REPORT FOR WEEK 8/27 - 9/3/11 By Dale Shinavar
This year our group of 6 was low on experience but high on enthusiasm. It included one 2nd timer and two newbies to pike fishing. Before going to Taltson these three had caught one 34" pike between them! Many Taltson veterans have had to graduate from entry level pike pursuit to the next level - Northern Wisconsin/Minnesota, then Ontario, then Manitoba or Saskatchewan before ever arriving at Great Slave. Of course now these guys are now totally ruined and will likely turn down offers to head north on a one day drive to southern Ontario for some 30 inchers and a chance at a 38 incher. It is pretty funny to see one of these new guys catch a 38 incher within the first 15 minutes on Day One fishing and rush to take a photo. By the end of the trip that same guy is trying to avoid a mid-thirties fish attacking his Grinder at boat side!
This was by far the wettest and coolest week we have had. We got blown off the lake for two days (went upriver) and put away the sunglasses for almost the entire week. Of course the pike loved this and were cooperative all week. We caught 74 trophies spread though the expected locations - the weed beds, lake side of the islands, rock points, and the river channel. Our biggest fish were caught early in the trip (49", 47", 46”) night trolling a Bull Dawg "Pounder" in the river channel. There may have more caught this way but we only had a couple of these monstrosities and they were destroyed by day two.
A major trip highlight was a most unusual wildlife sighting. While fishing just north of Beck's our guide saw a couple of "moose" on the distant lake shore bluff. As we motored a little closer it became clear that these were not moose. Legs were too short and not tall enough, but too big to be bears. There in front of us (and not fleeing) was a group of 8 musk ox. Musk ox have never been sighted this far south of their normal Arctic tundra range, but here they were. We got some photos and they are posted here.
Another oddity was a trophy “ no spots” pike. There is a photo posted on this one. It did not have the silver/blue color of the blue pike, but more of a bronze/gray color of a musky.
Compliments to our cooks (Tracy & Katya) for excellent food. And thanks to our 3 guides. A basic requirement of Taltson guiding (because there are so many big fish caught), is that fisherman are not landing the fish. Especially inexperienced pike anglers. By the end the week there were only minor finger injuries... no super glue or duct tape needed this time around. No serious hook extractions either. All in all another great Taltson experience.