, and Ken Beta from Fox Lake, IL. This year was a very special year in this groups 31 years of fishing together as Jim’s Grandson Bobby was being introduced to Canadian fishing for his first time. Great to see that the tradition of fishing with family and friends being passed to a new generation. Another special event was the celebration of Larry’s 70-th birthday on their day of arrival June 13th. We were fortunate to have a musician Leah and brother Tom at the lodge who offered up their services playing their guitars and singing a few birthdays tunes. The whole dinning room joined them and after a few kind words from family and friends, which triggered some of Larry’s emotions, everyone clapped and cheered for Larry reaching a special milestone in life. First day on the water these guys did well catching some Smallmouth Bass and Northern Pike, seeing fish everywhere they went. It was a great day with calm winds, warm temperatures in the 75-degree range, blue bird skies making it a very visual day. Last day you expect to catch a big Muskie according to all the experts, Right? WRONG!!!! LJ caught he fish of his life as he landed a huge, 30lb 46-inch Muskie while fishing for Smallmouth Bass with a number three Blue Fox Spinner on a light fishing rod using 6-pound test line. WOW!!!! What a terrific catch which can be seen on our website at Congratulations to LJ for a great catch. Next day Jim Sr and Ken hooked up for 27 nice Smallmouth Bass, had many follows from BIG Pike and Muskie and Jim landed a good 35-incher. Larry and LJ had more follows from BIG toothy critters, and at times had up to three fish following one lure on the same cast. Larry Sr. said in all his years fishing Canada he never saw anything like what he saw today. Larry Sr. did land a 37-inch Muskie and they caught eight Smallmouth Bass. James and nephew Bobby had a spectacular day as they caught Smallmouth Bass and Northern Pike but the real story is Bobby catching his first fish as he caught 3 Smallmouth Bass and 3 Northern Pike. He also learned about how fast a Northern Pike could attack a cut your line. Bobby had a smile ear to ear at suppertime thrilled to tell his fish stories. Third day had Ken and Jim Jr. catching 19 Smallmouth Bass, some Pike and plenty of BIG follows from toothy critters. Larry and LJ did good catching Smallmouth and a few Northern Pike, and Larry caught an 18.25-inch Master Anglers Award Smallmouth. Jim Sr and Bobby caught some early morning Smallmouth, Bobby catching three more, and then came in to relax and take a long nap. Sounds GREAT. Fourth day 67 Smallmouth were caught along with some Pike, and Bobby caught more Smallmouth and several good size Pike. Fifth day over 75 Smallmouth were caught, and Bobby was really picking up the pace as he caught about a dozen Smallmouth, some being 16.5 up to 17.5 inches, and he caught some Northern Pike 28 to 32-inches. Last day is always a sad day for this group as they hate to leave, but they left on a high note as they caught 134 total fish, most being Smallmouth, however Ken and Bobby while fishing before a storm had fast action on Northern Pike having three doubles, and Bobby ended up the day with 25 Smallmouth Bas and a dozen Northern Pike. Excellent for his first fishing trip ever. Family and friends once again made many memories, and the tradition of over 30 years fishing together initiated a new member, Bobby, to hopefully carry on their tradition for many years to come.

Charlie Walton returned to Fireside Lodge for his second consecutive year this time with his son Ben both from Hudson, OH, Mike Lewis from Akron, Oh and Juerg Schmid from Bath, OH. Charlie, Mike, and Juerd are all avid fly fishers. First night out in just s few hours of fishing all caught some Smallmouth and a few Pike were landed. Great Start. First day on the water it was only a threesome as Juerg was do to arrive at suppertime. Charlie, Ben, and Mike had a great day fly-fishing catching 22 Smallmouth Bass and five good size Northern Pike on the fly. Charlie came in early to pick up Juerg from the Sioux Lookout airport and after supper Ben and Juerg caught some nice Smallmouth Bass. Mike and Charlie caught 10 more Smallmouth and Charlie also caught a 19.5-inch HOG Master Anglers Smallmouth. WOW!!!!! That’s fabulous fly-fishing. Second day was another picture perfect fly-fishing day, and this group caught a lot of Smallmouth Bass between 14 to 18-inches. Ben and Juerg went out in the evening to enjoy more of the fun fly fishing they had earlier in the day. Well, it turned out to be quite an evening as they caught 30 fish, two Pike and 28 BIG Smallmouth with Juerg catching 4 Master Anglers Award Smallmouth all while fly fishing. WOW!! Third day was even better as they caught plenty of Smallmouth between 13 to 18-inches and some nice Pike. Juerg again had the hottest hand as he caught another HUGE Smallmouth measuring 19.5-inches and several Northern Pike between 28 to 30-inches. Fourth and final day was the best as Mike and Juerg alone caught 67 Smallmouth and no dinks. Many were 14 to 17.5-inches and Mike came up with an 18.5-inch Master Anglers Award Smallie. Juerg, Mike, and Charlie discussed with me how fabulous the fly-fishing was and took a few extra brochures to present to the friends and fly fishing club in hopes of making their group grow in on future trips. Juerg's wife is also an avid fly fisher and hopes to return with her to share the wonderful experience he encountered.

