Mike's Esnagami Lake Lodge Adventure

Michael Brettell by Michael Brettell
Field Journal

This blog entry, which was written by my nephew, Michael Brettell, describes his trip to Esnagami Lake Lodge this past June.


Mikes parents gave him this trip for his 13th birthday and, once he got over the initial disappointment of not getting an iPad, Mike had what he described as an “awesome” time.


He out fished and out ate all of us, and even learned a couple of new jokes that he could tell his mom and sisters without getting him, or his dad into too much trouble.

Day 1

After arriving at my Uncle Harold’s place in Whitby around 10 p.m., we had something to eat, a dip in his pool and then it was off to bed. It seemed like I just went to sleep when my Uncle woke me up at 3:30 a.m., and boy was I tired. My dad likes to call my Uncle “twinkle toes” when he gets everyone up so early and he used some pretty bad words to describe him as he was rolling out of bed.

I was so tired that I fell asleep in the van for at the first 4 hours of our trip, but I woke up in time to have breakfast at Gilli’s Truck Stop in Lindsey. I was very hungry and had 2 eggs, 2 beef patties, 4 toasts and home fries. And guess what? That breakfast combo just happened to be the most expensive thing on the menu. Because my dad was paying both Uncle Harold and my dad’s friend Gary, or Boogie as everyone calls him, thought that ordering the most expensive thing was a very good idea.

After breakfast we were back on the road and I watched 3 Stooges movies during the next part of the drive. About 5 hours later we met up with the other guys we would be fishing in Kapuskasing, when we stopped for lunch at Casey’s. One of the guys whose name is Kenny was really funny but my dad told me never to go anywhere alone with him, but would not tell me why. I had a bacon cheeseburger and it was delicious. Uncle Harold and Gary told me to order a steak, but I really wanted a burger. 

Once we were back on the road I watched the movie Field of Dreams until our next stop at a convenience store in Moonbeam where Gary, a.k.a Boogie, bought some lottery tickets. As a matter of fact we stopped at several convenience stores along the way so he could buy tickets.

A few hours later we stopped at a grocery store in Hurst and bought lunchmeat, cheese, and buns for sandwiches. After 4 more hours of traveling we arrived at The Shores Motel in Nakina, where we would spend the night before flying out the next morning. Instead of going out for dinner we made sandwiches and, after we ate, watched a little TV and then all went to bed.

Day 2

I woke up at 5:00 a.m. after a terrible sleep because I was getting bitten by mosquitoes every 2 seconds. Once everyone else got up we went to the Country Kitchen Restaurant for breakfast.

After a good breakfast we took a short drive to the float base where the plane, which was called a Turbo Otter, would fly us to the lodge. This plane wasn’t any ordinary plane, it was one of those planes that take off and land in water, and I was going to be able to sit up front beside the pilot. We unloaded all our stuff onto a cart to get weighed and then, along with all the passengers; it was loaded onto the plane. Once I climbed into my seat I was a little nervous because, not only have I never sat in the front, I have never been on a plane before. It was really awesome.

When we landed at Esnagami Lodge a dog named Aero greeted us and I couldn’t wait to go fishing and try out my new rod and reel that Uncle Harold gave me for this trip. Before we could go fishing we had to find our cabin and get a map of the lake from Eric, the guy who owns the lodge. My dad and I shared a cabin (of course) and we would also be fishing together (of course again). When we finally did go fishing I got to drive the boat!

During the first hour I caught a 24-inch pike. A couple hours went by with no more bites, but just when I thought we were not going to catch anything else, I caught 2 really nice Walleye, one 16 inches and the other 18 inches. Another couple hours went by without catching anything but I finally hooked another fish, and once I got it to the boat my dad brought it in.

It was a nice sized pike, but when my dad was trying to get the lure out of its mouth the pike started to bleed. After a couple of seconds of trying to get the lure out my dad decides to put the fish in the water to slow down the bleeding, but as soon as the fish was in the water it took off and snapped my line. I looked at him and said “Stupid, stupid, stupid.” That was Dumb Dad Move #1! 

We fished for another hour or so and then headed back in for dinner. When we finished I didn’t waist any time to start nudging my dad to go out again. That evening all I caught was a 14-inch Walleye. On our way in for the night I did a great job docking the boat.

Day 3

Woke up and, once the lodge bell rang we went down to breakfast. After eating a giant breakfast my dad and I headed out. It was very windy and the waves were big and it was raining hard. So after catching 3 walleye we decided to come in, but because of the weather it took a long time. When we finally got to the dock we were soaked so we hung our clothes all over the place in our cabin to dry them out.

We waited in our cabin until dinner and during dinner I heard some new jokes, here’s an example “An old married couple goes to church and the husband turns to his wife and whispers ‘I just let a silent fart go, what should I do now?’ and the wife whispers ‘Change the battery in your hearing aid.”

After dinner my dad and I went out for a bit and came back in because we weren’t catching any thing. We sat in our cabin but got bored so we played cribbage, and I lost. 

Day 4

I had a terrible sleep that night and after getting up went down to breakfast. After breakfast I put on layers and layers of warm clothes. We headed over to Fox Bay and no sooner had I started fishing than I caught a 31 ½ inch trophy pike. I was happy to catch that fish but I was too cold and wet to be really all that happy.

