Gone Fishing

I like fishing for the places fishing takes me.

It’s no secret that fishermen follow the fish, which means that a lot of fishermen travel a lot. It’s fishing that brought me to Thunder Bay and beyond to the uttermost wilds of Western Ontario. This is a land of rushing blue streams (the water is actually bright blue), gray granite bluffs and tall pine forests. Driving on the empty highway is a wildlife experience. You might just see a fox slip through the grass, or a mother moose guarding her calf.

Hop in a small plane and you’ll see more. After flying to Thunder Bay and driving to Atikokan, I boarded a 4-seater seaplane headed for the infinite lakes of northwest Ontario. Within five minutes of taking off from one lake, I saw two black bear trudging through the woods, completely unbothered by the buzz of our plane engine.

All of Canada is on the verge of endless wilderness. This is what sets Canada apart, and why a short seaplane journey can take one from a land of big nature and a few small stores to a land of big skies packed with stars and nothing but trees and water.

Photo by Brian Gratwicke

The lake I landed on has a name—Lake Sanford—but such a name offers little to distinguish the beauty, shape, and natural peace of this one lake over the other several thousand. The water is pure (pure enough to drink, which I did) and the lake is deep (up to 500 feet in places, gouged out by ancient glaciers.)

Living at the edge of such a lake—if only for a few days—does good things for the harried city soul. Up here, there is no distraction other than the fish living in the lake. Everything is pure and real—when night falls, you sleep and when morning comes, you fish.

In fishing, as in life, patience is a virtue. I know that after my second day on the lake when I began fishing at nine in the morning. Only at nine o’clock at night did I catch my first fish, a reluctant green walleye of two pounds which made a nice lunch the next day. It was worth the wait.

Everyone goes fishing for different reasons. Some are in it for the fish, others the sport, some for the beer and others for the escape.

After my weekend in the wild, I’m fairly certain that I’m in it for the lakes.


  1. […] Andrew on Twitter and read his latest post about going fishing on Lake Sanford in Western Ontario. Keywords: Andrew Evans, canada, Digital […]

  2. […] Andrew on Twitter and read his latest post about going fishing on Lake Sanford in Western […]

  3. Vago Damitio
    Sefrou, Morocco
    June 28, 2011, 1:35 pm

    It’s one of the things I miss the most about North America, Andrew are the magnificent lakes and rivers. Sure, there are great lakes and rivers in Africa, Asia, and Europe too (and I hear in South America as well) but somehow, the North American ones have a certain taste, smell, and feel…

    I remember being in Utah a few years ago in the Ogden Lakes area and just feeling like I was home. Same goes for Canada. It might be why when people say I’m American, I’m quick to correct them. I’m North American.


  4. William Sorokolit
    Lumberton, Texas
    June 29, 2011, 10:50 am

    Man oh Man, getting homesick watching this video. Ontario truly does have some of the most amazing lakes in the world, bar none! I remember driving up towards Pembroke, where my brother lives. The scenery is second to none, probably some of the best in Canada. Every lake beckons you to come explore as you drive along the road.

  5. […] Andrew on Twitter and read his latest post about going fishing on Lake Sanford in Western […]

  6. Happy Canada Day! – Digital Nomad
    July 1, 2011, 7:07 pm

    […] immense province. So far I’ve traveled to Ontario’s Deep South, its Far East and its Wild West. Hmmm, I wonder where I might travel to […]

  7. Mark Lamb
    Hamilton, Ontario
    July 3, 2011, 7:26 am

    Andrew in a mere 5:05 of video and a few paragraphs you have truly captured the essence of fishing in Ontario.

    Some people just don’t understand the allure of fishing. They don’t understand travelling hundreds of miles/kilometres to live for a few days in the woods. They don’t understand spending hours on the water in search of a walleye, pike or bass.
    But some people just don’t know how lucky they are to be alive.
    Alive is what Ontario’s wilderness lakes make me feel.