Archive | June, 2015

Bonus Time at Selwyn Lake Lodge

blog-June-30-2015-1-selwyn-lake-lodgeIt was time to begin the journey home today and wouldn’t you know, there was no smoke and not a cloud in the sky.  I was aggravated to say the least knowing that if today were yesterday we’d have flown to the Sand Dunes and Hunt Falls.  But sipping coffee outside my cabin was Ron and as I stepped out he asked, “Want to do the Dunes today?”

 

Technically, RA, Austin and I could stay another day.  We don’t fly out of Saskatoon for home till July 2.  As long as Adventure Destinations could get us from Selwyn Lake Lodge to Saskatoon tomorrow instead of today, the Dunes and the falls was an opportunity we weren’t going to miss.  Luckily, switching our travel wasn’t a problem.

 

blog-June-30-2015-2-de-havilland-beaverThe only thing we needed was a little patience to wait for Ron to fly some folks to a fly in Lake.  That wasn’t a problem and when he returned at 9 we loaded the De Havilland Beaver with our gear.

 

As we were about to climb in, an SOS came.  The guys he literally just dropped off radioed in they had an emergency.  Out came all our stuff and then Ron and camp manager Greg flew off to make a rescue.

 

blog-June-30-2015-3-flyfishing-selwyn-lakeRA, Austin and I were worried about the SOS and hoped it was nothing major, but deep inside we were pretty bummed.  The only good news is that we could go pike fishing.  The three of us took a deep breath and off we went to some nearby bays.

 

blog-June-30-2015-4-ra-beattie-austin-trayserRA and Austin have been working their tails off all week so rather than fishing this morning I ran the boat and watched.  I don’t believe we had a piece of filming gear on board which was nice for us all.  Best of all, fishing was its usual fabulous and the boys caught a heap of nice fish including this piggy pike that took both the guys to hang on to!

 

blog-June-30-2015-5-hunt-falls-saskaatchewanI heard the Beaver returning at 1 PM and we reeled it in and headed back to the Lodge.  We got in seconds after the Beaver parked.  Ron and Greg had good news.  The SOS was a motor failure issue that was easily fixed and we were going to Hunt Falls.  This time we loaded the seaplane and took off.

 

blog-June-30-2015-6-hikeing-in-saskatchewanHunt Falls, once known as Lefty’s Falls (a recent name change) are the largest falls in Saskatchewan.  Both from the air and ground they are absolutely gorgeous.  We landed on the lake that provides the water for the falls then hiked in through an enchanted northern forest covered in a blanket of lichen.

 

blog-June-30-2015-7-jeff-currier-at-hunt-falls-saskatchewanI packed both a grayling and pike rod with hopes to catch a few more fish.  The first thing I noticed walking along the river before the falls were lots of bugs hatching but no rising grayling.  A sure sign they actually may not be around.  Once to the falls I set up the pike rig on my 9-weight and fished all the good looking water without a sign of a pike.  Not a big deal, we’ve had our fishing this trip.  The falls were spectacular and well worth the trip.

 

blog-June-30-2015-8-flyfishing-for-pikeOn the flight home we met one more surprise.  In order to do our trip, the anglers Ron dropped off early today that also had the SOS, Greg ordered another plane to pick them up.  We got word that the pilot for this pick up was down south on the fires.  With the “clients come first” point of view that you must have when running a lodge, Greg asked if RA, Austin and I would mind getting dropped off at the South Arm to fish for an hour while Ron retrieved the stranded clients.  Yea I think we can handle that!

 

blog-June-30-2015-9-flyfishing-for-pikeWe spent our last evening beating on yet another bunch of huge incredible Selwyn Lake pike before Ron returned to pick us up around 8 PM.  This trip, bonus day and all, has been truly outstanding.  Tomorrow we begin the long trip home.  Stay tuned for a few more photos and final word on this fantastic adventure and filming project for the 2016 F3T Fly Fishing Film Tour.

 

A special thanks to RA Beattie Outdoor Productions and Adventure Destinations for bringing me along on this incredible adventure to Saskatchewan!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Athabasca Sand Dunes Out of Reach

blog-June-29-2015-1-de-havilland-beaver6 AM came early but we had a full day of flying planned to some special places, the Athabasca Sand Dunes and Hunt (Lefty’s) Falls.  There was some fishing involved too.  The flats in front of the Sand Dunes for pike then Arctic grayling at the falls.  But the venture began flying out in drizzle in hopes things would improve.  They didn’t.  Ten minutes in the air from Selwyn Lake Lodge we lost sight of the ground which in a De Havilland Beaver isn’t acceptable.  We turned back and were soon taking naps at the lodge instead of gassing up in Stony Rapids.  “Monsoon Currier” strikes again.

