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We’re indebted to subscriber Steven Pillsbury for word of a lodge in the Northwest Territories of Canada that is completely new to us. It’s Kasba Lake Lodge (www.kasba. com), and it is located just north of the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border on a 55-mile-long lake that gives the lodge its name. Pike, lake trout, and grayling are the target species. Only guests of the lodge fish the lake, and they do so on a catch-and-release basis. Clients reach the lodge via a private charter that originates in Winnipeg and lands on a dirt airstrip right next to the lodge. The nearest road to the lodge is 150 miles away.
Pillsbury says he and his son fished at Kasba Lake Lodge this past July, taking all three of the offered species from the lake and from a river that flowed into the lake. They also fished an unnamed water on an optional one-day fly-out. “We caught lots of small and medium pike, with several large ones in the 40-plus-inch range mixed in,” he writes. “We also saw, hooked, and lost some very large pike we estimated at close to 50 inch¬es. We caught lake trout in the six-pound range and lost bigger ones. The largest we landed weighed 22 pounds. The grayling we caught were average size, but several ranged upwards of two and a half to three pounds.
“We fished almost exclusively from an 18-foot open boat by cast¬ing to the shore, by trolling, and by downrigging. There were some opportunities to wade-fish at times while shore lunches were being prepared and when we fished the river. I used a 9 wt. Loomis GLX with a Rio Pike Line for casting and a Rio Outbound Short F/I for trolling. For grayling I used a Fenwick HMG 5 wt. with an SA GPX floating line. The flies that worked best were Half-and- Halfs and Clousers, 1/0 to 3/0. Red/ white and yellow/brown seemed to be the most effective colors. There was no surface action, so my poppers stayed in the box. My son used lodge-supplied spinning and trolling gear.
“The weather was abnormally warm the first two days we were at the lodge, and that put the fish down deeper than usual. We were still able to find fish, however. A strong wind the last two days turned the water over and improved the fishing. The water in the shallows is clear and al¬lows for sight fishing. Insects were not a problem while we were on the water, but while we were onshore and at camp we wore head nets and bug spray.
“We had no problems on this trip at all. The highlights were sight fishing to very large pike, watching the guide cook shore dinner the first day, wading the river for grayling, and hooking some very large lake trout while downrigging. My son is 12, and he found the trip thrilling. The combined cost of our trip, with a one-day extra fly-out, was $7,575.”