This trip had us driving most of the way around the north shore of Lake Superior through the heart of the Precambrian Shield. Low mountains, big valleys, granite formations, pine and aspen covered everything. A section of Canada that is awe-inspiring. For the most part unblemished by the presence of man, other than occasional roads and many sections none of those even. The rock here is some of the oldest on earth, and the beauty takes your breath away. You can check out the entire area by visiting the Go Fish in Ontario Facebook or Go Fish in Ontario Website.
We were headed to Kaby Lake, so the end of the road for us was White River, Ontario at a float plane base. We stayed the night there, but I didn’t sleep well, haunted by the memories of my last trip to this this huge fish factory. I fished the lake one other time, had hooked what might have been the biggest walleye of my life! I had it up to the boat on the surface of the water six times, my focus was totally on the task at hand… land this fish! Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be: she was knocked off by the net on the sixth time I had her up. I sat down shaking, knowing it was at least the second largest walleye I had ever had on my line in my life! Soooo close!
There was no wonder what I was thinking as we touched down at Kaby Lake Lodge, owned by Tom and Michel Watson, our home for the next three days. I couldn’t wait to get the gear unpacked and hit the water. As I approached the front door of the lodge, I noticed a metal sign, which I later took a picture of with the Watsons that’s posted here, reading, “Where the fishing catches you!” and thought: boy, is that a fact. The picture of that huge walleye getting off four or five years earlier was still crystal clear in my mind’s eye!
Tom and I threw everything we had at them, caught several hundred walleyes, and had a blast together. He is a great fisherman and a really nice guy who has an intense love affair with Kaby. I kept anticipating that the next bite would be like setting my hook into something akin to a small submarine, but big was just not in the books for us. One guest caught a huge pike, I think 48 inches, while we were there; others came in with a mess of big perch, but I couldn’t get walleyes out of my head. Kaby has zillions of them and I knew first hand it had some giants, or at least one. But they didn’t bite for us, or anyone else for that matter.
Tom’s love affair with Kaby began years prior: he was born on the lake. His parents owned a couple of lodges, and he grew up there, as did his love for fishing and his education for running a lodge. He and Michel were childhood sweethearts, meeting at a school dance. Later, after deciding they had each found their soul mates, they married. For the next four years, he and Michel made their living trapping near Wawa full-time, and have some tremendous stories to tell. Tom found out his wife not only loved everything outdoors as much as he did, but could do anything he could.
They continued trapping for the next 25 years part-time, meanwhile Tom established an Air Craft Maintenance Engineering business travelling the world and Michel went into veterinary medicine. But the call of Kaby was too strong for them, and in 2000 they went back to run one of the two lodges Tom’s parents owned, which they bought in 2009.
They live by the golden rule of outfitters—“control the things you can control”—and they do it with style. That’s why I kept hearing in camp: this is our 11th consecutive year we’ve been here with the same guys, or this is our eighth year. The camp was literally full of folks that come every year. And why shouldn’t they—the fish were abundant to say the least, the cabins were great, the food superb, the shore lunches scrumptious, the prices very reasonable, and the camaraderie top-notch!
Kaby Lodge also outfit for bear, wolves, and moose, and you want to spend at least one evening with Michel telling stories about some of her guiding trips. Yes, she guides just as well as Tom for bear, wolves, and moose. If you’re looking for a bit of Ontario heaven, then I couldn’t encourage you more to get in touch with them and take a trip to Kaby yourself. I would suggest doing it early, because they fill up fast.
Kaby Lodge - www.kabyswildernessvacations.ca