 

blog-June-29-2015-2-black-bearWe hoped we’d wake in a couple hours to cleared skies but instead we awoke to a very mischievous black bear on the porch of our cabins.  He was looking for trouble by sniffing the screened windows and wouldn’t leave until the camp manager shot at him with rubber bullets.  He retreated then swam to an island but unfortunately came back tonight.  Bad move bear.

 

blog-June-29-2015-3-ra-beattie-with-jeff-currier11 AM came and the rain stopped but we didn’t have time to make the Sand DunesHunt Falls was possible but unlikely.  Instead, RA decided to get some interviews done for the film.  We headed to a quiet island and Ron and I talked about the great week of fishing we’ve had.  These interviews are what ties the film together when you see it at the 2016 F3T.

 

blog-June-29-2015-4-flyfishing-for-pikeWe didn’t make the trip to Hunt Falls due to the threatening skies.  Instead our Lodge manager Greg took the evening off and took us fishing and for a shore dinner we’ll never forget.  We headed out around 6 PM.  RA and I went with Greg then Ron and Austin in the other boat.  It was an unbelievable night of fishing with lots of nice pike from 30” to 40”.

 

blog-June-29-2015-5-alien-rock-selwn-lakeWe kept three of the 30” class pike and pulled up at a place Selwyn Lake Lodge calls Alien Rock.  It’s an odd rock for sure carefully balanced on three smaller rocks.  No one has any idea how this happened.  It looks suspicious to me but then again, ten guys together couldn’t move this rock.

 

blog-June-29-2015-6-shore-lunch-selwyn-lakeWhile we checked out the rock Greg fillet up the pike and fried up them up in three different recipes.  Along with the fish were five pounds of French fries.  All three recipes took me back to my Wisconsin days when I ate pike and walleye three times a week.  We washed the delicious meal down with a few Copper 16’s.

 

We headed back for the lodge around 10 PM.  When we arrived here sunset occurred after 11 PM but in only ten days after the solstice, tonight the sun set at 10:10.  Nonetheless it was an amazing sunset.  The fires down south continue to rage and you can certainly see the smoke in the photo below.  Today was our last day at Selwyn Lake Lodge and tomorrow we’ll fly with Ron on the Beaver to Stony Rapids.  Ron will put us on a commuter flight for Saskatoon and he’ll head back for Thompson Camps on Otter Lake.  This has been and incredible trip!  Many more pictures to come in the next days.

 

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Austin Trayser Photo

A special thanks to RA Beattie Outdoor Productions and Adventure Destinations for bringing me along on this incredible adventure to Saskatchewan!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Pike on Breedlove Guitars and Saskatchewan Moose

blog-June-28-2015-1-flyfishing-for-pikeRA and Austin got so much great pike footage for the movie yesterday that it took the pressure off.  Everything on their list got shot and I mean SUPERB stuff.  And the epic day must have worn us out as well because I stayed in bed this morning till 8 and RA and Austin slept in till 10.

 

blog-June-28-2015-2-jeff-currier-sharpie-artThe day started calm, sunny and smoky.  The smoke from fires down south in Saskatchewan has arrived full force.  It’s so bad the haze reminds me of the 1988 Yellowstone fires.  Once up we learned we were on our own.  Ron was flying all day and Brennan was guiding.  We went down on the dock and I broke out the sharpies and drew a pike on a guitar from RA’s Breedlove guitar companyRA and Austin filmed the hour long project and may piece it into the film on a speed frame type of deal.  The art came out pretty neat if I do say so myself!

 

blog-June-28-2015-3-saskatchewan-mooseBy the time the guitar was done some daunting clouds rolled in.  We did some quick casting footage then RA decided he’d download yesterday’s footage and start editing.  Austin and I went lake trout fishing.  We fished for about three hours until a full on storm rolled in with tons of lightening.  Our fishing was over by 5 PM.  Strangely we only caught one laker.  The biggest highlight was this moose swimming island to island.

 

blog-June-28-2015-4-great-western-brewingToday was a lazy one but just what I needed.  These trips catch up with you not to mention I’ve been traveling all year.  It was the first time I kicked back with a beer and thought to myself, “I’m ready to get home”.  The beers by the way are called Original Copper 16 from the Great Western Brewing Co in Saskatoon.  I’ll be sad to say goodbye to these because it’s my new favorite beer.

