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Tales from "Nakina"

Another Tale from post! I have received a lot of great feedback on my tales from posts, people seem to enjoy reading them and I really enjoy chatting with like minded anglers Tales from Posts – so voila, here’s another.

This time around I was lucky enough to speak to Glenn Matthews. Glenn I first connected after I wrote a post on Expectations vs Reality on a Fly In Trip and had great email exchange on various lakes we had fished, different ways we have travelled to Ontario from the Great Toronto region and walleye tactics. After chatting on the phone for this article I thought one of the interesting things about Glenn and his group is that they have been flying out of the same area, with the same outfitter for a long time, hence I bring you “Tales from Nakina”


Glenn – thanks for taking the time to do this. After chatting I thought that your groups backstory was very interesting – can you provide an overview?


I was a fire fighter for many years and my group was formed with a bunch of co workers plus some family members who joined over the years, including my father. As firefighters we spent a lot of time together and built up a lot of camaraderie over the years and adding fishing trips to the mix seemed like a natural extension. We always joked that we were well prepared for any fires while on our annual trips!


What was the impetus for you guys to try a fly in fishing trip?


Our first trips were ice fishing trips to Lake Nippising. A long-time friend and mentor of mine put the first one together and I also became a de facto organizer. Those trips were more about hanging out, playing cards, and drinking beer. After many years of ice fishing, we were itching for something new including a better fishing experience. It just happened that one of the younger guys in our group had family who were in the outpost business. They had just acquired a fly in business called Twin Lakes Outfitters, based in Nakina. The year was 1998! We decided to give it a whirl and here we are so many years and trips later.

Fly in fishing trip for walleye and pike in Northern Ontario, Canada
Glenn and his group at their home away from home - Abamasagi Lake


Very cool – have all those trips been out of Nakina with Twin Lakes Outfitters?


Correct! We started with that original owner and have stayed for many years with Chad, current owner of TLO. I think in total we have taken 14 trips in the Nakina region, all with Twin Lakes Outfitters. Hebner Lake x 2, Washi Lake, Esser Lake and the remaining trips all at Abamasagi!


That is a lot of trips out of Nakina – what do you and your group love about the area


There are a few key things we love about Nakina 1) Its one of the closest drives from Southern Ontario for fly in fishing trips 2) The fishing has always been really good for us and 3) we have always had great experiences working with Twin Lakes, so we haven’t seen a reason to change.

Sunset on a fly in fishing trip in Nakina, Ontario, Canada
Sunset on Aba Lake - how could you not love this


Thinking about your past trips which lakes stand out as your favorites and why


Abamasagi is our favorite lake, by far. For the last few years, it is the only lake we have fished and to be honest if you told me it was the only lake I would fish for the next few years I would be totally fine with it. And in 2020 we fished it twice in the same year! Aba is big enough, fishy enough and has its own unique personality. We have fished it many times during different seasons and rarely does it fish the same way. You would think after all these years we have a milk run of spots – we do but we are always amazed how one year a spot is a walleye gold mine and the next its barren.

Washi Lake – its part of the famed Albany River system, its quite unique, has a lot of history and the fishing was just incredible. We caught lots of fish, but the average size of walleye and pike was amazing – big, thick and man they put up a fight.

Hebner Lake – probably the best lake for numbers of walleye we have ever fished (on two different trips). The average size was as good as Aba or Washi, but the numbers were just incredible.

Large walleye caught on a fly in fishing trip in Ontario, Canada
One of those chunky Aba lake walleyes


What would you consider your most memorable experience?


Its hard to pinpoint one particular memory. For us is about the experience. We have an awesome group of 8 guys and spending time off the grid, where your biggest decisions are “where are we fishing next” or “Are we having a nap after lunch” is special for sure.


You mentioned you have done 14 trips with Twin Lakes Outfitters Twin Lakes Outfitters and they must be doing something right for that kind of loyalty – in your opinion what sets them apart?


We have had great experiences with both owners at TLO. Bill and Michelle were great and when they sold to Chad and Dawn it never changed. Chad and Dawn work very hard to ensure their guests have the best stay possible. They keep in touch before, during and after your trip. Over the years they have continued to invest in their business, upgrading cabins and equipment and I know they are always on the lookout for new lakes. I would recommend them to anyone (and do), we are incredibly loyal to them, as they are to us. After what has been an incredibly tough few years for all outfitters, I am really hoping that our US friends can head back to Ontario fishing soon and more Canadians look at a fishing trip as an option for 2021 and 2022 vacations. Check out our special place Twin Lakes Outfitters Aba Lake

turbine otter on a fly in fishing trip in Northern Ontario, Canada
Loading up the Otter early in the morning with Twin Lakes Outfitters


Are you doing any trips in 2021?


We are not long back from our June trip to Aba. Unfortunately, it was shortened to 5 days instead of 7 but it was still awesome as always. We caught tons of fish but were very impressed with our average size. The bulk of our walleye were between 19 and 21 inches - it was tough to find eater fish! We had planned on going again in August but have had to change our plans – so if anyone is looking for a last-minute trip give Twin Lakes a call!

Fly in fishing trip in Norther Ontario, Canada
Shore lunch a must do for Glenn's gang


This one is a bit tougher these trips take time and money, but you (and me) seem to be “hooked” on them. Why do you think that is? If you were doing a sales pitch to someone who has never been on one what is it?


Oh – that’s a tough one but I would say its two things:

1) The fishing is simply incredible. Fishing on a fly in out of Nakina will blow most peoples expectations out of the water (pun intended)

2) The camaraderie of a trip. Since most of our group have retired from being firefighters (where we worked closely as a team) these trips allow us to hang out, enjoy each others company and do so in a beautiful, remote setting – its something we all look forward to immensely!


In closing a few rapid-fire questions:

1) Favorite Species to fish for

2) Favorite way to fish? (Casting tolling jigging etc.)

3) Personal Best Walleye>

4) Camp drink of choice?

5) Bucket List Trip


1) Walleye

2) Trolling (especially in June)

3) My son still holds our groups record – a 32-inch walleye caught when he was 10 on his first fly in on Esser Lake – talk about getting spoiled.

4) I would put myself as a beer guy, but we do have special drink we bring on these trips. It’s a French-Canadian drink called Caribou and it’s become a staple of our trips for toasting special occasions

5) Attawapiskat River for walleye and pike!

Huge walleye caught on a fly in fishing trip in Northern Ontario, Canada
One of Glenn's new recruits with a beauty


Thanks so much for taking the time to do this Glenn! You have been a great resource to our group and hopefully we see each other on a lake soon – I owe you a beer or a shot of Caribou!


Andrew thanks for much for chatting and putting this together. I love these trips and cannot talk or read enough about them! I really enjoy what you have put together on Northern Jacks and I am happy to contribute.

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