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Hills
Newsletter
 
Okay, this emailed newsletter is starting out with something a little different. What you have pictured above is my all time favorite meal, whether I’m in the kitchen, at the barbeque or in the north country around the campfire, it’s simple and easy to make and delicious to enjoy. For the last 30 years I’ve been spending the cold weather months in the Florida Keys where the number one entrée on most menus is the fish sandwich or as some refer to it…a fish burger.

Trust me, a portion of bass, walleye, trout or panfish is a lot healthier for you than a half pound of ground beef.

Lightly pan fry the fillets and simply lay them out on a couple of buns. Cover the fillets with a slice of cheese, a generous portion of tomato, lettuce and onion. Close the bun and enjoy.

Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention, to really enjoy this meal you first want to roll those moist fish fillets in a generous coating of Darryl Cronzy’s Breading and Batter Mix. As I sit down to put together this letter the pouches of this world famous blend of spices and flours can be found in all Canadian Tire stores and quality tackle shops everywhere.
 

The Good
The Public Get Involved
About 35 years ago, I had the fortunate opportunity in life to live for a while in a little west coast hamlet called Lund, British Columbia. I also had the opportunity to travel up the coast of the mainland and also Vancouver Island. At the time, a new program called the Salmonid Enhancement Program (SEP) was just getting underway and it was a real eye opener for a fellow from the east. Devised by Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the feds were giving the public an opportunity to save and improve the dwindling stocks of Pacific coho, chinook, sockeye, pink, and chum salmon as well as steelhead. To say it was an eye opener for this newcomer from the east would be an understatement. I had never witnessed a government of any kind giving the public a chance to get their hands wet when it came to fish management. In fact, it was most often the opposite, the bios and managers that I was acquainted with back home in the east would simply shut their doors on any request to have the public involved.

Over the years I observed and learned. What the public did in British Columbia was absolutely mind boggling. Small mini-hatcheries were springing up around the province, volunteers were assisting in federal fish hatcheries, artificial spawning channels were being constructed to assist natural reproduction, river obstructions were being removed. Everything was being done by volunteers with the goal of saving and improving salmonid stocks.

Moving back to Ontario, I approached a few folks by the name of Miller, Ecckles and Pope about what exactly was going on in the west. I asked at the same time about the possibility of doing the same here in the east. A number of clubs were already carrying out conservation work in the way of stream enhancement and deputy conservation work, but actually rearing fish and constructing hatcheries was fairly new in Ontario.

SSA and Chinook Salmon
Frank Miller, Premier of the Province at the time and a very smart individual was thumbs up on the idea. Alan Pope, without a doubt the finest minister to head Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources gave the green light and volunteer sportsmen’s organizations in the counties of Grey and Bruce jumped in to action.

Over the next decade, the regions became home to the first upwelling incubation boxes for rainbow trout propagation, the first volunteer Pacific salmon hatchery in Ontario, as well as the first artificial spawning channels located east of the Rocky Mountains.

What we initiated in Grey and Bruce Counties soon were copied by angling associations from one end of Ontario to the other. Volunteer fish hatcheries in particular were soon being constructed for salmon all around the Great Lakes. In the north, trout and walleye hatcheries began springing up in an amazing number of locations.

To be honest, it was fun work, but at times it was also hard work. Hatcheries consumed thousands of man hours annually. Our artificial spawning channels were costly, even when volunteers cut cost by becoming human rock moving machines.

We had our rewards though. We opened the valves and removed the downstream barricades one evening and the next morning were greeted to the sight of hundreds of adult rainbow using the gravel in the channels. The very first public salmon hatchery on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes at Owen Sound was the foundation for one of the finest salmon fisheries and salmon derbies on the Great Lakes thanks to the efforts of the Owen Sound Sydenham Sportsman’s Association. That one little hatchery on Weaver’s Creek resulted in an estimated 30,000 adult chinook being caught annually in and around the waters of Owen Sound Bay. The annual Owen Sound Salmon Spectacular attracted tens of thousands of visiting fishermen who in turn injected millions of dollars into the local economy.

Don’t ever tell me that the public shouldn’t have a say in how to raise fish.
 
Lake Huron Fishing Club and Ontario Steelheaders
Now I’m involved with another pet program through the public’s participation in improving a fishery. The Ontario Steelheaders and the Lake Huron Fishing Club have taken up the task of rehabilitating Ontario’s Saugeen River steelhead fishery and the dividends are already paying off in a big, big way.