 

blog-June-28-2015-5-selwyn-lake-lodgeThe other good reason for a lazy day is that tomorrow, our last day, we’re flying to the Athabasca Sand Dunes Provincial Park and hitting Hunt Falls (largest falls in Saskatchewan) along the way.  This will be a full day of traveling on the Beaver as its two hours one way with a fuel stop in Stony Rapids to Lake Athabasca.  The flying is weather permitting.

 

A special thanks to RA Beattie Outdoor Productions and Adventure Destinations for bringing me along on this incredible adventure to Saskatchewan!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing for Monster Pike and Arctic Grayling

blog-June-27-2015-1-RA-Beattie-filmsRon knocked on our door at 7 this morning and said he was already called to fly and work.  That was the bummer to start the day.  Furthermore, Brennan was guiding.  We had big plans and couldn’t waste the day so RA, Austin and I got permission to use a boat.

 

blog-June-27-2015-2-RA-Beattie-productionsRA showed up to breakfast with pencil and paper.  Evidently he glanced through the footage we’ve made and despite all the work so far, we have a long way to go to make a good film segment for the F3T Fly Fishing Film Tour.  He and Austin made a list of needs and we headed out.

 

blog-June-27-2015-3-taimen-flyFirst on the list were “top water takes”.  Pike are such savages when they eat a fly we must have it on film.  I tied on a black no name popper fly that’s been kicking around my big fly boxes since I went to Mongolia.  I wanted to put this fly on earlier this week but one of the guides here said the top water bite wasn’t on.  Man were we about to prove him wrong!

 

RA Beattie photo

RA Beattie photo

For three hours I chucked the big top water concoction and raised at least thirty or more pike.  Most were average 30-35 inchers but when they explode on the fly it looks like a bomb going off.  While RA and Austin captured all the action on tape I enjoyed some of the most fun on the trip so far.

 

blog-June-27-2015-5-beaver-sea-planeAt around 11 AM we heard Ron approaching in the Beaver.  With some great top water footage under our belt we returned to Selwyn Lake Lodge in hopes that Ron was done flying for the day and could join us in the afternoon.  It turns out Ron wasn’t only off the rest of the day, he made plans to treat us to a fly in on Selwyn Lakes South Arm – an area on the lake not yet fished this year.

 

blog-June-27-2015-6-jeff-currier-selwyn-lakeAfter a nice lunch the four of us climbed aboard the Beaver and flew for about twenty minutes to the South Arm of Selwyn Lake.  By boat it would’ve taken us about three hours one way.  Having access to a sea plane is an incredible treat.  Not only is it cool having a plane but it’s so hot up here Ron let us fly with the windows open!

 

Austin Trayser photo

Austin Trayser photo

After we landed and tied off the Beaver I couldn’t help but make a cast from the pontoon.  I never thought in my life I’d be casting off a sea plane but there I was.  Although I didn’t luck into a fish Austin clicked off some amazing photos that I’ll remember my entire life.

 

Once done living my dream, we prepared the boat.  Selwyn Lake Lodge has boats scattered around the far parts of the lake specifically for fly ins.  We were first here so we needed to clean things up and bail out the water.  This was the first time Ron had ever landed here so exploration was in order.  Once loaded up we went for a nearby weedy bay we saw from the air.

 

RA Beattie photo

RA Beattie photo

Big pike are hard to handle in the boat so we chose to park the boat and walk in.  I followed Ron along the shoreline watching each cast waiting for that explosion.  It didn’t happen till we got deep in the back of the bay.  But that cast will always be remembered.  When his fly hit, at least a DOZEN wakes came charging.  Minutes later we were posing for our first of at least six doubles catches!

 

RA Beattie photo

RA Beattie photo

We fished three bays tonight over the course of about five hours.  The night will undoubtedly go down as one of my most memorable fishing experiences of all time.  Ron and I caught at least fifty pike most of which were over three feet and several that were longer than 40”!

 

blog-June-27-2015-10-pike-on-the-flyThe biggest fish of the night came on a huge black and orange Tyler Befus fly.  Tyler gave me the fly in Michigan a couple weeks back and I knew the concoction would work for these monsters.  I was prowling slightly deeper water out in the open bay because I’d seen an enormous boil.  The second my fly hit the largest pike of my life attacked from below without warning.

 

Austin Trayser photo

Austin Trayser photo

The havoc caught the attention of everyone.  Austin was filming Ron landing a hefty 40” pike but this explosion caused him to stop in the middle and turn my way.  The obviously huge fish took off across the bay taking more line than a pike has ever taken from me.  It was a tug of war for the next five minutes before I finally slid him up on the grass where I could wrangle him.  The spectacular fish was a chunker at 45”!

