That ol fishing hole was never like this!
This gem is on a pristine lake in the Canadian north woods
By John Kuller
After a long rambling argument over beer and cigars one night, my old fishing buddy Sam convinced me that I should spin a tale, for all you rabid fishermen out there, about the joys of our previously secret fishing hideaway.
This rather rustic place, which shall stay nameless both to protect our fishing and on the advice of our attorneys is on a small pristine lake in the Canadian north woods.
This camp is unique, as is the owner, an ageless Swede called Lars. Lars really doesn't care for guests, and only tolerates them because they bring in (barely) enough money to support his modest needs.
Accordingly, he does everything possible to discourage visitors. To start with, he has only an obsolescent radiophone. And since almost all radiophones disappeared years ago, no one has a clue as to how to place a call.
So you spend 10 minutes arguing with an operator, and maybe after the third try you get Lars on the phone. Then you have to convince him to rent you a cabin.
Next there is the problem of getting there. Not only is the place 25 miles up an almost impassable four-wheel-drive road, but along the way there are innumerable road branches and crossroads going in all directions.
And Lars, of course, does not believe in signs. If you had the foresight to get directions when booking, it still doesn't do much good as his verbal instructions are pretty much useless.
What a sight awaits when you finally arrive. The place is about 35 years old, and has had zero maintenance for the last 30. I have heard tales that there is a well somewhere, but otherwise there is no water except for the lake and no indoor plumbing.
Some of the outhouses, however, do have doors. The cabins sag in all directions, with the floors so uneven you get dizzy just walking across the floor, even without one of Sam's strong cigars.
Sam anticipates that Lars will have neglected to cut wood, and brings along presto logs, which burn so hot they almost melt the stove and get the cabin up to 130 degrees in about four minutes.
Of course there is no electricity, but Lars does furnish one old-time gas lantern, which you can sometimes get going without an explosion.
The beds all sag, and bedding is non-existent. There are some dishes, but if you use them, Lars charges you $20 more.
Speaking of the cabins, the guests sometimes share them with strange forest creatures. One night I was awakened from a sound sleep by Sam yelling and banging around.
I ask him whats the problem, and he says theres a rat in the cabin. I tell him if it bothers him that much to get up, open the door and let it out, but not to wake me up with his problems.
Sam replies that the rat is eating our apples. So what's wrong with sharing, I ask, and try to go back to sleep over the sound of crunch, crunch, crunch.
I don't know why Sam got so upset, as we trimmed off the parts the rat had gnawed on and there was no real harm done.
Sam really appreciates the informality and also the absence of women, who generally have enough sense to stay home. The informality, however, sometimes goes a bit far as when Lars takes a whiz out the front door of his office.
So why do we go to this place. Simply because the fishing is fantastic. Rainbow up to 5 pounds, or if you speak Canadian, two and a quarter kiloliters, centipedes, decimeters or whatever they call 'em.
We catch them on wet or dry flies, and we never fail to get our limit.
P.S.: We asked the editor to run a contest to see if any of you fishermen out there could identify this lake, but on the advice of their attorneys, they declined.
(Freelance writer John Kuller describes himself this way: 76 years old, retired, an Edmonds resident who keeps busy fishing and trying to be an outdoor humor writer.)