Monday, August 29, 2011


Motoring across Lake Athabasca.
All wild water has personality.

Anyone who's ever fished the wild can attest to that, whether they've floated through a roadless stretch of river canyon or put a boat on a northwoods lake only accessible with the help of an able pilot and a plane with floats instead of wheels.

Yesterday, as our guide Louie Isadore manned the tiller on our little skiff as we motored west across Lake Athabasca, my fishing partner Kirk Deeter and I got to see, first-hand, the big lake's cantankerous side. A wind out of the west pushed big rollers across the lake, and Louie, with years at the rudder, calmly bounced us across the lake en route to water that promised big pike and great fishing.

The waves hit the beach at remote Fon du Lac, Saskatchewan.
We pushed through massive waves, faces in the wind and "jiggly parts" feeling every thundering bump as the craft crashed up one wave and down the next. Louie kept going, determined to get us to our destination. 

But the wind and the water conspired against us. We figured we were headed full-throttle into a 30 mph wind before Louie wisely turned us back after another five-star shore lunch. Instead of hitting the water out on the big lake, we settled for the productive little hidden coves and bays where Athabasca's toothy pike live and wait in ambush for unsuspecting prey.

And as we motored back into the cove where Blackmur's Abathasca Lodge is situated, the lake calmed down and was downright serene. It's as if it put us exactly where it wanted us.

And that was all right with us.


  1. Understanding a waterway's personality is no small task, but a rewarding endeavor. It will never be your friend, entirely, for it holds the upper hand in its wildness. But the two of you can come to an understanding and, as with all wild things, an understanding is gratifying in itself.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  2. you're killing me - Louie was our Guide last trip. Me and Andy Perrotto. Enjoy - I'm living vicariously through the recaps

  3. Loving these posts Chris. Say hey to Deeter for me. Hope y'all are having a great time. We are roasting in TX - 112 yesterday, 109 today.