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How Remote Trips Improve Your Fishing Skills

Updated: Nov 21, 2021

Walleye caught on a fly in fishing trip in Northern Ontario
Colin and I with a stringer of walleye caught using a new technique

A few years ago as our group was preparing for our first fly in trip Pickle Lake Fly In Report I came across this great article from Gord Pyzer Gord Pyzer Article While it covers a few different components of why to take a fly in trip, the part about being able to try new lures and tactics really stood out to me. With more of these remote trips under my belt I recently started to think about how they have helped me become a better fisherman

Time on the Water:

Most of my remote trips coincided with me becoming busier in my day-to-day life. Fishing time became scarcer as I had a family, a house, and a "real" job. On our trips we spend a lot of time on the water – on average about 10 hours a day. When you have that much time you tend to try new spots, experiment with new lures, or try different techniques. When you succeed you can add a new skill to your fishing tool box, one that you now have confidence in which is in my opinion a key to become a better angler.

Quality of Fishing

On our more remote trips the quality of the fishing has blown us away. On our trip to Root Bay in 2020 Lake St Joseph Report our host Ryan at Slate Falls Outposts Interview w SFO recommended we head down the Root River to fish at the dam. After a few misguided attempts at fishing, we found what looked like a good spot. Colin and I proceeded to catch a few good walleyes, by accident I threw a cast into the heavy whitewater, not believe walleye would be in water that fast I started to burn my jig back – bam, fish on. The next hour was epic – between 3 of us we caught 31 fish on 38 casts! My intent is not to brag here (maybe a little) but in that hour I learned that walleye love current, even whitewater, reeling a jig fast across 3 feet of water like an inline spinner will catch walleye and that when fish are that aggressive no live bait is required. Again – all new things to learn, file and be ready for the next trip.

Walleye fishing on a fly in fishing trip in Ontario, Canada
Dave with a white water walleye caught at the Root Bay dam


By taking these trips every year or so and spending time on the water I now have a much better sense of walleye behaviour. Don’t get me wrong - I am no Mike Borger Mike's Site, heck I am not even Mike Borger’s 3rd cousin once removed. However, I do know that I am a much better angler based on these trips in a few ways: Reading maps, weather impacts on fishing, fish patterns by time of year and planning for the inevitable slow down. On our trips we have experienced all types of weather, different size and types of lakes and unexpected twists but knowing that a) there are plenty of fish in the lake b) that they have not seen every lure in the book and c) we have time has allowed us to figure it out and do well. I remember fishing at Brennan Harbour, and we went from hot, flat calm and sunny to cold, wet, and windy in the space of 3 hours. That night we pulled out the map, grabbed a scotch and planned for the next day – sure enough we switched gears and spots and kept catching Brennan Harbour Report. Just last week I headed up to the family cottage for a quick fish. It was quite cold and windy. I tried quite a few "summer" spots and was nursing a big skunk. As I motored down the lake I happened to notice a small island getting slammed with current. I motored over and thought "this looks like our great spots on Ogoki Lake" Ogoki Trip Report . I put on a crank bait and started to troll - 3 passes, 2 nice walleye! Pre trips I know I would have motored right along heading to a spot that worked X month ago.

Nice walleye from the Muskoka region of Ontario, Canada
One of the walleye caught from an Ogoki memory

Those are just a few of the ways I think these trips have helped me improve. I know when I am fishing at the cottage now I feel better prepared to find fish and I am more willing to try something new even if I only have a short time to fish because I have confidence that it will work out



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