We promised to catch you up on the details of the past few years, so here goes. What did we get up to in 2013? Well for starters, we opened a new lake for our anglers. Getting there is part of the fun and takes around 45 minutes. First there’s a quick, 2-mile boat ride across Lloyd Lake. On shore awaits 2 sweet Argo chariots (we love our first Argo so much that we bought a super sweet vintage orange one too). A 30-minute scenic drive gets you to Langley Lake.
What can you expect to catch there? Lake trout. Lots and lots of lake trout. Langley produces lakers as if you were walleye fishing. They’re not the huge lake trout you can expect from Big Fish Lake—on Langley, you have to catch 100 small ones before you hook the big one—but they are plentiful when you jig for them in 60-90 feet of water. Many guests have told us they needed to take a break because their arms were tired from wheeling in laker after laker.
But, back to the whole “opening a new lake” thing. Sounds straightforward? Guess again. Cutting a trail was an adventure. It took around 10 days of working through challenging terrain. Like a house renovation project, the old trappers’ trail had good bones, but no one had taken care of it for many years. It was seriously overgrown with trees fallen across the trail everywhere. Getting those cut up and moved was hard, but even more fun was the muskeg. Mr. Argo earned himself a permanent place during that excursion, because there is no way an ATV would have gotten through.
Once we cleared the trail most of the way to Langley, days were a little easier since we’d take regular breaks to cool down by hopping in the lake, slamming a cream soda and catching a fish or 2. Derrick’s extra-special pink lure, which works only for him (trust us, Dez has tried it, with okay results, but as soon as a rod with that lure on the end touches Derrick’s hand, there’s fish after fish), was part of the daily equipment. A guy’s gotta take a break, ya know? And really, who can resist being the first people to fish the lake in who knows how many years?
One particularly challenging day involved no wind, which meant ridiculous numbers of black flies were harassing us. However, mother nature cut us a break by whipping up a booming thunderstorm. It went from 28 C and dead calm, to suddenly cool and windy and then the most beautiful, refreshing rainstorm hit. We looked up at the sky and were grateful, and then looked down at our trail and continued chainsawing right through the storm.
On 3 separate occasions, we had bears cross the trail right on front or behind us as we worked. Of course being the conservationists we are, we had no bear spray or defence of any kind really, other than our chainsaw. Fortunately, the bears moved on to the plentiful blueberry patches and left us to our own devices.
Each day we woke up and looked at each other over breakfast and said, “Well, if we do one more day, there’ll be less to do tomorrow.” And like all hard manual labour, once we got going, we made our own fun. We threw “javelins” a.k.a. dead spruce trees and harassed each other over who has cleared more hour after hour until another day was done and less remained for tomorrow. The last 100 metres were the thickest and so the toughest going, but we could see success right ahead, so it went faster than it should have.
The end result? 1,000% worth it. We are so proud that we did this work ourselves. Our anglers absolutely love the plentiful lake trout, and driving there by Argo is cool. In August and September, you can stop along the way to pick some wild blueberries. Sometimes a bear comes out to say hi. One particularly brave bear decided to break its winter fast by chewing up the Argo seat cushions. Oh well…lodge problems.