Canada Northerns & Walleye on Fly

Docked WagesDocked Wages Posts: 2,875 Admin
Spent 10 days at a very remote fly-in only lodge on Carol Lake in Northern Canada, 60 miles north of Lake LaRonge, Saskatchawaan. I am still relatively inexperienced with fly fishing and stopped by the Fishing Hole in Saskatchatoon on the way for some local flies. I ended up with two new species under my belt, Northern Pike and Walleye on fly.

Waterbase Inn (Seaplane departure docks)


Nasty weather forced us to miss several flights, both into Canada and into the lodge. Eventually we got out on a smaller plane in between storm squals.




Northern Pike, Walleye and Lake Trout where our targeted species.






The flight back from was in a much larger seaplane with more comfort and nicer weather:





The Lodge/campsight:



Mark Wilson


  • thinfisherthinfisher Posts: 326 Officer
    Nice report and great pics.....looks like loads of fun and the Pike reminds me of fishing the UP in Michigan with my Uncles and Grandfather. Thanks for bringing me back to those memories.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] Family, Friends and the Outdoors - Obama = PRICELESS
  • deerflydeerfly Posts: 722 Officer
    Looks like a blast, weather and all. Nice to see a little variety here once in a while too. :Rockon

    tell us a bit about the technique/strategy? Seems the walleye's are mostly bottom huggers and the northern's structure and shorlines, etc, different approaches no?
    "impossibility cannot be concluded from a sample of failed efforts" - Edsger W. Dijkstra
  • Docked WagesDocked Wages Posts: 2,875 Admin
    LOB will be posting a full report with lots of video in the EC region in the next day or so. (I will post a link here when it is posted) I was the only one fly fishing so this is a precurser to the full report with my focus on fly fishing. Being a saltwater guy primarily, a novice fly fisherman and the only fly fisherman in the group of three I had to figure it out as I went. As far as the technique and strategy we where fishing in a private lease roughly 13 square miles with 7 large lakes to fish each with 2 LUND boats and small 15/ 9.9 / 6 hp kickers. The Walleye where all caught on Stillborne Lake, Norhterns in all lakes and Lake trout in Boehm, Eldridge and Darieu.


    The shore line in Stillborne lake went from land to 16 feet deep within 20 yards, sometimes 10 yards. I started out 50-60yards from shore then realized that the steep drop off close to shore, formed with large rocks, was the prime place to be for walleyes on this day. My fly rod is spooled with floating line so that was an issue. If you notice in one of the Northern pike pics you will see the fly of choice (recommended by the Fishing Hole in Saskatchatoon) with a split shot infront of the fly to get it down deeper. I also used a RIO "toothy critter" 20lb Bronze tippet leader, not wire but a braid type material. We where catching 50 plus walleye a day on jigs with almost the same number of pikes. (Our highest daily total was 94 walleye between 3 guys and another 30 plus pikes all on spinners, another day we landed 70 lake trout in one day plus our share of pikes as a by product) Needless to say this was a target rich environment and a good place to try the flyrod. My toughest challenge with the walleye was the hookset, you cant hookset a flyrod like a spinner, too much flex in the rod! It also took too long for the floating line to pull tight during a strike, even when stripping it??? This could be my lack of experience but very frustrating. ( I use a Fenwick 8 wt rod) I lost several walleye from them lipping the fly, they would also follow the fly all the way to the boat before lipping it or turning off. Eventually I landed two walleyes during my first fly fishing outing on Stillborne Lake.

    Other areas that I specifically targeted Northerns on fly where grassy bottom shallow bays. The Northerns however where much more aggressive and easier hookup. I landed Northern on fly in both Stillborne and Carole Lakes with realitive ease. No heros, but decent size fish. BTW, the only fish that where filleted were what we could eat during our stay and only fish under 20 inches to leave the larger ones to breed. We also came across a Moose with a baby and came within 20' of a black bear during one of our portages. Pretty exciting time all around, thanks for the interest. I think I will be doing more salt water fly fishing now that I am back home and hopefully posting more reports in this section.
    Mark Wilson
  • sparse greysparse grey Posts: 1,751 Captain
    Nice report & interesting pics. Took me back to a trip my son & I tood 15 yrs or so ago to Northern Ontario for remote brook trout. It appears you had MUCH better accomodations. Many fond memories as I'm sure you will have also. Good luck with the fly BTW.
    Ron Conner Release the fish, keep the memories. Once a Knight is enough.
  • razorreilly09razorreilly09 Posts: 8,401 Officer
    Great report and pics! sent you an IM
  • Docked WagesDocked Wages Posts: 2,875 Admin
    Here is a video of the trip put together by LOB

    And here a link the EC regional Report with more pics and info
    Mark Wilson
  • Docked WagesDocked Wages Posts: 2,875 Admin
    Ok, its that time of the year again.

    Leaving for Canada on Friday to do this trip again.

    Plan on doing more fly fishing than I did last year and will post a new report when I return in early July.

    Any recommendations on flies for Walley or Northerns would be appreciated.
    Mark Wilson
  • ShadowcastShadowcast Wimauma, FLPosts: 1,051 Officer
    Enjoy the trip!
    Capt. Jon Bull
    Sales Rep - Ankona Boats, Salt Marsh Skiffs, Tavernier Skiff Company
  • saltybumsaltybum Posts: 1,572 Captain
    Don't forget the sinking line AND camera! Looking forward to seeing the report.
  • Docked WagesDocked Wages Posts: 2,875 Admin
    saltybum wrote: »
    Don't forget the sinking line AND camera! Looking forward to seeing the report.

    Great advice, almost forgot the sinking line!

    On my way to Harry Goodes to get some sinking line now.....leaving at 5:00 am tomorrow!
    Mark Wilson
  • Docked WagesDocked Wages Posts: 2,875 Admin
    Ok so I didnt go with a full sinking line. After talking with staff at Harry Goodes, i decided to go with a 10' clear / 24' sinking linking line for the type of fishing that I anticipate. This sinks at a slower rate but I dont need to get down beyond about 12' for Walleye. Last year they were stacked up just off the drop off that is only about 4 boat lengths from shoreline, thats about 12' depths. The northern pikes are all over and most our fihsing for them was in even shallower waters and I think this may be an easier line to cast. I will find out after two days of traveling :-)
    Mark Wilson
  • DogmanDogman Posts: 450 Deckhand
    **** you never find walleye in less than 30' of water around here. Pike and Muskie are every where though.
    2013 Native Watercraft Slayer 14.5 (Sand) - His
    2010 Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 (Mango) - Hers
    Lost Fishing - You know it's where you'd rather be!
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