Final Day Magic at Bowman Island Lodge

by | Jun 1, 2023 | Bowman Island Lodge | 2 comments

Coaster-brook-troutThis trip to Bowman Island Lodge in Ontario flew by like all great trips do.  Despite the fact we fished an extra evening upon arrival, followed by four twelve hour days, it went fast.  As you would expect, Joe Wolthuis, Jerry Darkes and the entire group for that matter, fished as hard as humanly possible and ended this trip today with a bang of nice lake trout and coaster brook trout.


Nipigon-BayThe day started hovering over the map.  We wanted to hit our most productive coaster spots all week and possibly hit a few new lake trout spots.  New spots were available because the mighty Lake Superior was calm.


Lake-SuperiorFirst stop happened to be Joe and mines most productive coaster spot all week but we only saw two fish.  Each were exceptionally large brookies and both refused our flies.  They basically gave us the fin the first half hour and we never saw another coaster again.


lake-troutBy 11 Joe and I were getting our butts handed to us.  It was disappointing. We didn’t want to end the trip on a slow day.  It’s likely because it was dead calm.  While “dead calm” sounds great for lake fishing, it puts lake fish on high alert.  Crashing fly lines and splatting flies usually spook them like a diving osprey would.  Particularly in the shallow which meant one thing – head for deep water lake trout.


sinking-linesJoe has nicknamed me “Capt. Lake Trout” so I took control of the boat and led us to an outer rock edge I’d thought about fishing when we were near the last two days.  The problem the last two days was that the huge Lake Superior swells were a bit much for a 16 foot boat.  Today conditions looked safe.  Soon we were launching lengthy casts with the heaviest flies in our fly box and the fastest sinking lines any fly line company makes.


Jeff-CurrierLet’s just say if I wasn’t “Capt. Lake Trout” when I woke up today, I am now.  This protruding rock produced us laker after laker for two hours.  I’m talking like perhaps 15 between us.  Maybe 20.  I wasn’t counting but it was one of the more phenomenal fly fishing for lake trout sessions of my life.  While we didn’t slay the 20lber, we landed a heap of slabs that were 20” to 28”.  And some were a bit overweight – just they way I like my fish!


streamer-fishingThe hefty char were deeper than earlier this week.  As mentioned, this is likely due to the calmness.  We were fishing on average 28 feet and I stuck a fish at 38 feet.  Our strips were slow and easy with the occasion couple speedy ones.  The lakers weren’t taking the fly aggressively but rather nipping at it.  Most times you felt a few taps before connecting with the fish.


Joe-WolthuisI said this a few days ago, lake trout are incredible game fish.  They are one of North America’s iconic natives despite what you sometimes hear about them.  Just remember those who don’t like lake trout either have never caught one or they caught theirs trolling on a downrigger.  Or, they fish Yellowstone Park and have read into the gossip that lake trout are some evil trout eating monsters.  Just remember, the lake trout didn’t deliver and stock themselves to Yellowstone!


New-GlarusAfter our amazing two hour lake trout frenzy, Joe and I still had the burning desire to catch at least one last coaster brook trout before going home.  Joe took over the navigating and led us to a new spot.  A location Jerry discovered yesterday and had some luck.  Joe’s choice would equal my decision to try a new lake trout spot thus making this the exceptional fishing day we were dreaming of.


brookiesThe area was a channel between two islands.  Somehow, for some reason, this channel had strong and unusual current.  The channel was like a river for about five minutes.  Then calm about five minutes.  Then a river again, but going the complete opposite direction.  The cycle repeated over and over.  It was wild and you knew immediately such a place would attract any species of trout.


big-brook-troutThe best way to fish here was out of the boat from a gravel point.  We beached our Lund and walked over.  The coasters were here and they were thick.  I hung back while Joe eased into the top casting spot.  On the first cast he got broke off by a big one!


Joe-Wolthuis-fly-linesWhile Joe re-tied another fly on, I made some casts to the ok looking water.  First cast and I picked up a pretty 15”.  By the time I released my fish Joe was already casting again.  This time he made it happen and was soon posing with one of the big boys of the trip!


coastersI went on a run after Joes fish and caught five in a row on my chartreuse and white jig fly.  All these fish came in a matter of five minutes and each one was around 20”.  It sounds like a fish story but it’s true.  Insane!  INSANE!! INSANE FISHING!


No matter how good fishing is, eventually the fish wise up.  We don’t give fish, birds or any animal for that matter credit for having smarts about them.  No matter where you are or regardless of the species of fish, after you catch a bunch, they figure it out and stop eating our silly feathery/hairy concoctions.  That was ok with us.  It was well past 6 PM when I released the last one and we motored home.


huge-lake-troutThis trip blew my mind in many ways.  Yea, I expected a good adventure, but this one upped to a whole new level.  Being someone with more than two million miles of air travel under the belt, almost all for fishing, its special that this trip occurred less than 200 miles from home.  My Exploder is parked only 25 miles away from world class fly fishing for brook trout and lake trout!



laker-fishingIt’s also fantastic because of how remote Bowman Island Lodge is even though I’m close to home.  It’s hard to grasp.  And of course, to share a trip like this amongst good company – can’t be beat!  A special thanks goes out to Jerry for inviting me, Joe for encouraging me to go, and to Bowman owner Gary Lange for taking great care of us.


catch-and-releaseTomorrow morning we’ll head out on the Anica Lee on the four hour boat ride back to Nipigon.  Then it’s a beautiful ride in my old truck back to the USA and on to Hayward, WI.  I’ll be on my back deck drinking a New Glarus and sharing my stories with Granny at this time tomorrow.  That closes the book on Bowman Island Lodge, Ontario Lake Superior, 2023.


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


  1. Tad


    That was one excellent fishing trip!


  2. Jeff

    Truly mind blowing!

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I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!