It was a rowdy celebratory night at the old Thompson Lodge last evening because of the Stanley Cup Hockey Game. That’s a sacred night in any part of Canada. We watched the game over a few drinks and then went back to the cabin and cooked up the walleyes we caught. This morning we slept in then packed the truck and drove two hours north across the legendary Churchill River to Southend, Saskatchewan on Reindeer Lake. At 4 pm we heard the engine of a Beaver Sea Plane approaching overhead. The pilot buzzed us and landed that baby on the lake and pulled the noisy rig right up to us. It was a sight to see, especially knowing we were about to climb aboard and fly deep into the back country of northern Canada.
Our flight in took about thirty minutes. I scanned the ground below hoping for a glimpse of a bear or a wolf but saw nothing besides moose trails through the bogs. We crossed over dense forest with scattered lakes everywhere before we landed on beautiful Pagato Lake. The pilot drove the plane right up on the beach in front of the cabin we will be staying at for the next four nights
We are the first guests in here this year so we knew there would be some issues like plenty of mouse poop to clean up. Mouse damage ended up being the easy part. There were black bear tracks everywhere and unfortunately they chewed through all the propane and water hoses around the cabin. We will have no refrigerator to cool our food and beer and we won’t be able to pump water to the cabin from the lake. We’ll also need to be careful with our food and won’t venture too far away at night.
It was just after 5 pm when we were all moved in and then we watched the plane take off. We were on our own. Our weather is gorgeous now and it doesn’t get dark up this far north until well after 10 pm so we got the boats ready and took off to get in a few hours worth of fishing. Chris and I shared a boat as did Steve and Bill and we all took off to a nearby bay we could see on a map.
It only took a few minutes to realize that Pagato Lake is big. The nearby bay we saw on the map was a twenty minute drive in our Lund Boats with the 9.9 Yamahas. Pagato has numerous bays but few islands and just about everywhere you look there are pairs of loons, a sure sign there’s plenty of baitfish. Once we arrived at the bay we all began chucking huge pike flies into the shallows and weeds.
Four hours of fishing went fast. The sun set at about 10 but it never got completely dark. Our fishing was excellent however our target species, big pike, were not exactly jumping on the fly. Between the four of us we caught about twenty hammer handles (small pike) without even a take from a large one. However it appears the walleye fishing will be incredible because we all caught at least a few on the pike flies