For years Rod Jones and the Ontario Steelheaders have been improving upstream water access for the trout by installing a number of fishways on the river, rearing and releasing fingerlings and transporting adult rainbow to perfect spawning locations above the dams. Three years ago the two organizations formed a partnership that has already shown mind boggling results. Every spring the Ontario Steelheaders collect approximately 150,000 wild eggs and sperm from fish at Denny’s Dam on the Saugeen. The eggs are then fertilized back at the Lake Huron Fishing Clubs. Then comes 12 months of babysitting the little guys that soon begin to grow into big guys. One year after arriving at the hatchery as eggs, 60-75,000 eight inch
Steelhead smolt are ready for release far up into some of the best spawning waters of the Saugeen.
 
To date the results have been spectacular. In the first year of their release, fish that had only been down feeding in Lake Huron for a few months came back as 2 and 3 pounders. This past spring witnessed the first return of three year old fish and the rainbow were everywhere below Denny’s Dam weighing as much as 7 pounds or more.

What does the future hold for the Saugeen River? Thanks to these two volunteer organizations I’m betting the Saugeen is well on the way to being the best trout stream in North America east of the Rocky Mountains.
 
Lake Ontario Volunteers Utilizing Salmon Pens
Pens for raising salmon? You bet! Lake Ontario salmon fishing fanatics from Trenton to Port Dalhousie are utilizing special mesh salmon pens to help raise and especially imprint young salmon so that they have better survival in the big lake, produce a better sport fishery in the main lake and then home in better to their release sites around the big lake.

Utilizing imprinting pens for salmon and rainbow trout was originally devised by volunteer anglers in the state of Michigan. The technique was then adopted by New York anglers on the south shore of Lake Ontario. A fellow by the name of Al Van Dusan established the first pen in the far eastern end of the lake near Trenton. From there, there has been a pen rearing explosion along the north shore of the lake.

What exactly is the purpose of the pens? Simply one word…imprinting. To get the most out of salmon and trout stocks the young fish have to imprint to their natal streams or other release sites. Big, long rivers are the best locations for perfect stocking sites. Released miles upstream at their stocking stage, trout and salmon suck in smells of the river or stream and forever remember. Come spawning time and the fish know exactly where to head home to. Breakwall and shoreline stocking sites for rainbow, chinook, coho and brown trout are asinine locations, with very little chance of attracting fish searching out sites to spawn and reproduce. Rearing pens positioned in small streams or at their river mouths only have to hold fish for just a few weeks during the smolting stage. The young fish are given the same opportunity to imprint to the location. When the spawning cycle of their lives comes around, the mature fish pick out the characteristics of these small rivers and stage out from these locations before entering even the smallest of streams. At the same time these fish provide tremendous fishing opportunities.

Again, these are dedicated fishermen who are volunteering. It’s not just in Ontario that volunteers are improving fisheries and sport fishing. It’s happening from coast to coast in every province in the country.

The Bad
Damn those dams. Take a look across Canada and we have hundreds, possibly thousands of rivers and streams totally ruined with dams. Today, some dams are vital for generating electricity. A few are even still used to grind a little grain into flour. For the most part though, dams are nothing more than river obstructions that are in place to please a few ‘preferred’ people, conservation authorities and government nitwits. At the same time dams from coast to coast are crippling water potential to enhance fish stocks. If the fish can’t get to the spawning ground, fish can’t reproduce to their full potential and dams prevent fish from getting to the spawning grounds.

Case in point, I am presently working with the Ontario Steelheaders and the Lake Huron Fishing Club to enhance steelhead stocks on Ontario‘s Saugeen River. Due to the presence of major dams in the lower river we are stocking steelhead fingerling and fry miles above the lower dams. We are also transporting hundreds of adult spawning steelhead to these same waters because dams presently prevent the fish from getting to the spawning grounds on the their own. If the two lower dams were removed there would be no need to even begin a costly and time consuming rehabilitation program because it wouldn’t have been needed in the first place.

What’s really mind boggling is the fact that the dams referred to are totally useless and serve no purpose. There’s talk of removal, but that entails environmental assessments, which in turn means time wasted and more effort on the part of the volunteers.

