Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Gan, '09 trip report.

Well folks, I got the pictures finished and posted to FlickR this morning, so click on over there to see them all. Meanwhile, I'll give you a wrap-up on the fun here.

I flew into Syracuse New York Tuesday night and spent the night at the Holiday Inn Express. My cousin Bob and the other guys drove by there on the way to Canada and picked me up Wednesday morning. Then after a stop for gas and another at the Duty Free for booze and stuff, we were off to Canada.

This is a shot of our cabin. It's the same one we've always gotten. I think this is about the fifth year in a row we've been coming to Gananoque. The folks at Griffin's Lakeside Lodge always treat us nice.

This is the beach there in front of the lodge. Most of the visitors rent these little boats, but Bob and Jim have their own boats, so we simply tow them up and pay a fee to tie them up at the docks.

The other guys complained a lot about getting cold now and then, but the weather was wonderful for this Texas boy. It was getting into the mid-90s at home while I was in Canada enjoying nights in the 40s and 50s and days in the 60s and 70s.

As usual, all the fears we had about really cold days and rain turned out to be false. It wasn't nice enough to swim in the pool, as it had been the last few years, but it was warm and sunny enough to allow us to strip down to shorts and t-shirts during the day.

Primarily, the fish we hunt for up there are Northern Pike. We've had a lot of fun fishing for them in the past, and I've managed to bring in a few decent sized fish on earlier trips. But this year was hard. I was only able to find a few small specimens, the fish you see here being an example.

The other anglers at the lodge confirmed this to us, saying that they hadn't had much luck with them ether. Still, even this little dude fought his ass off, so it was fun to hook him. Aside from Pike, we fished for Bass ( both Large and Small Mouth) Crappie, and various kinds of smaller fish (Rock Bass, Perch, Pumkinseeds and other kinds of Sunfish).

I always use two rods when I fish at Gan... One with light line for the little wigglers that fight so hard, and one with heavier line for Pike. What's fun is when a small or medium sized pike goes for the little green plastic worms I use to bring in the Rock Bass. That's fun!

Those are my rods (Bob's rods, but the ones I use) in the shot above. We would go out after a light breakfast each morning and fish various spots on the lake until we got hungry for lunch. Then, after a light lunch of ham sandwiches and chips, and maybe a few liquid refreshments, adult beverages, we'd head out again.

By 4;30 or 5PM we'd usually be ready to head back and cook dinner. On past trips we've experimented with a crock pot, putting a roast in in the morning so that it's ready by dinner time. I've cooked Spaghetti or Chili once or twice, but this time we decided to make things as simple as we could.

The first evening, Wednesday evening, we had Venison hot dogs on the grill outside the cabin and corn-on-the-cob boilin' on the stove inside. Bob's son-in-law Scott brought a little grill he'd picked up at a Ducks Unlimited thing and never used before. It turned out to be perfect for our purposes. While he cooked the dogs on the grill, I boiled to corn. Along with my corn boiling duties I heated up a can of chili. The results were wonderful! Chili dawgs and buttery wonderfulness, all around. And more adult beverages all around too.

Then... Yep, you guessed it, we went out again. The evening trips were usually short and close by, but we'd stay out till the sun was beginning to fade.

On the third day, Saturday, we started the morning by floating down river to the dam. On the way back up Scott tossed a little top water bait towards some reeds and got himself a nice pike.

Then, about ten minutes later he got another one. We ended up eating the first one that night.

Scott filleted the fish we saved from that day. There was his nice big Pike, a big Crappy he'd caught later in the afternoon, and a few big Pumpinseeds I'd saved from my days catch.

It was good eatin', I wanna tell ya. Scott breaded the fish and friend them while I cooked a few bags of easy Chicken & Rice.

And then, yep, we went out again. This is a shot of the area down stream from the lodge. Very nice Pike and Bass country down there, and a favorite evening trip for us.

I spent the evening tossing one bait after another, but never managed to bring in the big ones. Well, there'll always be next year.

While fishing, I experimented with a few different cigar holders.

This one turned out to be real handy. It's a simple little plastic thing I picked up at a Humidor in Salado.

Of course, I also made us of the one nature provided. Both methods proved useful.

I picked up a few more little dudes that evening, but they turned out to be my last Pike of 2009. One of them chomped down so hard on the treble hook he must have gouged an artery or something. Bled like a fool and ended up a floater. Poor little dude. I wanted him to grow up so I could come back and catch him again.

The was always interesting wildlife to be seen around the lake. This Heron is a regular visitor to the beach there at Griffin's.

There are lots of cabins along the shore there. I told Bob that if I ever won the lottery I'd probably buy one of these places. Then all of you could fly up and visit me in the summer. The fish fries would be wonderful!

The last evening Scott used the grill again and cooked up some nice, fat, juicy steaks.

Bob tossed a few potatoes in the oven and the result was wonderful. We went out one last time after this feast, floating down to that Bass and Pike area near the cabin, and Bob managed to pull in a huge Pike. I was glad for him, but I was also very envious. Oh well, there'll always be next year.

The next morning, Sunday, we pulled the boats out of the water and drove back down to the US. After a stop at the Duty Free (n the Canadian side this time) we stopped at an old fashioned diner for breakfast. Bacon, eggs, toast, home fried taters, and french toast, all helped down with syrup and orange juice. Mmmmm, good! After that the guys left me at the Airport in Syracuse. I sat there for several hours finishing one book and starting another.

I flew from there to Chicago, and then landed at Austin at about 10:30PM. Denise was waiting there for me. The reunion was really nice. It was a long trip, but a fun one. I can't wait till next year rolls around. Cheers!


Anonymous said...

I give your trip report and pics an "A+", teach. I'm glad you had a good time with your kith and kin. Belton Belle

PRH....... said...

Nice shots of the sun and fish and lake...kinda looks like Lake Tagamung(about 100 miles north of Rice Lake)...but lots of those Canadian Lakes have a similar feel...pure relaxation!!

Sarge Charlie said...

nice fish, not so sure about the cigar between the toes.

BRUNO said...

Yeah, well, I'd like to see ya' SMOKE that thing between your toes like that! Didn't realize you were such a "flexible" sort of fella???

But then, judging by the size of those steaks---I'll be one to bet you used those big tree-climbers to hold THAT down, too, while ya' sawed it up...!!!

GUYK said...

looks like a good trip...I caught Northerns in Alaska and in Montana..lota fun to catch but they will BITE YOU!

FHB said...

Belle - Thanks. It was a great time.

Pat - True, they all have the same feel. Beautiful.

Sarge - Yea, my toes are mike a monkeys. Looks weird but comes in handy now and then.

Bruno - When I was a kid and a bit more limber... maybe.

Guy - Yea, they'll bit the shit out of ya. Ya have to be careful how you handle them, and maybe use a leader.