Sunday, February 06, 2005


Extreme Caribou Hunting and Northern Pike Fishing

I had been up at Munroe Lake Lodge flying guests for the fall caribou hunt. It was mid-September, and I was flying for three different outfitters to three different locations. The outfits were Blue Sky Outfitters, Caribou Country Adventures, and Munroe Lake Lodge itself. I flew the groups between 30-60 miles north to where the tree-line basically disappears into the tundra. The hunters were hunting animals from the Qamanirjuaq herd, believed to be 500,000 animals approximately. All groups had done extremely well, and it was amazing to see the caribou run as we flew low over the countryside. The air was so pure, on a good weather day you could see 100 miles if high enough. During this time of year the landscape was just starting to change colour, and by the end of September, the countryside would be awash in all kinds of reds, yellows, and light greens.

I now had a break for a day, so it was time to go fish. My friend Terence and I headed out by boat to the first narrows, probably just over a mile and south of the lodge. We were going to test the Northern Pike fishing. All we wanted to do was catch fish for supper. I carry what is called a Zebco Tackle Tote with me in my Otter, as it is small and easy to store. It consists of a telescoping rod, tackle, and a Zebco PS 10 spinning reel. Actually, a nice combination, but small for Northern fishing. Well, did we hit Northerns! Unbelievable! They were everywhere! And no small ones! I was just using Mepps Mister Twister twin-tailed jigs and catching a big gator every other cast. Where we were fishing was only about 6-15 feet deep, and in a rocky narrows, so I can just imagine the fishing in some of the bays! The smallest fish we caught were about 12 pounders, so we kept a half dozen for supper. We were just about to leave when: Whack! There goes my rod tip, one more fish! I set the hook, and thought that "this fish fights differently". No wonder. I landed an 8 pound Lake Trout!

We returned to the camp and cleaned the fish. What struck me was the fact that these fish were more energetic than Northerns from the warmer waters of more southerly Manitoba. They didn't have deep bellies, but they were very wide across the back, and seemed to be much firmer. I guess the colder water keeps them in better shape. The flesh was a beautiful white, and supper was devoured once it was prepared. I remember in my early days of flying, when there was still a lot of aboriginal trapping and hunting taking place, an old aboriginal woman told me that when the hunting or trapping party was traveling through the bush, Northern was always the fish of choice when eating, as it stayed in your stomach longer than other fish.

After supper, William, Terence's father, asked us to join him in the boat. He started up, and we drove 50 yards north from the dock, and he shut the boat off. He said there was a small weed-bed in the sand, and to just cast a jig. Here we were, 50 yards from camp, and 50 feet offshore, catching all the Northerns we wanted in the 10-15 pound range. My point is this: We didn't even really try to catch fish, and we were catching 15 pounders. Imagine if you actually tried, drove the lake, and annoyed some BIG Pike with some big, splashy baits! I met some of the guests at the lodge and they had all been catching huge fish.

Morning came, and it was time to fly some more caribou hunters. I was flying some hunters onto the Roberts River, just northeast of Nejanilini Lake. I dropped them off, and started to load up a group of hunters that was already there. 100% hunting success again! We took off and flew back to Munroe Lake.

Munroe Lake Lodge and surrounding area is a prime piece of real estate, and a real Manitoba jewel. I loved the serenity and peace that is abundant out in the "wilds". In closing, all I can say is, that, if you want to hunt caribou, or fish big Northerns, then, Buddy, I know this place, and it is called Munroe Lake..........

Munroe Lake and it's breath-taking beauty.... Posted by Hello

Supper was to be enjoyable this evening.... Posted by Hello

Returning from the hunt. 100% success rate again!!! Posted by Hello

Proud, successful hunters.....!! Posted by Hello

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