Thursday, August 31, 2017
The last two days at Plummer's Lodge were spent fly fishing on Great Bear Lake. The Tree River was behind us as was our fly out to the Sulky River! We hoped to catch a big laker to end off the trip. The guides had a plan but the monster we were hoping for did not materialize. The weather also seemed to be changing. The water temperature seemed a bit high although acceptable. The lake trout were not aggressive the last two days! No matter, being out on the water was delightful!
We were hoping to see the lake trout start to move into shallow areas in preparation for spawning. That never happened. It was not time yet. The guides said this was unusually late!
We caught several 15 pounders and I caught a bigger great grey while fly fishing around the Falcon Islands that was 20 pounds. That was a lot of fun!
Seeing peregrine falcons around the Falcon Islands was quite interesting. They are the fastest bird in the world.
The time honoured tradition of shore lunch was fantastic. Reid and his guides did a great job preparing succulent lake trout for lunch. Absolutely delicious!
The days seem to be going way too fast. That means we are having a great time!
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
There was a lot of excitement about the afternoon of lake trout fishing at supper and we found out that we were heading out first thing in the morning on our arctic grayling fly fishing adventure to the Sulky River. Time to change gears and get the lighter fly rods ready as well as small flies!
We woke up to rain but we still headed out to the Sulky River right after breakfast. The flight was short, perhaps 15 minutes. The Sulky River is a short stretch of current about 1 km long that drains one lake into Great Bear Lake! It is an absolutely stunning piece of water with a beautiful canyon and two waterfalls.
Once we arrived, the group of 6 fly fishers and three guides took a short hike and dropped gear at our lunch spot right at the falls. We geared up and we caught grayling almost at will. The grayling sizes were amazing. Many in the 17 to 19 inch category! Any dry fly got action. Rick caught 30 on his first 30 casts. That is right, 30 grayling on the first thirty casts.
Just as we started to fly fish, the weather cleared and we also were treated to a beautiful warm big blue sky day! The best fly fishing was at the top of the river where it dropped out of the upper lake.
As we got close to lunch, we started to keep 8 grayling for shore lunch. The shore lunch was delightful. Light flakey grayling cooked perfectly. After lunch we got right back to it! Karen and I fished the canyon. Again there were so many fish. It was nonstop action.
The weather started to change again. Thunder rolled and the dark clouds returned. John flew in to pick us up at 4 o'clock! Everybody took a few more casts and we slowly worked our way back to the single engine turbo otter for the short flight back to Plummer's Arctic Lodge. We had a spectacular day, several 100 grayling were caught. We found out that only 13 guests fished the Sulky River this year! That makes for outstanding opportunities.
We also found out that it rained heavily around camp with a lot of wind. We had an amazing day. This truly is a trip of a life time.
The video below is a great summary of the day. I spent a lot of my day taking pictures in this absolutely stunning stretch of river. Thanks Reid for taking us to the Sulky River!
Once we got back to Plummer's Arctic Lodge from Klugluktuk, we quickly unloaded knowing we had 4 hours of lake trout fly fishing before supper!
We all quickly changed gears after our smokey flight back to the lodge. Karen and I did see our first tundra grizzly bear sprinting across the tundra as well as many tundra swans as we headed back to Plummer's main camp on Great Bear Lake.
When we got to the dock, our guide, Lars, asked us what we wanted to do. We said that we wanted to catch a butterfly lake trout, a redfin and perhaps tangle with a larger great grey. Who knew it would all happen in the short space of 4 hours. We headed back to the Narkay Islands that are only 7 miles from the lodge!
Lars took us to a point that had butterfly lakers hanging out a few days earlier and Karen caught a beauty almost immediately We continued to catch some average sized lakers until we saw several lakers feeding on the surface off a point. We went over these fish and Karen hooked up with a 27 maybe 28 pound laker. It was quite a fight but Karen got it in. Lars was quite excited to see my 110 pound wife successfully land this larger great grey on a fly rod!
I got into several nice lakers and eventually Karen caught a redfin followed by another sizeable 23 pound great grey.
At the same time, Rick caught a monster great grey that topped out at over 25 pounds. We all had a lot to talk about once we got back to the dock!
I got into several nice lakers but nothing like the giants Karen tangled with.
This is how Karen fought a 22 pound great grey laker!
A Fly Fishing Trip of a Life Time to the Arctic- Heading Back to Plummer's Lodge by Way of Klugluktuk
Our final day at the Tree River was a short one! It was extremely smokey too because of the forest fires from the south. We had a few hours to fly fish before a new load of fly fishers arrived. Karen and I headed upstream along with our guide Alex. We tangled with a few arctic char before we had to hustle back to the kitchen shack, get out of our waders, eat lunch and head for the plane!
Hearty soup and sashimi was on the menu! Raw arctic char with soya sauce and wasabi was delicious.
We took off and headed down the arctic coast to the mouth of the Coppermine River in order to take on fuel at Klugluktuk. We took a brief stroll while the refuelling took place and then we headed back to the lodge for an afternoon of lake trout fly fishing!
Heading to Kluguktuk along the Arctic coast!
Karen touching the arctic ocean for the first time in her life!