A reader of Northern Jack’s recently asked me what my favorite trip had been. Honestly, it was a tough one to answer. Each trip has been special in its own way and there are different criteria. Number of fish caught, group of guys, beauty of the lake and the overall “fun” of the trip. In the end I told him my favorite trip was my first fly in Pickle Lake w White River Air My rationale was simple – it was the trip that opened up our eyes to what has become our favorite type of trip by far!
With that in mind I wanted to break down my top 5 reasons why Fly in Outpost trips are my favorite style of trip – here goes:
I remember our first trip vividly - I was both excited and terrified about the flight in. Never a big flyer to begin with getting in a small float plane was nerve wracking. Before we took off, I was already covered in sweat and if I bounced my knee anymore, I may have tipped the Otter. Once we got going though, I relaxed a bit and eventually fell in love with the experience. Flying low and slow over the Boreal Forest was incredible. It’s an eagle eye view of bogs, lakes, rivers and even the odd moose. I felt like it was the first time I had ever really been able to see the beauty of the landscape even though it wasn’t the first time I had trespassed in God’s Country. With a few more trips under my belt, I would now consider the flight into an outpost one of the best parts of the trip. Going out is just as pretty I guess but my overall mood has turned from optimism to a sadness that the trip is over
I am a super early riser on these trips – at least on the first few days. I never sleep well in a new environment for a few nights and typically I am moving around well ahead of the rest of the guys. At an outpost I can make my own coffee, stroll down to the dock, take the boat out or just chill on the porch and not worry about waking or disturbing anyone else. I also love that we set our own schedules – fish when we want, eat when we want and not worry about planned mealtimes or lodge rules. We are big on campfires, beers and music each night, heck we even like to go down to the dock late at night, enjoy the stars and crank some Pink Floyd Enhance Your Trip Experience All of these things are just not as easy or possible or respectful when you are at a lodge or sharing your experience with strangers. I can imagine the dock talk “Who were the AS%%oLE) listening to Metallica at the bonfire last night”
I can only comment on my own experiences but by far my fly in trips have coincided with the best fishing of my life. Now can I say that the fishing on a fly in outpost is better than the fishing at a fly in lodge or housekeeping camp – sort of. It’s not that the fishing was better than my trip to Miminiska Lake Min Trip Report but I spend more time on the water at an outpost without having to conform to meal time and personally there is a sense of accomplishment of doing it on my own that just feels better. Overall, I will say our outpost fishing has been much better than our fly in our drive to trips – the remoteness, limited pressure, and all of that.
Honestly, I wrote and re wrote the header to this one a few times. Manliness didn’t feel right or respectful, do it Yourself doesn’t cover it and harkening back to olden times was to long and to weird. I love the fact that staying in a basic cabin for a week on a remote lake makes me feel self-sufficient. On that first trip to Pickle Lake the amount work needed to be done was a bit of a shock. The two trips prior we had been at full-service lodges and had been catered to. Now we needed to cook, clean, chop wood, catch fish for food and filter water. Once the shock wore off it was replaced by a feeling of satisfaction mixed with pride – it felt good to be self sufficient (as self sufficient as one can be when they have brough in loads of food and beers!)
Rent a Lake
For our first fly in outpost trips our cabin was the only one on the lake. It was a magical feeling heading out into “our lake” the solitude and freedom was addictive. Even on our other trips the lake was so large with limited cabins it felt like it was our lake. Knowing that each hot spot was ours and our alone was special – especially to guys who had grown up fishing the busy cottage lakes of the Kawarthas. No worrying about others homing in on your spot or feeling crowded on a popular drift. Any shoreline or beach is fair game for your shore lunch and any island is your personal pit stop. Personally, I love it
I love all trips and would never turn down any opportunity to fish but if given a choice the fly in outpost cabin is my go-to. For me it’s just a magical experience and one I hope to enjoy for as long as I can.