Hello from Fireside Lodge in Northwest Ontario, Canada. We had a mix of weather this week having some rain, some sunshine and a few very cool nights. We had a few exciting moments where a Lynx was spotted not just walking, but actually in action pursuing a meal. To find out more read about Mike and Linda Lapresi and there up close encounter with this magnificent cat of the North.
For their 8th consecutive year running Bill Aulenbach, Bill Rasbach, Mike Lewis & Jim Lonsway from Barberton, Hudson, Akron, OH & Burlington, Ontario were fishing at Fireside Lodge. Just for a few hours after supper Bill R & Mike did FABULOUS catching 18 Smalllmouth including 5 over 17” and 1 at 18”. First 2 days these two caught 50 and 53 Smallmouth, 99% Fly –Fishing and most were 16 to 18”. Mike caught 2 18”+ and Bill had 1. Bill Aulenbach hunting those toothy critters landed a 36.5 Musky & 37” Pike. Third day had Bill A And Jim hooking and losing 3 Muskie and Bill’s would not seem to fit in our 48” cradle, & slipped out and left the hook in the net. Bill R & Mike caught 26 Smallmouth. The next day was terrific as the group caught almost 100 Pike and Bill R & Mike caught 85% of their fish fly-fishing. Fifth day has Bill R & Mike catching 30 Smallmouth out of rock crevices, and Bill A caught a nice 35.5” Muskie and 2-37” Pike. Their last day fishing was special as they caught many Northern Pike with Bill R & Mike alone landed over 70 all while fly-fishing.
Ron & Marybeth Huffman from West Dundee, IL were back to continue Ron’s tradition of fishing on Little Vermilion lake for over 25 years. 1st day they caught over 50 Smallmouth, most being BIG, in the 16 to over 18’ range Ron landing 3 over 18” and Mary Beth had 1 18”er. Second day was fabulous as they caught well over 100 Northern Pike 28-30”. On there last two days they did equally as well on Northern Pike catching 70 and over 100 again. Ron has a lot of history here as he started fishing here with his dad over 30 years ago and made many long lasting beautiful memories with his father. Ron and Mary Beth are continuing the log of memories.
Jerry Amer and Bill Calhoon returned for their 6th consecutive year with us. DOA they slammed the Smallmouth catching 43, most being 15to17.5” & 99% fly-fishing. First full day they were catching too many to keep count, & caught many Smallmouth Bass 14 to 18” with most being taken fly-fishing. Their next two days were packed with Northern Pike action saying they could have caught as many as they wanted. They also did well catching some Smallmouth landing 6 Trophies between 18 and 19”. The last day was finished with a BANG catching over 50 Smallmouth all over 15” and landing 10 Master Angler Award Trophy Smallmouth between 18-20”. Also Bill caught 3 Muskie and Jerry lost a Big Musky, which was the biggest freshwater fish either had ever seen, and they have been fishing in Canada since their teens. Both had a FABULOUS trip making their reservations for the same dates in 2012 before leaving.
High school buddies, Don Landbo and Dan Szkola from S Elgin & Sugar Grove, IL were back again for their 8th consecutive year. They portaged on their first day and caught a bunch of Pike and 7 walleye between 19 & 23”on crank-baits, specifically the wally diver & tail dancer. The following four day run down is; 91Pike, 34” Musky, 2-18.5” Smallmouth, 82Pike 7Smallmouth 1-19.5”, 50 Smallmouth 1-18.5” 4Pike, & last day they caught 97 Northern Pike on top-water buzz baits and lost nearly as many as they landed. Great fishing trip for these great friends & they made their reservations for 2012 before departing.
Father son combo of Paul and Tony Capecchi from Inver Grove, MN were back to enjoy some time together fishing in the Canadian Wilderness. DOA and first day these two caught 145 Pike, and Paul landed a HUGE 19” trophy Smallmouth Bass, a 33” Musky, & Tony had 6 Master Anglers size Smallies being 18-19”. Next day had them catching 80+ Pike and 30 Smallmouth, but 9 were Master Anglers Trophies between 18-19”. WOW!! Third day was windy but they still managed 40 Northern Pike and Tony caught another 6 Master Anglers Bass. They also enjoyed a shore lunch with Don & Dan (above) and had a fish story. While Tony attempted to set his hook on a fish the hook few out of the Pike’s mouth went past Tony as he ducked and landed in the water behind him only to have another Pike attack his lure as soon as it hit the water and Tony found himself fighting this fish backwards over his shoulder. Fourth day was a Muskie day as they landed 5 with countless follows. Tony caught the two biggest at 37” & 40.5”, and Paul had a 35&36”er. On their last two days they caught 60 & 80 Northern Pike along with 17 more Smallmouth, 4 being trophy fish, and they ended their last day with their traditional double on Northern Pike. In addition to all the great fishing Paul & Tony had many different wildlife experiences including a record 7 Moose sightings for a total of 10 Moose. Two of these were a cow Moose with a single calf and one with twin calves. They had great fun while making their 9th consecutive year of memories at Fireside Lodge. Before leaving they confirmed that next year will be their 10th.