Allen Wortz returned to Fireside Lodge with his wife Patricia from Bluffton, SC to meet up with long time friends Bill Goodwin and Mike Dittoe (above). Patricia had not fished for a while and was a little unsure if it would come back easily. First day Al reacquainted himself with Little Vermilion Lake and Patricia with fishing as they had a fun day catching some nice Smallmouth Bass. It did not take more than a day and both were in top form as Al’s previous knowledge and Patricia’s fishing form coming back teamed up for a great day catching Smallmouth, and Patricia ended up with the two top fish of the day landing two BIG Smallies 17 and 17.5-inches. The photos are fabulous, as Patricia looks like and professional Smallmouth fisher holding her catch. Al, did what all good guides (husbands) do is drive the boat, catch some fish, but have his wife in front catch more and bigger fish. These two had a fabulous time eating in the dinning room with their friends, and the vivid conversation and laughter was very present at every meal. Third day of fishing was another great day as they did well catching Smallmouth Bass, and Al had a Muskie up to the boat for a long time, but after a few mishaps with the landing cradle the fish left Al’s lure in the net and waved goodbye to him and Patricia with its tail. Landing the fish certainly seems like a better ending to this story, but the story is sure to get more mileage with the mishap. Last day they fished a half-day having a wonderful time catching Smallmouth and enjoying the wilderness for what it is in the great Canadian Boreal Forest. The rest of the day was spent relaxing and reading in our huge historical lodge. As stated by Al and Patricia in their own words “this was the best vacation they had in a long time and would love to return god willing.” We would certainly love to see Al and Patricia again.

For the tenth consecutive year Walt LaCasse from Minnetonka, MN headed a group of friends John Hietala from Northfield, MN, Ron Ditillo from Pittsburgh, PA, Jim Jones from McKinney, TX and Dick Oksanen from Dallas, TX. First day Walt, Dick, and Jim fishing together caught over 40 Northern Pike and 5 Smallmouth Bass and most of the Pike were over 30-inches, up to 38-inches landed by Walt. All of these pike were caught between 2 PM and before suppertime. John and Ron after having a bunch of follows gave up on the Pike and started catching Smallmouth Bass landing a bunch. Next day the same threesome caught over 35 fish with Jim leading the way landing twenty. In fact Jim had such a good day going he even caught a fish while napping in the boat. Jim and Ron had another good day catching Smallmouth Bass and a few Northern Pike. After supper Jim still had the hot hand and caught a GIANT Muskie that got out of the cradle. The Muskie was qualified by all boat members to be at least 46-inches, but believed to be more like 48 to 50-inches, but and accurate measurement was not gotten before the huge fish exploded out of the net so 46 was the number by consensus. Wow!!! What a day for Jim. Third day was Walt’s day as he had a four species day catching Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass, a Tiger Muskie, and believe it or not a HUGE Lake Trout fishing a rocky shore. This fish was so fat it looked like it was about to explode. Take a look on our website. All the others caught fish and Ron came up with an 18-inch Master Anglers Award Smallmouth. Their fourth and final day Dick and John decided to fish for big Muskie and Pike by throwing nothing but BIG lures. The original trio, Walt, Ron, and Jim decided to just fish, and did they ever catch. They each had the fishing day of their lives as they caught over 200 Northern Pike. The action was so fast and furious they often had double and triple catches. Ron also caught an absolute GIANT Smallmouth measuring 19-inchs and shaped like a football. All went home with many more fishing stories and great memories. So great that Walt reserved these groups’ dates for the same time in 2010.

