Return of the Canada Gang
by Mark Walters
The magic moment is when after weeks of planning, purchasing, packing, and then the trip to Red Lake, Ontario we are dropped off on Shultz Lake via my good friend Pete Hagedorn’s Turbo Otter.
In other words, when the turbo otters floats were off the water and heading back to Red Lake with its load of happy fishermen from Platteville. It was our turn to have Shultz Lake and it’s seven connected bodies of water entirely to ourselves, to put a little icing on this very perfect piece of cake, for the next seven days we had the place entirely to ourselves.
Saturday, June 14th
High 59, low 41
This huge part of my life began back in 1981 when my dad “the late Robert Walters” wrote a letter to Pete and Elizabeth Hagedorn, who are the owners and creators of Chimo Lodge and Outposts.
The following spring “82” dad, a family friend Elmer Shlief, my brother Mike and myself made our first trip to Shultz and have been returning ever since.
This year my brother, Tom, made the trip up from Denham Springs, Louisiana. Tommy’s good buddy and our family friend, Roger “totally nuts” Frank, and my no good brother-in-law Dick Schuster and his 22 and 25 year old sons Trent and Riley, as well as, my 20-year-old stepson, Joey Dushek and my 13-year-old daughter Selina who would be on her 12th Canadian fly in, rounded out our extremely fun gang.
On day one we draw cards with an ace through the number of people in the gang being in the draw. The low card cooks and does dishes that day, and then is done for the week. I traded with Trent’s ace and cooked today and would be done for the week when I did my dishes the next morning (supper is between 1 and 2).
Today I would be fishing with Selina who in reality is becoming one of my best friends.
As soon as the turbo otter was off towards Red Lake rain began that was accompanied by strong winds and dropping temps. This gang has no cares as we have rain gear, knee boots, a great attitude, and we keep the woodstove burning.
About all I can say about the fishing is that they were hungry. No monsters but almost non-stop northern pike and walleye action.
I put on a fish fry that was served at 1 the next day; we drank a belly full of beer, played dung on your neighbor, “a card game” and laughed a lot.
Sunday, June 15th
High 51, low 37
Gale force winds, and solid rain made for difficult conditions today. We were lazy but still fished and Roger took the lead for the week in our big gator contest with a 35-incher with a northern pike, that he caught and released off from the plane pier.
The Shuster Gang found a honey hole and caught a ton of walleye, and Trent went into the lead for the week in that category with a 22-incher and also saw a cow moose on a lake.
My Father’s Day was spent in a boat, in Canada with my daughter and Joey, how the heck can you beat that?
Monday, June 16th
High 55, low 42
Today I fished with Dick. Trent, Riley and Joey portaged to a lake that has a boat on it and Tom, Roger and Selina discovered an entrance to a secret lake (it has always been there). Selina just about had a loon grab her Red Eye that she was casting “it tried hard”.
Tommy caught a 36-inch gator that is now beating Roger, and Joey took a commanding lead in the walleye contest with a 30.25-inch pig that had a head bigger then the mayor of Toronto.
Dick and I caught a ton of fish and while Dick went on a hike checking out a boat on another lake, I threw some casts while fishing alone and waiting for him. I caught a snakey northern pike that lucked out and put one of the hooks from my Red Eye all the way through my finger. The worst part of the deal was I still had the fish on the other hook. Good thing that Doctor Shuster came along, cuz it was not a pretty site. I manned up, we used a pliers to cut the hook and then poked it through the rest of the way.
Been here about 33 years! Hoping for another 33! Sunset
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