 

blog-June-27-2015-12-pike-fliesWe had some fun after releasing that fish.  No doubt that monster can eat about anything he wants including a baby beaver.  When we got our Saskatchewan fishing licenses back in Prince Albert last week RA jokingly picked up some dog toys just in case we found some insanely large pike.  We stuck a hook in this fuzzy beaver and I made some casts.  You’ll have to see the movie to see if it worked.

 

blog-June-27-2015-13-bompas-river-arctic-graylingAt 8 PM it started to drizzle and RA, Austin and I thought we were done.  Ron had other ideas.  Only ten minutes from what may in fact be the greatest northern pike fishing on earth is body if water full of Arctic grayling.  This spectacular place is the rarely visited Bompas River.

 

blog-June-27-2015-14-flyfishing-for-arctic-graylingNot many folks pack a 4-weight on a pike trip but I don’t go many places without my 9’ 4-weight Winston Boron III LS.  When Ron asked if we wanted to end the day with some grayling I lit up as did RA and Austin when they saw the 4 come out.  I tied on an olive stimulator and for the next hour we took turns catching huge dorsal finned Arctic grayling on every cast!

 

blog-June-27-2015-15-flyfising-selwyn-lakeWe had big smiles on our short flight back to Selwyn Lake Lodge.  RA’s breakfast list of needs for our film were fulfilled far past our expectations.  We had a phenomenal day.  And boy do we ever have a top segment for the 2016 F3T Fly Fishing Film Tour.  We have two more days of fishing ahead of us.  RA and Austin will keep filming and Ron and I will keep trying for an even bigger pike!

 

A special thanks to RA Beattie Outdoor Productions and Adventure Destinations for bringing me along on this incredible adventure to Saskatchewan!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Double Trouble Fly Fishing for Lake Trout

blog-June-26-2015-1-forest-fires-saskatchewanWe could have done better with our time today.  It was no ones fault but we didn’t fish much.  It’s simply that the fires down south keep getting worse and worse and closer as well.  The smoke finally showed up here and its clogging the lungs badly.

 

Ron got called to go fly supplies to Stony Rapids at 8 this morning.  He intended on getting back at 10 and we’d all go fishing.  We waited and he didn’t get back till 11.  The minute he got back and we were loading the boat he got called out again.  Most bush pilots that run this area are getting pulled from their normal duties to help fight the fires and Ron is picking up the slack.

 

blog-June-26-2015-2-ron-striker-bush-pilotAt 2 PM we got word that Ron wouldn’t be able to fish today.  This was a real bummer because though he works for Adventure Destinations he rarely has time to fish himself.  He was looking forward to this just as much as us.

 

At 3 PM we headed out with Brennan.  Brennan goes back to guiding clients tomorrow for the rest of our stay so we only had a few hours.  Remaining close to the lodge, we headed to the place where we caught lake trout a few days ago.

 

blog-June-26-2015-3-jeff-currier-lake-trout-double

Austin Trayser Photo

Remembering the massive fish that chased my smaller laker here previously, I rigged two flies thinking, hmm, if this happens again perhaps the big boy will take the other fly?  At the first place I hooked up a small laker.  Like I was some sort of genius, as I brought him to the side of the boat, another laker was following and my dream plan worked.  I let the other laker back down and soon I had two on and landed them both!

 

We thought we were going to catch doubles all day after that but in fishing when things look easy they never are.  We caught a handful but no more doubles and no big fish.  Eventually the pike were calling.

 

blog-June-26-2015-4-brennan-kruger-pike-fishingWe had two boats again and Brennan and I fished a bay while RA and Austin went to another.  The light was bad for filming so they went fishing also.  Brennan and I put the spank of a heap of nice fish and shot a few pics.  None of the fish were huge but this will do any day.

 

blog-June-26-2015-5-selwyn-lake-lodgeThe smoke and clouds didn’t make for the pretty night we’ve been experiencing lately.  We ate a huge dinner and followed it up with a scrumptious desert, something I rarely eat.  Then we crashed early and we plan to fish our hardest yet tomorrow.  Stay tuned. . . .

 

A special thanks to RA Beattie Outdoor Productions and Adventure Destinations for bringing me along on this incredible adventure to Saskatchewan!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing Selwyn Lake at Thousand Pike Bay

blog-June-25-2015-1-selwyn-lake-lodgeWe awoke to a spectacular day.  There was hardly a cloud in the sky and regardless of being on the Saskatchewan/Northwest Territories border it was hot and humid.  Down south the fires continue to get worse.  They are evacuating at Missinipe on Otter Lake where we were earlier this week.  We’re lucky we made it out and it’s amazing we barely see any smoke up here.

