Written by Harold
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Having missed 2 consecutive years, the first by Government fiat with the second being self-imposed, despite numerous challenges which I will outline in due course, we finally made it – barely…
I initially thought about using a movie title to describe our ordeal in getting to Yellowknife (YK) and came up with the following:
The Longest Day
Hell or High Water
In Hell, and
The Legend of Hell House
I even considered using an expression/jingle credited to Bernie Hayes – Dyed Fried and Laid to the Side – to describe our plight when it looked like all was lost, but as we did get there, I elected to go with:
Chuck Barris Enterprises in Association with Air Canada and Westjet Present:
The Gong Show!!!
Unless you have been living in a cave, I suspect you’ve heard something about the challenges pretty much everyone – including us – have been facing in regards to air travel, and in particular the shit show that is Pearson International Airport.
Allow me to elucidate.
• June 27 – Given all of the departure delays and such at Pearson, rather than take our original flight on July 1 – Toronto to Calgary with only a 1:15 hour layover and then Calgary to YK – we decided to rebook, leave on June 30, overnight and then fly to YK the next day.
• June 27 – On hold with Westjet for over 4 hours and counting, so booked a call back for 10:45am the next day.
• June 28 – Rebooked with Westjet. Our flight was to leave Pearson on June 30 at approx. 6:30pm. We would overnight in Edmonton, and then be on a late morning flight to YK the following day.
• June 30 – Arrive Pearson at 3pm, check us and our bags in, get through security and about ½ hour before the flight is to board we are notified, without any reasons given (they actually told us not to ask), that our flight was cancelled.
• There was a general announcement over the public address system suggesting that we try our luck at Customer Service, wherein a stampede ensued.
• The line at Customer Service stretched literally as far as the eye could see, with the truly unfortunate CS agents scrambling to find flights for those on our, and as it turns out, other flights that had just been cancelled.
• Estimated time to speak to an agent at the current pace the line was moving: 3 days.
• While twiddling our thumbs in line Kenny called his son David – hereinafter to be known as Saint David – who somehow managed to book us on an Air Canada flight through Calgary to YK leaving the next day, with a decent but not overly long layover in Calgary that should give us enough time to make our connection.
• David calls back 30 min. later and tells us Air Canada has just cancelled our flight.
• Kenny calls Brenda at Plummer’s in Winnipeg and advises her that we are probably not going to make the trip – we had to be in YK by 9am on July 2 to catch the charter, and there are no flights arriving before 9am - wherein she asks if we have ever heard of Air North, which as it so happens had a direct flight from Pearson to YK leaving on July 1.
• Kenny gets Saint David on the phone yet again, and he worked his magic a second time and secured us what turned out to be the last 2 seats on the Air North flight.
• The challenge then became how to go about getting our luggage.
• Rather than wait the 3 days to get to the front of the customer service line to find out where our bags were, I found an agent at another desk, who told us to go to the baggage claim area, where with any luck we would be able to recover them.
• The place was completely packed, with piles of luggage over 4 ft. high scattered everywhere, but despite the obvious chaos we were told no worries, our stuff would eventually turn up on Carousel “C”.
• Thankfully our bags did arrive – it was now going on 9pm - meaning that whether the Air North flight turned out to be a real thing or not, at least we had our gear.
• Kenny spends the night at my place, and much to our surprise was a reasonably good house guest.
• July 1 - Arrived at Pearson REALLY early, and after asking about 10 people finally found the kiosk where Air North ostensibly checked people through.
• Someone eventually turned up, checked us in and assured everyone who had been waiting along with us, that there was actually a plane with a flight crew, and that all things being equal, we were scheduled to leave on time – which it pretty much did.
• We find out later that our original flight through Calgary to YK was 1 ½ hours late in leaving Pearson, meaning that we would have missed our connection to YK.
Had enough? I know I have.
After having kissed the ground upon arrival in YK, we were greeted by Yvonne, who quickly arranged for our luggage to be stored and had a shuttle waiting to take us to the Explorer Hotel.
I must say that after all the crap we had been through over the past few days it was a real pleasure to have something go smoothly for a change.
A large plate of loaded nacho’s, several chicken wings, some calamari and a couple of well-deserved drinks later in the Trapline Lounge – they know how to make a cocktail and have ice cold draught btw- we hit the sack early in anticipation of our charter flight to Bear in the morning.
Who is That Bearded Man in the Blue Overalls?
