June 21-28, 2014 report by Jack Yant

Here is our report from our trip to Taltson June 21-28 1914.
Six of us made the trip. Jack Yant , Rick Miller, Larry Musser, Larry Dietrich, David Mann and Mark Phillips  and  ages ranged from 56 -66.  Four of us had fished Canada before including Neultin, Ganglers, Big Sand Lake,  and many lakes in Ontario and Manitoba. All of us are from Florida and are experienced fishermen.
We worked mostly with John Mich and he was excellent and informative. We flew on United and they are a disaster . John was able to help when our flight to Calgary was cancelled for "routine maintenance" and changed our float plane time so we could fly in on Saturday morning and still make our flight to the lodge. We were supposed to arrive Friday night but as we found out that can be problematic so if you have the time you might consider arriving late Thursday. TRUST JOHN!
We stayed in the Yellowknife Inn which was decent but they were having problems with their AC and it was hot even for us Floridians. They were happy to move us to other cooler rooms. The staff was excellent and accommodating and did not charge us for our rooms we had booked for Friday night when we explained that United had stranded us in Calgary. Their shuttle will pick you up from  and and take you  back to  the airport but will not take you to the float plane base. Plan on the desk clerk calling you a cab . It is a 10/15 minute ride. We ate at the Cellar  and Boston Pizza both of which were pretty good and are a short walk from the hotel. 
Pick up your fishing license in Yellowknife before you fly out. There is a small 7/11 type store a short walk from the hotel. 
The float plane ride is about 35-45 minutes and the pilots and planes were excellent.
Yellowknife was nicer than we expected but there is not much to do .
Weather at the camp was mostly great. One half day with a little rain and really pleasant , cool evenings most nights . Never cold although I 'm sure it could be. Bring a pair of shorts. A couple of days were pretty warm .
We were greeted at the resort by the owner (Don  ) and his staff , all good people  . His daughter was cooking that week and she did a nice job especially considering we were in the middle of nowhere. Hope your enjoying the cd's Chantal.  We had steak , pork chops, turkey, short ribs etc. for dinner , fried walleye every day for lunch as we preferred and typical breakfast food in the am. They had juices, soft drinks, beer  and bottled water as well. Bring your own snacks and booze.
The resort is not new but was comfortable. The beds were good.  The bugs were brutal initially but we quickly got a handle on the mosquitoes  which were wussies compared to the  Florida  Everglades. Don had nets for the beds and coils for the rooms. Combined with some deet they were not a problem. The black flies and horse flies  were another matter. Relentless and viscous they would fly under your pant legs and above your socks and bite the hell out of you. After the first day I began duct taping my pant legs to my shoes. Just another use for duct tape. Only had one more bite and that was on the flight  out from the same damn bug   who had stolen my wallet and run up a big bill on my Mastercard. Apparently that wasn't enough misery for  him so he decided to bite me through a shirt and remove  a piece of my arm as long as a bed sheet.  Speaking of bed sheets I just took a fitted bottom sheet, top sheet and pillow case and used one of their sleeping bags . Worked well and saved space in my duffle bag. 
They have a cd player in the main lodge, and a plug to charge your cameras. No wifi or cell phone reception which we all enjoyed.
There is a deck out side where you can have a drink and smoke a cigar . Great view . Spent every night out there . . We used our own portable radio for our music outside.
In a word ... Fantastic! We all had our trophy fish by the end of the first day.
The lake was down a couple of feet which limited some of the area they normally fish. It is a different  situation anyway then what we usually have faced on Canadian lakes in that there are no long boat rides ( except for the lake trout fishing which proved to be excellent and a trip up river to the rapids). The rapids are  beautiful and I caught a 45 and 43 there ( on a Snook Deceiver ) and my buddies caught some nice fish there as well.If you have read some of the other blogs you have heard of Becks  and Toubin River. Both were a short ride . Tubin River is maybe 25 minutes and Becks 15 minutes.  Both were great areas. We had all three boats in Tubin river one day  and estimate each boat caught over 200 fish. Most were    on top water baits like Zoro Spooks , 6" wood choppers , and basically anything that floated. Orange and gold were productive but just about any color worked. Top water spinner baits were very effective there as well. 
We caught around 75- 90 pike 40 inches or longer and many many 33-40 inch fish during the week. There is not a lot of small pike in this lake since they appear to be food  for  the gigantic pike that are all over the place.   Our biggest was 47 inches caught on a unpainted 1/4 oz jig head and a 4 inch twin tailed yellow Mr Twister  grub.  We had several 45/44 inch  fish as well and too many to count of 40, 41, 42, 43 inch fish.  After a while we quit measuring the fish and it took a really exceptional fish to take a picture. 
Walleyes were plentiful and the average size was exceptional. There were a couple of holes that were reliable and we   at times it was every cast . I caught walleyes on nine straight cast once , missed another bite and then caught 5 more in a row. 