 

blog-June-25-2015-2-flyfishing-for-f3t-film-tourWe got on the water early.  Ron didn’t wake up to any fires of his own with work so he, Brennan, RA, Austin and I headed up Selwyn Lake across the Saskatchewan border into Northwest Territories to a place the lodge calls Thousand Pike Bay.  The boat ride was beautiful.  The scenery on Selwyn Lake is stunning with many islands and rocky reefs that stick out of nowhere.

 

blog-June-25-2015-3-flyfishing-on-selwyn-lakeThe reason for all the forest fires is several years of drought.  You can see it as you drive the lake because water levels are three feet below normal.  Past years the guides here can drive right into Thousand Pike Bay but this year they must drag the boat.  We traveled up in two boats but dragged only one of them into the bay.

 

blog-June-25-2015-4-ron-striker-adventure-destinationsThousand Pike Bay didn’t live up to its name in the morning.  We caught some fish and they were nice, but Brennan fished here four days ago and caught over 100.  They caught them on spin gear so we thought the flies would turn them on again but it seemed we’d be lucky to catch twenty.

 

Austin Trayser photo

Austin Trayser photo

Worst of all I got careless with a 35 incher.  I’m using six feet of 35lb flouro for the mono part of my leader and I horse these brutes in fast.  This particular fish was fired up when I landed him and squirted out of my hands and up over my shoulder then behind me.  When he came around the other side my line rapped around my rod tip and he took off again breaking my 9-weight.  It was a really stupid move on my part.

 

blog-June-25-2015-6-ra-beattie-selwyn-lake-lodgeThe one thing with pike is that the bite can turn on in an instant.  We saw it yesterday when the storms rolled through.  It didn’t look like a chance for a storm at noon but it was warming up tremendously.  Perhaps the heat would help.  We decided to take a break and kicked back in the middle of the bay away from the mosquitoes and had lunch.

 

blog-June-25-2015-7-filming-the-ft3-with-RAA break was the ticket.  No more than five minutes back on the fishing, Ron slipped a cast over a deep hole.  He stripped in and was lifting to make another cast when behind his fly was a long shape.  Ron saw the pike just in time to stop the fly and as it dropped the gills flared and he set the hook.  Absolute chaos took place as a 40” plus pike took off and four men tried to get out of Ron’s way in a small boat!

 

blog-June-25-2015-8-flyfishing-for-pikeNo doubt we need some big pike to make an excellent film for the 2016 F3T film festival and this was our fish.  After an intense battle with the pike maneuvering around rocks and near sunken trees and you name it, Ron eased the monster to the shallows where I was waiting to grab him.  Yet another rodeo took place but finally I calmed the northern down and Ron had a pike most pike anglers can only dream of.  This beast measured 44”!  (the guys were filming and this is the only still shot we got)

 

blog-June-25-2015-9-flyfising-for-pikeOur fishing was no less than remarkable from that point on.  Brennan eased the boat around the bay and Ron and I sight casted to pike for two hours.  I alone landed about fifteen and watched every single one of them eat my fly.  Ten of them were over three feet long including a 40” and a 41” – UNREAL!  That’s pike fishing on Selwyn Lake!

 

blog-June-25-2015-10-austin-trayserWe got back to the lodge around 7 and sat down to a great meal.  After dinner we considered heading back out but there was something in the air.  We hung out deep into the midnight sun sipping beers and listened to RA and Austin jam on guitars.

 

A special thanks to RA Beattie Outdoor Productions and Adventure Destinations for bringing me along on this incredible adventure to Saskatchewan!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

First Full Day Fly Fishing at Selwyn Lake Lodge

blog-June-24-2015-1-selwyn-lake-lodgeWe woke up to a stunningly beautiful morning here at Selwyn Lake Lodge.  The skies were a rich blue. Despite last nights late night of fishing and a few beers till 1 AM this morning, we were up and ready to start fishing and filming early.

 

Unfortunately, not far from here the skies aren’t so blue.  The forest fires expanded considerably down in southern Saskatchewan and Ron had to take care of numerous concerns from some of their other Adventure Destination lodges.  Ron wasn’t able to break loose until 10 AM.

 

blog-June-24-2015-2-selwyn-lake-canadaIf you’re wondering why we didn’t just take off in a boat fishing ourselves there’s a reason for this.  Selwyn Lake isn’t only so big you get lost easily, but there are numerous hidden submerged reefs.  It’s easy to wreck a boat or bust a prop off a motor.  Until we get a taste of this place, fishing on our own isn’t an option.

