“This Fish’n Canada episode could very well be the greatest adventure I’ve ever been on” says Angelo” “It certainly has the potential to be the most gratifying experience of my career, on the other hand it could be a total disaster”.
What Ang is referring to is this trip is with his grandson Nik, he’s the love of Ang’s life and a very cool 13-year-old kid. Although they spend a lot of time together, this is the first-time Nik and Angelo have actually gone off on a wilderness fishing trip on their own, without some form of adult supervision… no parents and no other kids, no support team to fall back on!
Like most kids Nik’s age, given the opportunity to spend a day outdoors fishing, he will jump all over it but that’s just one day, this will be a week and he’ll be DISCONNECTED the whole time… not sure quite what to expect.
Nick says “I hope I meet my grandpa’s expectations… I don’t want to let him down. Nobody told me how I’m supposed to behave around him this week……is he my good old granddad or is he that famous Fishing TV guy… guess I’ll have to figure that one out myself”.
“I still can’t believe I’m here doing this” continues Nik “when Grandpa first told me he was taking me on a fishing trip and they were going to shoot it for the Fish’n Canada show, I almost exploded with excitement! I was pumped”!
Our team was headed to Northern Rockies Lodge, British Columbia, situated at the far, northwestern corner of the province, very close to where it meets the borders of the Yukon and the Northwest Territories.
To Nik, it didn’t really matter where they went, all he knew is they were going fishing really far away! “I just hope I catch a big fish and impress the heck out of my Grandpa”.
The front yard of Northern Rockies Lodge is the take-off point for hundreds of kilometres in all directions. Here a float plane is not just the best but the only means of transportation. With over 20 fly-in fishing destinations available, the fishing promises to be dynamite! The lodge has an RV park, a hotel, a general store and a restaurant. In those parts this is truly an oasis.
It sits on the Alaska Highway, a road designed to join Alaska to the U.S., cut right through the heart of B.C.
Plans for this road actually began in the late twenties, but it wasn’t until the bombing of Pearl Harbour and the threat of a Japanese invasion in 1941 that it became a reality. 10,000 men from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers began construction in March of 1942 and completed this 2700 km (1700 mile) road 7 months later. An amazing feat of wartime engineering!
To say that this road cuts a swath through unending wilderness is a gross understatement; but, it is some of the most beautiful unending wilderness in North America. Bison, bear, moose and deer are typically always within sight of the highway along its entire stretch.
Biggest fish of my life!
Muncho Lake, the backyard of Northern Rockies Lodge, is one of the most scenic lakes in the country as it is surrounded by stunning vistas at every turn.
“This incredible scenery” says Nik “is taking my mind off of the fact that I’m totally unplugged from the rest of the world and all of my electronic devices. This is a first for me, how many kids my age get to fly in floatplanes going out to different lakes to catch fish in some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world”?
With a setting so beautiful and a situation in where Angelo finally got some one on one fishing time with his grandson, this trip truly turned into the ultimate family fishing adventure.
“Not sure how Nik feels at this point in time” says Ang “but me, I’m having Déjà vu overload right now. I’ve thought about this scene from the very first day Nik was born, somehow I always knew we’d end up here in a place just like this”.
As far as the fishing turned out for the Viola boys… it was nothing short of spectacular!
Their first fly-in was to Maxhamish Lake. Believe it or not, it was this lake that prompted on this entire episode. A couple of years ago, Ang, Pete and Roy Armes from Cooper Tire were talking and Roy mentioned Walleye in BC. Our boys instantly gave Roy the 20 questions and found the story so interesting that they had to set it up.
So you’ve now guessed the intended species as well, BC Walleye. Yes, there’s Walleye in BC and yes they grow BIG. Ang and Nik caught fish after fish and believe it or not, had a hard time catching small ones for a shore lunch. Once Nik picked up a feel for dragging a jig with the tutelage from grandpa, he was setting the western Walleye world on fire!
Since the lodge is a fly in and out service, it was back to the Muncho Lake for an exquisite dinner and a well needed sleep, because the next day was big fish day!
The following morning had Nik pumped up with excitement, after all he just laid a beating on the Walleye yesterday. This day would be Lake Trout day… yes again you heard it right, Lake Trout in BC.
This flight took them to Long Mountain Lake, where it is said giant Lakers lurk. We’re guessing what “they say” is true because Nik and Ang trolled up some gorgeous fish dragging EGB spoons.
Ang explained to Nik the uniqueness of the EGB in it’s small triangle swivel where the line attaches “it’s a patent that still can’t be copied” says Angelo.
Highlight of the trip; Nik’s personal best fish ever, a gigantic Lake Trout pushing the 30lb barrier!
“That’s it I did it” says Nik “I caught the biggest fish of my life and Grandpa is very impressed, I can tell, I love him so much for bringing me. It’s a trip I’ll never forget and I can’t wait for school so I can tell everyone what I did here this week… I hope as I get older and better at fishing, Grandpa will take me on more of these trips, for that matter maybe I’ll become a regular on this show…hey I can always hope can’t I?”
“No doubt you’ve heard me say this before” says Ang “but I just need to remind you one more time, if you’re a parent, a grandparent or an adult figure in a child’s life and you haven’t already experienced what you’ve been watching today, then for the child’s sake and yours… do it! It’ll affect both of you in ways that you can never imagine. I promise you, it’ll take the wrinkles out of your soul. Thanks for sharing this special episode with Nik and I”.
GETTIN’ THERE with RAM TRUCKS
To get to today’s great fishing adventure, Nik and I flew from Toronto to Vancouver. From there, we took our next flight to Prince George, and then hopped onto another plane to Fort Nelson. The remainder of the trip was a drive along the scenic Alaskan HWY to Northern Rockies Lodge on the shores of Muncho Lake.