The first evening at Plummer's Lodge our group was informed by Chuck, the head guide, that we would be off to the Tree River at 8 am the next morning! We would get two nights along with 2 partial and one full day of fly fishing in!
Right after an amazing steak supper, we headed back to our cabins to pack. Our waders, a change of clothes and our char gear was organized. We loaded up the next morning right after breakfast and flew almost 1 hour and 45 minutes to the Tree River in Nunavut on the arctic coast. We were heading to the river that holds the world record char that topped 32 pounds!
I had dreamed of this moment for many years, Karen too! Little did we know that the flight in was going to be spectacular! I was surprise to see how rugged the landscape actually was!
As we headed off to the Tree River I was able to sit beside the pilot. John was an awesome pilot. Once we got out of a foggy patch, we flew close to the ground so we could be up close with the tundra. Slowly the sparse patches of trees disappeared and I really felt like I was in the arctic! We flew down the Coppermine River and just before we reached the Tree River, I saw a large herd of muskox. John circled around so we could get a good view of the large heard! I got some video of the heard!
The Gang taking in the sights!
As we approached the Tree River, John took us on a tour up to the third falls. We had a great view of the water we were going to fly fish! Take a look!
The Tree River
Lining up to land on the Tree River
Reid, Lars and Alex motored us up the Tree River to the camp where we were greeted by the camp manager and staff!
Lunch was waiting for us so we could get out on the river right away! We threw our gear into our cabin that was quite sparse with a canvas roof! It had all we needed for the next two nights!
Leon and I got our spey rods out. Alex had us swinging flies on river right! We did not hook anything in the Trophy Pool. As we headed up the Tree, Alex saw a big char sitting behind a rock. It was a big red male. After about 10 casts. I hooked up and game on! This char was in the mid twenties. The giant quickly moved out into the grade 4 water and then things got real interesting. We headed downstream and amazingly the big red was still on. Clamouring our rugged terrain made the tussle quite challenging. I got this monster finally to the side of the river where we lost it at the net. I was disappointed but I knew we would have lots of chances. I realized that landing monster char in such a wild place was going to be a challenge!
Leon and I worked our way right up to the Presidential Pool. George Bush Senior had fished this pool many times and hence its name. Leon was up and he swung his intruder like fly down the current. He got a bump on the first cast and a solid hook up right after. It was a big arctic char, a giant male. I got out my camera and captured the moment! Take a look:
Wow is all I can say. What a beautiful char! We were all excited!
We got back to camp just in time for supper. Karen caught a lake trout in her afternoon out but no char. We went out fly fishing in the evening, no char yet.
That was about to change big time on day 2.