Posted tagged ‘outdoors’

One of Those Days….

August 12, 2013

Sometimes when you go fishing,  you know it isn’t going to be a good day.    It’s too windy.   Or too cool.   Or the water’s too choppy.

Or maybe you just feel lethargic…and you suspect the fish probably do too.

But if you put in enough time, if you keep coming back,  sooner or later, you’re going to get one of those “perfect days”.

Where the water is like a mill pond.

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Where there’s just enough mugginess in the air to keep things interesting.

And when you approach the shoreline, you feel excited, because you KNOW there’s gotta be fish there.

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And even the signs in the sky seem to be favorable.

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And when you find that right spot and BAM…!   BAM…!  BAM…!  BAM…!   You can do no wrong.

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And you’ve had one of these “perfect” fishing days.

And they’re rare.

You might only get 1 or 2 day s like this the entire year.    If you’re lucky.

And you might come back to the same spot 3 days later, and it will be a whole different ball game.

They may not even be biting at all.

Or they might be biting even BETTER than before. .


You just never know.

I guess that’s why they call it “fishing” instead of “catching”.

Either way, I’m addicted.

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Moose Recon: Mission Accomplished.

April 28, 2013

This is a good time to go moose-spotting.

Especially in the highways near Provincial Parks.

The critters are attracted to the leftover salt on the roads from the winter.

So, at least once a year,  in April, I do a mini-road trip and bring my camera along, and try to find some moose.

It never fails.

I always find at least one.

Like I did today.

So I’m happy to report:  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

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As a bonus, I try to include Junior Bear into a photo as well.

And that mission too, was accomplished.

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Perfect Waters

September 24, 2012

I can’t count how many times I’ve been on the water this summer with my canoe, but it’s usually 2-3 times a week, on average.

Sometimes maybe four.

I almost always take my camera along, because you never know when it will be one of these evenings, when everything is just right, and you get that perfect shot.

Last week, I had one of those evenings.

Oh, and as an added bonus, I got a small pike.

Scrappy little guy, he was.

And it made the evening even MORE perfect.



Random Photos From My Latest Fishing Trip

July 15, 2012

Flying in and out of Kaby Lodge, this is what most of Northern Ontario looks like from the air:


Some days the weather was great:


Some days it wasn’t:


Lotsa beavers.


Here’s a photo of an adolsecent bald eagle (though not with the best of lighting).


Chipmunk falls.    Not only a great place to stop for lunch, but also a  good fishing spot.


The lake is teeming with walleye.   On a typical day, I’d catch 25 ?  30?  40?  (I dunno….literally DOZENS…I’d lose count!).

Most were in the 17-18 inch range.  But this was my biggest one, at 22 inches:


Here’s a typical stringer for our shore lunch.   We would eat shore lunch every day, and keep a few for the freezer for home.


Here is a typical shore lunch.   Which I love.


Half the fun of staying at the lodge was playing with the two dogs, Jasper and Riser, who are obsessed with retrieving sticks, especially Jasper.

I like how Jasper is fixated on the stick.

This is considered perfectly normal behaviour for Duck Tollers.


The younger pup (Riser) would keep stealing the stick from Jasper.  He was being a little shit, and he knew it.     Jasper would then yap incessantly at him to give it back.   This game went on and on…those dogs crack me up.


The lake has lots of pike too.  People catch them well over 40 inches.    I didn’t get any monsters like that this time.   But I did get two respectable-sized ones, 29 inches and 30 inches.

Both fish were caught within 30 minutes of each other.   It was one of my best afternoons.


This pike wasn’t huge, but I’ve never seen one with teeth as large as this, for a fish that size.


Not all of them were trophies, though.    But still fun to catch.


I had a lot of fun.   So did the Bear.

We will both be coming back.

Great Gardens

June 5, 2011

Two an a half months ago,  during my last visit to  Le Massif,  I did a side-trip one evening, about 30 km north of Baie St. Paul, to the Parc National des Grands Jardins.

It’s mountainous region, where the elevations get up to ~ 3000 feet.   Not huge by Western standards, but this far north, you’re already starting to push the tree-line.

