Wednesday, August 19
Andi and I started the first full day of our Canadian fly-out fishing trip around 6:30am, after sleeping like rocks the night before. We might've spent the night cozied up in our respective sleeping bags, but it didn't seem to affect our level of comfort too much. The simple pleasure of waking up on my own time (and not Aden's -- Mr. Wake-Up-Before-The-Sun) was enough to get me excited.
Andi hopped out of bed while I lingered in my sleeping bag for a bit longer. Seriously, what a treat to wake up slowly. In the kitchen, I could hear Andi greet Joe and Lisa 'good morning' and set to work preparing breakfast for everyone. My husband thrives in smorgasbord cooking environments. Give him a few random ingredients and he'll cook you a feast. I'm all like, where's the recipe? And for that matter, where's my laptop to look up said recipe on the Internet?!
With red potatoes, onions, eggs and bacon, Andi made a fulfilling breakfast for everyone. He even made fresh coffee using a percolator on the stove-top (no electricity for a regular coffee pot, remember?). KaBeeLo Lodge supplied us with Canadian ground coffee, but Andi and I brought along Starbucks because we're coffee snobs like that. I can make a lot of scarifies, but not where my morning coffee is concerned.
The weather was terrible on Wednesday. Temperatures were in the high 50's that morning, and it was windy and rainy. But - we came to Lake Jeanette to fish, so that's exactly what we were going to do. Joe, Lisa, Andi and I pulled on our rain gear (which Joe said he's never used in all his years coming to this lake) and every other piece of clothing we brought along with us. T-shirts layered with sweatshirts, vests, jackets, wool socks, rubber boots, stocking hats and gloves. It's a good thing we had no one to impress on the lake because this was not my best look! Prior to the trip, I wondered how I'd survive without my hair dryer and straightening iron. Now, I quickly realized this trip wasn't about being fashionable.
Andi and I hopped into our fishing boat and Joe and Lisa hopped into theirs. We bid farewell to one another and agreed to meet back at the cabin around Noon-time for lunch. Andi decided we'd check out the west side of the lake, so we navigated our way over there. He asked me to keep my eyes open for sleeper rocks hiding just below the water's surface, and I wondered how I'd be able to. I couldn't see anything with rain pelting me in the eyes and with the hood of my jacket pulled tightly over my head. I pulled on my sunglasses for rain protection, and that seemed to help. Though, there was no need to block the nonexistent sun underneath the blanket of cloudy gray sky.
Having had a refresher course on fishing techniques the evening prior, I was ready to roll. Andi and I found a spot near a rock point and jigged for walleyes, drifting along in the wind. It felt like a scene from Deadliest Catch! Rain beat down on our faces and wind whipped around us creating white caps on the lake. Big waves splashed alongside the boat rocking us every which way. We were catching fish though, and still having fun despite the rain. Andi and I reeled in walleyes one after another. Fish would bite the minute our lines hit the water.
After a few hours, my fingers were so cold I started to lose feeling in them. I could barely clasp a minnow in my wet, slippery hand to bait it on my fishing hook. The rain subsided enough to pull out the camera so Andi wanted to snap my picture with a 20 inch walleye I caught. We couldn't stop laughing when he tried to hand it to me and my hands wouldn't cooperate to hold it!
Around 11:45am, Andi and I decided we'd had enough of the weather for the morning. We took one more beating from the wind as we trekked all the way back across the lake. Joe and Lisa were back at the cabin and Andi started a fire in the wood-burning stove. The guys cleaned the fish we'd just caught, then Joe battered and fried them for lunch. Lisa and I scoured the cupboards for food to pair with the fish, and settled on a box of Rice-A-Roni. Understandably so, there aren't many perishable food items like fruits and vegetables stocked in the cabin. Our meal options consisted of meat, potatoes or canned green beans and corn.
Sick of the wet and cold, the four of us decided to lounge around after lunch. Andi stoked the fire and we all settled in for nap time. I can't remember the last time I took a nap and didn't think it'd be possible to fall asleep, but 10 minutes into reading my book I was fast asleep. Andi and I were out cold for about an hour and a half. We woke up around 4:00pm, ready to hit the water again.
This time, Andi and I decided to find a break from the wind. We'd had enough of that business earlier in the morning, thank you very much. Much of the rain had stopped by this time of the evening, leaving party cloudy skies and a mist in the air. We settled into a spot on the lake shielded by an island of trees and jigged for walleyes at first. Andi was on fire reeling up fish after fish.
After a while, Andi decided to switch things up a bit and troll for Northern Pike. Jigging for walleyes required constant movement and concentration whereas trolling for Northerns allowed us to kick back and sight-see along the lake shore. Andi switched us to more heavy-duty rods, then we positioned them in rod holders on each side of the boat. We putzed along for a bit without much action, then suddenly the sun peeked through the clouds and the fish started biting. I immediately liked fishing for Northerns because they were exciting to catch. The fish hit hard causing the rod to nearly bend in two. It felt like snagging a shark! Just when I'd kick back in my seat and think, "I could really go for a cold beer..." Andi would scream, "Fish! Fish! Fish!" and I'd scramble to unlock my fishing rod from the holder. I had an obnoxious-looking silver spoon lure on my line that the fish were going crazy for. At one point, Andi looked back and saw a Northern Pike jump up with his head out of the water as it took a bite of my hook.
Now that the rain stopped and the sun started to peek through the clouds, Andi and I were blessed with the most beautiful sunset view. The sky warmed to a wonderful shade of orange on one side of our boat and a full rainbow appeared on the other.
It was the perfect ending to an action-packed day on the lake.
After sunset, Andi and I cruised back to the cabin where we met up with Joe and Lisa. Joe pan-fried steaks for dinner and Lisa made wild rice and green beans to accompany them. Andi cleaned the walleyes we'd caught earlier in the evening and made walleye cakes (crab cakes' tasty relative). I pulled my weight as part of the clean-up crew. The four of us sat around the table and talked until 11:00pm or so, before calling it a night.
With a lay of the land (or more like the lake), Andi and I discovered a super secret fishing spot on Day 3 ... more to come.