Lots of different fishing holes

Blachford Lake, Yellowknife, NWT

In 1992 I seriously needed a break, a real break. One that would put me a long way from work. Figured Yellowknife was pretty far, so using some saved airline points I headed northwest for five days of fishing by myself. Had some travel points to get me to Yellowknife and from there I flew out to Blachford Lake Lodge on a Twin Otter float plane.

The lodge was very crude, but had all of the essentials. Everything had to be flown in and flown out, including the garbage so minimalist was it.

Here’s the welcome to the lodge just beyond the dock.

My palatial digs. The moose antlers lent the cabin a certain je ne sais quoi.

The five star accommodations inside. Every evening was spent lighting a mosquito coil, then embarking on a search and destroy mission to get all of the critters before they got me.

Off to the right on the stove is the remains of a coil and the standard issue swatter.

The bedroom suite, complete with sagging mattress that ensured I did not waste my vacation sleeping. The camp manager said that I set a record for being last back first out, having come in at 12:00 AM and went out at 3:00 AM, as I couldn’t sleep in the 24 hours of daylight.

The camp as seen from the lake. At that time, it was the only sign of civilization anywhere on the 14 mile long lake.

This loon couple harassed me for some hours as I had trespassed on their fishing turf and resented the competition.

A look at how calm this lake could be. It seemed almost criminal to run an outboard across it.

In 1992 I was still a mixed tackle fisherman and here I’ve concocted a self portrait while working my spinning rod. At the time I still had more faith in the spoon than the fly.

Another self portrait.

Trolling a spoon. I was very keen to hook a laker and on one run I was trolling a plug quite deep. I had a good hit followed by a tenacious fight and I was sure I had my laker. Yet when I finally got it to the surface, it turned out to be a pike of average size. For whatever reason, this fish outdid his much bigger brethren.

The Twin Otter that got me there and back. The trip was noteworthy for sports smoking while sitting on barrels of avgas, a kid helping me load everyone’s stuff, then the kid climbing in the left seat and firing it up. The hiss of the floats, the unsticking of one, then the other, made the trip memorable.

The Wildcat Cafe had been a hangout of the bush pilots before tourists discovered it. Rough hewn long tables, benches split from logs and meals of great food sat alongside strangers made this a place that everyone should visit at least once.