“Grand Jardins”  translates into “Great Garden”.    And the place truly does look like that in the summer and fall.

The climate here is similar to the taiga found further north in Quebec.    It’s unique enough that it’s been included in UNESCO’s World Biosphere Reserve in Charlevoix.   They even have woodland caribou that were transplanted here from in the 60’s.

All this, just an hour and a half from Quebec City.

This day was a nice early spring day, and the roads were good.   Though I’d hate to imagine driving this in the dead of winter.   The roads are steep and winding and you can drive for miles before there’s a place to pull over or turn around.

Living East of the Rockies,  it’s a novelty for me to see big mountains.    Of course, there are some decent mountain ranges in New England, but nothing really, in Canada.    I was surprised to “discover” these.   It seems very few people outside of Quebec know about them.

While these aren’t exactly the Rockies, they could easily qualify as being the foothills of the Rockies.

And that’s good enough for me.

And will tide me over until the next time I head to BC.

PS.   I’ve included The Bear in one of these photos.   Can you spot him?

Coping Schedule

June 3, 2011

4:25 PM
Almost quitting time.   Totally fed up with work today.  Meetings from hell.  He-said-she-said Email pissing contests, and everyone sniping at each other.

I swear, on days like this, I almost feel like crying.

5:00 PM
Time to go home.   Tired.  Exhausted.   Head fuzzy.   Almost feel like I have the flu.   Need to lie down.

5:30 PM
Collapse on couch.   Fall asleep to an old M*A*S*H re-run.   Brain turned off.  Unconscious.

6:00 PM
Wake up.  Still tired.  Body still all wound up from work.   Can’t shake this fuzzy feeling in my head.

6:15 PM
Get in truck, drive to ice-cream store, and get a large chocolate-peanut-butter on a waffle cone.

Already the day is starting to look better.

6:30 PM
Continue driving for a while, and then pull into side road off the main highway.

6:32 PM
Turn onto gravel road, avoiding rocks and washouts.

6:35 PM
Arrive at desitnation.  Plop canoe in water.

6:40 PM
Paddle, and try not to re-live the past 12 hours.

6:45 PM
Listen to red-wing blackbirds,  white sparrows and loons.

Laughing at the angry chatter of the asshole-squirrels.

Feeling less anxious.

7:00 PM
Observe Zen-like golden reflections in the mirror-smooth water.   Head slowly emptying.

7:2?   PM
Feel tug on line.   Reel it in, and land a feisty little pike.

A magnificent toothy little bastard.

Remind myself:  “You caught a fish!”

Therefore, today, no matter what has happened, or what will happen, is a GOOD day.

?:?? PM
Enjoy the last few minutes of sunlight.

As the sun sets, see clouds move in.  Hear thunder.

Very faint and distant.   Felt, rather than heard.   Sending shivers up my spine.

???? PM
Load canoe on car.   Drive home in the dark.

Head clear now.

Feeling peaceful.


And mentally recharged.




Yeah, but I caught a trout.

May 11, 2011

There’s something special about catching a trout, especially a wild one on a lake that hasnt’ been stocked.

Because, as I’ve written about before, these are magical fish.

When you catch one,  you’re not just happy at the moment it happens.

There’s a lingering euphoria, a deep sense of satisfaction, that lasts for days afterward.

Bass, pike, walleye…they’re all fun to catch too.

But there’s nothing quite like catching a fresh trout on a pristine lake, just after ice-out.


It’s hard to describe.  You feel like you’re a successful hunter-gatherer.   You feel like the cat that’s caught the canary.  You feel that you’ve accomplished something.

And you keep chucking to yourself:  “I caught a trout! “,  over and over.

And it makes you happy.


It doesn’t matter what happens for days (or even weeks)  afterward.

The fact that you’ve caught a trout makes things a little bit easier to take.

Case in point:

My car’s rusting out and it will cost a lot of money to fix.
Yeah, but I caught a trout.

I’ll probably get yelled at for not getting that report done on time.
Yeah, but I caught a trout.

I have to deal with so-and-so today, and they’re really annoying.
Yeah, but I caught a trout.


Try it yourself, and see.

It works.

And it’s cheaper than a $100/hour therapist.