In search of beauty and seclusion
Clint Barton, president of the San Gabriel Flyfishers in Georgetown, and his friend Keith Lovin traveled for five days last summer to Miminiska Lodge, north of Lake Superior in Ontario, Canada, in search of big brook trout. Keith decided that he wanted to fish for big brook trout and researched places to go. He settled on Miminiska, attracted to its remoteness.
A pilot ferried the Georgetown fishermen and their guide to a lake and landed the plane on the water, There, the adventuring fishermen removed two canoes that were secured on either side of the plane and paddled the rest of the way. The guide led them to a quiet inlet, where they dragged their canoes onto the bank and waded through the cold water to a fly fishing paradise so inaccessible that fewer than thirty people a year fish there. “[In the United States] native brook trout are typically pretty small. There, they can exceed well over 20 inches,” Clint says. “One of the things you like as a fisherman is catching trophy-sized fish. In the fishing world, trout are one of the main game fish.”
Clint and Keith also fished for northern pike, aggressive fish with teeth so sharp that fishermen have to use steel leaders, as the pike can bite through regular lines. Out of respect for nature, the friends released everything they caught.
For Clint, trips like this are not all about the fish. They’re also about the scenery and the pursuit of secluded areas far from the hustle of everyday life. “It was a rare and special feeling to know that there was no civilization for miles and miles,” he says. “There was no noise, no traffic, no planes, no cell towers, no electric lines; in their place were eagles, moose, bears, wolves, otters, and abundant beauty. So catching fish is really a bonus. It’s as much about the experience and the camaraderie as anything else.”
Clint returned home with photos of his biggest catch, an eighteen-inch trout, and of his companion’s catches, one as long as 23 inches, but he also carries with him the memories of that majestic, remote setting where “it’s all about you and solitude and nature.”
For more information on San Gabriel Flyfishers, go to www.sgflyfishers.com.