Here’s another example. At Thornbury, Ontario on Georgian Bay, one dam a few hundred yards from the lake towers a hundred feet above the river bottom. The original constructed fishway was all but useless. Very few fish could circumvent the cement structure. Now the dam generates a little power for a local restaurant, but it does provide a nice little pond for a few lucky landowners. When talk came of removing the dam, those few landowners and the restaurant owner won out over nature and the fish. Millions of dollars were spent constructing a new fishway and it looked nice and seemed to improve fish migration.

Trouble is, that million dollar fishway was never planned properly, foundations were installed incorrectly, the fishway has to be repaired regularly and it all could have been corrected in the first place with a few sticks of dynamite.

Now for Conservation Authorities. The fact is, in many parts of Canada, these authorities are in charge of operating the dams. Now, if dams are removed because in many cases they are outdated and have no reason for being there in the first place, we really have no reason for Conservation Authorities draining our government coffers. You can see why Conservation Authorities want dams. No dams, no Conservation Authorities, no paycheques.

I’m not against all dams, just a lot of them. There are reasons for the construction of some dams. But for most dams there is no reason whatsoever for their presence. Except that is to prevent fish from reaching the promised land to multiply.

The Ugly
Politicians
A few months back myself and my Going Fishing Television series got a lot of publicity for using my program to back Ontario’s John Tory in his quest to win the Ontario Provincial Election. Hell, radio, television and the internet carried stories across the continent on one of my shows and the repercussions that came from it. I had Tory on an episode where I pumped the man and his party over Dalton McGuinty and his Liberals. What I didn’t know was the fact that television hosts can’t pump candidates and their parties during the actual time of the election. Unlike the United States, where even Saturday Night Live can ridicule the politicians, here in Canada the land of the free TV hosts are muzzled when it comes to politics and politicians. Anyways, yes I did back John Tory and I would again in a heartbeat. But here’s the real scoop. Myself and my production Going Fishing were never ondemned or contacted by the CRTC or any other government agency. One of my broadcasters received a slap on the wrist for airing the show during the election campaign and that is it.

But, let me state, that I have absolutely no faith in Dalton McGuinty and his Provincial Liberal Party when it comes to managing the Ministry of Natural Resources and our sport fishery. As a matter of fact, I have little faith in most political parties or politicians, federal or provincial across Canada, when it comes to promoting, protecting and improving our fishery and fish stocks from British Columbia to Newfoundland.

Our politicians have track records that stink to high heaven when it comes to fish, fishing and our outdoors. CRTC or no CRTC or for that matter no government agency will ever muzzle me now or in the future. If they think they slowed me down a little during that last election campaign, just wait for the next couple of years to roll around.

As for my buddy, John Tory, seems I couldn’t help him. He lost the election and is out of politics. Like many, I believe he was the best Premier that never was. I just hope that whoever in the near future replaces him treasures our outdoors like he does. He was one politician (see accompanying picture) that loves to fish, realizes the value of the sport and would protect the resource.

And again Dalton, in my humble opinion, you track record on fish, fishing and the outdoors leaves a lot to be desired.

Outfitter & Lodge Spotlight
Spring is here and summer is on its way. Now’s the time to be booking a trip to fishing paradise. This time around let’s look at where the crew and I are heading to in the next couple of months. I’ve done my homework and will be heading to Northwestern Ontario for a number of shows and then flying off to British Columbia to chase and film salmon, halibut and sturgeon.
 
Fishing Kyuquot www.fishingkyuquot.com 1-866-964-5220
 
Now, if you are looking for some of the finest chinook, coho and halibut fishing found anywhere in the world, then click on to Fishing Kyuquot’s website listed above. This two person operation is run by a good friend of mine, Matt Guiguet and his partner Kristy Bostrom. In my opinion and in the opinion of many others, Guiguet is one of the finest saltwater guides in the province. Then again, if you’re a steelheader, Matt has no peer when it comes to that species of fish either.

As for Kristy Bostrom, to be honest, I’ve never met that gal. I do know she was born and raised in Kyuquot and her family were the first non-aboriginals to settle in Kuyuquot. Her family have and still commercial fish the region, so it’s only obvious they always know where the fish are.

The name of their new lodge is Miss Charlie’s, a beautiful old building situated in this quaint oceanfront community. Completely and tastefully renovated, Miss Charlie’s is unique for a coastal fishing lodge for the fact it handles only six guests at a time.

