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The Chaudiere Marathon

Pat and Nik holding up their prize catch of the shoot. • Credit: Fish'n Canada
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The Chaudiere Marathon

A young angler takes on the formidable Ontario Muskie for the first time

The Fish’n Canada crew are no strangers to the upper French River and, in particular, Chaudiere Lodge. However, this season they brought a new member. He was young, green—as it pertains to technical fishing knowledge—and, above all, gung-ho and ready to learn.

Enter Nik, Angelo’s grandson.

Nik has shot a couple of times previously on the Fish’n Canada Show, but it’s always been with either the Bowman kids or grandpa. This trip was about Nik taking on a whole new direction in his world of fishing—and it wasn’t an easy one!

On this shoot, Nik teamed up with Chaudiere guide and muskie expert, Patrick Tryon. Pat is known in the muskie world as a very intense and technical angler—perfect for Nik, well at least the technical part. You see, Nik is a pretty-intense dude himself. We were hoping the two personalities would gel and not oppose one another.

As with most muskie adventures, time is what is needed to end up with a great outing. We had Pat at our disposal for three days if need be.

chaudiere lodge fishing guide gearing up fishing rod

Chaudiere Lodge Muskie guide Patrick Tryon gearing up for a day guiding Nik. (Photo credit: Fish'n Canada)

Pat took Nik through all of the basics first; the equipment and why it’s seemingly overkill, the different and often moody attitudes of muskies, how to figure 8 upon a follow, the structures and hideouts that these giants often frequent, and so on. Honestly, it’s a lot for anyone to take in, let alone a 14-year-old.

pat and nik in fish'n canada boat

A pep talk before the onslaught of casts. (Photo credit: Fish'n Canada)
mercury motor

(Photo credit: Fish'n Canada)

Overall, Pat said Nik performed admirably on the first day. They had lots of follows, a few strikes, and, of course, some critical misses. Hey, it’s all in a day of muskie fishing. When we asked Pat how Nik took on the physicality of casting all day, he said Nik threw double 10s pretty much the entire time. Well done, Nik! That ain’t easy!

Day 2 had the same results as day 1. No fish in the boat but lots of encounters. We thought by now Nik would be fading but surprisingly not—he marched through like a soldier. As for Pat, we could see things were mentally not 100% anymore. In taking Pat aside, he told Ang and Pete that although Nik is still firing cast after cast, Pat felt that mentally, Nik was fading. That’s to be expected. Both Ang and Pete agreed that it happens to them as well and they have been at this game forever.

fishing upper french river for muskie

Many hours into it and Nik has yet to boat a muskie. (Photo credit: Fish'n Canada)

This is what a dejected kid looks like…but he’s still ready to go! (Photo credit: Fish'n Canada)

Carry on soldiers!

Day 3 again had the same results, only this time Nik did get a chance or two at some striking fish. One such incident had Nik reeling in and at boat-side on a figure 8, a muskie inhaled the bait. In this excitement, Nik apparently froze in his tracks, in awe at the spectacle that just occurred and failing to set the hook. The fish swam away.

fishing muskie

Just in the camera’s frame! (Photo credit: Fish'n Canada)

We’re giving Nik the benefit of the doubt here. He’s relatively new to fishing and he has NEVER fired a cast with intentions to catch such a beast as a muskie. We can guarantee that at least half the anglers reading this article would have done the same. Imagine a Great White Shark coming to your boat side and engulfing a big chunk of meat… a jaw-dropping spectacle for sure.

After a quick break and an amazing grandfather/grandson pep talk, Pat grabbed up Nik and took him out for one last kick at the can.

We all waited at the lodge dock with such huge anticipation. Would Nik catch his formidable quarry? Moreover, just as important, would we be leaving the French with a Fish’n Canada episode?

Upon the guy's final arrival at the dock, they had a look of ultimate disappointment. Angelo and Pete looked at each other thinking poor Nik, all that work for nothing. But soon after those thoughts came out, a smile cracked on Pat’s face. “We got er’ done, boys” were his words, and what words they were!

tired angler

Muskie fishing can take its toll on people! (Photo credit: Fish'n Canada)

Congratulations to Nik for perusing such a formidable foe and as well, a special thanks to Pat for being the ultimate teacher/guide.

Contact Information

Box 162, Dokis Bay
Monetville, ON P0M 2K0
PH: (705) 763-2220

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