None other than Pike Mike of course!
The shuttle to take us to the airport arrived on time (we were on a roll) and while waiting for our luggage to be loaded onto the Canadian North ATR, we were able to enjoy a short visit with him.
Mike is no longer guiding because he has now been promoted into a management position. He is at present the Plummer’s expediter in YK, responsible for, among other things, purchasing and ensuring that food and other supplies make it to the various lodges on time.
As always, the “Piker” had plenty of interesting stories to tell and it did not come as a complete surprise when he asked me to make sure that “his” trained Lake Trout, who went by either Marty or Martinique, and who should now be pushing 40 pounds, was doing well and being properly cared for.
Turns out this fish was not a figment of his imagination because there is a 2022 video clearly showing it patiently hovering beside the main dock while being hand fed. Its handlers claim that it has ballooned to around 40 pounds, so I wonder if they have been feeding it some of Aunty Mo’s leftover scones?
A pet Lake Trout? Why not? Because as Robert Service aptly put it:
“There are strange things done in the midnight sun”
There is a story floating around that Josh “Jelly” Gelinas, who was a rookie at the time and therefore didn’t know any better, caught and released the “Piker’s” trout on a fly rod several years ago when it only weighed a mere 30 pounds. Fortunately it made a full recovery and has continued to thrive.
During the 1 hour and 20 minute flight to Bear, we saw a fair amount of ice in and around the Nieland Bay area, and more than we had hoped to see in the Dease arm, but fortunately by mid - week it had pretty much disappeared and didn’t really impact our, or anyone else’s’ fishing plans.
We were under the impression that we were the first group at the lodge this year, but while waiting for a boat to shuttle us over, one pulled up with 4 people in it who were clearly not staff.
This party of 4 had made special arrangements to come in first and spent the week flying to places like the Cove, McGill and Shipwreck, doing reasonably well in the process, but I can’t recall if they topped the 50 pound mark.
While having lunch, we were regaled with a variety of horror stories from other guests who like us had flights cancelled at the last minute, were forced into taking extra flights to get to YK, and in one case the airline lost all of their luggage.
And these were the lucky ones, because there were a number of people who simply didn’t make it.
On a positive note, as per my request, Chuk came through as always and assigned Dave Jackson to be our guide.
The End of an Era
It likely won’t come as a huge surprise to those of you who have followed my blog, that over the years we have accumulated a boat load of gear, including tackle and all manner of camping equipment.
Much of the stuff belonged to Art Ross and Rodney Harback, 2 GBL veterans who unfortunately will not likely be coming back, so after consulting with them we were told to distribute the remaining gear to anyone who could make good use of it.
We asked Dave to pull our stuff, along with everything else that was labelled “Ross” or “Harback” out of storage, and about an hour later he pulled up to our cabin with a pickup full of gear!
After sorting through it, and while Kenny and I kept a couple of items we turned the balance over to Dave to do with as he saw fit. I suspect the lures and rods were distributed among the guides, some of the camp kitchen utensils found there way into various shore lunch boxes, and the camping equipment would be put back into storage with instructions that if anyone was planning on doing some camping, they could help themselves.
It was something of a bittersweet experience in that it signified the end of an era with respect to Art and Rodney, but on the plus side, all that equipment, rather than going to waste and sitting in storage forever, would now be put to good use.
Once we finally got ourselves organized, Kenny was anxious to wet a line, but because we were going to be there for 2 weeks, I could have cared less about going out, and sent him and Dave on their way.
The weather was sunny with a light west wind, but it did swing around to the south later that afternoon, and in the process blew in some smoke from a number of forest fires that were burning south of the lake.
Everyone who went out caught fish, including a single for Kenny and one lucky angler who landing one over 20 pounds.
One of our dinner companions was Greg Seegert otherwise known as “Bird Man” - http://www.greatbearlakeoutdoors.com/stories/stories-articles/item/205-great-bear-lake-a-paradise-for-both-anglers-and-birders-alike who is both a top notch angler and an expert at identifying our feathered friends. During dinner there was a rather small, nondescript bird darting around at water’s edge picking off bugs that caught our attention, and with a quick peek through his binoculars, which Greg always keeps within easy reach, he casually told us that we were looking at a Tree Swallow.
And speaking of birds, there were a couple of Terns that would give you a somewhat painful peck on head if you got too close to their nest while walking over to the main lodge from your cabin.
