The grass is always greener on the other side… this is a saying that has been around for many years and we as people tend to believe it on an almost daily basis. Now fishermen… WELL… we take it to the extreme. If our quarry isn’t voraciously schooling up and inhaling everything we are throwing at them, then we’ve gotta’ move. In our heads a little voice is saying “the weeds at the top end of the lake will be better” or “that rock pile 20km away has “got” to have a school on it” etc etc. Simply put it’s human nature “and” it’s part of fishing.
Of course up in the remote north country where it’s perceived as there are fish everywhere, the grass is always greener rule has never been applied RIGHT??? WRONG!!!
Granted these lakes do have a crapload of fish on them but finding quality… it’s more work than you might think.
The Fish’n Canada crew has travelled to “a lot” of fishing lodges in our lives and believe it or not “The Grass Is Always Greener on the Other Side” theory holds true in these fish factories as well. The mind frame of “well, let’s get ready for a 40 minute boat-ride from the lodge, cause’ that’s where the biggest, best & most fish are” is prevalent in almost every lodge we’ve shot at… until this episode.
It takes place at Brace Lake Outfitters in northern Ontario and according to Kyle Polesky owner, operator and head guide at the lodge; THE BEST FISHING on the entire lake especially for big Pike is directly in front of the lodge.
Well, a couple of knuckle heads like Ang & Pete just can’t comprehend such an obscure statement… come-on, they’ve gotta’ cover some water, burn some gas, put in some time… you know!
Brace Lake Lodge can actually access 3 bodies of water; Brace Lake being the obvious and then the connecting lakes of Meta and Ara. Between these 3 lakes as well as the connecting river systems, there are literally hundreds of kilometers of fishable water for Walleye and Pike.
After a quick talk as to a game-plan… the boys decided to run. Fishing in front of the lodge would be absurd!
Their first stop on the run would be the river system that flows to and from the lake and then they will travel to the other lakes.
“We tried up the river” says Pete “and caught fish after fish after fish, but no big boys”.
“So we headed back to the lodge to re-group” says Ang.
After a quick lunch and still insistent about having to “get away from the crowds” they decided to make the long trek south to Meta and Ara lakes… it’s only 45+ minutes each way!!!
THE GRASS ISN’T ALWAYS GREENER
Our adventurous tour that took the boys “all the way” down to Meta lake and then into Ara lake started to produce a little better average sized fish… but not the big Walleye and Pike this lodge is known for and certainly not what they drove 45 minutes in the boat for.
Ang: “We were trying to figure out why we couldn’t get any of the big girls that this place is known for to bite… but now we see why. In typical Northern Ontario fashion, Mother Nature threw us directly into the midst of the dreaded Mayfly hatch. This doesn’t mean big Walleye won’t eat our offerings, but when the hatch does occur, expect about a 20 to 1 ratio of small fish to quality fish”.
“Back to home base to regroup” says Pete “those Pike out front of the lodge are sounding better and better”!
After sucking up their shame of going against the grain or in this case Kyle’s suggestion, our team decided fish a little area just south of the lodge. There’s some fantastic structure with great weed growth surrounding a giant boulder in the middle of nowhere.
Their first couple of fish in this area are some of the best Walleye of the trip, things are looking up… but remember where there’s Walleye, there’s Pike. As Angelo was pulling in his jig, a lunatic Northern literally jumped out of the water at boat side and engulfed his jig in mid air! Something that usually only happens in the beautiful Canadian north.
MOVE TO FRONT OF LODGE AREA AFTER DINNER:
Of course the shoot wouldn’t be complete without Ang and Pete fishing “directly in front of the lodge” and with that idea they ate crow, headed out a total of about 60 seconds in the boat and started trolling.
Sure enough, the biggest Pike of the entire trip came exactly as the lodge predicted.
Pete says “If we can give you 1 lesson out of this Fish’n Canada episode, it’s THE GRASS ISN’T ALWAYS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE when it comes to fishing. Be smart and check all areas.
ANG: As my good school teacher Mr. Hiltz used to say… “Read all the pages Viola”!!!
Trolling big plugs, spinners, spoons or swimbaits is by far the most effective way of making contact with these big “lodge-oriented” Northerns. As per usual, once the fish are located, be persistent. Troll a big grid pattern, run some figure 8 patterns, zig & zag.
GETTIN’ THERE with RAM TRUCKS
To get to today’s non stop Walleye and Pike fishing on Brace Lake, we took HWY 400 North to HWY 11. We then headed north west to HWY 584 at Geraldton. From there we drove north to the town of Nakina and finally took Cordingley Lake Road to the Nakina Air Seaplane Base. From there it was a short flight into Brace Lake Outfitters.