I’ve visited Kyuquot Sound numerous times over the past decade and a half and believe it’s impossible to find a more picturesque region. It can only be reached by air or water. I prefer the drive from Campbell River and then taking the Fair Harbour turnoff for the breathtaking drive up and over the mountains to my pick up on the opposite side of the island. Bears, deer, cougar, tumbling rivers, waterfalls and snow capped mountains are all part of the drive to Fair Harbour and the water taxi ride to Kyuquot and Miss Charlie’s Lodge.

But it’s the fish that you come for and nowhere in British Columbia is the fishing as exciting and fulfilling as Kyuquot Sound. The Barrier Islands form a protective arc just outside of the village, meaning that ‘close to home’ fishing is only minutes from the lodge. A little farther, 10 to 12 miles is the famous ‘Salmon Highway” or Fifty Fathom Edge. This is the migration route for just about every one of the millions of big silvers that are heading south to all those spawning streams in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California. Oh, and by the way, the Fifty Fathom Edge is where you connect with 50-200 pound halibut just about every time you lower your jigs.

I just have one more thing to say...the word is ‘Phenomenal” when it comes to describing Matt and Kristy’s Fishing Kyuquot angling adventure.
 
Ignace Outposts www.ignaceoutposts.com 1-807-934-2273
 
I’ve only had the opportunity to visit Brad and Karen Greaves at Ignace Outpost Ltd. Once. That visit was one of the finest trips I’ve ever experienced in Northwestern Ontario’s fabled Sunset Country. Now, if you know your fishing, you should realize that no region of Ontario has warm water sport fishing like Sunset Country. Walleye and northern pike fishing in this part of the province is like no other. Using the word spectacular to describe Sunset Country’s bountiful fishing is an understatement.

On my last trip to Ignace Outposts Brad and Karen dropped me and the crew into an outpost location on Metionga Lake. It was without a doubt one of the finest fishing holes I’ve ever dropped a line in. This time around the lake is called Seseganaga. It covers 30,000 acres and it’s a proven honey hole for overgrown walleye, northern pike and lake trout. Here’s a lake that’s 25 miles long, with hundreds of miles of shoreline and not more than a mile from any shoreline. Seseganaga is a true walleye fish factory, has pike measuring more than 50 inches in length and also an abundant lake trout population. Can I use the word paradise?

Someone once asked me why I prefer outpost fishing, doing my own housekeeping and cooking my own meals. Well, for starters I love the solitude of the north. Yes, I love mingling with other anglers, but I love nothing more than heading into the bush on a fly-in with just a few friends and again…solitude. I like to use the word paradise and no where is there a paradise like a Sunset Country fly-in and when I make tracks to Sunset Country I want it to be at Ignace Outposts.

Ignace Outposts has secluded outpost cabins on a host of lakes. Some of these locations may only have one cabin for smaller parties, while other bodies of water have three or four cottages present to bring in the gang. No matter what the lake, Brad and Karen Greaves offer a one of a kind angling opportunity.
 
North to Adventure / White River Air Outposts
www.northtoadventure.com 705-759-8577
 
It’s often funny just how I stumble on to some great fishing opportunities. Take North to Adventure in fabulous Algoma Country. Now Algoma Country is that picturesque, fish rich wilderness just northeast of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, but I was vacationing in the Florida Keys when I was first introduced to one of the finest tourist operations I’ve ever had the chance to visit. I was on my annual winter getaway in the sun when Don MacLachalan approached me on the condo dock and introduced himself and we got to talking about tourism and the little empire he had carved out of the Canadian north country. Two years later I was on my way to his MarMac Lodge and was soon introduced to some of the best walleye jigging I’ve experienced in a lifetime of vertical jigging. His Esnagi Lake is a luxurious diamond in the Canadian rough. It also offers some of the finest sport fishing not just in Ontario, but Canada.

Now Don has me coming back for a taste of his fabled outpost fishing for world class lake trout and walleye as well. I should note that Don, besides being the owner of two great American plan 5 star lodges, also owns and operates both White River Airways and White River Air Outposts. Rumour has it that his outposts offer monster lake trout that can challenge the best that the Northwest Territories can offer and myself and the crew plan on going after them.

