Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Fly Fishing Adventures in Algoma Country

Photo from Lake Shore Resort Salzburger Hof taken by Amy Moore 
Editors Note: Chris was part of a group of bloggers travelling on a FAM trip to Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma Country this is the story of the second half of our trip. You can find the first story right here Learning How to Fly Fish

Due North 

We left our hotel in Sault Ste Marie and headed north to meet up with our guides and check in to our resort. Lake Shore Resort Salzburger Hof is a beautiful resort located in Batchawana Bay on the shores of Lake Superior, we stayed in a 3 bedroom cottage with a million dollar view. The resort offers onsite dining at the Salzburger Hof Dining Lounge which offers authentic German-Austrian cuisine and is listed in "Where to Eat in Canada" They are renowned for their schnitzel but everything looked good enough to eat I also thought it had a great atmosphere too as we all shared laughs and had fun.

When we met up with Brad and Joe, from Soo North Fly Shop they had been scouting different fishing locations. It was only 9am and they had checked 5 different spots, and due to the high water levels it was a tough to find the right place. They finally settled on the Agawa River and I couldn't have been happier with their choice. We stopped off to grab our prepared lunches from The Voyageurs' Lodge and Cookhouse they had prepared us some delicious sandwiches and packed butter tart's that brought tears of joy to my eyes.

 We arrived at the mouth of a hiking trail just off of the Trans Canada Highway we all piled out of the Caravan (Tour Bus) and grabbed our stuff from the back of Brads car. It would appear the mosquitoes were there waiting for us. It was so cute how the mosquitoes dive bombed our eyeballs when we would lease expect it. I was armed with cigars and deet repellent for the mosquitoes and I was not afraid to use them.

Group Shot of us! (minus Dima) Taken By Travis Ball
We were a lot quicker at putting on our gear the second time and in no time we were walking along the ditch and under the bridge, Dylan and I followed Brad to what we hoped would be our little fishing honey hole. As the others in the group followed Joe to the other side. The water had a beautiful reddish tinge, likely stained from the falling of leaves over the years. Not an uncommon site when enjoying the wilderness, I paused to figure out my path to the water, the rocks made it a bit tricky. After making my way to the edge I waded in to the river up to my knees and started to cast. The weather was a little different on this day, as Brad set me up with a fly called an "Egg Sucking Leech", The name just screams beauty.

Count Your Lucky Cigars

Dylan Lowe doing a fine job keeping the tip up
As I explained how the cigars are more for luck then anything, I offered Dylan one and he accepted. We enjoyed our peaceful and serene surroundings until the sounds of nature were interrupted by a splash in the river as a fish jumped out of the water. Dylan's rod bent, and his expression changed to one of pure excitement, one I no doubt wore the previous day, as the silver fish jumped again. He was able to land a beautiful 16 inch Speckled Trout. I had never seen colors so beautiful on a fish before. 

Photo taken from Agawa Bridge By Dima Zemsky

After the excitement died down, our spirits were higher than ever and we began to joke a bit and tell stories, the type of things that make fishing fun. One of my favorite moments was when I was listening to the river as it made its way through and around my legs and I had a tug on the rod, I set the hook (At least I thought I did) and with a spectacular jump...  it spit the hook. Saddened by the events I carried on with hope of more fun to come..

 Brad called to us from upstream and pointed to the sky and announced "Eagles" as they gracefully soared above us, moments later I was startled by a monster Steel Head leaping from the water, Brad had hooked into it. He played with it for a minute and started walking towards me and says to me "here you go" as he handed me the rod, I responded "Are you sure?" He shoved the rod into my hands and said "It's my job" "Alright, No pressure" I mumbled as I began to reel in slack. It leaped one final time in slow motion and for one second I forgot what I was doing "Whoa! Beautiful" I said, Brad noticed my lack of attention and firmly said "keep the tip of the rod up!" I did just that after I snapped out of my `Real Man Travels Fishing Show` Daydream and brought that fish in to the net. What a battle it was! We had smiles all around with proof of my lucky cigar.

Real Man Fishing photo taken By Dylan Lowe

Fortunately my luck did not stop there as I was watching the line float down stream I felt a tug on the line and the rod bent so I set the hook and buckled up for a wild ride, this fish had a lot of energy it put on a spectacular show as it darted downstream with the familiar whizzing noise wailing only to jump out of the water 4 times!!!  I held my breath every time it jumped praying that the hook was set properly. I was so relieved and excited when we were able to get the fish in the net. My Happiness turned to confusion briefly when Brad wanted me to do a pose for the photo. Don't get me wrong Brad was a Great guide and a heck of a fisherman but not once did he strike me as a photography choreographer. I went along with it and I  have no regrets, It was a great shot.

Proud to be from Onatrio in this shot!

It really was a dream come true to catch that many fish on my first Fly Fishing trip, the dreams I have now are of the fish I have yet to catch on my next fly fishing adventure.


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