When he snapped my line and I watched as this lake trout swam away deliberately, with its dark green back descending to the river bottom a euphoric feeling descended on me. We had done battle and today he had won. Patti and I work hard at getting our clients that feeling of a truly tremendous fish on their line, today I was the lucky one to have this monster on my line, and I worked!

Swinging dry flies for lake trout on the Thanakoie River.

As a water fowl, big game Outfitter guide I trade my stalking skills that I have honed for over 40 years to my fishing guide skills that I have honed for 30 years and in July and August I am totally focused on lake trout and arctic grayling hunting at Aylmer Lake Lodge, Aylmer Lake, Northwest Territories Canada.

I don’t have a preference, I love it all, it’s the outdoors, I am an outdoors person it’s where my heart is, and I am blessed to get lots with my line of work, here in July and August I hunt big lake trout.

Lake trout has always held a special spot in my heart, it’s a hunters game, there are many people who want to catch big lake trout, but the monsters are elusive, so few do.

Catching a giant lake trout on a dry fly is altogether another game of stepping up the anti.  

Patti and I boated to the Thanakoie river about a 15 minute boat ride from the dock, a slight ripple on the water from an east wind.  I read the water and could see the dark water line where it met the shallow bouldering crystal clear line, my point of opportunity. I started to cast towards shallow water and let the dry fly drift over the dark waterline, and my plan was to just kept repeating, on the second cast I hooked a beautiful little orange coloured laker. The 500-600 meter drift produced 2-3 fish per drift in the 6-9 lb size Great Lake trout but not what I was looking for. 

Patti and I fished for 2.5 hours catching nice lake trout on ultra light reel for Patti and Fly rod for me. At around 3:30, I switched to dry flies I started with a nice blue/ orange colour one.  My first cast was into about 1 foot of water wanting it to drift over the dark water line into deeper water, the fly had not gone more then 5-6 feet when it was hit like a freight train, a laker.

Lakers love mice patterns.

The first run had me into my backing within seconds as it went up river.  As I fought this huge lake trout after 4 hard runs I had it to the boat when it saw the boat it exploded back up river and broke the leader off….snapped it like a thread, my 30lb line. As the fish swam away I could see the dry fly in it’s left lip, as it descended slowly back to the dark water line, I was overwhelmed with emotion as I had just lost my personal best fly caught lake trout.  I knew I had won as I had it right beside the boat before his final explosive run.  The hunt for huge lake trout was successful, it just did not end in my hands holding this beast, then releasing it to fight another day. Truly, 1 for him…0 for me, will I be back there looking for another monster, yup you bet, will I be taking my clients there you bet. Did I learn some things, yes, am I willing to share you bet.