“They didn’t come back last night?” a question that rings in my ears as I sit here typing this current events update.
Before I get to that little gem of a story, allow me to bring everyone up to speed on the skinny here at Pasha Lake Cabins.
June started off with a complete contradiction in circumstances affecting Pasha Lake Cabins. The weather was unusually cool in the morning, with temps regularly dropping into the 30’s at night. The fishing, on the other hand, was bang-on smok’in hot, as usual. The walleye bite coming on in full force the first week in June. One needs to look no further than the June 1st opener on Onaman Lake. From the very second guests arrived at our boat launch, it was game on, in fantastic fashion. Walleyes as aggressive as any fresh water predator on earth, were ravaging both live bait and artificial lures to the point of nauseam.
The great outdoor writer Ernest Hemingway couldn’t have put it better than Austin Sitzmann of Iowa. Having succumb to insurmountable muscle fatigue from reeling in Onaman walleyes, his dominate hand was rendered useless. While visiting him that night in the cabin, Austin looked at me as he described the pain of his situation. And then, as if it were a normal as a butterfly blowing in the wind, he told me “I just switched the reel handle to the other side just so I could keep catching fish”. Pause…. You mean to tell me, your hand was so sore you had to reverse your reel so you could use your other hand?!!! Yep – that’s right! Now that’s a Pasha first!
As the same time Austin was nursing his walleye induced hand exhaustion, Willem DuPreez was working on another Onaman Lake first. Willem brought his young family here to Pasha Lake Cabins having no idea the caliber of walleye fishery Onaman Lake is. The first few days of his trip, he fished other inland lakes, caught fish and was having a relatively good time. Then he went to Onaman. The details are a little sketchy – but I’m pretty sure he didn’t fish another lake after that.
And what he was able to do, is one thing that will never be forgotten in the walleye fishing world. During shore lunch and sometimes just to take a break, Willem would tie his boat to shore. He’d jump out into waist high water and arm himself with a fishing rod. Upon casting to the break line, Willem would slowly drag his lure back to his feet. (Keep in mind now, he is standing in the water.) Looking down at his toes – he’d look for his lure and, you probably guessed it, the walleyes he was enticing to follow. And then, with a twitch and a flutter, BANG! FISH ON – right at his feet.
His biggest fish using his stand-in-the-water technique was a staggering 29”. Now, I like to think of myself as a risk taker, but I’m not sure I’d want to stand in the water with ravenous walleyes seemingly willing to attack anything to get a meal. I hope his toes were covered, because walleye noodling sounds extremely painful to me. Nice job Willem and family and what a neat story!
Then it happened. Ian shot out a text message informing me “the campers didn’t come back last night”.
Not surprised, I wanted to confirm I completely understood his message – “they didn’t come back last night?” It was more of me saying I got it and pretty much expected something along those lines.
A group that had spent the last 4 days camped at Pasha Lake had yet to catch a fish. Let me write that again just so everyone is clear. A group, staying at Pasha Lake Cabins, fished 4 days and had yet to catch a game fish (insert a loooooooooong pause for dramatic effect).
Now it wasn’t completely their fault – their boat was a bit out of maintenance, and there were some operator errors – namely not attaching their gas line to the motor. They also had several disagreements among themselves, everything from coffee making to what direction a tire rotates on a car.
Interestingly enough, their camp site happen to be within eyeshot of our fish cleaning shack. Every night, like a Mardi Gras parade, the campers would watch as fishing party after fishing party made their way to the cleaning shack. Inevitably, a discussion would start about where all the fish were caught and the means of catching them. Suffice it to say, fishing was pretty darn good that week, so there was a lot of discussions. But our campers had yet to crack the fishing formula, so seeing how well everyone else was doing motivated them properly.
I was reluctant, given the operator errors they were experiencing with their own boat and some other obvious concerns, but suggested they rent a boat on Onaman. Well, that idea took flight almost immediately and before I knew it, I was giving them directions to the boat and pointers where to fish. And off they went… it was Thursday.
Come Friday morning, Ian sent me the now infamous text message. Everyone met in the office, we hashed out a plan and sent out a search party. To make a very long story short, our campers ended up spending the night on Onaman after making a wrong turn on the lake and becoming hopelessly lost. Our search party found them almost immediately and directed them back to the boat landing. Curiously the search team didn’t come back right away.
To this day I am perplexed why the Pasha Lake Search and Rescue Team brought their fishing rods on their mission, and didn’t come back to camp until late evening. I’m guessing all probably never know the reason behind that one???
So there you have it, another Onaman first. Please note, no one was hurt and everyone returned home fine – albeit with some bug bites. And yes, our campers finally caught a fish!
I could tell endless stories about Onaman Lake. Michelle and I took Wally and Joel (Amish folk from Michigan) there yesterday and it was nothing short of astounding. Guest after guest, trip after trip the words “I couldn’t catch anything small enough to keep” and “that was the best fishing of my life” ring through the halls of Pasha Lake Cabins. Ive said it before and ill continue to say it until i’m dead and gone – Onaman Lake is the BEST WALLEYE FISHING in all of Canada – period!
One lake, however, stands out from the shadow of Onaman – that of course is Lake Nipigon. If Onaman is the king of walleye fishing, Lake Nipigon is it’s queen. The two gems should stand proudly atop the wish list of any angler. Rightfully so!
Our daily trips there have rewarded Pasha Lake Guests with fishing memories of a life time, and the pictures to prove it. As is typical – daily catches of 150 – 200 walleye are common. It’s constant action, breath taking scenery, remote setting is truly special. It reminds me of what the fur traders probably experienced the first time the set foot in our area. Untapped fishing with a back drop so beautiful its hard to speak of.
A few years back, we added a twist to the Lake Nipigon Dream Trip – we now target huge pike and jumbo perch when conditions are right. It’s not uncommon to boat several pike of 40” in mid summer, a true testament to how special the fishing is.
So there you have it. The fishing is extremely good right now, our guests couldn’t be happier, we are in the peak summer fishing pattern which equates to active fish, and lots of action.
Stay tuned to Facebook and the website as we post as frequently as possible. And if your still thinking about a trip this summer, we have a handful of vacancies for the rest of July and some in August. If you can’t do Saturday to Saturday, no worries give us a call. We can do partial weeks as well as week long trips.
If you text Chad – 715 817 4161 its by far the easiest way to reach us.