It’s a bird… it’s a plane… it’s the Midwest Flyers returning for another fun filled year of camaraderie and great fishing –It was quite the experience watching the group arrive and make use of Mim’s grass runway. Arriving in a fleet of five private aircraft, the Midwest Flyers can’t seem to get enough of the spectacular boreal forest scenery, excellent shore lunches, friendly staff, and exceptional service here at Miminiska Lodge. Oh yeah, and of course the awesome fishing! The MWF group made the most of fair days and early mornings to catch a lot of sun, walleye, and northern pike. No master anglers, but the MWF crew sure kept our fish cleaning department busy between all the shore lunches and bagging a few souvenir keepers to bring the tastes of the north back home. We look forward to their return next year.
Also during this time, we welcomed Keith and his group for their first visit to the lodge. They came for one reason; Miminiska’s world class trout fishing and a chance to fish the exclusive Keezhik River. The Keezhik didn’t disappoint as Keith and other group members managed to land several master angler trout –some weighing in at 6lbs! Catching so many large trout was truly a one-of-a kind experience for boys. Watching Keith step off the plane with a huge grin on his face, and hearing him exclaim “That was world class!” was a nice reward for all those who helped put this excursion together.
Rounding out the week, the last big event of the summer; “Healing on the Albany 2013” saw Wilderness North welcome this year’s group of six Project Healing Waters participants to Miminiska Lodge. This year’s group of veterans John Swanson, Dale, Joe, Marc, and Eric were led by Ron Weiss, owner of Hook & Hackle Fly Shop and a long-time supporter of PHW. This group had a big impact on all of us at the lodge as we got to know them all and hear their stories. Combined the small group served in most of the recent major global conflicts: John served in the first Gulf War where his right leg was crushed and had to be amputated. Dale and Joe survived Vietnam, Joe returned with 3 purple hearts and a silver star for his service to his country. The two Canadians of the group, Eric and Marc, both carried out tours with the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan
Led by John, an avid fly angler and past participant of Healing on the Albany, Eric and Marc were on top of the pike in no time at all. Equipped with John’s trademark ‘Russian Rabbit’ fly, Marc hooked on to two northern pike in rapid succession; a 41incher and a nice 45in monster. Experience must count for something as that’s the record catch here so far at Mim. Not as successful at reeling in trophies, the other boat with Joe, Dale, and Ron managed to land some fast hitting pike in the 27-30in range. Reports of walleye caught on the fly were a bit rarer as it requires patience, the right fly, and being in the right place at the right time… Nevertheless there were always a few great dock stories when the boats came in.
Back at the lodge, it was always an honor to spend time and interact with this diverse group as we tied flies. Passionate craftsmen Ron and John were eager to pass on their expertise, and I along with the other vets were happy to try and soak it all in. The amount of precision, effort, and craftsmanship John put into each of his flies was incredible! Watching him get lost in his work as the evening hours drifted by… I can see why people get hooked on the art of fly fishing.
With the last event of the summer drawing to a close a few of us enjoyed a bonfire as we watched the northern lights dance across the night sky -A picture perfect end to an amazing trip… Reflecting back it’s been an amazing last few weeks at Miminiska Lodge; being able to serve guests and watch them get exactly what they were hoping for –and more – out of their fishing adventures.
Whether you’re looking to head down the Keezhik River or get lost in a picture perfect wilderness moment, Miminiska Lodge is the place to be! Get your spot booked for next year’s trip of a lifetime!