When it was lunchtime I had leftover soup from yesterday’s dinner, and it made me feel warm, but I was so tired that I fell asleep in the boat. When I woke up we were on our way in for dinner, and after dinner we were back out on the lake. We didn’t catch much but we did see a double rainbow, but only one was very visible. We came in shortly after that and we made popcorn and watched Transformers 2 on my PSP.

Day 5 

I had a much better sleep and was really hungry so I had big breakfast. Today was cold (again) so I put on layers of clothes. My dad and I were going to go to Betty Lake. Betty Lake is a different lake than Esnagami and you have to walk through a forest to get to it.

There is a boat at that lake so you don’t have to carry yours (Thank goodness). When we got into Betty Lake it looked calm, but looks can be deceiving, because when we got out to the main part of the lake the wind was really blowing and we were drifting very fast.

That wasn’t the worst part, our motor kept dying on us and when we tried to push away from shore using the paddles, my dad dropped one into the lake. That was Dumb Dad Move #2! It took us half an hour just to get it back and when we did, and finally started to fish, we didn’t get a single bite so we left at around noon.

On our way back to the lodge there were 4-foot waves and because I was sitting in the front, every time we hit a wave I would get lifted a foot off my chair. I bounced so high after hitting a huge wave, that when I landed I missed my chair. When we finally got back in we had to dry our clothes again, and we played cards before dinner.

We didn’t even bother to go out again because the weather was too bad so my dad and I together with a few other people watched the Blue Jays game. Kenny kept looking out of the lodge window waiting for Uncle Harold to return from his day fishing with Eric.

Day 6

Today I woke up very tired. When my dad and I started fishing we went to Gull Island. The fishing was slow and I only caught 1 walleye. My dad was lucky and caught 2 trophy walleye back to back. We didn’t catch anything else so we headed to an island where we had a group shore lunch with everyone who was staying at the lodge and the fish tasted really good.

After lunch my dad and I went to Trout Bay and I caught a 24-½ inch trophy walleye, and I also caught 4 - 20 inch walleyes.

We went back out after dinner we went to Gull Island again and it was a feeding frenzy! We must have caught at least 20 fish each and when we were about to go back in my dad and I both caught a fish at the same time.

Day 7

I was exited when I woke up this morning because my dad and I were going to Spotted Lake. My dad said he caught a big fish there before and I wanted to catch one too. On our way there my Dad saw a bald eagle and he wanted me to get a picture so he drove the boat close and we get stuck on a rock. Dumb Dad Move #3!

So we had to rock the boat off and that took close to an hour. When we finally got off the rock my dad went the wrong way. Dumb Dad Move #4! We eventually made it to Spotted Lake and I caught a blue pickerel on my second cast and that was it for a while.

At around 12:30 they started biting again and not just the small ones, my dad caught a 39-inch pike that took forever to bring in and I caught a 38-inch pike that also took forever to bring in. After those two fish we caught a lot of 20 inchers until it was time to head back for dinner.

After dinner we went to Gull Island. While we were there Uncle Harold and Kenny joined us, which I didn’t mind because I still caught a lot, and since Boogie didn’t have any “bring home fish,” my dad and I gave him some that we caught. 

Day 8

Today I woke feeling a bit sad because it was going to be our last day here. After another big breakfast my dad and I went to Gull Island and we caught a lot. Then we went to an island to have a shore lunch with Boogie, Ron, Art, and Bob. The fish we ate were so good and so big. 

After our shore lunch my dad and I went to Brian’s Bay but we didn’t catch anything. We went back to Gull Island and didn’t have any luck so my dad and I decided to come in early to pack. We had steak for dinner today. 

After dinner we went to Gull Island and caught a few small fish and a 25-inch trophy walleye. We fished for another 15 minutes but didn’t catch anything so we went over to Brian’s Bay where I caught a walleye on a spinner. On one of his casts my dad put his lure right into a tree, which, if you’re counting, was Dumb Dad Move #5! It took almost 30 minutes just to get it unstuck so we went in afterwards.

Day 9

Today was the day we were leaving so during my big breakfast we received our trophy shirts.

After breakfast my dad and I finished up our packing and since it was raining with thunder and lightning, the plane was delayed. When we finally left I got to sit in the front again and once we landed we packed up the van with our fishing stuff and hit the road. On the way home we stopped at Uncle Harold’s cottage to drop off the canoe my dad and I had to bring home from the states - but that’s a different story.

When we left his cottage we stopped in Kapuskasing and had dinner at Casey’s and spent the night at the Apollo motel.

Day 10

Today I had to wake up at 6:00 a.m., so I had a B.E.L.T from Tim Horton’s in Cochrane for breakfast. 

I watched the 3 stooges until our lunch at Wild Wings in Brechin and their wings are amazing. After a couple more hours of driving we dropped off Uncle Harold at his house, picked up my sister from the airport, dropped off Boogie at his house, and after a bit more driving we finally made it home. 


My trip to Esnagami Lodge was awesome, even though it rained a lot and we didn’t catch fish sometimes.

I had fun with my dad there and hope I can go back again.

Last modified onTuesday, 17 March 2015 15:47
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