ON THE LINE: Johnston Lake, NWT

On Sunday, July 7, after our morning of exploring Graham Lake and fishing on our own, we packed up the floatplane and made the short flight over to Johnston Lake.

I don’t think I will every forget taking those plane rides. The sheer terror and beauty of being in a sardine can while flying over top of the Northwest Territories is something that everybody should experience. Peter, our pilot, made a smooth landing onto Johnston Lake and we got everything unpacked. There were two boats and fish finders already waiting on the rocky shore.

Gord, owner of Yellow Dog Lodge and our guide for the afternoon, decided to split us into two groups: Michaela and myself, and Gord and Peter in the other group. Gord and Peter got the sturdy, aluminum boat while we got the fold-a-boat or hide-a-boat, or what it should be called: sheer terror on the water. This thing was designed to be hauled around easily, so it literally folded up and unfolded with ease, so it could be strapped to the floats on a floatplane and hauled to whatever remote location you needed. You could also attach a motor, but I highly recommend that you do not travel at fast speeds with this boat on choppy water. It has a tendency to collapse in upon itself if it hits any waves at all.

Johnston Lake was completely different from Graham Lake and Duncan Lake. It was smaller, by far, and shallower. All of these things meant the water was relatively calm, or would have been if a storm didn’t whip up while we were out.

Johnston Lake is the most northern lake in which you can find walleye, and it also hosts its fair share of pike. On that day, we were targeting the walleye.

Michaela had made me prepare for this trip as much as possible and I am glad I did. Gord asked me if I knew how to use a jig, and I did, so they took off. Well I did know how to use a jig, but the braided line threw me off. I knew there were certain ways to tie braided line and since we were also fishing for pike I needed a leader, which I did located on the bottom of the boat. As for the knot, I remembered that the same knot used for nanofil line could be used for braided line, so I quickly tied it, admired my work and we set off to find the fish.

There will be more next week more on Johnston Lake and what I like to call catching.

Until next time, keep your rod tip up.

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