Written by Harold
This “Bear Tale” comes to us courtesy of Al Archibald, Great Bear Lake veteran, and in his own words “… a finely tuned athlete.” (lol) This tale clearly shows that fishing later in the season on Great Bear Lake, while having its challenges from time to time, can be otherworldly if you stay the course, and have the right attitude and approach.
It has been an interesting week here at the Main Lodge. The weather had just turned to normal August/fall temps when we arrived which seemed to impact the fishing.
Saturday: We fished Caribou and caught 2 fish.
Sunday: We fished Caribou, DFO and when the wind died down a little we went to Cabin Bay. Fishing the outer reefs at all of the above. Then the wind picked up from the north. We tried fishing at a couple of reefs west of the Narakay’s, but could only fish in one direction and the waves were big. I was skunked. Not one fish all day. I had two hits and that was it.
Monday: No fishing. Huge winds and waves.
Tuesday: We booked a Fly-out to McGill which allowed us to fish without the north wind affecting us too much. Ken Smith, the lodge handyman, and great guy joined Reid and me. I caught a 37 and Ken a 30. We had 6 x 20’s and lots of teenagers. Typical McGill. No fishing of any consequence at the lodge due to the winds.
Wednesday: Fly-out to Shipwreck. Just Reid and I. We fished a big reef not far from the boat launch that Ted, Cody and I had great success with.
I had a 33,36 and 37 then things cooled off. Reid had been studying satellite maps and taking the previous days winds into account, we took an 8 mile boat ride out towards the pig pen but much further out to a few gravel islands with a massive reef structure. We were fishing from 50 feet or more up to a 25 foot platform.
This is no fish story.
We caught a 48, a 41 and a 51 in about one hour. I told Reid it was a good thing that I am a finely tuned athlete. ?
It was unbelievable. To add to the story when I finally got the 51 to the boat, a follower of equal size showed up beside it. Reid said that he was sorely tempted to drop the net and toss a lure at it. Good sense prevailed and he netted the beauty. Fishing died after that, and Reid realized later that the 51 was a female, and all the males disappeared after she was caught.
Thursday: Flyout to The Inlet. Big winds at the lodge not too bad in the morning at the Inlet but very wavy in the pm. My first fish was a 45 followed by a 35. After that just a few smaller teenagers.
Friday: Impossible to fish. Huge West wind and driving rain. We made an attempt but turned back as it was too rough to fish.
With Yellowknife airport closed to incoming flights due to the evacuation, we are stuck at the lodge with no known departure date as yet. The Tree had massive rains and turned into what one guest described as Hershey’s ? syrup. Guests were stuck there for 3 days. Winds were up to 65km.
We are being flown out today at 11:am. All the guests except the Firittich’s (sic) who flew in on a private jet on Friday.
36 staff are also leaving with us. They are bringing in a 100 seat jet and will fly us to Yellowknife and allow some staff who have cars there to deplane. Also the Great Slave guests will board and we will fly to Calgary.
The Char Exclusive and Muskox hunt are all cancelled. The lodge is in shutdown mode.
I have already given Mo your regards…
You are absolutely correct about the impact of the guide. Reid is so committed to his craft, and has become a dear friend over the years. Any success that I had was due to him.
Breakfast is up.
See you in July,