For their fifth consecutive year father and son Bill and Mike Aulenbach from Barberton, OH and Ft Meyers, FL, Bill Rasbach from Hudson, OH and Jim Lowsway from Burlington, Ontario were back fishing together at Fireside Lodge. First day Bill A and Jim had fun catching Smallmouth Bass and Northern Pike, Jim catching nice 31 to 33–inch Pike with his special Luck Strike spoon, and Bill caught the biggest Smallmouth at 17.5-inches. Bill R and Mike caught a lot of Smallmouth and Bill R caught 20 on a fly rod using surface poppers. Second day was almost a repeat with even more and bigger fish. Bill A and Jim caught some great size Pike in the 30 to 34-inch range, some Smallmouth, with Jims Lucky Strike spoon producing again. Mike and Bill R caught 32 Smallmouth Bass, Mike with an old fashion surface bait, the Jitterbug, and Bill R with surface poopers while fly-fishing. Bill R caught a Master Anglers Award Smallmouth measuring over 18-inches on his fly rod. They all had a fabulous day as the smiles on their faces told the whole story. The other four days were also full of fabulous fishing and loads of fun among family and good friends. A few other highlights were the four of them catching 103 Northern Pike in one days effort, Bill R landing another Master Anglers Award Smallmouth at a GIANT 19-inches, Bill A catching his second Muskie of his lifetime, first was last year at Fireside Lodge, and Jim catching so many Pike on his Lucky Strike Spoons that he made us believers in using spoons for Northern Pike again. All had a Great Trip and hope to return in 2009.

Father and Son Bill and Mark Westbrook from New Philadelphia, OH returned to Fireside Lodge for their seventh consecutive year. First day on the water Bill and Mark had well over 30 follows on BIG Northern Pike and Muskie landing one Muskie and six Pike between 30 to 35-inches. Second day they struggled finding the Smallmouth Bass as they were trying all the spots they usually fish in August. Being the first time here in June we made some adjustments on their locations and on their third day they were back to catching a lot, and quality Smallmouth. They caught 33 and 10 were over 18-inches all being Master Anglers Award Smallmouth. WOW! What a great day Smallmouth fishing. On their fourth day it was all about Muskie fishing as Mark landed 4 of these ferocious fighters between 30 to 39-inches, and missed a fifth estimated in the high 30’s to 40-inches. Bill caught one Muskie and a Master Anglers Award Smallmouth measuring 18.5-inches. Great Day and Great Photos as all the Muskie were wide-bodied beasts. See these photos on our website at
They are truly worth seeing. Their fifth and final half day of fishing ended up with about 15 Smallmouth Bass and a few more Master Anglers Award Smallies, and Mark caught another Muskie. In all they ending up catching 15 Master Anglers Award Smallmouth ranging from 18 to 19-inches, and 7 Muskie 30 to 39-inches, one lost at the boat and countless follows. Both had a Fabulous time and Bill’s parting words were “see you next year”. Special note: Congratulations to Mark on his graduation from university and best of luck to his future.

Jerry Amer, Dan Zeller, father and sons Bill and Adam Calhoon, and Glenn and Phil Babka from Columbus, OH. were returning for their fifth trip to Fireside Lodge. Day of Arrival from 4PM to 9PM these guys caught over 60 fish, both Northern Pike and Smallmouth Bass, and almost all while fly-fishing. Great Start! First full day of fishing was targeting Smallmouth Bass and they caught a lot, anywhere from 40 to 50 per boat with a few nice Northern Pike in the mix. Second day was complete gangbusters catching over 100 Smallmouth Bass including 10 Master Anglers Award Smallies, and well over 200 Northern Pike. Over fifty percent of the Smallmouth Bass were on a fly rod and 75 percent of the Northern Pike were caught while fly-fishing. Unbelievable fly-fishing but true. With all those fish caught in the first two days it did not matter what happened for day three and four but all continued to have great fishing catching many Smallmouth Bass and Northern Pike and finding BIG fish was not a problem. In the Smallmouth Bass Master Anglers Award category Jerry led by catching one at 19-inches, two 18.5-inches, and five measuring 18-inches, Father and son Bill and Adam had five each from 18 to 19-inches, both having two 19-inchers each, Glenn had 3 at 18-inches and one 19-inches, Phil caught a 18 and 19-incher, and Dan caught one at 18-inches. Fabulous fishing for this group and memories to last a lifetime were made. Thanks for choosing Fireside Lodge.

Make sure to go to our website listed below to see the 2009 Photos

Hot Lures of The Week: Black Twister Tail, Floating Rapala, Tiny Torpedo, Blue Fox Spinner, Ring Worm, Senko,

Hot Flies of the Week: White Deer Hair Pooper, and Frog Spun Deer Hair Pooper, Lefty’s Popper

Catches of the Week: 46-inch 30 pound Muskie, 20.5-inch Smallmouth Bass

Please note that we have a “NEW” email address below.

Well, that's it for this weeks Fireside Lodge Fishing News Report, Please stay tuned for next weeks report. Until then "Keep On Fish'n" Alan

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