Northern Stories
Where Man Meets Mosquito by Rob Ouellette

In order to catch big specs (speckled trout) you have to find a lake that is virtually impossible to get to. A place where man meets mosquito and returns with an unbelievable story of angling. This is precisely why I started to carry a camera on my fishing trips. To disprove my skeptic co-workers and more importantly capture a lifetime treasure……a photo of my Dad in his glory. In the past 5 years I’ve reconnected with my father in a way that makes most people envious. We were always close, but fishing brought us together and gave me a chance to open his eyes to the joys and experiences I have when I’m on the water. You see, my father is the type of guy who enjoys his work as a Miner, and has worked many long hours to give our family comfortable lifestyle. He has 38 years with a local mining company and I believe I have given him a new passion….Fishing.

“I can’t believe we made it down that old road without breaking anything on the truck.” My dad said nervously
“That’s why the specs are big back here...most people turn around at the river and if you don’t know where to put your tires your truck quickly becomes a boat.” I replied

We crawled through the dirty stuff and arrived at the lake with only one flat tire. There is a certain uneasiness that comes about you when your 60 miles back in the bush and there’s a chance that you might get stranded, but it’s all apart of the adventure. We set up the tent, threw out the minnow traps and called it a night.

We were on the water at sunrise and on the hunt for some wallhanger speckle trout. We found an area with a series of large boulders so we anchored our “cartopper” just off those and casted out a bobber and a minnow. It doesn’t get any easier than that. The lake was like a mirror and the scenery was breathtaking.

“Oh! My bobber just disappeared!” said my Dad surprised

“When your line tightens up….set the hook. I’ll get the net.” I told him.

The fish put up a tremendous fight. He would just get him to the boat and it would turn and pull off some more line. We were using light line so you can’t just “horse” it in to the boat. I noticed that it was barely hooked on the side of it’s mouth. Like an old pro and with a smile from ear to ear he guided it into the net and we brought it into the boat. Instantly the hook fell out. Picture this… Two men well over 250 lbs each plus our gear….dancing around in an 11 ½ foot boat. I think the fish below us were starting to worry now. The spec measured 4.3 lbs on the digital scale and worth it’s weight in gold to the excitement it brought my father. He shook my hand and I congratulated him on a very fine catch.

“That’s a nice sized fish, and look at the colors on it! Hey, good thing we got it in the net eh?”. My Dad was ecstatic
This was the start of an amazing weekend that passed by all to quickly.

Before you knew it, we were back on “boulder hill” crawling our way home in a rainstorm, hoping the river doesn’t rise too quickly so we could make it across.
“If your mother could see us now…she would say we’re crazy going into that lake. What a trip!”

My Dad asked me one time “Other guys call their dad ‘My ol’man…’, How come you never call me that?”
“Your not my old man. You’re my ‘Dad’ and I don’t want you to ever get old”

From the proudest son in the world,
- Rob Ouellette