Four-Day Trip: June 15 -19, 2018 — Saskatchewan, Canada
For more information call Tim Holschlag at 612-781-3912 or use our Contact Form.
What are the Waters Like?
Wollaston Lake is a huge, several-hundred-thousand-acre wilderness lake surrounded by spruce forests. Minor Bay itself is 80,000 acres. But Minor Bay is full of smaller bays, points and islands with shallow water. Many of these mini-bays have boggy shorelines with deep undercut banks where pike lurk, ready to streak out when a fly lands close to the bank. Leading to explosive strikes and heart stopping action.
Is All of the Fishing Done by Boat?
Yes, you will be fishing out of large 18 or 20 foot boats with 50 horsepower motors and large casting decks. These are both stable and spacious, allowing you to comfortably stand and cast and are fast moving craft when you need to move to another fishing spot. In the evening, if you like, you can use one of the lodge’s kayaks to fish in the lodge bay.
What About the Guides?
Wollaston Lake guides are all veteran Canadian outdoorsmen who are very knowledgeable about the many locations you will fish over your four day trip. Additionally, they are highly experienced with pike, they know where the species lives, what they like to strike, how to land even the largest specimens, how to safely unhook them and how to get a good photo before releasing the fish.
How is This Trip for a Solo Traveler?
Actually, this trip is great for someone coming on their own, without bringing a fishing buddy. For a small extra fee you can have your own cabin and fish by yourself with a guide. Or Tim Holschlag, the trip host, will match you up with others in a cabin and you can share a boat with another guest.
Plus, our group of 6 guests will have meals and evening seminars together and we can share what flies or lures or techniques are working the best, so we’re all part of a friendly helpful group, rather than just being with whoever you came with.
Because of all this, many solo travelers have come on other Canadian trips hosted by Tim and had a great experience. And many of them have developed long-lasting friendships with guys they got to know on one of our trips.
Because most American fly fishers have never caught big pike, the species is often overlooked by them. But for Mr Smallmouth, Tim Holschlag, they have long been his second favorite species. Once they attain 26 inches or more they become superb sport fish with lightening fast runs and great stamina. And Wollaston pike are truly in a class by themselves. Rich forage means they are both of great length and of tremendous girth. Bone jawing strikes, finger burning runs and a never give up attitude makes Wollaston pike some of the best gamefish in freshwater. Anyone who doesn’t love pike has never hooked up with a Wollaston three footer.
What Casting Skills are Required?
Being able to throw a 60 foot line can be helpful at times. However, much shorter casts are often fine and will catch lots of big pike. The guide often eases the boat quite close to undercut banks and then just a short cast to the shoreline will produce a powerful strike. One thing that really helps in successful lake fly fishing is having a good outfit. This doesn’t have to be expensive, just a good quality fast action 9 weight rod will do fine provided you load it properly with a heavy taper 10-wt line. Tim loves a 9-wt TFO Mangrove rod loaded with Scientific Angler’s Titan Taper 10 wt. line for pike fishing. A very reasonably priced rig, but hard to beat. This will make day long casting much less tiring than if you used a lighter line.
What are the Cabins and Lodge Like?
Even though Minor Bay Lodge is in the Far North, the lodge is an oasis of comfort and hospitality. You won’t be “roughing it” during your time at this camp. Really great meals, excellent service, fine well-maintained cabins and Internet Service, television and a well-stocked bar is part of the trip. There’s even a small store for things you might have forgotten like extra lures, flies, leaders sunscreen or clothing items.
What about Meals?
Hearty and nutritious breakfasts and dinners are served in the lodge by a friendly and competent kitchen staff. Bag lunches are prepared daily to take out fishing, and you choose which sandwiches and beverages you prefer each day. Or if someday you want to take the time to have a fresh fish shore lunch, your guide will keep a small pike or two and will clean and prepare the fish along with the other “fixins” that go with a Canadian Shore Lunch. And for those who don’t want to take the time a noon shore lunch requires, one of the evening meals during your trip will be a fresh fish dinner with all the fixins a deluxe shore lunch includes.
What Flies Should We Use?
When the surface is flat and it is shallow, large noisy topwaters can bring some fish up. But a variety of bright longer profiled streamer patterns will more consistently tempt the pike. And Tim has developed a line of excellent pike flies that are both very durable and quite lightweight, so are easy to cast. With names like the Sizzler, the Glider and Tim’s Pike Pleaser, they are reliable day in and day out. Many other flies marketed as pike and muskie flies can catch the fish, but they often have the negative feature of being too heavy to comfortably cast all day. And if you like, you can obtain some or all your flies directly from Tim for a very reasonable price while at the lodge.
Is a Canadian Lake Trip Right for Me?
No, if you only like wade fishing or casting little flies with an ultra-light rod, then this trip definitely isn’t for you. But yes, it is, if you enjoy using a heavier outfit and throwing larger flies for huge fish. Then this trip may be the angling experience of a lifetime. You’re in an uncrowded, beautiful wilderness setting where fish are big, eager and powerful. You’ll get a good nights sleep, enjoy fine meals and have the comraderie of friendly folks. It may not be angling heaven, but its darn close.
Why this Specific Trip?
Certainly, there are numerous other lodges in Northern Canada. But fishing is seldom as good as on Wollaston Lake. And our trips are one of the very few hosted by a professional angling instructor who has decades of lake fly fishing experience. At other lodges, fly fishers are more or less on their own, but on these trips you receive as much assistance as you desire, both before and during the trip. And because these are group trips you will be with other friendly and helpful fly fishers, rather than a lodge full of only bait-chuckers.