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Pots of Gold

Extreme Angler • Credit: Karl Kalonka
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Pots of Gold

The author lucks out and finds walleye gold during fishing trip to Moose Horn Lodge

You could say luck is something you cannot control.

You are either lucky, or not.

Personally, I think we control our own luck by being in the right place at the right time, hence good things happen to us at these same times and/or places.

I found a lot of luck this summer on a trip to Chapleau, Ontario in Algoma Country looking for a pot of gold—as in walleye gold—swimming in these fish-rich lakes and rivers surrounding this region of the province.

The lucky place was Moose Horn Lodge located on McLennan Lake, an absolutely gorgeous, family-owned and operated fishing and adventure lodge in the hospitality business since 1957.

moose horn lodge drone shot

These owners have put so much money back into the lodge, and now offer guests outstanding accommodations that are totally unexpected in such a remote northern region, only hours from the Michigan border.

The luck I was looking for came to fruition while fishing with one of the lodge owners, Doug Lynn, an experienced outdoorsman of few words but tons of knowledge of the area’s remote backcountry lakes and streams. These offer guests pristine, never-crowded fishing opportunities for 100-walleye days, northern pike in the 20-pound range, smallmouth bass up to 6 pounds, whitefish, jumbo perch, and as an added bonus, beautiful brook trout all season long.

moose horn lodge main lodge

Doug and I fished for walleyes on two different backcountry lakes with ball head jigs and either minnow or nightcrawlers, and literally pounded the walleyes silly. On the very first morning on a lake close to the main lodge, the very first rock point we fished in 10 feet of water produced double header after double header walleye in the 15- to 18-inch class.

I shudder to think how many walleyes live in that lake.

We only moved one time to a sunken reef he knew of which was not marked by any jugs or buoys (it pays off to fish with the lodge owner), and proceeded to catch even more and bigger walleye right below our anchored boat in 7 to 10 feet of water.

That same evening, we ventured to another nearby lake in search of some larger walleye for some photo opportunities and once again, as our luck would have it, Doug and I cashed in big time, catching some beautiful black and gold walleyes in the 20- to 24-inch class while drifting jigs and minnow combinations in 12 feet of water which were all released after a few pics.

I found my luck—his name was Doug Lynn.

We released all of the walleye we caught as Doug’s wife Roxann had her homemade marinated ribs on the barbeque waiting for us that same afternoon, and we did not plan for a shore lunch.

Talk about luck or what?

Moose Horn Lodge offers four large housekeeping lakefront cottages that sleep up to 10 people. Each cottage has one or two bathrooms, up to four bedrooms, a front deck, and big windows with a beautiful view of the lake. The interiors feature hardwood floors, tongue and groove pine on the walls and ceiling, comfortable furniture and beds, a fully equipped kitchen with all appliances, Wi-Fi internet, and satellite flat-screen televisions. There are also three clean and comfortable motel units on the water's edge.

moose horn lodge bedroom

This place really caters to its guests.

Everyone I met during our visit had nothing but excellent reviews of their stay at this lodge, and planned return visits.

There are dozens of spectacular backcountry fishing lakes and streams within 10 to 60 minutes of the lodge. Most of the lakes have no camps or cottages, and on a lot of the lakes, you will be the only party fishing. There could be boat caches on these lakes, but instead of leaving boats in the bush to get dirty or stolen, Moose Horn Lodge keeps boats on trailers ready to be towed. You will need a trailer hitch and 2-inch ball, or bring your own boat.

These folks are truly organized and know their business inside out.

At times, these backcountry lakes produce 100-walleye days with a few exceptional size fish in the 10-pound range. In these lakes, walleyes are common in the 1- to 4-pound range, with a few 5- to 7-pounders thrown in.

These lodge owners are conservation-minded and urge their guests to release all walleyes 17.5" and over. These are the breeding stock and the future of the walleye fishery. Fifteen- to 17-inch are the best eating sizes if you are looking to keep walleye for a shore lunch, or dinner.

moose horn lodge northern pike, lodge, fishing boat, shorelunch

The bigger lakes have been producing northern pike over 20 pounds and due to catch-and-release practices, the availability of trophy northern pike increases every year. For guests who like to eat northern pike, there are hordes of them in the 2- to 6-pound range.

A few of the lakes produce unbelievable smallmouth bass fishing. Smallmouth bass are common in the 1- to 3-pound range, but guests enjoy catching many in the 4- to 5-pound range and occasionally a 6-pounder. Guests have reported finding spots where they catch bass after bass all afternoon.

moose horn lodge smallmouth bass

I was so entertained by the walleye that I missed out on these “bass luck” lakes. Maybe next time.

And if you’re not yet sold on these amazing angling adventures, they also have cold spring-fed lakes with brook trout.

Most brook trout guests catch are in the 1/2- to 2-pound range, but guests often catch beautiful big brook trout in the 3- and 4-pound range. They also have a couple of streams in the area as well that produce high numbers of good eating pan fryers in the 8- to 16-inch range, with the occasional big square tails over 20 inches.

moose horn lodge brook trout fishing

Feeling lucky yet?

These second-generation lodge owners made us feel at home and welcomed us with open arms, as they do to all of their guests, hence the large number of return clientele since the 1950s. Control your fishing luck this year by booking a trip to Moose Horn Lodge, and who knows—maybe that only other boat you see on the lake you’re fishing just might be mine!

Book This Trip

Moose Horn Lodge
Doug & Roxann Lynn
Chapleau, Ontario, Canada

Toll Free: 1-877-864-5416
Ph: (705) 864-1875
Visit: www.moosehorn.net
Email: moosehornlodge@sympatico.ca

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