As for what tomorrow has in store for us, assuming all the stars and planets are in alignment: Tree River!
Brother – Did I Miss This Place!
Being a self-styled Tree River addict, having been without a fix for 2 entire years, the prospect of finally making it back was constantly on my mind in the months leading up to our trip.
So what’s so special about the Tree River?
Pretty much everything in my humble opinion, so if you happen to know about a place in that neck of the woods that possesses more natural beauty or better Char fishing, kindly forward me the coordinates.
The weather was perfect, and we had a fantastic flight from the lodge to the Tree, with our route taking us over the Dease, Kendall, Coppermine and Kugaryuak Rivers as well as the Dismal Lakes.
From an artistic standpoint, how would you like to have most of the earths surface as a blank canvas, which is precisely the position the glaciers were in when they began retreating millions of years ago. And while much of their handywork is often covered up by trees and such in more southern climes, north of the big lake there is not much in the way of ground cover to obscure the stunning vistas they have crafted.
But rather than attempt to describe it to you in any detail, I will let the following series of pictures I took enroute to the Tree speak for themselves.
Our fellow travelers were an intergenerational trio comprised of father, son and grandson, and once our gear was sorted and accommodation assigned, we all headed upstream to fish the large pool above the first set of rapids.
As we were first to fish the Tree this year expectations ran high, but I must say that we came away somewhat disappointed, managing only 3 fish, together several misses or whiffs as I call them. After a couple of hours we decided to try our luck below the first set and corralled another 4 while fishing Dinosaur Rock and Little Amsterdam, with the top lure being a white with red spots, 5500 Devel Dog.
Our fellow anglers landed a total of 6 Char and 2 Lake Trout, and like us caught most of their Char below the first set.
After a great dinner consisting of grilled steak and fresh Char fillets, we took a run up to the Arctic Ocean to check out the sea ice and see if there were any seals around, of which there was plenty – of ice that is.
The aforementioned intergenerational trio came along as well, as grandson was going to take a dip in the ocean, where after doing so he would be awarded a t-shirt to commemorate his accomplishment, along with bragging rights back home in the state of Florida.
After breakfast, because stubborn is as stubborn does, it was back above the first set yet again, hoping that some fresh fish had moved in overnight. While we did see a few rolling on the surface, the only one caught was Kenny’s 12 pound Lake Trout – which is a pretty good size Trout for the Tree – after he had switched over from the Devel Dog to a #5 CHT Vibrax Spinner.
With the possible exception of a jig, a spinner, and in this case the Blue Fox Vibrax spinner, is one of the most versatile lures I have ever fished. You can fish it low and slow, buzz it across the top of the water and all manner of presentations in between. And while spoons have been our go to at the Tree in the past, next year we will be packing a few more spinners in our “Char” tackle box.
Our luck improved considerably when we moved back downstream, and Kenny caught 3 Char on the Vibrax, and after switching over to a #5 with an orange blade and silver body, I caught one as well.
Our fish were caught by working the current seam from the first point below the camp on the west side of the river, to the next point right across from the float plane dock. The other guys had their best luck fishing a short stretch of shoreline just below the float plane dock.
In total Kenny and I caught 11 Char and 2 Lake Trout, with our biggest Char being 15/16 pounds. The others boated 13 Char and 4 Lakers, for a 1 ½ day total of 24 Char, which for the Tree are pretty good numbers indeed.
I would also note for the record that regardless of their size, each and every Char fought like a demon.
As far a critters go there was not a lot around, although we did spot 3 Moose during our stay.
On the way back we made a stop in Kugluktuk for fuel, and once they realized it was jet fuel not AV gas that was required, the right fuel truck was located, the tanks were topped up and we were on our way. We did have a few anxious moments before we took off as someone found 2 bags full of Char lures that did not get off loaded while at Tree River, but after due deliberation we decided not to head back because we figured the folks who were there now could borrow from one another - at least we hoped so.
While we were away Bird Man, and his friend Al Fitzpatrick attempted a flyout to Shipwreck, but high winds forced them over to the Cove. Well let’s hear it for high winds, or perhaps a better description would be to call them “the winds of fortune,” because Bird Man caught a 57 and 47 pound Laker, while Al chipped in with one in the 30’s.
The funny thing was when I asked Greg how their fly out went, he didn’t say a word about his fish, only mentioning that he had spotted a Long Tailed Jager for the very first time while at the Cove.
Talk about your priorities – lol.
