Thank you, Darryl Choronzey
It all started with a dream. A kid from the GTA who wanted nothing more than to have a real bonafide shore lunch just like Darryl Choronzey did every Saturday morning on Global TV. Over the years I chased that dream but had to make do with fish at the trailer since there was no place to have a shore lunch on our home lake. Or worse yet bacon, hot dogs and beans cooked on a fire when no fish were caught.
Now a man I decided to try to change that narrative. My Dad, brother and I hit the Spring Fishing show with a purpose. Talk to some outfitters and figure out where we could do a short, drive to fishing trip – Dad’s treat! After speaking with lots of great outfitters, confirming our requirements (indoor plumbing, within 6 hours of the GTA) we made a choice, Ellen Island Camp on Lady Evelyn Lake.
Our targeted week seem to take forever to arrive but on a Friday night in early September we left Alliston, Ontario and made the drive to North Bay. We overnighted there and were on our way to Mowats Landing to meet the lodge. Unfortunately, this trip is memorable but for many things but not the walleye fishing. We left in shorts and t shirts and by day 2 it was a mix of single digit temperatures, snow, sleet and rain. The lake itself was spectacular, it looked like we could bump into Darryl (and his fish crisp) on any shoreline. This was the north or it was at least the north I had wanted to fish my whole life. We did catch some fish, we did eat some fish but we never really got the chance for a shore lunch. Foiled, again.
A couple of years later, just before my wedding we rallied up a new group. This time it was to be my brother, two of his childhood friends and one of their brothers in law. We went back to Lady Evelyn and chose Island 10, a full-service lodge. This meant that we only worried about fishing (and drinking, and cards). This time around fishing was better, especially for walleye. I distinctly remember my brother and I screaming like we won the Stanley Cup when we caught two keeper walleye within 15 minutes of launching our boat. My heart was in my mouth for the next day, could it be, would it be that this was the trip for shore lunch! Sure enough after 2 days we headed out with a propane stove, a can of beans and potatoes and had shore lunch – eat your hear out Chronzy!
Out of those trips we have created a tradition – a major trip every two years with a smaller, shorter trip in the off years. 4 of us from the original trip have been constant and for the last two (and our 2020 trip) one of my best friends has joined us. At some point I will be adding some trip reports, tips and tricks to the site so I will save detailed stories for a later day. What I can tell you is that these trips have become a tonic for us, an excuse to get together, a reason to keep in contact and something to reminisce about.
For that, I thank you Darryl Choronzey