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Top 5 Regrets from My Recent Fly In Fishing Trip

This past summer I was lucky enough to spend a week on Lake St Joseph with Slate Falls Outposts. We stayed at their Root Bay Camp and it was incredible. Full trip report is here Root Bay Report In a year that has been anything but normal it was an amazing respite! As someone who is analytical (to a fault) I can’t help but revisit some of my regrets from the trip. Rather than internalize this like a normal person I thought I would share for two reasons 1) Maybe you can avoid my missteps and 2) Content is king!

Fly in fishing trip in Northern Ontario, Canada
Sunrise on Lake St Joseph

Regret # 1 – Going too Fast

On my best days I am just shy of hyper. On a fishing trip that has been 2 years in the planning I tend to ramp up to Tasmanian Devil mode. Sometimes I end up rushing to get to the next thing or check something off my list and don’t spend enough time being present in the moment. Lunches are a great example of this. Most days we take a lunch with us in the boat and when hunger hits we look for a nice spot to pull the boats up, stretch our legs and relax. Except most times I skip the relax part, wolf down whatever our food is and start mentally thinking about what is coming next. Instead of chilling, chatting and enjoying the spectacular scenery I have jumped passed that point and I working out what went right or wrong in the mornings fish and what a game plan should be for the afternoon

Fly in fishing trip in Northern Ontario, Canada
Views up the Root River - worth taking the time to enjoy!

Regret # 2 – Over Thinking

The first few days of this trip I was making myself anxious each morning before we headed out to fish. Did I pack the lunches correctly? Did I have enough to drink? Did I need to use the bathroom? Did I have enough clothes or to many clothes? As the rest of the guys were getting set to head out, I found myself going back and forth from the dock to the cabin and back around. The idea of being out on the lake and not being prepared was throwing me off my game. What I should have been doing and eventually did was focus on the fact that I had what I needed and if I didn’t oh well – I could deal with it then

Fly in fishing trip in Northern Ontario, Canada
At this point of the day I was probably wondering what I forgot!

Regret # 3 – Chasing the Number

On our 2018 trip to Ogoki Lake we decided to pack clickers in order to track our daily fish counts. Ogoki Trip Report The intent was good. As chief scribe for our group it was always a struggle to guestimate how many fish we caught on a trip. Generally, I think we knew if it was good or bad but the actual benchmark was nonexistent. This trip I found myself focusing on the numbers and in hindsight I think it made me less open to exploring the lake. With a few great spots already identified I has a tendency to want to stay with proven spots rather than exploring.

Fly in fishing trip in Northern Ontario, Canada
Trying to figure out the spot!

Regret # 4 – To Slow to Adjust

Counter to regret #1 this one speaks solely to fishing. Prior to our trip Ryan (owner of Slate Falls Outposts) pointed out that he had a 5-minute rule Interview with Ryan . The rule stated that if you weren’t picking up fish at a spot within 5 minutes, move one. Overall, we were pretty good at following this rule but I know a few days where I simply wasted time on spots that “looked” great. Not sure if I was being stubborn or in some cases lazy but when the fishing has been better than you expected its sort of dumb to keep circling around the same hump thinking that your presentation isn’t quite right. Most of the time the fish hit anything that moved so why waste time? Going forward I will be more mindful or Ryan’s rule.

Fly In fishing trip in Northern Ontario, Canada
Even the dock was good for fishing at Root Bay

Regret # 5 – Every Two Years

After the post trip high wore off, I realized that the idea of our next big trip being 2 years from now was depressing. I love these trips and all the research and planning that goes into them. My goal is to do something more adventurous that the cottage in 2021. Not that the cottage isn’t great but I would love to try a new lake or new area. Could be another fly in, maybe a boat in or maybe even a drive to lodge. Goal would be to do a shorter trip which may mean closer to home (Mississauga) but who knows. Anyone have a place that you love and want to share – Bob’s your uncle! Feel free to leave a comment or email me @

Hopefully me sharing my regrets can help you avoid making the same mistake – and I created a new post – victory!



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