In making my final preparations for a Northern departure, I was thrilled to hear from Alan that the ice was gone from Mackenzie Lake. With the anticipated forecast of rains switching to sun later in the week, I’m sure the rest of our Wilderness North fly out destinations will be in for some good weather. This means that the mighty Otter’s floats will be touching down, boats will be rigged and ready to go, and our first guests of the season will be wetting their lines. This is crunch time for me, making sure I haven’t forgotten anything.
Pain and frustration in past situations has led me to develop a serious packing regiment. And over the years, I have learned that there are several ‘little things’ you can add to your bag to make life a lot easier, and perhaps be the difference in trophy and no trophy. We must remember that there are no Cabelas or Canadian Tires around the next corner. There are no cars to jump into and hit the next corner store… As I check off the final items I’m adding to my bag, I’d like to share them with you.
Hook File: Probably one of the most overlooked items that any angler should carry. I have lost giant fish due to my own neglect for my hook, there is no doubt. If you are fishing in areas where your hook is banging off rocks or timber, it is a necessity to check the point often. It is also advisable to check it after every caught fish, or missed fish for that matter. A quick swipe of a file takes 2 seconds as opposed to losing the trophy of a lifetime.
Clippers: After undergoing major jaw surgery a few years back I realized I had lost the ability to cut my line with my teeth. Not that this practice is recommended, but it’s what I was used to. I now carry a carabineer clip with a short length of string connected to a set of nail clippers. It is by far my most used tool on any fishing outing. Retractable models are great as well. Some clippers won’t do the job on heavy grade braid, so you can always attach a small pair of razor sharp scissors to the same clip.
Spare Spools/Line: It can happen fast; A missed hook-set, a misjudged cast, and in rare cases, being spooled by an unseen giant. A major birds nest or a series of snap offs can lead to insufficient amounts of line being left on your spool. In the world of fishing, this is not something you can just ‘deal with’, this is a crisis situation which can be saved by simply having spare spools for your reel model, loaded with line and ready to go. If you don’t have the spare spools, make sure to have ample replacement line for your reel.
Jaw Spreaders: Just like a big mean dog on a bone, Pike get lockjaw. And although jaw spreaders may look and seem like some form of medieval torture on the fish, trust me they are not. Pike are known for inhaling prey and locking down. It is important to remember to use your hand to control the spring. Not every pikes jaw is going to open the same width, so using one hand holding the spreaders, you can allow them to open just far enough.
Charging Cables/Memory Cards: The angler’s biggest nightmare would have to be catching his/her fish of a lifetime and not being able to document it. Please double check your bags to ensure you have all necessary adaptors, cables, batteries, for any camera gear or electronics.
Consider adding these simple things to your bags and I can assure you they will help to add ease and enjoyment to your Wilderness North getaway.
As always, I look forward to hearing from you and meeting you in person now that I have arrive at Striker’s.