There had also been one other fly out to McGill Bay, and they caught a lot of fish, including a 34 pounder.
Did You Say Shipwreck or Trainwreck?
While having and early breakfast with those of us who would be flying out to Shipwreck this morning, Al happened to mention that he was having some luck fishing a Hog Nose Flatfish in certain circumstances, because they ran somewhat deeper than a regular T60.
He was kind enough to give us a couple, which Kenny immediately commandeered, because in his vernacular, “us” means “him” so clearly when Al said “us,” he meant they were for Kenny’s exclusive use.
Did I happen to mention that Kenny is my hero? He is also a few other things, but I’ll leave it at that for now.
Once we landed, all 3 boats made the 40 minute run over to what is known as the “Pig Pen.” The water temperature on the outer edge of the “Pen” was 56 degrees, and we picked up a couple of small trout shortly after we arrived, but it slowed right down so we made a run to one of the outer islands adjacent to the “Pen.”
Water temperatures ran between 42 and 52 degrees, and we were rewarded with one very small trout for our efforts.
It was now time to fire up Plan B, or it may have been Plan C or D by this time and started hitting random spots looking for 55 degree water.
We did finally get on some fish, but nothing big, and at one point I had Kenny 15 to 0, but he did pick things up later in the day. I put his slow start down to the bad Juju he brought down on himself for coping those Hog Nose Flatfish.
Top lures for the day were the Malibu Barbie Husky Devel, “Old Faithful” the CHT T60 Flatfish with black and red dots, and a CHT, orange and silver T60 – because you know what they say about what colour works best:
If it ain’t chartreuse – it ain’t no use!
While by the end of the day we caught about 30 fish, none of which topped the 20 pound mark, the other boats fared much better in terms of size with Al leading the way with a 45 and the Florida group netting a 43, 42 and 30.
Back at the lodge there was a rumour floating around that someone had caught a 47 very close to home, which in fact turned out to be true.
So why did we just spend $700 on a fly out to go looking for big fish when they were swimming around just 5 minutes from the lodge?
I’ll let you, the reader answer that one.
As a thank you for the Hog Nose’s Kenny actually opened his wallet – you could barely see his face when all of the moths came bursting out - and bought Al a bottle of wine, with clear instructions that it was for Al’s personal consumption.
Fortunately Al is a very generous guy, and when Kenny left, he poured me and his guide Reid Stoyberg each a glass. And while I never got within a mile of those Flatfish, at least I got some of the wine.
When At First You Don’t Succeed – Hop on a Plane and Try Again
Today was going to be our 3rd and final fly out to see if we could finally hunt down some big fish and, based on how well Greg and Al did, decided to give the Cove a good going over.
The weather was perfect throughout the day, and although we did catch another 30 fish, including a couple over 20, we just couldn’t crack the 30 pound mark, never mind something in the 40’s or 50’s.
One particular fish is worth noting however, and as you can see from the picture it has a chronic case of “spotitis.” I’ve seen some very interesting what I call “hybrid” trout up there, but never one with spots from running from its tail to the tip of its nose.
All boats certainly caught decent numbers of fish, with the biggest being a 28 pounder.
When fishing for Lake Trout, experience has shown us that water temperatures in the 48 to 55 degree range are where the fish are most likely going to be.
Now having said that, while certainly important, try not to get too carried away with this temperature thing, because unless you are lowering a probe into the water, sonar units measure SURFACE temperatures only. And while that reading may be relatively accurate if you’re fishing in no more than 10/15 ft of water, it does not paint a true picture of what is going on down there if you are in deeper water.
But having grown tired of washing lures, even though we were fishing water where the temperature was in our view perfect, we didn’t start to catch on a consistent basis until we moved back into the bay where the surface temperatures were in the low 60’s.
Once again, Malibu Barbie was the top lure of the day.
While loading ourselves and gear into the plane for the trip home, the cabin became inundated with “Bull Dog” fly’s which, if you have never encountered them, are nasty buggers about twice the size of what we call “Deer Fly’s” down south, with a bite that feels very much like a bee sting. Not only that, to kill one you pretty much have to hit it square on with a hammer. Sometimes more than once.
I guess there must have been a hatch because there were literally hundreds of them in the cabin. In fact one window was completely covered by what I can best describe as a seething mass of ornery bugs.