Now, I’ve said this over and over again…..Anglers in southern Ontario just don’t know what they are missing when they overlook the phenomenal fishing potential being offered in the bush country west of Sudbury all the way to the Manitoba border. The various tourist regions that make up this portion of the province truly are some of the finest on the continent. The drive from metro Toronto can be as short as 6 hours or as long 24 hours. I love to drive the north, simply because of the beauty of the land. Others will take a train from Sudbury and enter Algoma Country. Some may fly first to Thunder Bay or Winnipeg and then enter Sunset Country via car rental. No matter how you get there, do yourself a favour and go there. Our north country, especially in northwestern Ontario is home to some of the best fish destinations found anywhere in this world of ours.
 
Sunset Country’s Free Catalogue www.ontariossunsetcountry.ca
 
I’ve got a good buddy way up in God’s Country. That’s what I call Ontario’s Sunset Country and the friend’s name is Gerry Cariou. He’s the director of tourism for this fabulous sportsmen’s paradise. Here’s a region that has 100,000 lakes stacked full of fish, 60,000 square miles of boreal forest and 288 vacation resorts and fishing lodges.

To me this portion of Canada really is a paradise…a true sportsmen’s paradise. The trouble is the fishing and the scenery is so good, it’s often too difficult to choose a destination. To make this decision easier Gerry and his faithful staff spend almost an entire year compiling their annual Sunset Country Travel Guide and Tourism Map. This big booklet is free for the asking at: http://www.ontariossunsetcountry.ca/enquiries.cfm. This booklet is invaluable when it comes to planning a trip into paradise. Trust me, it has everything you need for enjoying the vacation of a lifetime.

Tackle and Gear That Counts
Deep into the Abyss
It just amazes me the changes that Yankee trollers, especially Michigan trollers, are making on the Great Lakes salmon scene these days. For more than 30 years it’s been a case of fishing the shallows in the spring, fishing deeper water in the summer and then coming back to the shallows in the fall. The Yanks have taught us that diving disks like the Walker Deeper Diver can add a whole new dimension to deep water trolling. These same boys have invented a ‘special’ flasher called the Spin Doctor that will attract even finicky salmon into attacking. Then again, it was the same American fishermen that introduced us to Mylar flies such as the A-Tom-Mik Fly and the Dream Weaver Strong Fly. Now the boys from the Wolverine state are teaching us that chinook salmon are feeding at depths that we never knew existed. Let’s calle it fishing the Abyss. That means fishing depths from 250 feet down to as deep as 300 feet or more. Getting down to that level means special gear and the tackle industry is definitely gearing up for this kind of open water angling.
 
Shark Cannonball’s 25lb Brute Buster www.sharkcannonballs.com
 
Okay for starters, do yourself a favour and type up this company’s website. Now only do these folks, that by the way live and operate their business only a few miles from office, make one hell of downrigger cannonball, but they also have the hottest website in the fishing industry.

Anyways, here we go. It’s a proven fact that baitfish make a lot of noise and that’s how salmon find them. Well guess what? The Shark Cannonball makes a lot of noise and that’s also why salmon and trout are attracted to them. There are a heck of a lot of other reasons for using these special cannonballs. For starters there is little or no blowback when trolling these heavy streamlined downrigger weights. The weights also track directly under your boat when you’re turning or practising a zigzag trolling pattern. These facetted cannonballs are also specially coated like no other downrigger weight on the market. Some are chrome plated. Some are gold painted. Some are black coated. Others are sapphire coated. Just put it this way, they are the best downrigger weights to ever appear on the fresh or saltwater fishing scene.

Okay, but how do Shark Cannonballs fit in with this new Abyss fishing scene? Well, for starters the original Sharks came in five weights…8lb, 10lb, 12lb. 15lb and 20lb for just about every trolling situation. Now remember Shark Downriggers look just like sharks and developed very little blowback, staying almost directly under the boat. But let’s be honest, if you’re planning on getting your cannonball with flasher and lure attached down really deep into the abyss you just might want a little more weight on that cannonball. Well, Shark Cannonballs now presents the Brute Buster and it’s described as 25lbs of sheer hell! Read below just why this new heavyweight cannonball is given its name. No matter what, the Brute Buster is the first cannonball designed for getting down deep at any depth. It’s a winner and there’s no doubt it will be selling out in stores in no time flat.

Once again, do yourself a favour and check out www.sharkcannonballs.com . It really is the niftiest website on the angling scene.
 
