I was fortunate enough to join the Stebbins crew at Murdock lake outpost one afternoon last summer for some homemade ice cream. Monte was kind enough to share some of his experiences over the last few decades. 


Memories of almost 50 years of doing business with Canadian Fly-In Fishing.
In 1970 my father was Principal of Delta High School (Royerton HS before consolidation into Delta) just north of Muncie, Indiana. A new teacher/coach at the school had been going to Canada to fishing with Canadian Fly-In Fishing and the original owner Jim Thomas. He told my dad about the fishing, how good it was, and basically talked him into going. Now in 2018 my father is no longer around but his spirit lives on as I am on trip number 50, considering the fact that at least three summers I went two times.
When we first went it cost $99 and you took your own motors, gas for the week, a Coleman stove, any food that DID NOT need to be refrigerated, your own nets, anchors, boat seats, and all fishing gear.  No check pilot, and if you ran out of gas or a motor went bad, tough luck for the rest of the week.
We trolled around the edge of the lake and the around each Island with Sparkle Tails, Lazy Ike’s, Flat Fish, Silver Fish, and Johnson Spoons. We would catch between 100 and 150 walleye a week per person and 20 or so pike per person.
A few years later we started using Jigs tipped with Mister Twister Tails and increased our catch to about 250 per person per week. Now we tip the gigs, some with tails and some bare with night crawlers. Now I will catch between 50 to 100 per day and have had several days of 200 fish in one day and only a handful of days where I catch only 25 fish.   I have gone in June, July and August and my dad came several years the third week in May, and in May they fished the rivers more than the lake, bottom line all three or four months are good but I like July because of the LACK of COLD fronts.
Over the years I have taken die hard, 16 hour a day fishermen, as well as all of my grand kids (girls and boys) and trust me, for those young kids swimming in the bays in July is almost like back home,  although I must admit at age 67 I do not jump in off the pier like they do, way to cold for me but fun to watch.
Over the years I have caught at least three 8 pound Walleyes, one 9 pounder and several between 6 and 7 pounds and hundred of 4 and 5 pounders, and by far thousands of 1 pound to 2 pound walleye. The 16 to 17 inch Walleye is by far the best to eat. We eat everyday a big fish meal at 5 in the evening so that we can still get around 4 more hours of fishing in before dark, the reason I mention this is because almost every year we will have at least one new person with us and they can never understand the first day of fishing when I keep throwing fish back and not using a stringer. “I thought we were going to eat fish everyday?”,  and then around 2 in the afternoon I will start to put fish on the stringer, go into camp around 3 to clean the fish and start preparing that evening’s meal. We let the other boats stay on the water until dinner time and then when I finish eating my boat goes out first and the ones who came in later for dinner stay another 30 minutes or so cleaning the kitchen and dishes and then they come out.
Much different now then 50 some years ago; the cabins have running water (hot and cold) kitchen sinks, gas ovens and stove tops, outdoor grill and outdoor fish fryer, two refrigerators, a freezer, indoor urinal, shower and bathroom sink, and of course everyone’s favorite the outhouse.
Modern windows, modern doors, solar electric, laminate floors (keeps the dust and dirt down) and huge porch/deck which is at least (Murdock Lake) 50 feet above the lake, which is where my wife spent most of her day on her two out of 50 trips that she went on. She tells everyone that the view, fresh air, peace, and quiet to her is as nice as fishing.
I also have caught many Pike in the 8 to 12 pound size and three years ago, with two of my grandsons in the boat, caught a 44 inch, 24 pound Pike with a 1/8 ounce jig, no leader, and 10 pound test line { 45 minutes of fight} (sometimes better to be lucky then good). All the big Pike we catch in July are caught jigging for Walleye. Sometimes, depending on who I am with, we will spend a couple of hours casting for Pike around the weed beds, lots of fun action but not real big fish. If I came up in June or later in August I might catch bigger Pike in those areas casting but in July they are usually down in deeper cooler water. I will cast sometimes early in the morning with luck for bigger Pike but not as much action. If you cast a spoon or spinner bait you will usually catch a pike about every 5th to 10th cast.  Top water casting baits for Pike is by far the most fun but hard to hook, if you use a stinger hook it will increase the catch but also increase the harm to the fish and time to unhook.
The great thing I like about Canadian Fly-In Fishing is the worry free trips I have had. Have only had motor problems with their motors once or twice and they have a spare motor in camp and their boats are all great fishing boats with nice cushioned swivel seats, trust me those seats are a big deal when you fish 14 to 16 hours a day.
When I take my grand kids we do a lot of sight seeing, swimming, hiking and other activities other than just fishing. I have caught more than my share of fish, large fish, and have just as much fun watching my grand kids and rookies catch fish as catching them my self.
At least 5 of my trips were purchased by other fishermen just to have me along to help them know what to do and to fix the fish. One thing I do which is probably different then most is I use three DIFFERENT fish breading’s each meal.   Some spicy, some as simple as just flour, and maybe store bought pre made fish batters. I have been with some other groups where they fry the fish every night with the same batter and by mid week it gets a little old, although FRESH Walleye is hard to mess up.   I have even boiled it and baked too. I take one small bottle of cocktail sauce and one bottle of Tatar sauce each trip and after the first night, two nights at the most, it is never used, the fresh Walleye is great just plain.
We enjoy the fresh fish so much no one in our group bring fish back anymore, for those people who you bring back the Walleye for them to eat back home still seem to rave about how good it is until they go for the first time and help cut the heads off and eat the fish twenty minutes later. Fresh is hard to beat.
I could and will share more stories later but will end this part on a comment made by three of my buddies who are all fishermen/outdoorsmen. The reason I said fishermen and outdoorsmen is many of the fellows who have gone with me are not really fishermen to speak of and they usually have more fun then the rest of us combined. Back to my story, I took two of my college basketball teammates who have been on several fly-in trips, hunting and fishing over the years to all parts of the lower 48, Canada and Alaska. By midweek the two team mates and a third experienced outdoorman said, “this was the best outpost operation they had ever gone to”. bottom line is I love the fact that we are the ONLY ones on the lake and we eat when and what we want and basically take care of ourselves.    
Fly in lakes are hard to beat for not just fishing but peace and quiet to say the least.
I have had the pleasure of seeing Moose up close they are on the water or edge of lake while we are IN THE BOAT. Bears, beavers, and eagles have all been seen the same way in the wild. I can’t remember a trip that someone in the group DID NOT see a Moose, and usually all of us see a least one each trip.
I live for this trip each year, work in my basement almost once a week in the winter, packing or preparing my reels, cleaning a sorting by tackle box and sending emails to the next year’s group about the up coming trip.
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