In 1971, the first members of the Murphy/Glatt/Murray (MGM) clan spent four-days on the Pickerel River. This river was selected because their father/grandfather was a logger on the Pickerel in the early 20th century. Subsequent years have mainly been spent on the French River and the West Arm of Lake Nipissing, with a few exceptions, and the trip is now five-days long.
In 2020, the group of fishing characters will include G and Uncle Carl (two of the original founders); Mr. Mike and Chef Mikey; Bugs; Willy (aka Yank); Brentski and his boys Charlie (New Guy), Little Luke and BBall Ben from Wolfe Island; VR Sean and just plain Sean; Liam the Swimmer; Ry (GitrDone13); Ryan (Al Dente); Fast Phil; Joel The Driller and hopefully several new additions including Troy the Terror; Pickering Ray and Colie the Goalie.
Unfortunately, two of the original members, Ed (Panfry) and Barry (Moose and Mr. Marvelous) are no longer with us as they would revel in the festivities.
As in every other year, the trip starts with a breakfast gathering at the Northway Truckstop in Guthrie, just north of Barrie. Everyone is greeted with the secret MGM handshake, which amuses and mystifies the other patrons in the restaurant. It’s quite a challenge for Mary and her staff to serve 20 people at once but they pull it off seamlessly, even when everyone orders an extra side order of sausage or bacon. Calorie counting is not a recommended practice on these trips!
Then it’s off to Lake Nipissing, via Highways 69 and 64, through Noelville and Monetville, both small French communities whose local populations are also a bit confounded by this influx of English strangers into their towns.
Arriving at Shuswap Camp, on the West Arm of Nipissing, the group are greeted by Heinz and Gerda who have been their hosts for almost 25-years and never fail to have their cabins and boats ready. They take in their “luggage” (green garbage bags filled with their oldest and most ugly stuff), and five-days’ worth of food, since all meals are cooked by the group. They also spend an hour or more getting their fishing gear ready. You would think that relining reels, etc. could be done at home but that would be too logical. Then they venture out for some late afternoon and early evening fishing.
It should be noted that the group are not expert fishermen. They have little knowledge of fancy riggings or exotic techniques. They only troll and they expect to catch their share of walleye and pike, coupled with the odd accidental smallmouth or muskie that are out of season. Catch and release is always practiced. Fishing aside, it’s really the “Group of Seven” scenery, the family camaraderie and the good-natured ribbing that makes these trips memorable.
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ONTARIO FISHING ADVENTURES
Last winter we did a special feature profiling several fantastic fishing resorts in various regions of Ontario. The article was so well received that we decided to do it again, with a new group of lodges. All of this year’s destinations provide top notch fishing for multiple species, they’re relatively unpressured and they are easily accessible by car. From high-end, full service resorts to more laid-back fishing camps, each of these locations offer a unique fishing experience. If you’re thinking about where to go for your next fishing getaway the following pages feature Bob Izumi's profiles of some the trips he made last year. Hopefully they will give you some ideas on where to look for a fishing trip that is sure to meet all of your expectations.
FISHING ALGOMA COUNTRY
Wil Wegman is an award-winning outdoor writer, seminar host and tournament angler from Bradford Ontario. In 2017 Wil was recognized for his dedication to the sport by being inducted into the Canadian Angler Hall of Fame. www.wilwegman.com
Tales from the Road
As you may know I like driving, so jumping in a vehicle and doing a road trip is appealing to me. For years I would routinely do 100,000 km per year or more on the road. So this Tales starts with me heading out again, back to Brennan Harbour Resort in Spanish, Ontario. Located in Algoma Country, this friendly resort is operated by James and Casey, who are a wonderful couple.
CHAIN PICKEREL ON STRIKE
I’ve never stalked a whitetail deer, but I imagine doing so is a bit like fishing for large chain pickerel. Success is found by locating those prime areas where the big ones live, and by working those areas thoroughly and patiently with exact techniques.
Elk Tartare with Horseradish Crema
Tales From The Road
Since my last Tales article I’ve been averaging at least six days a week, sometimes seven, on the road. Road trips are, and have always been, a big part of my life. There’s just something about being on the go that I love. In fact, as I wrap up this column I’ll be hitting the road again and I can’t wait, even though I just got back a day ago. I think it’s ingrained in me so much that I don’t mind living out of a suitcase. I know it’s not for everybody, but I like it.
The MGM Fishing Trip
On the first Saturday of June 2020, a group of 20 extended family members will celebrate an amazing milestone. They will be participating in the 50th consecutive year of a family fishing trip begun by four founding members way back in 1971.
Every now and again we anglers are lucky enough to find lakes, ponds or creeks that feel so isolated from civilization that believing they are a reality is sometimes more difficult than finding them in the first place. Stumbling across, or being introduced to, a body of water with such enormous potential for catching fish is what any fishing enthusiast dreams of. Fortunately for myself, I have lucked out three times in one shot.
The black crappie is a member of the sunfish family and features the same deep, laterally compressed body shape as other sunfishes.
Fly Tricks For Fall Trout
In the fall, fly fishing changes. Not only does the weather cool, the bug activity often quiets down as well. Different techniques are needed to adapt to the rivers where fish are often looking for different food. Searching techniques and paying attention to details can improve your success.