Ron 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.
RA 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.
First 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!
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.
At 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.
After 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!
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.
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!
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”!
The 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.
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”!
We 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.
At 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.
Not 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!
We 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!