So this was going to be a fun flight back to the lodge, right? But I needn’t have worried though, because unlike mosquitos who don’t care if they are inside or outside to take a piece out of you, these critters were solely focused on trying to get back outside, and therefore could care less about extracting their pound of flesh from us.
Al had decided that rather than take another fly out, he would give Cabin Bay, which is about an hour’s boat ride south of the lodge a shot, and it certainly paid off because he caught yet another 45 pounder, together with one in the 30’s.
Guess where we would be going tomorrow, weather permitting?
While the news broke the previous day, I didn’t hear about it until this evening at dinner. Turns out that Bird Man was not content to just catch monster lakers and spot new bird species, he decided to catch a couple of Char that were in spitting distance of the world record.
While at Tree River the previous day, he caught both a 30 and 31 pound Char on of all things a jig. Now who would ever suggest using a jig to catch Char? Simon, Greg’s Inuit guide that’s who, and did it pay off.
Do you remember when I said earlier that we would be taking a few more spinners with us on our next visit to the Tree? My guess is that you won’t need a Ph.D. to figure out what else will find its way into our tackle box.
Do Snags Swim?
The day dawned hot, calm and humid, with a fair amount of smoke hanging about the place from the various forest fires in the area.
Given the calm seas, we planned to make the run to Cabin Bay, and not only that, have a shore lunch for the first time in I don’t know how many years.
Once we cleared the Gauntlet, the stretch of shallow water you have to traverse when heading south from the lodge, Dave opened up the throttle and we went on what Terry Grant refers to as a nipple hardening run and were finally able to cool off.
Given all the fly outs we had been taking, this was the first time I fished out of Dave’s boat, which much to my surprise was one of the custom Lund’s that we had used for years at Trophy Lodge. These are fantastic boats, which are very comfortable with plenty of storage, and still dry as a bone despite all of the pounding they have taken.
Shortly after our arrival we picked up a few fish on the Barbie, a Fire Tiger Husky and CHT T60.
Kenny switched over to a red/white/silver Giant Half-Wave, and right after he let it out, set the hook on what he and Dave thought was a snag. Whatever it was pretty much stopped the boat in its tracks, and once it started to pull the boat backwards, I was able to convince them that it weren’t no snag.
He had it on for about 30 seconds before it spit the hook. All manner of theories were advanced as to what happened, was the hook actually in the fish, did it simply close, then open its mouth on the lure, etc. etc. In any event, Dave and Kenny were upset that they didn’t at least get a look at the fish, while my position was that I’d rather have not seen it because it was much like being one number short of winning the lottery, and I would rather not come that close only to lose at the end of the day.
Another boat came into the bay with Isaac at the helm and his guests Chris and Janice who hailed from Saskatchewan. We agreed to hook up for lunch in DFO Bay (Department of Fisheries and Oceans) which was just around the corner from Cabin Bay.
They kindly offered to supply the fish as we were having trouble catching something small enough for lunch.
It was a beautiful spot that had seen some Caribou hunting in the past, and the little back bay where we pulled in was showing a few weeds just above the surface, so Kenny couldn’t resist making a few casts, just in case there might be a Pike swimming around.
He didn’t catch any Pike, but on his first cast caught a small trout that would have been perfect for lunch. Fortunately for that particular trout, the fish we had was more than big enough to feed all of us.
For lunch Dave prepared as a first course Lake Trout Sashimi, complete with soy and wasabi (not for me thanks!) which was followed by fried trout nuggets with a mixed herb coating, potato wedges with parmesan cheese, beans, stewed tomatoes, corn and pineapple rings.
Dave even brought along a couple folding camp chairs for us!
I think that next year we should consider getting back into the habit of having shore lunch.
Isaac decided to stay in DFO Bay after lunch, and Chris was rewarded with a beautiful 30 pounder that he caught on a fly.
We went back to Cabin Bay and even though I put a line in the water, I asked the Fish God’s to instruct the fish to leave me alone for an hour, so I could just chill and digest my lunch.
I guess my instructions were not all that clear because while Kenny caught 3, they ignored me for the rest of the afternoon. Perhaps next time I should put my request in writing.
Karma came along to bite Mr. Gold in the ass this afternoon, because while using one of the Hog Nose Flatfish, the one that Al had in fact handed to ME, when he set the hook after a strike, Dave’s unbreakable knot broke – so good by Hog Nose.
