Amisk Lake: No better place to beLaurie, who is on her fourth trip to Amisk Lake, Saskatchewan since I first brought her here in 1988, is in the bow of the boat and reciting a Chaucer poem from memory.
By: Bernie Kuntz, The Jamestown Sun
(Last of two parts)
Laurie, who is on her fourth trip to Amisk Lake, Saskatchewan since I first brought her here in 1988, is in the bow of the boat and reciting a Chaucer poem from memory.
“How on earth can you remember something as arcane as Chaucer?”
“Just like you are able to remember a stupid lure that you caught a fish on 40 years ago,” she replies.
I have to laugh at that. It occurs to me on my 41st trip to this lake, several of them two weeks in duration, that I have spent one year of my life on this wonderful lake. And I remember details that may seem abnormal. For example, I had just shown Laurie the limestone slab at the base of Castle Rock where I caught a 10-1/2 pound pike on a silver K-B spoon in 1967.
On every one of those trips, I stayed at T & D Amisk Cabins, one of only two camps on the lake. T & Ds was owned by Dean Tait and his father Ted when I first came here in 1967. Twenty years ago Bruce and Janet Joa bought the operation and continue to run it. I return to Amisk Lake every year, not just because of the excellent fishing, but also due to the thoughtful treatment Bruce and Janet provide. If you ever have spent time in a camp run by surly, uncaring operators, you know what I mean.
For example, when we arrived in camp, I found that the battery to the main boat engine was dead. Bruce took the time to pull a battery out of the forward part of my boat, hook it with jumper cables to the faulty battery, and I ran the boat very happily like that for two weeks. (The original battery still was dead at the end of the trip … obviously, I need to replace it.)
The sour weather continues (one morning it is 39 degrees!) but with fishing so good in Warehouse Bay, only a few miles from camp, that is where Laurie and I spend most of our time. We carefully motor through the channel leading to the bay, avoiding shoals on either side, point the bow toward Old Hudson Bay Point, cut the motor a short distance away, and I fire up the 9.9 Mercury trolling motor. We drift and cast in the shallows behind the point, and I quickly catch a pair of five-pound pike on a nickel/copper Dardevle Imp. We switch to floating Rapalas — chartreuse for me, perch pattern for Laurie — and in a couple hours of slow trolling catch six walleyes, three that we keep.
Grey skies still hold on our last day when we return to Warehouse Bay, again trolling Rapalas. I have my yellow Husky Jerk on the line, and Laurie uses the gold floater. We catch seven walleyes in two hours, release four, and give three to Dean Tait and his wife Bonnie, who are planning a family fish fry with their adult children.
The mosquitoes are thriving due to all the rain. Bruce loads the boat for me and helps hook up my trailer. Laurie and I wrestle the tarp into place, bungee down the whole thing, strap down the boat and put a couple bungees around the outboards so they don’t bounce during the drive home.
We depart early the next morning, taking the Manitoba route home for a change of scenery. This is Laurie’s first time in Manitoba. As is my habit, I also like to buy a year’s supply of the incomparable bacon sold at Berscheid’s Meats in The Pas, Manitoba.
The road trip is much longer than I like, and very tiring. Still, I can find no better place to be in June than the lakes and rivers of the boreal forests in Canada.
Bernie Kuntz, a Jamestown native, has been an Outdoors columnist for the The Sun since 1974