We are just back from a joint venture with our Project Healing Waters counterpart from Canada, fishing the wonderful waters of Lake Miminska in Northern Ontario. Our adventure started on the morning of July 19 travelling to Thunder Bay. Upon our arrival at the Thunder Bay airport we met up with the Canadian trip leader and participants and proceed to the Prince Arthur Hotel for an overnight stay. Our flights did not arrive at the same time. John Yovanno and myself met in Toronto and flew to Thunder Bay together while Tom Tierney arrived just as we sat down for dinner. It wasn’t until much later when Bruce Chandler arrived. After spending the night at the Prince Arthur Hotel all of us were shuttled to private airport where we took an hour and a half flight to Lake Mininska in a small Cessna.
It took two trips to get everyone to the Lodge along with the weeks’ worth of supplies. Needless to say, our first day at the lodge was devoted to settling in, getting a tour of the facility, an orientation, some fly tying and some early evening fishing.
The days started early with hearty breakfasts and we were usually on the water before 8am. Being so far north and close to the central time zone, the sun sets late. Dark settles in around 10:45pm. It still did not deter some of us from getting a good night’s sleep.
On the first morning after an outstanding breakfast, we had a small flag raising ceremony to underline the camaraderie and friendship of being brother’s in arms. The American and Canadian flew the entire time during our stay. Ed Veaudry, the trip leader presented the lodge with the America Flag after the trip was over in hopes it would be flown as a symbol of unity between our two countries and any time an American group was on site.
From that morning on, we visited and fish various parts of Miminiska Lake and tributaries. Each and every one caught their fair share of walleye and northern pike. The largest walleye was caught by our Canadian comrade Marina with a whopping 261/2 inches and granted her the walleye master angler pin. As for the largest northern pike caught was a nice, 371/2 inches caught John Yovanno.
Our lunches were shore lunches consisting of fresh walleye pike, fried potatoes, fresh salad and baked beans.
Those wonder days of fishing have to come to an end. So, in the early morning of the 26th we said good bye to the staff and boarded our plane and returned to Thunder Bay. Upon our arrival we proceed to the Prince Arthur hotel, we bid adieu to our Canadian friends. After spending the night, we returned home. Each of us departed with memories that will remain with us for the rest of our lives. Our hope is to meet again on the water some were.
I would like to extend our sincerest thanks to Allan and Krista Cheeseman who provide the opportunity for Project Healing Waters and Project Healing Waters Canada to live the exceptional experience of fishing in this pristine water and to their Miminiska staff who provided exceptional service to us when we are at the lodge.
Forward and ahead to the fishing holes
New Friends and Brothers in Arms