Today was a simple fish; we told Peter (our guide) that we simply wanted to chase pike. He was all smiles and indicated we’d be chasing “big” pike, aka 40 inchers plus.
The morning started as is typical for Arctic Lodges, up at six with the alarm, nice hot shower, off to the Main lodge for a cup of coffee and chit-chat with fellow fishers while we waited for breakfast. Today’s menu was bacon, eggs, hash browns, toast, coffee, and juice. After breakfast we gather our rods and head down to the dock where Peter was waiting.
From my perspective the morning was ideal fishing weather, cloudy with a sprinkle now and then and a light breeze. The first bay/cove we pull into had the breeze blowing into it, and Peter indicated it would help push bait into the area. That equates to actively feeding fish and lots of them.
We worked a variety of fly patterns. All work. But I settled for large salt water versions of seaducers. With the large 3/0 hook and 8-10 inch profile these patterns tend to minimize the number of fish less than 24 inches, but not all. Now Ron stuck with smaller patterns and I joked with him about doing a good job keeping the hammer handles away from me. He even declared his new name was Dr. Hammer Handle.
Anyway, we had steady action for a couple hours. Can’t tell you how many fish we caught, but I know I’d long ago run out of enough toes and fingers to keep track. While most of the fish were in the upper 20 to low 30 inch class we did manage a few nicer fish, and I picked up my first 40 inch fish of the day.
We than moved to another area, a rather small shallow cove (we could see the bottom in most places). While the fish were not large, my best came in at 35 inches; it was my highlight of the day. We rigged up floating lines with topwater flies. I started with a Dalburg Diver, Ron a mouse. That lasted for a dozen or so fish, when I quickly realized that a pike on every cast or two was going to destroy a lot of flies. So I switched over to a foam popper, which the pike were as equally as happy with. We essentially had non-stop action for over an hour, when Peter suggested it was lunch time.
Shore lunches are something I can get used to. Peter quickly fillet out a northern we’d kept for the occasion, built a cooking fire, and got the potatoes pared and sliced. He starts the potatoes and onion to cooking, another pan heats the beans, and a third has oil heating for the fish. That coupled with coffee cooked in a tin is a meal I hope everyone has a chance to try. Simply life doesn’t get much better than that. The gulls hanging around waiting to clean up the leftovers provides a little extra entertainment.
The weather cleared to a bluebird afternoon, unfortunately, clear and calm don’t make for the greatest fishing. Oh, we managed a few, but not like the morning action. One very shallow bay we pulled into was filled with fish. Not just any fish, big pike and lots of them. They’d move off as we approached, and calmly ignored our offerings for the most part, I say most as I did managed a couple in the 30 inch class on topwater. Then as we were pulling out of the cove, I put on a large chartreuse seaducer. I managed a decent 34 inch fish, and then on what was to be my last cast, Peter said a large fish just made a pass at your fly and is moving toward that small point, his arm showing me the spot. I cast and made a couple hard strips and it wass fish on, a good fish on. We ended the day with a 41 inch pike. Needless to say, after seeing large numbers of fish in that cove, from mid-30’s to mid-40’s and only catching a couple, you can guess where we’ll be starting tomorrows fishing.
Till then good luck.