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Hanging in the East

Summer has been a gong show of epic proportions that seriously crushed my fishing time. There’s no need to get into how much fishing I’ve had or how few trout I’ve caught but suffice it to say time fishing and trout caught out west here have been minimal. There was a long bear season which I hunted hard through, a break and enter that emptied me of some camera gear, computer and hard drives with a decade’s worth of photos, all mixed in with on-going vehicle problems. It was a rough start to the summer, so mid-July with temperatures soaring and forest fires burning down British Columbia I jumped on a plane as soon as my second vaccination shot’s effectiveness kicked in and headed east to the family cottage in Ontario.

Ronan with one of the many big sunnies we got into.

A trip can’t help but to get off to a great start when you walk out of the airport and head to a large Outdoor World store. Instead of sending back presents for Christmas or birthday’s I take the nephews to Vaughn Mills for a shopping spree where they walk out with a bag full of fishing lures and a box full of stoke for the fishing ahead. With the shopping done it was onto the fishing and after our first troll I was scratching my head.There wasn’t a whole lot happening, in fact it took me five days before I actually landed anything trolling with the gear and then it was the scrawniest looking pike I’d ever seen.

Nolan with one of many smallmouth we caught on the game changer flies.

One of the few largemouth I caught this year on a marabou game changer.

In short the pike fishing this year sucked, there’s no other way to put it, the ones we caught were underfed and short. In two weeks of fishing we landed two that were barely large enough to clean. Lucky for us, while the pike fishing was lacklustre the smallmouth bass were lit, we were drowning flies in over twenty feet of water and nailing some big dawgs. It wasn’t until near the end of the two weeks that I started to target largemouth bass, but I notched up a couple nice ones from the weedbeds on one of the game changer flies I’d tied for the trip. Speaking of the game changers, it was the first I’d used them and I’m hooked, they were the ticket for the big smallmouth bass and a few pike. The way the articulated spine swims is amazing, on windy days we could cast them out, let them sink and jig them along with a fast drift, they were magic.

Dad with probably what is his largest smallmouth bass.

The past few years have seen me going for a month or more, so this year’s trip was a little abbreviated at only two weeks. Mom had turned 70 this year and three days before my arrival had knee replacement surgery, she’s a strong lady, but I figured it’d be a good time to be there and help distract the nephews. This gave my sister and her husband a chance to get away for a few kid free days as well. By the end of the two weeks I was amazed at Mom’s progress with healing which left me feeling better as I was loading up my gear to fly home. It was a wicked 14 days that saw us catching some big fish including Dad’s personal best smallmouth, we got into a mess of big sunfish like we hadn’t seen in years, had fun with my nephews and got lots of photos. Spending two weeks on the water with my family is exactly what I needed to turn this summer around.

See you on the water or the mountains.

-Matthew Mallory


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