The guides were basically boat runners and fish removers which was great. Nice guys all, and game for anything. If you are a veteran don't feel uncomfortable sort of controlling where you want to go and how you want to fish.  After a day or so you should feel pretty comfortable going out on your own if you are experienced running an out board and removing your own fish. After dinner fishing was  very productive.   In general the lake had  very few underwater rocks to worry about , the water was  mostly under 6 feet deep . The  we were there the weeds were not above the water line. When we could locate cabbage we usually caught fish.  .  If you are going to fish after dinner without the guides    make sure you have  long noised needle nosed pliers and jaw spreaders. They had cradles but I saw no nets.  You might also Google the correct way to hand land a monster pike and also read up on how to remove a hook for someone like I had to do.  It is actually pretty simple(pushing the hook all the way through and cutting off the hook is NOT the best way to do it since you need a bolt cutter to cut some treble hooks.)  The correct method involves using some heavy  mono to grab the bend in the hook and pulling up and out  while   pushing the eye of the hook down .Check it out and it may save you some serious PAIN. Pinch all barbs down and use single hooks whenever possible. Barbless hooks is a mandatory regulation as well.
Fishing in Florida we are used to free lining small baits on light weight tackle and that is the approach we took at Taltson. We fished with  20 lb braid on a small light weight spinning reels . Some guys went as high as 40 lb braid.  None of us used any spinning or bait  casting  rods or reels that they would not use for bass.  We all used leaders (9/12 inch 45 # leaders) . No reason to use flurocarbon leaders as these fish were not leader shy. You might want to add a  couple of feet of 40 /50 # fluro before the leader if you are going to release your own fish as it made handling the fish easier.
 Will hit anything but most were caught on 1/4 inch jig heads and 3/4 inch Mister Twister jig bodies in white and yellow. I used a 6 ft ultra light rod with an ultra light reel but  you may prefer to go heavier such as med lite or even a medium set up. You are going to catch some very large pike on this set up  as there were minimal obstructions to cause break offs. Later in the summer you likely will have to go heavier because of the increased weed growth. Most of  the fish at Taltson fought better than  the same species caught at other Canadian lakes. 
  Most were caught on 1/2 oz Johnson Minnows in silver or gold. We usually tipped the spoon with a 3/4 in twin tailed white Mr Twister  plastic grub (ribbon type) and super glued them to the lure. ). Many other fish caught on spinner baits ( trailer hooks worked well ) in every color imaginable. Also did well on shallow diving lures ( see the Snook Deceiver  or Rapala's  in the 6/7 inch size. Red/white was especially effective. The lures ran about 2/3 feet deep.  We caught a few fish on in line spinners like Musky Mepps and cowbells as well. A VERY effective bait was a Storm  swim bait lightly weighted in 3/4/5 inch sizes. Cast them a mile and the fish loved them. Shad was a great color. .
Don offers a trout trip for extra money that ended up being very successful . Large rattle traps and a large silver spoon with a red foil strip applied to the middle worked well. It was also really pretty over there 
Saw one bear.  Many Eagles .No moose. The horse flies killed them all.

I actually think there will be many times at this lake, when the water level and weather are ideal, that  the fishing will be so good as  to make our week very ordinary.   That said,  this was by far the best fishing any of us have experienced in Canada. Believe the blogs. When we got there we were told one of the kids who was there the week before us caught a 45 inch off the dock. We went,  SURE. While we were waiting for our float plane on the last morning  , you guessed it, a huge pike was caught from the dock!

Great trip with excellent fishing. Friendly people  . Beautiful scenery. Would do it again in a second.

Jack Yant