As a 50-year-old-plus accomplished angler, hunter, outdoor writer, photographer and videographer, my home province of Ontario continually amazes me with the varying landscapes throughout its half million square miles. Travelling aside, I am drawn to certain regions and Algoma is tops on my list. And it's no surprise to me that many artists frequent this region and tour throughout via rail! Even going back 100 years, Canada's own Group of Seven loved to come and explore and depict in charcoal and paint Algoma's grandeur, returning to share it with you all.
Algoma is poised richly at the north shore of Lake Huron and west Lake Superior offering me, as an outdoorsman, easily accessible fishing and hunting opportunities. From my home on Lake St Clair, it's an exciting day's ride through the changing landscapes to get there.
Fly-in Outpost Fishing
Awaiting me is a host of friendly services and outfitters, all wanting to help make my experience the most rewarding possible. Take my trip for example with Lauzon Aviation. One of the region's oldest service outfitters is now run by three complete generations of the Makela family. As with all outfitters and guides that I have met in the area, the Makelas take great pride in their independent knowledge and skills affording them a modest lifestyle in the north. In no time at all, these northern traders make you feel very welcome and secure with them, as your guest. And when it comes to flying to a remote lake in a floatplane, most folks appreciate a decent sense of security!
Algoma's rugged land and lakes were shredded by the last ice age leaving in its retreat, deep cut lakes, sheer ridges and canyons. The waters contained are now clean and clear and teeming with fish! Many visitors may not realize that the fish in Algoma are, for the most part, native species with tens of thousands of years of genetics in them. Very few species have ever been stocked which makes knowing this fact very exciting to me. Coming from the deep southern end of the province, it's an assumption that most fish and game have been stocked, managed, manipulated and altered for my convenience. Not so with Algoma! These ancient species immediately gain respect from me as I feel I have been allowed to enter into their world, under their scrutiny, for mutual enjoyment. Weird as it may sound you will see or "feel" what I mean when you get there!
Fishing Robb Lake
This particular lake that I was allowed to visit, Robb Lake, was pristine to me, clean, quiet and filled with old historical speckled trout and lake trout and some bonus-stocked rainbows. Only once were the rainbow trout ever stocked in Robb Lake and they flourished immediately to join in the ranks of the residents.
Catching one of these species is not difficult when you fly into an Algoma lake. Brightly coloured spoons, trolling across any one of the numerous underwater ridges find some active fish. And when you are allowed into a lake that has been respected so well by other visitors that it is hard to find any evidence of human presence, hooking into a fish makes you feel like the 1600s exploring voyageur!
As an artist, I cannot properly duplicate for you in photos the magnificent beauty of these trouts. I have fished many regions and Algoma native fishes are surely vivid, translucent, colourful subspecies all in themselves. I almost felt guilty keeping a couple for an open fire supper! For the price of airfare and lodgings, I could have chosen any one of several lakes serviced by Lauzon Aviation including lakes filled with walleye, trophy pike or bass. I was drawn to the trouts.
My next trip may very well be at a time when I can mix a bit of moose hunting with bird hunting and a day back at some fall walleye fishing. I assure you, after all my years, that if your choice is Algoma, you will be welcomed, made to feel like a local, speechlessly awe-struck, successful on more levels than expected and immediately start to plan your return!