Volume 26 Issue 1 December 2014
Dear Guests and Fellow Anglers,
Welcome to Esnagami Lodge's new newsletter format. This newsletter can be easily viewed on Esnagami's various media sources: Facebook, Twitter www.esnagami.com and www.flyfishingesnagami.com websites, as well as by e-mail.
Here are some of the 2014 season's events, news and fishing highlights.
Certainly not in Nakina, Ontario Canada!. May 17, 2014 was supposed to be opening day for Walleye season. Instead 12" of lake ice provided a sturdy surface to walk out on and take a few “lakeside" pictures of the lodge. This past spring was the second latest opening of the lodge we have experienced in 26 years. A long and very cold winter with many days at - 35 C degrees, were recorded in Nakina. Esnagami Lake didn't lose its ice until May 27th, just a few days short of the latest ice out, which was May 30 in 1996. Fortunately we foresaw this coming, and managed to move all but one group to alternate dates. The late spring set up for another season of much cooler lake water. Although not overly conducive to swimming, it certainly provided for some consistent fishing action... all season long.
We have seen a steady increase in top end Walleye (6-10 lbs) the last few years. In addition to that, anglers were just plain catching a LOT of fish this summer. In some weeks where we had 25 + guests in camp there were close to 3,000 fish landed!! Trophy Catch and Release Slips as well as Band aids were in large demand!!
From May through September, hundreds of Walleye over 24" in length were caught. In fact, there were 40 fish over 27" entered into the lodge Trophy Catch and Release program with the largest over 30". Jack Ryan and Jim Gasparratto placed 2nd on the top 10 Catch and Release leader board with their 30" Walleye. It was Matt Vincent however, that took top honours with his gorgeous 30 ¼" Walleye - earning him a free trip back to the lodge in 2015.
This summer also provided excellent opportunities for those guests that thrive on the thrill of catching Trophy Pike. As hard as it was to leave those hungry schools of feeding Walleye, both the spin cast and fly fisherman were rewarded with hundreds of impressive trophy-sized Pike.
There were over forty Pike ranging from 39" to 47" placed in the top 10 leader board for the 2014 season. Some notable mentions were Pat Tighe and daughter Emily Tighe who respectively caught and released 43" and 43 ¼" GIANTS. Kurt Jackson and his friend Frank Carson, racked up some serious trophy numbers collectively, entering 32 trophy Pike!!! Their fishing success was certainly not hurt by Kurt's 35 + years experience as a guest fishing Esnagami Lake.
Bill Spicer, host of The New Fly Fisher Show, displayed his expertise in catching big Pike with a fly rod by landing 7 Pike over 30", with the largest being a beautiful 42 incher. Mike Giardulli caught and released a mammoth 47" Pike early in the spring.
Not to be undone, both Kyle and Tina Randall, hosts of the Wilderness Journal Outdoor Show also placed high on the top ten leaderboard with two of their biggest pike, Tina's 40" and Kyle's 42.
Competition for the coveted 1st place finish in the Top 10 Pike category was relentless right through the last week of the season. There was a determined effort by anglers in the last week to knock Michael's 47 incher off the top spot. Seven Pike from 40 to 44", most pushing a robust 25 lb. mark were caught and released. Close but not quite enough to take over 1st place. We welcome Michael back to Esnagami on a free trip for his 47" trophy Pike.
2014 was the first year we recognized Brook Trout in the Trophy Catch and Release Program's Top 10 leader board. Entries had to be a minimum of 18" to qualify. And qualify they did!! Both spinning and fly fishing Brook Trout anglers collectively entered 47 gorgeous fish in the 18" to 21 ¼" range. Folks, these are impressive Brook Trout 3 to 6 lb. and came both from guests taking river trips from the lodge as well as guests staying at the River Camp. There were 4 anglers that shared first place with huge 21 ¼" Trout. Doug Harris, Joe Malcuhy, and Bruce Torp representedthe spin cast fisherman.
Kyle Randall also displayed his fly fishing prowess in landing a giant 21 ¼" Trout.
Please check out the trophy gallery section of the lodge's websites www.esnagami.com and www.flyfishingesnagami.com for complete trophy Catch and Release listings, as well as the 2014 Top 10.