After an 8 month wait, we were finally able to head north for our Canadian fishing adventure. Unfortunately, there was a 16 hour drive to endure before we could fish. Anxious to get out of town, we left Thursday after the boys and Sue got off work. We split the drive into 2 days, arriving at the boat dock around noon on Saturday. Brian was like a kid in a candy shop, his excitement was contagious.
When the boat pulled up to camp, I thought, Wow! The pictures do not do this place justice! Atop a bluff, sat a quaint and perfectly spic-and-span wilderness camp. Adirondack chairs, wooden swings and a fire pit decorated the camp’s central hang out spot. All in the all, I think there are 8 cabins. A clean, well stocked cabin awaited us and all our goods. Complete with a full kitchen and bath, there was little to miss from home (other than the dogs of course!). The cleanliness of the fish house could use it’s own paragraph. One would never think that dozens of fish are cleaned there everyday. Eating off the floor clean? Yeah, it was that clean.
Each day, Dustin and I were up before sunrise and back to camp after sunset. We witnessed some spectacular daybreaks, and beautiful twilights. Lake Wabaskang is a LARGE lake. I think its size attributed to some of our fishing woes. Make no mistake, we caught fish, but not lots of fish like everyone else in camp. Everyone was extremely helpful and wanted to do all they could to put us on fish. Perhaps we were not patient enough in some spots, and our lack of knowledge of the lake hindered us in others. Upper 80 degree and low 90 temperatures didn’t help the situation at all either. That is unseasonably warm weather for that area. With that said, I do believe we are making a return trip next year. As evidenced by everyone else’s bountiful harvests (they even shared some of it with us!), there are a ton of fish to be had.
Our best luck (save for me) occurred at Wine Lake, a 40 minute boat ride, with portage, away from camp. Sue started it off with a 22” Walleye; Dustin then hooked into a 25 incher. While Dustin was reeling that guy in from the depths, Brian hooks into at 24 incher. Boom, Boom, Boom. Dustin throws out our marker buoy, and we head to shore for a pee break. While we were gone, Brian lands a 27”! Woop! Woop! That was the big Walleye of the trip. All these were caught with floating jig heads, with a 5/8oz weight. We were turned onto these by the Pinegar group who has had success with them for years. All the big boys lived to swim another day, but Brian, Sue and Dustin, with no help from me, caught enough smaller ones to give us enough for a shore lunch. We caught a few Walleye in Wabaskang, Mean and Lost lake; the most success being on those floating jigs with a minnow. I do believe the Walleye felt the same of me, as I did of them. Walleye fishing is not for me.
As for the pike, we had luck with just about everything we threw. The first day, a chartreuse Ripplin’ Red Fin was a favorite. I even caught two 18” smallies on it. As the week passed, we found luck with a Cordell blue, silver and pink rattletrap, an orange with black polka dots 3/4oz spoon and a Rapala Fire Tiger Husky Jerk. As for the Husky Jerk, Dustin had better luck just reeling it in than he had jerking it. Walleye fishing was excruciatingly boring for me, so I threw for pike most of the time.The rattletrap and I became pretty good friends, as it was my go-to for most of the week. Brian also seemed to rely heavily on his rattletrap. Mine caught a fair amount of pike (and a Walleye or two), and no longer has quite as much color as it did; it was munched pretty good. Dustin caught the big pike of the trip, 28 1/2”. This pike did not want to be forgotten; he shredded Dustin’s finger. Blood was all over the boat, Dustin and myself. Next year, Dustin will have grippers.
Sue, on the other hand, might not have had quite the close relationship with the rattletrap as Brain and I did. You see, one got stuck in her finger…past the barb. OUCH! She tried to cut it out with a razor blade, mind you she had already had a nalgene full of a vodka drink, but couldn’t get it to budge. Surrendering, her and Brian headed back to camp with hopes that Dave or Ray would have some expertise on the subject. Turns out they did in fact, and removed the treble hook painlessly. It hardly left a mark. Kudos, boys and kudos, Sue for being such a trooper. I think her bravery nominated her for “trooper of the year” at Peffley’s.
We didn’t smallie fish too much, but I wish we had. Those, for me, were the best time all week. I had to reel them in from out of the weeds, the whole while they were jumping out of the water, and doing under- water acrobatics. I get giddy just thinking of it. Fresh off my big smallies, I hooked into what would have been the pike of the trip; too bad he thrashed and bit his way off, right at the boat, of course. We only got a glimpse of him. While I was complaining about my bad luck, he hit our stringer beside the boat and sent those fish into a frenzy. It was pretty bad ass I must say. Damn!
Another must do for next year is to use the 8wt fly rod. After being told I would waste my time with it, I decided not to use it (after all these people have been coming here for years). However, every evening I saw Pike hitting the top water; turn’s out I should have went with my gut. After reading Will Fish For Work’s posting on Top Water Pike, I kicked myself in the rear for taking someone else’s advice. Sometimes, you just have to do your own thing. Now I know for next year.
I give Peffley’s Camp 5 stars. If you are looking for a great family fishing vacation, a trip with the boys or a couple’s trip, Peffley’s has you covered. Dustin & Brian both said they will never do a fly-in camp again. Peffley’s totally delivers fly-in quality fishing without all the crappy stuff that goes with fly-ins. Not to mention, Peffley’s is affordable. If Dustin and I can fit it in our overly stretched budget, you can too. Dave, the owner, was more than accommodating, and was always accessible. Our fellow campers became our friends; it was a great experience, and one we will do next year. Same time. Same place.
Our last Canadian sunrise
It is time for me to hit the books; my last semester in KC started this morning!