Fishing Ontario's Walleye Alley
Three days in Ontario’s “Walleye Alley” is always good news. A chance for Tina and me to fish somewhere we’ve never been is always an extra challenge, and something we very much look forward to.
The short flight on Forde Air Service out of Hornepayne, Ontario dropped us into Gary and Cindy Wallace’s Timberwolf Lodge, and within the hour Gary had us in a strip cedar boat and “out around the point there” for some windy drifting. Three walleye later, Tina had caught and released a dandy, 25-inch fish that had to go 4 pounds or more. That answered two questions for me: yes, the girl still has it, and obviously, there were some good fish here. After showing us around a bit more, Gary handed over the throttle, and Tina and I set out to see what we could find on our own.
That first day, despite the steady north wind, we came upon a spot that was producing walleye almost as fast as we could drift over it, and 20 or more came to hand before we realized we’d almost made two mistakes on our very first day in camp. One, it was 4:20 pm and Cindy had asked us to be in by 5 pm for supper, and two, Gary had asked us to each bring in a suitable fish for shore lunch the next day. When it occurred to me that we had already caught and released many fish, I asked Tina to please hand me a minnow. To which she replied, “there’s only one left and it’s dead.” Two plump 17-inches on one dead minnow later, we headed for the dock.
Cindy’s dinner that night was certainly worth being on time for, and after dinner, we went back out and caught 20 or 30 more fish, including several good pike and at least two more walleye over 22 inches.
The next day was a carbon copy of the first, save the light rain that passed through in the morning—and no, it didn’t slow the fishing at all. There were many good walleye, mostly on a green jig and minnow, and a bonus 34-inch northern pike on a walleye jig for Tina. The fact is, we were doing really well, especially considering we’d never fished this water before, and it was still the first full week of August.
That afternoon, I landed several more good-sized northern pike, mostly using a glide bait over some of the deeper weed beds. After a great home-style fish fry, we went out and explored a little more and located another reef that was holding lots of fish, between 15 and 30 feet down. A note of caution to future guests, Tina says, “you can actually get a pretty bad case of ‘dishpan hands’ if you are constantly reaching into the minnow bucket all night, so pace yourself, or get Kyle to do it.”
The third day, which unfortunately was our last at Timberwolf Lodge, was great! We fished with Gary a little in the morning, and his daughter Melissa (please, call her Susan) joined Tina that last night for a real fish fest. I’m sure they could be heard hooping and cheering each other all the way back to camp—and for the record, they caught so many so fast all I did was drive the boat, help land their fish, and dig for minnows.
I know many of you will feel bad for me, but before you get too down and out, I did get a chance to land one or two fish myself including a MONSTER, 3-foot-long dinosaur of a walleye—certainly a record book fish, and my personal best in over 45 years of catching ’eyes.
Thanks again Gary and Cindy and Melissa (Susan), we had an awesome trip!