Author Topic: Talston Bay NWT  (Read 1669 times)

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Offline chiaro

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Talston Bay NWT
« on: December 19, 2017, 09:39:07 PM »

There is lake Kipawa, the dream is to retire there. Then there are certain species one dreams always and the dream is to fish the best location for that species. For me, Pike, Trout, and Tarpon. This was a Pike lodge I had looked at for many years but balked at going to because of the price. Come retirement it was now or never. So off I went solo and as luck would have it the 5 other guys there were a great group of guys. Where is this lodge? Great Slave Lake in the NWT.


One thing that sort of kept me away was the bravado of the website. I guess if you got it flaunt it but it seemed like they could be overselling there product and that was a personal red flag for me. Talking to them personally I was told for a 1st timer I'd boat at least thirty 40 inch pike. I doubted that and they seemed incredulous. Yet there I was on the first day and on my first cast...a 37 inch pike. Hello Talston!


I partnered up with "Doc". For the most part he used a muskie killer in black and silver. For an older man he was a machine until he broke down the last two days of the trip. He would fish right up to the last minute. His break would be to sit down to cast and he only changed lures when I started catching more then him!!


This Len Thompson #4 was the one go to lure for me. When coming to a new spot I'd throw it first, when the action slowed I'd put it on. For sure I was under armed. I had brought stuff for all possibilities but most was for late spring fishing. I mainly fished my big stuff off the bat and that which wasn't big I made bigger with plastic. Later in the trip I was buying or trading for bigger lures. **Hint** - bring premium beer on a trip, it never loses it's value!


That first day Doc got several trophies in the low 40s. For the most part we were just blindly casting over weeds. I got a 40 but Doc had trouble working my camera so no pic. The action was steady and I became the king of 33-38 inch pike. I seemed to be able to draw them out at will. Since I followed Doc's lead on robo casting we never really were not into big fish....when it got hot we trolled. It was the sort of trip that when one of us were flagging and trying goof lures the other continued. Soon we were back into fish and the other person switched back to a good lure. I took a break from night fishing that first day but heard the others got into several trophies including a mid 40 inch fish.


Most of our fishing took place within this photo because other spots were too shallow or the weeds were mostly all dead. Why is the fishing so good? Limited exposure. Most weeks don't have more than 8 people there and I hear few fish July. Weeds and reeds seemed to be everywhere. As limited as the spots we did fish, I wondered what other off season areas would have produced. The few times we strayed into other areas the fishing wasn't as good.


Day two saw the big lake whipped up with heavy winds so we went up river. Not a lot of fish were caught for the pounding we gave those areas but a few trophies were caught.

It was the night fishing of "beautiful chaos" that I will always remember.


The night started out with the most beautiful sunset that seemed to stretch out forever and then transitioned into a full moon with northern lights...but as it got darker the action picked up dramatically and unlike the day most of the fish were trophies.


"Bullwinkle" hooked into a beaut but we had little time to admire it. We ourselves had just hooked into a double with a 40 and a 41 incher with crossed lines. All three fish were caught within a few dozen yards of each other. And the PANIC never let up because the action continued but now we had deal with these sharp toothed slabs in the dark. There never really was a full minute to sit down and exhale because another fish was on.


Doc caught his biggest fish of the trip that night. We never got a good pic of it or a measurement because it was deep hooked and needed a lot of revival time after being out of water extra long. When she perked up Doc was tired and was happy enough that it swum away. I'd very conservatively put that fish at 45 inches.


As the days went on the others were doing well. Paul topped out at 46 inches and he had a number of trophies.


The father son team of Rocky and Bullwinkle did very well. Rocky topped out at 45 inches also.


He was competing with his son but couldn't keep up to him.


He caught several mid 40 fish with the best being 47 inches long.


He wrote me later, Rocky and I totaled 51 trophies which was down from our last trip up. It was a "hot" week. The daily average temperature is supposed to be 12 but it never got anywhere near that cold. We were into the low to mid-20's some days and even wore shorts some days. On those hot days heat definitely slowed down fishing.


I was the laggard of the group with my best being 43 inches. 


I made a few rookie mistakes also all which call for another shot down the road.


It just seemed to be one of those trips where I had the opportunities but couldn't cash in. All in all I probably caught about ten 40 inch or higher fish. Well short of the prediction but still the fishing was remarkable.


That number is inconclusive because on that last night of fishing Doc and I were after personal bests. At the start of the night we wouldn't pull anything out of the water that looked to be around 40 inches.


Doug had a slow start as I did but really poured it on towards the end of the trip.


Doug hamming it up.


Not the longest fish of the week but by far the chunkiest.