Big Jon Downriggers. The Brute! www.bigjon.com
 
Okay let’s go back to downrigger cannonballs and the name the Brute Buster. For starters, when fishing in 250-300 foot depths you won’t be able to fish with just any downrigger. That style of fishing will require heavy duty downriggers….real BRUTES as the word implies. The downrigger will have to be sturdy enough to handle those great big cannonballs that will get you not only directly down below the boat, but down fast as well. Remember, that’s a long way down there. Heck, it will even be a longer, slower way back up….That is if you don’t have the new Brute from Big Jon Sports.

The new Big Jon Brute was designed especially for the task of deep water fishing with heavy weights...

The Big Jon Brute has the company’s most powerful engine and gear box and can raise a cannonball at an amazing 200 feet per minute. It’s manufactured out of high strength aircraft aluminums to last a lifetime and comes equipped with the famous Big Jon flexible arm.

It is one the few, if not the only downrigger capable of carrying the Shark Cannonball Brute Buster down into the abyss. Finally, the Big Jon Brute Downrigger is probably the only downrigger that won’t ‘bust’ when playing with these new weights to get at big fish in deeper depths.
 
Walker Deeper Divers www.walkerdownriggers.com
 
I’ve known Randy Ford longer than most people in the Canadian tackle industry and the fellow never fails to amaze me. He’s always thinking and always coming up with new ideas. He’s also always trying to come up with a better product for anglers and a better price than his competitors.

This time around he has really brought a product to market that every troller should carry in his tackle box. Matter of fact; let’s just say it’s a type of downrigger that can fit in every troller’s tackle box. It’s the Walker Deeper Diver. They are planing devices that not only carry your baits down to the level of the feeding fish, but also carry your baits out and away from the disturbances created by your boat and motor.

Walker Deeper Divers come in 5 different sizes and 21 different colors. Put it this way, there is a Walker Deeper Diver designed for every fish in the sea or for that matter every fish in freshwater. Even better, due to the additional sizes, there’s no need for ‘special’ rings to change depth requirements. And without those rings, there’s no worry about losing those rings. Believe me, I’ve lost rings on some of those other models and it can relate to less fish and then a smack in the pocketbook when you have to replace them….remember no rings!

But why all the sizes? Well for starters, the mini-sizes are just the solution for catching shallow water feeders like rainbow trout, bass, walleye, musky and pike. What about those big overgrown lake trout that are up top in the water column in spring? Mid-size Deeper Divers can get you down to fish suspended in the mid-ranges when trout and salmon are suspending in early summer. The bigger divers are ideal for mid-summer when the water warms and the fish seek out colder zones.

Now think of this and most residents of Ontario don’t, Walker Deeper Divers are really little downriggers that you can just store away in your tackle box when the situation arrives. When I’m packing my gear for a day on the Great Lakes or a week’s adventure in the bush, there will always be one or more sizes and a half dozen colours of Walker Deeper Divers being conveniently being packed along as well.

Whether you have to go down 5 feet or down 100 feet for your fish, there’s really no reason to clamp on a downrigger. Just tie on a Deeper Diver.
 
Leech Lake Knives www.leechlakeknife.com
 
In the last newsletter I mentioned that every angler deserves a custom made fillet knife. Now there is nothing wrong with purchasing one of the mass produced filleting blades for fifteen or 20 dollars, but I still believe that if fishing is your sport and you spend a lot of time on the water and a lot of time at the fish cleaning table, then you deserve a custom crafted fillet knife. When it comes to designing and producing custom made blades no one does it better than Dan Canney, the owner and maker of the Leech Lake Knife Company.

A few years back I was at the Northwest Sport Show in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Now this is a big, big outdoor show, but it almost seemed that one booth alone was collecting all the crowds. Every time I passed this booth there seemed to be a line-up of hundreds of interested attendees. Finally, I made my way in line and slowly worked my way up to what was a demonstration booth manned by three gentlemen. One fellow was talking up the Leech Lake Knife. Another gentleman was putting on a walleye filleting demonstration. Interestingly enough, a third gentleman was writing up orders as fast as his pen could put ink to paper.

Trust me, these knives truly are some of the finest ever made. I found out that Dan Canney had designed his knife out of necessity. He just got plum tired of sharpening knives when he caught his regular limit of walleye and hundreds of fish for others.

