Bloke: gentleman of esteem;
Sheila: woman of respectability.
This week we have seen a great bunch of Blokes and Sheila’s up here at Miminiska Lodge. With the arrival of the Project Healing Waters group and the McCabe party we have had some cracking good times on and off the water. The happy half hour has been turning into the happy hour and a half as we all get carried away with the spirit of mateship and the delicious appetizers that the women are bringing out of the kitchen – bacon wrapped walleye being just one of the tasty treats.
The McCabe party flew in to our 2500 foot grass strip from Wisconsin in their Piper Aztec to be surprised by the high water levels, but it didn’t phase these veterans of Lake Miminiska – they have been coming here since 1996 – so they were quickly tearing into the walleye and feeding themselves a massive shore lunch within 2 hours of arrival. The wind and waves have been bloody shocking up here early this week, testing the resolve of the anglers and making that nice warm cabin all the more appealing after supper rather than braving the elements. Lesson learned: with a nice Canadian Club whiskey in your hand, the fish can wait till the morrow. This Wisconsin based foursome have been averaging 50 walleye a day with the biggest being 21 inches and the average being 18-19 inches. All on artificial lures – all by trolling Rapalas. They have also been hauling up roughly 20 pike a day with the largest being 32 inches thanks to Tony Chiler from Berlin, Wisconsin. They absolutely loved meeting the Healing Waters Soldiers and that has been a real highlight of their trip, and the delicious shore lunches according to Lenny of Wildrose, Wisconsn. They have definitely become great mates with the crew up here and Tony – joined Phyllis Nagel our chef, and cooked up some of his world famous (secret recipe) chili, that will be talked about around the billabongs in the land of Oz for years to come. Those swaggies will be hunting him down for the Wallaby version! MMmmmm.
The nine Blokes and one Sheila from PHW have been such a treat for us up here. They have come up to fly-fish this world-class fishery and to enjoy the wonders of this boreal forest. They are just amazing people and I think have earned the right to be honorary Aussie Battlers for the week, after seeing Josh Williams fly fishing with one arm and using his teeth and an Italian made auto retrieval reel to bring in the fish. It is just one of the most motivating things I have seen in my life, and you can watch him too, (before he got the auto retrieve reel) by clicking here. If you search for his name, you will see him in action, not to take away at all from the rest of the gang and their sterling efforts. They have been tearing through the pike like a good shearer is with sheep, just one after the other and not relenting one bit. The winds are down, the sun is out and the troops are out to get some brook trout today, some big ones, and with their First Nation guide, Thomas Nate, I think they are well on their way to catching a football brookie, and that’s real football by the way, Aussie rules! Haha.
I’ll have the Healing on the Albany final report in next week’s column.
Hoo-roo for this week.
…Tristan & Jasmine Yuswak