 

blog-June-24-2015-3-flyfishing-at-selwyn-lake-lodgeOnce out we had someone to help us find our way around, a new guide here, Brennan Kruger.  I quickly caught on that Brennan not only knows a ton about fishing but he’s also a good fly fisher.  With Brennan we were able to take two boats and we headed off in what was now overcast from clouds and smoke.

 

blog-June-24-2015-4-warpath-fliesThe first stop we made was at the mouth of a small pike fishing bay twenty minutes from the lodge.  The plan is to attack the pike until we have our film complete.  But as RA and Austin got their camera gear ready to film I made few blind casts with my pike fly.  We were drifting in deep water but my Warpath jig fly was heavy and I let it sink.  On my first strip I hooked and landed a lake trout.

 

blog-June-24-2015-5-ron-stirker-adventure-destinationsThat laker changed the crews train of thought.  Indeed we’re here to make a pike film but RA and Austin would also like to make a nice promo film for Adventure Destinations.  Filming a few lakers would be nice touch.  For about two hours until the wind became too strong, Ron and I dredged for lake trout with my 300 grain sinking line.

 

blog-June-24-2015-6-flyfishing-for-laketroutWe picked up about ten small lake trout on the fly.  But an exciting event happened worth mentioning.  As I was landing a standard 18” laker and he was thrashing on the surface a huge lake trout came to investigate.  My childhood bait fishing instincts kicked in and I let my small hooked laker back down.  The (what I’d estimate to be 36” laker) massive char swirled excitedly around my fish several times as if to eat him but soon became suspect and took off to the deep.

 

blog-June-24-2015-7-flyfishing-with-brennan-krugerThe open lake where the lakers thrive became too windy to reasonably continue fishing there.  We focused back to pike fishing and Brennan led us to some sheltered bays.  The pike love these kinds of places because there are plenty of baitfish and weeds to ambush them from.

 

blog-June-24-2015-8-jeff-currier-flyfishing-the-northwest-territoriesFor two hours we dealt with heavy wind, broad siding gusts and rain.  But like with a lot of fish, the stormy weather brought on the bite.  Ron and I landed about twenty-five pike including four nice ones over 35”.  Although the fishing was insane, it was hard for RA and Austin to film with all the rain.

 

We headed back to the lodge at 5 for a rest and dinner.  The clouds and smoke lifted and by 8 PM it was gorgeous out.  The five of us headed back out to film some pike fishing exactly where we were last night.

 

blog-June-24-2015-9-RA-beattie-outdoor-productionsAnyone who says pike aren’t smart is incorrect.  Last night we caught over fifty pike in this bay and tonight we caught about a dozen.  We had lots of follows but you could visually see the pike roll their eyes and turn away not to be seen again.  It was humbling to say the least.

 

blog-June-24-2015-10-midnight-sunsetRegardless of the slow fishing, tonight was perfect for enjoying the midnight sun.  If you’ve never experienced being this far north in June you must.  All of us that trout fish have experienced epic hatches at sunset that we wish would never end.  The midnight sun sunset lasts about four hours thus giving you that never ending feeling!

 

A special thanks to RA Beattie Outdoor Productions and Adventure Destinations for bringing me along on this incredible adventure to Saskatchewan!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing at Selwyn Lake Lodge

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Austin Trayser Photo

We all bounced from bed with excitement this morning.  The fishing and relaxing at Otter Lake was nice but the eagerness to get to the big pike has been killing us.  The fires continue to get worse but our weather was excellent so after breakfast we loaded the Beaver and began the journey through the smoke to the far north.

 

blog-June-23-2015-2-fishing-saskatchewanFlying over northern Saskatchewan never fails to amaze me.  There are so many lakes and rivers that you couldn’t fish half of them in a lifetime.  Much of the water you see in this photo has never been fished and this is just one click of the camera!

 

blog-June-23-2015-3-stony-rapids-saskatchewanWe flew for two hours and twenty minutes before landing at Stony Rapids, Saskatchewan for refueling.  The Beaver holds 569lbs of fuel and can fly for 3 hours, not quite enough to make it to Selwyn Lake Lodge.  Stony Rapids is as far north as you can drive in Saskatchewan although most wouldn’t consider the last 500 Kilometers a road at all.

 

blog-June-23-2015-4-stony-rapids-saskatchewanStony Rapids is so difficult to get to that the prices for food are off the chart.  A gallon of milk cost you $12.79.  That’s $10.32 in US dollars!  Nevertheless Stony was our last stop in civilization and RA treated us all too some high dollar ice cream cookie sandwiches.

