Saturday, March 5, 2011

The West Grand Experience... Game Changer

Trophy Landlocked Salmon
Our second evening didn't haven't the same energy as the first simply for the code- late night, early morning, long day, and the efforts engaged throughout.  Another exhausting issue on our minds centered on an upcoming storm that promised to throw between 8 and 14 inches on us the next day.  Even though the first flakes weren't expected until after 10 a.m., hitting the prize lake seemed unlikely especially since Matt Diesel intended to leave midday.  The option for the upcoming storm, head south from base camp and access Big Lake from the landing.  This option did not compare to the lore of West Grand, but it did offer a chance at salmon, bass, pickerel, and maybe a white perch.  Plus we could motor the four wheelers to the lake directly from base camp as the house was a short jaunt to the landing.  With the plan cemented, the visitors recessed to bed much to the dismay of the residents who continued into the night.

My all terrain vehicle had no issues once it received the direct heat from my single burner propane stove; rear drum brakes and freezing temperatures apparently aren't meant for coexistence.  Once rolled off the truck, we made short time to the landing and right towards a lonely point.  I wasted no time in drilling my holes, setting the gear, and orchestrating a pot of coffee.  The brothers grim made several references to my placement, I suppose they thought I hadn't listened to Bret however I had taken the time to ensure my location was proper.  Now I waited for either showtime or a shameful display of nothingness.

Rabid kept playing with a tip up that yielded a small salmon and Bret found a salmon amongst the few pickerel he caught.


Matt Diesel who was on code red about the storm gathered his gear quickly once my wife informed me on the cell phone that the snow had struck.  Within minutes, he had disappeared as quickly as the snowflakes came.  Then the squall started.

"I think it's snowing and it sort of hurts"

Eventually, maybe in about three inches worth of snow time, I garnered a decent salmon just over 16 inches.  Although considerably smaller than the score yesterday, I was still thrilled to produce.

My day two score, a smaller runner but still a salmon

About two more inches of snow later, an 18 inch pickerel almost spooled out 100 yards of line.  The snow running almost parallel to the ice really wasn't making for good visibility, but didn't damper the good time against the elements.  Preparation, layering, and positive expectations made up for the storm.

Old Reliable loaded up for the remainder of the storm
By 3 p.m. however, the snow now at least 7 inches in accumulation forced us to quickly pick up and motor back to base camp, the abode a la mayor.  I figured that our fishing ventures were over for the basic logic that freezing temperature were returning on top of the expected foot of snow.  Without haste, my hardware found the back of the pick up and I wondered why Rabid elected to leave his gear awry.

Maybe he thought we still had a chance, but I now believe his logic had been skewed by his battle against the elements via fluid with carbonation.  Frigging with the rigging no longer was on his to do list today, I smiled knowing his morning would bite him in the ass.

Figurative pose from the one I call Duck Hammer

Wind, nor sleet, nor snow, nor hail could prevent us from combating the elements

View from the comfort of base camp


  1. I was hoping to make the 2+ hour, probably more on the + side considering the time of year (and the time of my life [older=slower]) , journey from Belfast to visit with you boys and The Mayor on Saturday but the storm put an end to those plans. I am however vicariously enjoying your adventures..Keep posting!

  2. I had all hopes and dreams of getting out on Saturday for a third day of fishing, but the weather wasn't in the cards. Shortly after breakfast, we elected to finish up packing for home. It had been a couple of years since I last roamed West Grand, guess time, kids, and the like catch up with you.

  3. Why do all the pictures you have of me look dorky and all the pictures of you that are posted look so cool? Just where is my close up Mr. DeVille?

  4. Mr. Rabid Outdoorsman,
    Unfortunately I was not able to photo your memoirs at West Grand for I was temporarily stranded by my ice auger wondering why your brother hijacked my bait, skimmer, and ice traps. While I pondered this travesty, this was when you were catching all those early salmon. So I regret to inform you that I have no pictures of catching anything other than a buzz...

    Your friend in adventure,

  5. I have to agree..Rabid does look somewhat stunned in a lot of your pictures of him..and the sizes of the fish that each of you catch?..It's just not right!

  6. Ah Penbayman, if you are to browse through the annals of Rabid's literary wonder you might find a healthy dose of inconsistency in biased perception. This small targeted opportunity pales in comparison to the continued onslaught my buddy applies over what I call life...

    I will put some better pictures up today...


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