Overall impression

This is not your typical flyin. First the cost is significant but it has to be for it's location. Don't come expecting anything to be high end...in fact, it is remarkably informal. A few regulars help promote the place and it has a loyal following. You give nothing up on meals for the excellent fishing. Accommodations are decent with three rooms that could sleep 4 each although only one is best suited for 4. This is one fishing lodge where you do actually come back for lunch because you rarely will be more then 5 minutes away. The relative area normally fished is unusually small, basically the extended river mouth. Having said that it is amazing how many large and trophy pike are packed in that area. We saw no other species of fish although walleye is there other times of the year and whitefish also. You don't come here for any other reason but to fish pike although I hear the walleye fishing can be good when they come in. There is decent Lake Trout fishing about an hour away at extra charge and extra risk to your life in that you will have to cross open water! It sounds like few ever take that side trip.

Offline puckster_guy

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Re: Talston Bay NWT
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2017, 08:11:37 AM »
Wow, just wow.
Days spent fishing don't count against life :)

Offline Greg

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Re: Talston Bay NWT
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2017, 08:24:25 AM »
That's a trip of a life-time right there... I might PM you some questions some time... (best time, overall cost/budget, etc.).

Definitely on my bucket list.

Offline NortonJoe

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Re: Talston Bay NWT
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2017, 10:24:49 AM »
To me pike fishing is far and away the most fun, most of the time.  I love that there is just more action involved...casting, retrieving, and the fight is a blast when one hits.  There's nothing like being on the water in some quiet bay, engine is off and you are drifting around in a light breeze.  You're casting here and there listening to the sounds of nature..casting over towards that perfect weed bed because you know one of those monsters is laying up in there waiting.  Then...WHAM!...and the fight is on!
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.
 ~Henry David Thoreau

Offline Canuckbass

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Re: Talston Bay NWT
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2017, 10:51:52 AM »
Spring pike in Ontario is amazing. Great Slave Lake has always been known around the world as the best pike lake.
Congrats!

Offline T-Bone

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Re: Talston Bay NWT
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2017, 01:42:24 PM »
Dag...your arms would get tired on a fishing trip like that. Seems pretty far-flung to go fishing for pike but the results speak for themselves. Sheesh...nice work.

Just for a baseline, what's the ballpark cost for a guy...door to door...from Toronto as a neutral departure location? I ask in that there are a handful of really good pike lakes and lodges in northern MB and SK that are really expensive, but it's 5-Star all the way...accommodations, equipment, meals, support staff / guides, etc. I've priced them out a few times....9-Days = $10K US door-to-door.

I love fishing...not sure I can justify that, but a trip like that is on my bucket list for sure.

Embrace every moment...you only get it once

Offline Fort Wisers

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Re: Talston Bay NWT
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2017, 04:14:12 PM »

Offline Oarin

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Re: Talston Bay NWT
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2017, 09:52:59 PM »
Really nice!

Offline chiaro

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Re: Talston Bay NWT
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2017, 07:32:54 PM »
Dag...your arms would get tired on a fishing trip like that. Seems pretty far-flung to go fishing for pike but the results speak for themselves. Sheesh...nice work.
Just for a baseline, what's the ballpark cost for a guy...door to door...from Toronto as a neutral departure location? I ask in that there are a handful of really good pike lakes and lodges in northern MB and SK that are really expensive, but it's 5-Star all the way...accommodations, equipment, meals, support staff / guides, etc. I've priced them out a few times....9-Days = $10K US door-to-door.

I love fishing...not sure I can justify that, but a trip like that is on my bucket list for sure.

Pretty well all of the fishing is sight fishing...after a while you will pull your lure away if the pike isn't at least approaching 40 inches, especially when the bite is on. You have your guide to net and release so while I caught plenty of fish it wasn't the type of trip where your arms are in pain weeks later.

I've always been a pike fishermen first so I have looked at all those places and fished a few of the "cheaper ones". I went solo so it was a bit more expensive. To price it out you pretty well have to fly to Edmonton and then to Yellowknife. That can be done in a day but you have to overnight. You don't have to overnight on your way back. Depending on your point of departure this should be a doable trip for 4-5000 US with guide. There is real value for your $ considering where you are fishing. You just need the justification to pull the trigger. Wish I was retiring or turning 40, 50, or 60 this year. We have lots going on this year with my wife's retirement and renovations so I am hoping there is some cash left over after we pay for her trip. I FEAR not having enough in retirement for a trip like this once every few years!
« Last Edit: December 21, 2017, 07:36:27 PM by chiaro »

Offline Hodgey1

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Re: Talston Bay NWT
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2018, 12:50:05 PM »
Very cool, thanks for sharing! It wont be on my bucket list, unless my bucket some how magically starts growing lot-so cash  :(
The fish are calling and I've got to go.

Offline SgtCrabby

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Re: Talston Bay NWT
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2018, 10:28:26 PM »
Wow!  That is great.
Thank you for sharing.

Offline ziggy6

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Re: Talston Bay NWT
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2018, 11:04:21 AM »
Very Cool!! Congrats at making that trip, I can understand the attraction!