Now think of this. When you are using your knife to first cut down the fillet behind the head, you are actually cutting into the fish’s protective armour. Those scales are there to protect the fish from other toothy predators and these scales dull knives in a big way. Don was just tired of forever sharpening his knives. What makes Don’s Leech Lake Knives unique is the fact that the high carbon semi-stainless alloy steel blades have a hook sharpened tip and that the backside of the blade is sharpened as well from about two inches down from the tip. That backside is used to cut through those scales. A word of caution though, the backside of this blade is as sharp as the front side…..fingers beware.

Again, there’s nothing really wrong with the cheaper knives. But if you want the ultimate in knives, contact Dan Canney. If you take pride in your fishing, you’ll take pride in a Leech Lake Knife.
 
The Return of Gary Loomis - North Fork Composites
There’s nothing I love more than surprises, especially when a surprise or two is about to shake up the world’s tackle industry big time. I’ve got a long time friend, by the name of Gary Loomis, who is about to do just that….shake up the world’s tackle industry.

The name Gary Loomis is famous not only to those involved in the North American tackle industry, but throughout the entire world’s tackle industry. His name is also synonymous with fisheries conservation. As an activist Loomis is the founding father of Fish First, a conservation movement to save and improve Pacific salmon steelhead stocks on the west coast.

But to be honest it’s in the tackle industry that Loomis laid his claim to fame. This is the man that founded G. Loomis, a company that produced some of the finest rod blanks and finished rods used by anglers around the globe. He also headed an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) who supplied rod blanks and finished rods for numerous other companies, including those giant outdoor box stores.

Gary dropped a bombshell on me a few weeks back when he mentioned he was getting back into the fishing tackle game one more time. You see, a few years ago Loomis did what most owners get around to doing some day. He sold G. Loomis to another company and decided to sit back, fish and hunt a lot more and also spend additional time on his conservation efforts. But the itch has got him again. He’s started up another fishing blank (graphite composite) company. He’s promising to introduce a new generation of rod blanks for anglers that prefer to construct their own fishing rods.

Remember this name. It’s called North Fork Composites. I’m betting Gary is about to do it all over again, starting with manufacturing the finest fishing rod blanks in the industry and then you can bet the finished rods will follow. You’ve just got to love this guy.
 
Preparing Fishing and Wild Game
Preparing Fish & Wild Game
 
By now everyone should know that I love fish, fried fish, smoked fish, boiled fish, cedar plank fish and especially fish done up with Darryl Cronzy’s Breading and Batter Mix. I’ve also put together a really great fish cookbook of my own, but let me tell you I think I’ve come across the ‘mother’ of all cookbooks. It’s called Preparing Fishing and Wild Game and from cover to cover it keeps your mouth watering.

It is 315 pages of must reading, must cooking and must eating. Believe me, if you like eating fish or for that matter, game as well this is the cookbook you just have to have.

Afraid of Deet
Use Skeet...Skeet Soap That is!
www.skeetsoap.ca

For eons and eons it seems that outdoors folk have been relying on deet in some form or the other to repel those pesky little biters of the bush. You know what I’m talking about…mosquitoes, black flies, gnats. Those unbearable little buggers that bite, suck blood and cause your body to swell and joints to ache. No doubt about it, deet in lotion form or oil repels these same little buggers

It’s also true that many, many, many people have begun to worry about not just what deet does to the bugs, but also to the intended victim of the bugs. Some worry that deet itself might even do a whole lot more damage to the body of the victim, than what bug bites will ever do.

Well, let’s introduce Skeet . Better put, let’s introduce Skeet Soap. Now this stuff is revolutionary in the fact that it contains no deet. You wash with it or just rub it across your skin or even on your clothes.

According to Darren Boast the man that is introducing Skeet Soap to us outdoor folks, Skeet is the all ‘natural’ mosquito repellent. It’s been tested in the jungles of Borneo and the Amazon and if you think Wawa has mosquitoes you should see the blood suckers down there. Again, there is no deet involved, just all natural ingredients.

Personally, I have another complaint with all those deet products. They eat and melt my plastic baits faster than it kills or deters the bugs. I’ve even had more than a few pair expensive sunglasses melt off the end of my nose due to an overdose of deet. I just don’t have that problem with Skeet Soap. I simply have a great wash down with Skeet Soap in the morning and don’t worry about bugs the rest of the day.

Skeet Soap, don’t enter the bush without it…or for that matter the garden or any urban jungle.

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