Canada 2004

mooneye01.jpgHerein lies, in a rather large and ungainly fashion, the account of the expedition of six men into the cold and crusty taiga of Northern Ontario, Canada as related by one of the party members, one Adam Harvey hailing from the Midwest of the United States of America. This account has been culled from his travel journals, which were found under a rubber Richard Nixon mask, in an empty ammunition box in a cobwebbed and musty shed in a remote monastery in Latvia.

Prelude:
Packing was relatively simple, one outfit of several layers to be worn all week and something to wear home. Packing the boat was a bit more complicated and despite my consummate skill at utilizing every inch of usable space, I let my uncles take care of the arrangement. Our vehicle hauling the family fishing boat was a leased Suburban, one of the poorest and most uncomfortably designed vehicles it has ever been my displeasure to ride in. In addition to myself, the company consisted of my three uncles Corbin, Collier and Dean, as well as my two cousins [Collier’s offspring] Anthony and Joshua. We drove all night, from Plymouth Indiana, through Chicago, into Wisconsin, entering Minnesota and finally crossing the border into Fort Frances, Canada approximately 12:40 after leaving my uncle’s house. Then we ate breakfast at the Makabi Inn.

6.5.2004
This is my 4th trip to Canada. The first two were when I was young, in my teens, the third was a college graduation present, and this trip is a year after that. If this book smells like it sat in a shed for a few years, it did. We arrived at EJay’s on Camping Lake, in Ear Falls, Northern Ontario, Canada around 1 today after a non-stop trip from Plymouth, Indiana and my uncle Collier’s house. I came from Cleveland so it was even farther for me. We made it on the lake by 4 and fished till about 10. We only caught 2 pike worth keeping and a walleye that wasn’t worth it but kept anyhow. We also caught a crapload of hammerhandles. We also fed the eagles.

6.6.2004
Fishing today was rather poor, we caught quantity but not quality. We had enough to eat our fried fish dinner, mostly pike, and Collier had some missionary friends visit from Dryden. In the evening I drove the boat w/Corbin and he was his usual self and I was my usual self so we butted heads for a while. I only caught a dinky walleye.

6.7.2004
Today was a bit better fishing. I currently have the biggest walleye [20in] and unfortunately I lost a 4 or 5 pound one when my line snapped. It rained most of the morning and afternoon and we were wet through. We had some great baked fish and blackened walleye and were appraised of the necessaries of making it by Corbin. I spent the day in the boat with Dean and it was nice and calm. He is very patient. We were about 10 feet from a beaver and caught ome weird fish called either a sheepshead, mooneye or skiptrip. Man was it ugly. The evening was beautiful. We also saw a mink. I wanted to pick up a beaver gnawed log.

Interlude:
Pictures will be posted once I get all of my film developed.

6.8.2004
Boy was it windy on the lake today! After those boat rides I felt like I’d been in a fistfight and taken some kidney punches. We caught some more trophy walleye. The trouble now is catching fish that are below the trophy size for bringing home. We had ribs for dinner and then Josh and I hit the lake for a bit. I caught a 14in sauger and another [miniscule] pike. When I’m on dry land I still feel everything rocking back and forth. It is a nice way to fall asleep. I got some nice pictures and we saw a moose crossing a rivier with her two calves. I think that is rare as I though moose only have one calf at a time.

6.9.2004
I fished with Collier today and did very well. I caught 6 walleye, a pike and a perch and Collier caught the last fish for the evening and his only catch for the day. The weather was perfect and we went to Pakwash and Lost Lake where another family was sitting over the mother-lode of walleye. They were throwing back 24.5″ walleye. The Plymouth Berkshires are kind of bummed out that the fishing hasn’t been as good as expected. We still might make our limit and I hope we do. We found out that Tami died at about 1:30 today so we are leaving a day early so Dean can make it home for the funeral.

6.10.2004
Our last day of fishing was a success. Anthony caught the big walleye on the trip, a 24 and a half incher an {sic} Josh also caught a trophy sixed fish. My hands are quite sunburnt and we saw a seaplane land right before we finished fishing. Today I was in the boat with Tony. I have to get up in about 6 hours to hit the road home. I’m currently the last one up and I’m not looking forward to attempting to fall asleep not three feet from Corbin’s snoring. If you can’t tell, I’m a bit buzzed from the cigar I just had; a Padr?n. Good night and thanks for the greatness of nature which never ceases to amaze. The sky is so wide up here you can see it move in three dimensions.

Postlude:
In the end, we came home with 18 walleye, 11 pike and 2 perch, under our limit in all respects, unfortunately. Still, I have a freezer full of fish and I’m itching to bake some of it. The baked fish meals we had were, by far, the best fish meals I’ve had in Canada. I think we might only have fried fish once from now on. The sky actually only moves in two visible dimensions up in Canada, but it is definitely something that puts you in your place. A boat towel will remain most evilly fish-smelling even after multiple washings. Tommy Bartlett has a Robot World and Exploratory if you want to go to Wisconsin to see it. Seeing a pretty girl [or multiple pretty girls, for that matter] after a week in the bush with 5 male family members is almost enough to drive you crazy, it gives ‘easy on the eyes’ a whole new echelon of connotation.

2 thoughts on “Canada 2004

  1. Great story. After last summer’s trip to Alaska, I now know what I’d do if I was wealthy, I’d spend my summers in the north woods. The peace and beauty of nature is so refreshing. I wish my family had a similar tradition.

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