 

blog-June-23-2015-5-selwyn-lake-lodgeIt was another 40 minutes in the air before we landed on Selwyn Lake and parked the Beaver at the dock of Selwyn Lake Lodge.  We were warmly greeted by staff and loaded our gear into a trailer attached to a four wheeler and led to our rooms.

 

The lodge is stunning.  The beautiful place overlooks Selwyn Lake.  The view is a small portion of the huge lake that has hundreds of islands and from what I understand millions of pike and lake trout.  The south part of Selwyn Lake is in Saskatchewan and the north part is in Northwest Territories.

 

blog-June-23-2015-6-flyfishing-the-northwest-territoriesWe kicked around the lodge for few hours to unpack.  Then we purchased our fishing licenses for the Northwest Territories and had lunch.  Since I was a kid I’ve always wanted to fish the Northwest Territories.  I was always reading articles about huge pike as a boy.  I was incredibly stoked filling out that license.

 

blog-June-23-2015-7-austin-trayser-flyfishingIt took awhile but we finally hit the water around 5 PM.  Ron had a ton of unexpected things coming up with all the fires down south.  The good news is that the sunset is at around 11 PM and we have twenty-four hours of daylight.  Once Ron was ready we went straight to the east side of the lake and up one of Selwyn Lakes many fingers.  The very first stop Austin sight cast to a huge pike and a lake trout intercepted the fly right from under the pikes nose!

 

blog-June-23-2015-8-flyfishing-for-lake-troutThe four of us screamed like kids with all the excitement.  We all consider pike to be the badass fish up here and expect them to steal a fly from a lake trout not the other way around.  Austin’s laker was putting up a decent fight then suddenly went absolutely ballistic.  It turns out the pike wasn’t that thrilled with the laker taking the fly before him and now he was trying to eat the laker.  Austin hoisted the pretty char in just in time to save his life but not without some serious chew marks on his sides.

 

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Austin Trayser Photo

We ended the night in the far back of the bay where a creek came in.  I was tossing my 9-weight Winston with a Scientific Angler Titan Taper floater.  I packed lots of big bright flies for this trip but one of the guides suggested a smaller dark fly so I put on an old favorite that’s black and gold.  All I can say is we have a splendid week ahead of us.

 

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Austin Trayser Photo

I kid you knot, in a mere two hours of fishing we caught about 50 pike, many of which were easily three feet long.  None were monsters by Selwyn Lake standards but they will come.  Its 1 AM now and I’m losing track of time because it’s still light out.  I have to be careful early in the trip not to stay up all the time then hit the wall towards the end.  Stay tuned. . . .

 

A special thanks to RA Beattie Outdoor Productions and Adventure Destinations for bringing me along on this incredible adventure to Saskatchewan!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing on Otter Lake in Saskatchewan

blog-June-22-2015-1-flyfishing-saskatchewanIt was another beautiful day at Otter Lake in Missinipe, Saskatchewan.  When I sip coffee on Ron’s porch around 7 AM it’s nearly 70° and mid day is upwards of that.  The only bad thing we have in northern Saskatchewan right now is smoke from numerous lightening started forest fires.

 

The fires are starting to cause havoc up here.  The smoke is obviously a nuisance but some of the lodges and fly in camps are in danger of burning down.  Ron was planning to take us out on Otter Lake today fishing but instead he was called on to fly fire fighters and fire fighting supplies into the burning regions.  Ron assures us they won’t call on him starting tomorrow so we can go to Selwyn Lake, but man, if the fires flare up more – it’s certainly a worry of mine.

 

blog-June-22-2015-2-flyfishing-for-walleyeLuckily his friend and fellow bush pilot Odie offered to take us out this afternoon while Ron was off helping with the fires.  Me, RA and Austin are no doubt enjoying some relaxation time here in Missinipe but we’re also here to fish.  Odie’s offer was very much appreciated.

 

blog-June-22-2015-3-flyfishing-for-walleyeOtter Lake is the only place we have access to walleyes this trip so with all the great pike fishing we have ahead of us we decided to focus on fly fishing for walleye.  A lot of folks ask me if you can fly fish for walleye during my warmwater talks during show season.  The answer is absolutely.  Realize they aren’t easy but there are a couple helpful facts to know.

 

blog-June-22-2015-4-winston-fly-rodsMost important is that your fly must be down near the bottom.  I fish walleye with my 6-weight Winston and a Uniform Sink Type 5 line.  My leader is 12 ft of straight 0X Flouro and I fish a heavy fly.  My favorite walleye fly these days is a red and white Clouser minnow.  And even though walleye have sharp teeth I find they’re too finicky for wire.

