Early Season at it's best!

fly fishing basics over the weekend. We had a bit of adventure getting up there when the bearings on my truck went out at 5am and we were 35 miles South of International Falls. After two hours tracking down and waiting on a tow truck, praying a shop was open over the holiday weekend (thank you All Seasons Equipment!), and then going for breakfast at the Chocolate Moose while it got fixed, we were back on the road North! After that ordeal, the border crossing was easy. [caption id="attachment_3393" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Stranded"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_3395" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Hot Chocolate makes everything better"][/caption]   Once we got there, we unpacked and hit the water. I won’t give you a day-by-day rundown, but our week went something like this: Up and eat breakfast On the water by 9am We’d fish all day…usually on Clearwater. Some would head to High Rock. Dinner by 6pm Back out into VB for the evening bite [caption id="attachment_3392" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="VBL Sunrise"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_3391" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Breakfast of Champions"][/caption] Clearwater didn’t disappoint and as an added bonus the creek was up, so all three boats could go over. We caught fish off all the common points. We were trolling small floating Rapalas in mostly blue/orange or black/silver combo. The Lakers were up in the water and that always makes it fun! [caption id="attachment_3397" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="His first Lake Trout"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_3398" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="18" - 24" Lakers all day, every day"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_3399" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Beautiful weather all week"][/caption] We also got into some pretty good Smallies on Clearwater: [caption id="attachment_3402" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Tub jigs into the boulders worked like a charm!"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_3401" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="A great Clearwater Smallie"][/caption] Instead of Clearwater, just about everyday, one of the boats would make the journey to High Rock lake. It did not disappoint as we caught some great Smallies and Walleye: [caption id="attachment_3409" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Some nice eaters"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_3408" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Tub jigs were getting Walleye & Smallmouth"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_3407" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="He caught and released this beauty!"][/caption] While Clearwater and High Rock didn’t disappoint, most of our after dinner fishing was done within site of VBL…and it was equally as great. We caught 3 Lake Trout over 30″, the biggest was mine at 33″ and 15lbs. Mark caught two, almost twin Lakers (31″ & 30.5″) just 30 minutes apart. In fact, the first one he caught actually tried to hit his white tube jig while is was 4″ out of the water off the side of the boat! They cast at it as it swam away, and he caught it on the drop! I also caught the small perch to complete a 6-species week at VBL (Lake Trout, Walleye, Small Mouth, Pike, Whitefish, Perch). All these pictures are from within 5 minutes of VBL: [caption id="attachment_3416" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="A beauty of a fish!"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_3411" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Landed this 30" in a boat by myself one night!"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_3412" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="One of a limit-out kind of morning right before we left"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_3413" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Hey, it counts for the specie total!"][/caption]   Like I mentioned in a post before I went up, heading to VBL is about so much more than the fishing. It was a great time with my son building some memories, chatting in the boat, hanging with friends, drinking bourbon with Gord deciding John and Mark could just spend the night on the water and we’ll find them in the morning, and so many other things! It really was a great week and it’s why I love early season fishing trips! [caption id="attachment_3422" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Love the views from the deck"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_3419" align="aligncenter" width="168" caption="Yep, he went swimming!"][/caption]  ]]>

8 thoughts on “Early Season at it's best!

  1. Great stuff, Dustin! Your son will always treasure this trip with his dad. God willing, my brother and I will be plying the waters of Eagle Lake in a week. Every trip is unique. Maybe my brother will catch his first laker this year…..

  2. Great post Dustin! Gord, how about an update on the laker fishing including the water temps in the bay. I am guessing you still have lakers in shallow?

    1. Yes, that is a nice glove.
      A tip to all anglers with sensitive hands–a glove will protect your hand from many sharp parts of a fish. It use to be that a week’s worth of fishing left my hands painfully sore from numerous nicks and cuts obtained from grabbing fish. This was greatly reduced by handling fish with a heavy rubber glove. A glove also makes gripping fish more of a sure thing, meaning I’m less likely to mishandle a fish and drop it to the floor of the boat. Consider a glove if you have these problems.

    1. Andy
      That is why we had to take a couple years off cause they were concerned we would deplete the perch population.
      This give a couple years of spawning and growing to happen.

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This is a first class resort located on Vermillion Bay on Eagle Lake. The cabins are very clean and well kept. The boats are new with new motors and are in great shape. The owner will also clean your fish for you after your day on the water. Make no mistake the fishing on Eagle Lake is world class.

The Lodge is owned by Gord and Susanne Bastable who will make you feel welcome and before you know it you feel like family. They are the best of hosts. The atmosphere is low key and laid back leading to a great vacation.

This is my 19th year of enjoying the hospitality of the lodge and i can’t think of going anywhere else on Eagle Lake.


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