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Thomas J Ault

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Canda, at Last
By Thomas J Ault
Monday, May 06, 2013

Rated "PG" by the Author.

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           >> View all 9

A fishing trip we should in all of its glory...more or less!




My sons and I had thought how great it would be to take a trip to Canada where that clear cold deep water and clean air laid waiting. In 2000 the time came.! The price was right, the timing good for the three of us, and the approval of our wives was obtained.

Chris and I would fly from Tampa to Atlanta. In Atlanta Mike would board the same plane and we would fly on to Minneapolis where a rental car would be waiting. We would  drive to Bemidji for a family reunion and then on to Canada.  

At  the Mid-way Airport in Chicago we had a stop over. The luggage people did their work as we sat on the plane. We didn’t realize how this would affect us later but when we arrived in Minneapolis we found Mike’s rod-case and its contents were missing. 

We filed a "Lost Report" and drove on to Bemidji to discover  that we had no reservations. The motels were almost full but luckily we found one room near the airport. After a partial night's sleep, we discovered the reunion had been postponed an extra day. We left without attending for fear we would lose our reservation in Canada. 

Late that afternoon, we arrived at the lodge to find we weren’t expected until the next day and they had rented out our cabin. After serious discussion, the manager spoke to the two women in our cabin and persuaded them to move to a smaller space.  

Sunday morning the guide (we thought we had cancelled) arrived around 6:30. We gave him $20.00 for making the trip and sent him on his way. After breakfast, we proceeded to the boat and motor waiting for us at the dock. 

The first two days we went where everyone told us the fish were biting. They swam by laughing!

 The third day we found a great spot right below a white water rapids drop in the river. Several boats with guides easily maneuvered the rapids but we were not proficient in the maneuver,  so were left behind. Too bad we let our guide go!

On the fifth day, after rain, clouds, and water that looked like the muddy Missosuri River, Chris became ill and stayed behind while Mike and I proceeded to take our boat and set out for a destination about 6 miles downstream. An hour into our trip a storm came up and we were forced to take shelter on a small and terribly overgrown island. Holding our boat with the anchor rope to keep it from drifting out into the waves, we waited in the cold and rain,  for several hours hoping the rain and wind would stop before attempting the trip back. Finally, we decided to brave the storm. With waves washing over the bow of the ship soaking us to the skin, we made our way through the heavy storm back to the fishing resort. We found Chris standing on the dock. He said that he felt better later that morning so he went to town for groceries, then upon returning, he fished from the dock and caught four decent sized Northerns. The rest of the week presented  the grand total of ten fish, and none as large as I usually caught off my own dock in Florida. We should have stayed in the cabin with Chris! 

We finished up the disastrous week with too few fish, colds, a couple thousand bucks lighter, and considering another fishing holiday. Probably in South America.

PS: Mike did get the lost rod back, the last day we were there.


       Web Site: Aults Place

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Reviewed by Ronald Hull 5/7/2013
Reads like a fishing trip from hell! I used to be fishing fool and caught my first 31 inch musky when I was thirteen years old. When I was sixteen, my twin brother and I were fortunate to take a seven day canoe trip with the Boy Scouts to the Boundary Waters. We traversed 100 miles on that trip and caught very few fish. I do recall a very large northern that tasted and spit out every lure I had in my meager kit until I couldn't get him to follow anymore in crystal clear water.

After I was paralyzed I had to quit fishing. The last time I fished was 1970 when I caught two bass in the Kentucky farm pond and my girlfriend had to reel them in for me and take them off the hook.

In 1975 I planned a repeat trip with my younger brothers who were fifteen at the time. We had one canoe and provisions, for I believe, the unheard-of cost of $210. I could only ride along in the middle of the canoe while my brothers did all the work. The 70 pound canoe was especially difficult for the 90 pound guys to handle. I could only carry a 50 pound backpack on portages––many.

About the third day out, we portaged through a burned-out area and it started to rain. We arrived at an island in a small lake and it poured so hard, that my tired, wet, and hungry younger brother declared, “Oh, when they find us here…” As if we were going to die from lack of food that evening. My other brother found some dry tinder under a stump and we had a hot meal in the rain within a half hour. I decided to try a daredevil from my old lure kit off a big rock and saw a northern follow it up. I told the complaining brother to try fishing and he reluctantly did. Northerns struck on almost every cast and the guys had a lot of fun. By morning, the daredevil was really scarred up and the guys had caught seven northern over 28 inches. We kept three to eat and returned the rest to the lake. We never caught another fish, but encountered a pesky bear on one portage. A fun trip that cost each of us $10 a day. It doesn't get any better than that and the memories last forever.

Reviewed by Budd Nelson 5/6/2013
we've all had trips like this, easier to remember that to have been there

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