My dad never travels anywhere without his trusty yellow legal pad. No matter what trip he goes on, there are always notes jotted down on the legal pad. Sometimes it is an itinerary, other times it has his gear list. But this time it became the rule book. We had been staying at a lodge on Makoop Lake, Ontario for about five days. To spice things up, everyone was putting money into the pot for a little competition. And on his legal pad, Dad wrote down all the rules: Biggest pike wins $10. Biggest walleye wins $10. Most fish caught wins $20. As if catching 75 fish a day was not enough motivation to enjoy the day on the lake.
When I put my 10 bucks in the pot with the 9 other men in our group, I did not know that the next day would be the greatest day I would ever have with a fishing rod in my hand. My partner in crime for the day was my brother in law Eric. I knew that regardless of how may fish we caught, we were going to have a great day. Eric is always 100% in and willing to explore and look for adventure. The sun rose at 4:30am so we were not the first boat out on the water, but we were the most ambitious. We took off to the North looking for adventure.
Makoop Lake is only accessible by float plane. There is only one place to stay on the lake. Makoop Lake Lodge. It becomes a private lake for those that make the journey. There is something special about being someplace far away from any other humans. Seeing places that you are sure are only ever seen by less people than can fit on a city bus. When you see wildlife, you are pretty sure they are as excited about seeing a human for the first time as you are about seeing a wolverine for the first time.
10 hours later we returned to camp to report on one of the greatest days of my life. 202 fish caught between the 2 of us. Break that down and we caught a little more than 1 fish every 3 minutes. In between the outrageous amounts of walleye and northern pike, we witnessed a wolverine take a swim, countless bald eagles, discovered a gorgeous waterfall, and did not see another human being.
In todays adventure world it feels like everyone gets pulled to “hotspots”. Depending on the type of adventure you desire, it is easy to only look at the famous places. I am always intrigued in finding places that no one else have ever heard of. Or have looked over it on a map and written it off. When you do this, you run the risk of missing so many special places. Thanks to my dad, I now know not to overlook places like Makoop lake. It is one of those places that you drift off to when you are sitting at your desk and your phone won’t stop ringing, or the email won’t stop piling up. A place of solace, wilderness and unbelievable fishing.