What wind we had completely died down along with the fishing, and often times when that happens the bugs come out to play. And come out they did because at one point Dave had Bull Dogs, Mosquitos, Black Flies, Caddis and about a gazillion annoying Midges clinging to his person all at the same time.
Having come to the conclusion that it would make good sense to depart from “Bug City,” we went over to Caribou Island, and while we saw a number of fish swimming around in the crystal clear water, none of them would even give our lures a second look.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, Al stayed hot and bested a pair of 34’s which fishing at the Bluffs. The group that went to Shipwreck caught a few nice fish, but no one was able to break 40 today.
Tonight would normally be “Wine & Cheese” which provides the Chef with the opportunity to go off menu and really strut their stuff, but food supply chain issues put pay to that. Personally, I blame Putin…
But while we were all somewhat disappointed that there would be no Wine & Cheese soiree this evening, on a positive note, Birdman identified his 50th new Great Bear Lake species today, having spoted a King Eider Duck while at Shipwreck.
It’s Big Fish Friday!
Let’s hope so anyway.
But the question that remained before the House was: Where shall we go?
Bloody River of course says Dave, which is about an hour’s ride south/west of the lodge
We had good weather for travelling yet again, and when we arrived the conditions were excellent, featuring a light chop and surface temperatures ranging from 47 to 57 degrees.
Dave trolled in a zig zag pattern, meaning that at one moment we were fishing in 6 feet of water, and 60 in the next. It paid off handsomely because we finally broke 30 pounds with Kenny catching a 38 on the remaining Hog Nose Flatfish he had commandeered earlier in the week.
I was using a Fire Tiger Husky, and landed my big fish of the week, a 26.
Not unlike yesterday, when the wind died down, if you were anywhere close to shore, every biting insect in the NWT, together with those that are just plain annoying, descended on our boat.
While we found the bugs to be nothing more than a pain in the backside, the fish had a different opinion as we saw a fairly large school of some type of fish rising to pick them off the surface of the water. They may have been trout, Whitefish, Grayling or perhaps Cisco’s, but we were too far away to get a really good look at them.
The fishing had died down anyway, and the time had come to fulfill the first of Pike Mike’s 2 special requests.
Request #1 was that he wanted someone to fill the 26 water jugs he was somehow going to send up, with GBL H2O and ship them back to YK.
The second, and I’m not sure how Dave got stuck with this one, was to send him a trout that had been caught in the Narakay Islands, packed in candle ice.
On the way to Bloody we had seen some ice floating around in the middle of the lake, and on the way back Dave found a patch and packed some into a small cooler. Next it was off to the Narakay’s where Kenny managed to catch a small trout. As to whether it, together with the candle ice ever made it back to YK, your guess is as good as mine.
A couple of guys went to the Inlet today, but apparently didn’t do all that well. In fact Kenny’s 38 turned out to be the biggest fish of the day.
We had an excellent week overall, and while it was a bit disappointing from a big fish perspective, we caught plenty, had great weather, and lucked out by having Dave as our guide.
He worked hard every day to put us on fish, and also made really, really good sandwiches for our fly outs – lol.
Aunty Mo worked her magic in the kitchen once again, ensuring there were either fresh, hot scones or cinnamon buns waiting for us each morning. Chuk, as we have come to expect had the place running like a Swiss watch and made sure we got on all of the fly outs we wanted, including getting us to Tree River.
Tomorrow we start week #2, and Kenny and I are scheduled to fly over to Arctic Circle at 8am.
But before wrapping things up completely, let me leave you with one of what are without a doubt countless hilarious “Chummy” stories.
When it comes sportfishing legends, particularly in Canada’s Arctic, you need look no further than Chummy Plummer, owner/operator of Plummer’s Arctic Lodges.
Chummy is a pretty straightforward and direct individual and has some very definite opinions on how to cook Lake Trout. Fact is, the only way to cook a trout that would be more basic and straightforward than how he prepares his fish would be to catch it, bonk it on the head (this step is optional), and eat it right off the bone.
What follows is, until now, the super-secret recipe for “Chummy Trout:”
• 1 Lake Trout cut into steaks, chunks or just left whole.
• Pot of water, which may or may not contain salt.
• Bring the pot of water to a boil.
• Toss in the trout and boil for several minutes until cooked through.
• Remove from pot and enjoy.
Rumor has it that waaay back in the day when Chummy was guiding, if his guests were “good,” he would add a bit of French onion soup mix to the water at the end of the week.
Apparently he didn’t make a lot in tips…