 

blog-June-22-2015-5-flyfishing-for-walleyeWalleye are most active in low light conditions.  The absolute best time to target them is from sunset till pitch dark.  This is the time of day when they hunt in the shallows.  If you hit them right you’ll find them in less than six feet of water and a floating or intermediate line will put your heavy fly in the zone.  Up here in northern Saskatchewan in June there’s not enough darkness at anytime of day so we fish the walleyes whenever.

 

blog-June-22-2015-6-jeff-currier-flyfishing-for-walleyeSo, I wrote like I know how to catch walleyes on fly but the end result today was a mere two walleyes.  The first one I caught was a nice 17” fish that will be fish n chips tonight.  The second was smaller and I let him go.  RA and Austin never saw a walleye in their boat.  We did however catch twenty pike a piece, but not one was larger than 25”.

 

blog-June-22-2015-7-flyfishing-otter-lake-saskatchewanThe walleye on the fly can be excellent fun – but they’re walleyes.  What I didn’t mention is that they can be moodier than a brown trout and finickier than a Henry’s Fork rainbow.  I could blame today on a big storm that hit us but my main excuse, and its true, the mini pike of Otter Lake kept stealing my walleye flies because I don’t fish for walleye with wire.

 

We’re flying further north in the morning for big pike on Selwyn Lake.  Stay tuned for what should be an amazing adventure!

 

A special thanks to RA Beattie Outdoor Productions and Adventure Destinations for bringing me along on this incredible adventure to Saskatchewan!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Relaxed in Missinipe, Saskatchewan

blog-June-21-2015-1-saskatchewanIt will be getting dark earlier tonight – probably about midnight here in northern Saskatchewan.  I think we can live with that but it’s still sad that days get shorter starting the first day of summer.  In a few days we’ll be further north at Selwyn Lake at the top of Saskatchewan and bottom of the Northwest Territories.  Though the days are officially getting shorter we’ll be so far north it won’t get dark at all.

 

blog-June-21-2015-2-missinipe-saskatchewanI had a seriously needed relaxing day in Missinipe today.  I slept in.  For me that meant till 7 AM.  Then I sat out on the porch with our host Ron and we drank coffee and shot the bull about planes for an hour.  Once RA and Austin got up it was time for Ron to do some errands that included shuttling supplies to a fly in Lodge called Twin Falls.  Ron invited us along for the seaplane ride.

 

blog-June-21-2015-3-beaver-float-planeThe plane is a classic old De Havilland Beaver built in 1962.  They stopped building Beavers in 1967.  Of the 1600 that were built, 1300 are still in circulation.  They are durable as all get out and I get excited every time I get on one.  Not only are the cool but they mean I’m fishing off the grid.  We’ll have this plane with us until June 30th!

 

blog-June-21-2015-4-twin-falls-lodge-saskatchewanTwin Falls Lodge is a beautiful place nestled between two rapids connecting a couple of lakes.  The area is loaded with pike and evidently at night you can catch walleyes off the dock nearly every cast.  As we were unloading our supply delivery we learned that their generator was out so Ron ended up helping to solve the problem.  Although we’re anxious to fish it was a spectacular place for RA, Austin and I to hang out for a few hours.

 

blog-June-21-2015-5-twin-falls-lodgeIt turned out the generator problem wasn’t fixable so we had a nice lunch at the lodge then returned to Missinipe to get a new generator.  Ron and the Thompson’s Camps staff moved in to help and an hour later Ron flew off back to Twin Falls Lodge to deliver the new one and help get it started.  Twin has twenty anglers coming in tomorrow so there’s no screwing around.

 

blog-June-21-2015-6-ruffles-potato-chipsAs for fishing, today wasn’t planned to be much of a fishing day.  Ron had flying errands to do anyway and we only hoped to get out for a few hours tonight.  We relaxed at Ron’s house.  I worked on the blog and took some pics and sorted my gear.  RA slept and Austin tied up some bugs.  One of the most interesting parts of the day was the discovery of a new Ruffles chip flavor called flame grilled steak.  The chips taste exactly like steak bites and I’m not so sure about them at this point in the trip.

 

blog-June-21-2015-7-crushing-the-pikeWe in fact made it out tonight for an hour around Thompson’s Camps.  We headed back into the weedy bay behind town and CRUSHED the small northerns.  The biggest was a mere 30” so we’ll call it a warm up for the days to come.  I tell you, I think where we’re headed is the best pike fishing in North America.

 

A special thanks to RA Beattie Outdoor Productions and Adventure Destinations for bringing me along on this incredible adventure to Saskatchewan!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

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