- Pack to Fish
- Be Ready to Eat!
- Bring a Passport, Camera, Fishing License
By Dale Black
I love fishing any chance I get, and to fish locations that I have never been to, I always look forward to that. I received an invitation to fish Rainy Lake and stay at Campfire Island this past year. Rainy Lake, cabins, fishing and food – how could I say no?
The date was getting close and the anticipation was building, what to pack (clothes and such)? What gear to take? The gear was much easier, fishing for smallmouth, walleye and pike are something that I do right here on the Allegheny River.
The trip started off in a bad way, got 4 hours from the house when I realized I left my passport, thank goodness Heidi , my wonderful wife, met me halfway back with my passport so I could get across the border. I believe she was as excited for me leaving as I was to going. I arrived at International Falls, Minnesota, and crossed into Canada.
I was a little early, and I was chomping at the bit. How was the fishing? What are the cabins going to be like? How was the food? And again, how was the fishing? I was right there at the Lake and all I wanted to do was fish, but I would have to wait, not long though. We met as a group at Sorting Gap Marina and loaded onto boats for our journey to Campfire Island. The trip out was not very long, but was pretty cool, got to see some Pelicans – I didn’t even realize that they lived this far north.
I was amazed at how large the lake was, the water clarity and how islands were scattered all over the place. Thank goodness for GPS. When we got to Campfire Island we unloaded the boats and made our way to the cabins. They were awesome! Great place to catch some Z’s or relax inside or out of the cabin. We had a great view from the porch to sit, relax and watch the lake. We all got settled in and prepared for our first meal.
We gathered at the main lodge for dinner, the aroma teased us as we waited, talking about fishing and different products that we like to use. The conversation always turned to, “I wonder what’s cooking that it smells so good?!” The call to dinner was made and stampede to the table began. The food was out of this world.
With our bellies full and still some light outside, we grabbed our gear to make a few casts. Most of us tired out pretty quick as the adrenaline wore off and from the long day of travel. It was time to turn in and start fresh in the morning. I slept like a baby, not normal, and the alarm went off long before it should have. It was time to get ready to fish, but first, breakfast.
I normally don’t do breakfast, but we met at the main lodge, you could smell the bacon and everything cooking. No normal here, I was eating breakfast. And again, it was awesome!
We broke into groups for fishing. The weather was not ideal to start the day and as with many of the large lakes when the wind picks up, so do the size of the waves. It was a little windy so we stayed pretty close to Campfire Island. We had a great day of fishing even with the adverse conditions, but they were supposed to improve.
Time for dinner, I think I have mentioned how much I loved the food and again they didn’t disappoint. After dinner we waddled up, yea we were waddling by now, and got our gear for a short bit of fishing from shore.
It was a blast, we got into a small school of walleye and an occasional pike chaser. The day went by extremely fast. The saying, “Time flies when you’re having fun,” definitely fit. The next couple of days went by just as fast. The fishing was unbelievable, got numerous smallmouth and walleye with a scattered pike.
We stuffed our faces with great food and had a good time telling fish stories. If you are ever looking to do a trip, make sure to check out Campfire Island. Wayne and Pat will take real good care of you and it will be a trip you won’t forget.
Here is their website link: http://www.campfireisland.com/.