An Outdoorsman's Journal

The Best Days of Our Lives


Hello friends,

A man would be a fool to admit in front of friends and his wife at a party that the happiest he is in a years’ time is when he is at deer camp and on an annual fly in fishing trip but I am telling you I think there are a few people on this planet that would agree that I may have a point. This week's column is the 2nd part of what was a Saturday to Saturday fly in fishing trip to Shultz Lake which is 55 airmiles northwest of Red Lake, Ontario Canada "Chimo Lodge and Outposts"  a place I have a whole ton of my adult history and it is all positive.

Thursday,  June 22nd

High 78, low 51

What is peace and tranquility? Staying at a cabin that is literally in the middle of nowhere for 7-days with people that you 100% get along with. Even if there is a bit of negativity, this group of 9 never, ever has a history of dragging out an issue. Our unwritten code is no slackers, complainers or tight wads and it works.

Peace is ending a great day of fishing with your brother and his grandson and then taking a short hike to a rapids on a river and watching the 2 of them catch 20-inch walleye on just about every cast.

The same can be said when I think about the 2 fires that have burnt the bush here, one back in 95 and the other in 99. Most people think a forest fire is the most horrible thing in the world, now the bush that used to be mature jack pine, spruce and aspen is alive with new growth and the moose are loving the tender feed that has been created as they browse and live a much easier winter.

Happiness is seeing the joy on Roger Franks face after he caught a 29.5 inch walleye and literally kept smiling the entire rest of the trip. Roger’s walleye had a huge head in comparison to its body and I am guessing it was on the downward cycle of its life, kind of like the antler's on a buck as they begin to get smaller after the aging process takes place. Both Roger's big walleye and my big gator of the week were released.

Joy is having your day to cook for the entire gang over with. In other words on that day you do all the cooking and dishes, after that day all you have to do is watch and be served.

Satisfaction is seeing everyone’s hands in the group after the 4th day that are now covered in small cuts because the fishing was so incredibly good that it seemed we were always taking fish off the hook.   The size average here on the walleye has always been about 16-18 inches, this year it was about 19.5 with dozens of 21s and 22s.

Joy is sitting around in the cabin at night, watching the cook, enjoying adult beverages, never running out of things to talk about and always laughter.

My dad the late Robert Walters was the man that found this place, my brother Bobby’s ashes are placed in a special place we call Bear Creek. When my brother Tom and I hunted when we were kids, we harvested 2 bear on it as they were harvesting spawning suckers.

At night we have a tradition when we come into camp of doing war whoops as we get near the cabin and do a couple of circles with the boat before we make it to the drive on ramp.

Triumph is winning the big gator bet for the 6th year in a row and knowing that the gang would like to see anyone but me, probably even the Russian leader Putin win!

My history as a writer has been created by this place, this column was originally called North of the Border and it was while I worked for this same business.

Victory is seeing 6 members of this same gang get off the plane to replace us at Shultz lake as we simply have that many people in our super cool group.

Make your own adventure, push yourself, enjoy life while you have the option!