Why Visit Reindeer Lake? Fishing or Is There More.
by: David Coulson 6/30/2011
It was another great day of fishing at Reindeer Lake, Saskatchewan. Not a banner day, just a good day chasing pike. The goal was to get Ron his 40 inch plus fish on a fly. We came close with his first being a 37 inch fish and second of the day 39 inch fish, which frankly looks big enough. But being honest fishers, we ultimately conceded it wasnít going to happen today. My best fish was 38 inches and I ended the day with a 35 inch fish.
As is the norm up here, we had all sorts of weather the twenty-four hours. Calm, warm, sunny, thunder storms, and the wind came up on the run home making for a bone jarring ride across the lake. Still the lodges 18 ft. Crestliners with 50 hp. motors were up to the task and I felt safe, even if feeling a bit bruised.
As our week winds down, with tomorrow being the last full dayís fishing and a potential poker game in a bit, I found myself reflecting back on my many trips to Spalding Lake which drains into Reindeer and is just a little over an hour by boat to the Northwest of Arctic Lodge. We made those trips on the ďcheap,Ē bringing up all our own equipment, food, and doing all the work ourselves. In contrast at the lodge I have most everything taken care of for me, meals, room service, guide, etc.
While there are advantages to both ways, there are a couple things that I didnít realize at the time when doing it myself. First, you donít get in more fishing time doing it yourself. With all the camp chores, etc. I now realize, while we donít start until eight and finish around 5ish (includes travel) thatís about the same number of hours we got in fishing on prior trips.
Second, if youíre realistic about what you have into doing it yourself, the costs are not as far apart as you might imagine. I had a boat, trailer, motor, all the camping gear, etc. Every year I put a few hundred dollars or more (some year a grand or two) into repairs and replacement of my gear. I know others did so also. Add to that gas, food, and other stuff and the gap narrows. If your time is worth anything (Iíve been working in the evening while here), the gap is even closer. Now Iím not trying to convince you that you should not do it yourself, but if saving money is your primary reason, then you needed to do the math carefully. Because there are plenty of reasons for doing it on your own, but money isnít the best.
Iíve been reflecting on what makes a good lodge. Iíve visited several over the years, and Arctic Lodge is the best. Not because of the facilities, which are more than adequate, rather because of the people. Our cabin is comfortable, but still a bit rustic. Unlike other lodges, weíve had fresh linins every day; the cabin is cleaned, as is the bath. While the food is excellent, the key has been the service. Meals are served in a timely fashion, glasses/cups kept filled, etc. Every day the guides are waiting on us, not the other way around. There is always dock help to assist coming and going. And I could go on and on. Iíve watched and can assure you every guest is treated royally.
So as I end my day, and soon to end my trip, I realize that while the outstanding fishing may be the motivation to come the first time, the reason to come back is the people.