Father/Grandpa Phil Spahr, sons Tim & Brad wit Brads 10 year old son Steven (his 1st trip to Canada) from Fairborn & Marborough, MA were returning for their 13th fishing trip to Fireside Lodge. First day had them doing very well as Tim & Phil accounted for 23 Pike & 1 Musky, Phil showing everyone up with his Beetle Spin (as usual). But the BIG story was Steven catching his first Northern Pike ever. Conrats to Steven!!! By the second day Steven caught 20 Pike in one day meeting a goal he set for himself that morning. Tim & Phil also had a great day catching over 60 Pike. Steven’s next goal is a Muskie. The 3rd day was surly a Muskie day for Tim & Phil while targeting them, landing 6 nice fish at 27,30,34,36,37, &38” Phil catching the biggest which had a HUGE girth. The next two days were focused on accomplishing Steven’s 2nd goal, a Muskie. They came close as Brad caught a 35.5” Musky with some great help from Steven, & Steven had his hands full landing a BIG 34” Northern Pike. The picture tells the whole story. Last day the group caught over 100 Pike, with Tim catching 47, and Steven landing 17. This family sure made the most of their time fishing, birding, wildlife viewing and having some great conversation, while making wonderful memories together.
Before leaving Steven expressed his wish to return again. I have a feeling his wish will be granted.
Dave Moon, long time guest since 1994, from St Peters, MO was back with his fishing buddies, Bob Hanewinkel, John Setzer, & Tom Wolf from Hillsboro, St Peters & High Ridge, MO. These guys warmed up quick catching over 80 big Smallmouth their 1st day and landing 21 trophies over 18”, with Dave having 2 19”ers. Next two days were just as productive catching as many each day with most over 15” and recording another 22 trophy Smallies 18-20”. This group continued to catch countless Smallmouth throughout the week proving to be a Smallmouth Bass fishing machine. It was not just about catching numbers, as most of the fish were quality Smallmouth between 15 to 18”. They also broke a record for the most Master Anglers Trophy Smallmouth caught between 4 people, landing 70 Smallmouth between 18 to 20.25”. WOW!!!!! That’s a great trophy-fishing week for Smallmouth Bass. I think these guys should quit their day job and become Fireside Lodge trophy Smallmouth Bass guides. All left with another set of Fireside Lodge fishing memories and hope to return in 2013.
Brothers Jeff & Michael Kengor from Apollo, PA were first timers fishing at Fireside Lodge. First day ever fishing on our lake system they caught over 70 Northern Pike. WOW!!! Amazing for their first day on the lake. Second day had them catching a bunch of Smllmouth & as Mike was in the process of hand landing a bass a huge flash of a GIANT Muskie came from nowhere and T-Boned, then ate his bass. Mike almost had a heart attack, but his youth saved him. He also just missed a 40+ Muskie when it charged after his lure as he was lifting it out of the water. Next day they had a blast & portaged catching 25 pike 26-33 inches from a canoe. Fourth and final day they caught a bunch of pike, and then decided to call it quits after Jeff had a 50” Muskie only 10 ft from the boat in clear sight before it turned bolted off and broke Jeff’s line in an instant. They both decided to call it quits after this and what a GREAT memory to finish with.
Return guests, Father & Son Roy & Ross Lagerblade from Rock Island, IL & Crestwood, KY, Uncle Bob from Port Byron, IL, Jay Gardner from Buffalo, IA, Jeff Chaney & Bob Jaynes from Tulsa, OK & Anthem, AZ were here to reunite while fishing in our great wilderness setting. First day fishing they had lots of fast action catching over 70 Pike. Next day was not as productive catching fish, but had just as much fun landing 30-35 Northern Pike. Third day was a slower day, and all fishers know we get these days but never talk about them so we won’t either. Fourth day was a day of rest for three in the group, and the other three went Muskie fishing. Well the Musky showed up but were not very agreeable as they had many follows but could not hook up on one fish. That’s Muskie fishing! Last day this group finished with a bang catching well over 60 fish mostly being Northern Pike. All went home having loads of fun & made great memories among family and friends.
Fishing buddies Rob Delamatre from Sandusky, OH and Al Fishhaber from Northwood, OH were back for their 8th trip to Fireside Lodge. First day three Muskie were caught with Al landing a 34”er and a big Pike. These guys mixed it up a bit fishing for BIG Toothy Critters and then going for numbers of average fish in the 26 to 33 inch range. The word must have gotten out amongst the fish community as unlike 2010 the BIG fish evaded them this year. Not completely as they did see a lot of Monsters but could not get a hook up. They did catch some in the mid 30-inch range, and as far as the average fish catch they did great. They had several days catching 25 to 30 fish and two days coming near and toping 100 Northern Pike. Al & Rob, as many of our long time guests, are like family, always staying in the lodge, listening to their pre-selected play-list, and having great conversation. We are looking forward to seeing them again, hopefully in 2012.
Mark Thurow, Peter Lazzara, Curt Danekas from Naperville, Chicago, & Palatine, IL were back for their second time bringing first timers, father & son Allen & Alex Katona also from Plainfield, and Zack Peters from Wheaton, IL. During their first day and a half they caught lots of Smallmouth and Northern Pike, with Pete & Zack landing trophy Smallmouth measuring 18.5” & 18” respectively. Each would equal that before the end of their four-day stay, and Pete would also catch a MONSTER Smallmouth Bass measuring 19” with a GIANT girth. Second day, Each boat caught between 25 to 40 fish, and Alex caught a nice 34” Pike with his dad Allen catching a HUGE 39.5” monster girth Northern Pike. Alex & Allen sure learned how to use the cradle quickly. A few of our creek accessible lakes posed some challenges for this group, but they stopped at nothing to seek a new adventure. Mark & Pete were momentarily halted as they attempted to travel up Cloudlet Creek. Soon they found out why we do not send anyone there, as it is impossible to navigate this creek. The last two days, of their 4 days of fishing, they had continuous action on both Northern Pike and Smallmouth, having some slow periods of time but during others the action was fast and furious. They all ended up having wonderful time fishing in the Canadian Wilderness, and made some great memories.
First time Fireside Lodge guests Raleigh Jones, son-in law Tim Nolan, & Brian Kendrick from Auburn, & LaFayettte, AL were here to fish for Smallmouth Bass & Muskie. First time ever on our lake system and these three went out and caught fish. Mostly Smallmouth and a half dozen Pike. Second day they found fishing slower, so after some discussion at the tackle shop about technique, presentation, and location they purchased sinking worms they ready to catch Smallmouth on their third and final day. Well, it was before noon and Raleigh was back hunting me down at the lodge to purchase more of those sinking worms. They ended up having a GREAT day catching many Smallmouth Bass between 15 to 18-inches. Before leaving all said they had a great time and all would return for a longer stay.
Mike & Linda Lapresi from Tucker, GA have been fishing with is consistently since 1995. First night & full day 31 Smallmouth were caught, and Mike wasted no time landing an 18.5” trophy. Well that set the pace for a fantastic week Smallmouth Fishing as they caught between 25 to 20 Smallies daily, with Mike landing 2 more 18-18.5” Smallies, and many 15 to 17.5”ers. They also caught them their way with Linda using primarily a Torpedo surface lure and Mike Fly-Fishing with poppers. Mike & Linda also had a National Geographic moment in real time. Mike saw a Lynx one morning while walking to his boat. That evening they took a walk on our lodge road and witnessed a Lynx pounce on a snowshoe rabbit watching from only 60 feet away it as it sauntered away with the rabbit hanging out of both side of its mouth. Before disappearing into the bush it looked back at them as if bowing to the applause of a performance. A memory they will both have to share for many years to come.
Make sure to go to our website listed below to see the 2010 Photos
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Hot Lures: Sinking Worm, Grubs, Shaky Head Worm, Tubes, X-Rap, Mepps Spinner, Mepps Maribou, Topedo, Pop-R, Beetle Spin, Worms
Hot Flies of the week: Deceivers, Medium Streamers, Poppers, wooly bugger
Catches of The Week: 40.5” & 38” Muskie, 2 People catching 6 Musky in one day and 5 musky in one day. Many days having 2 people catch 100 pike or more, 126 Master Anglers Smallmouth caught between 18-20.25-inches
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