Story and Photos by Josh McFaddin
Four days in the wild with ten crazy dudes, eleven if I include myself. No electricity, no cell service, no warmth, no running water and certainly nowhere normal to take a washroom break. There are a lot of feelings that are hard to explain. Like when you eat something that doesn’t quite sit right and you’re not really sure if you’re going to be spending the whole night laying beside the bathroom door clenching your stomach with every muscle in your hands, and then it passes, but you still make sure to avoid solid and zesty foods for a couple of days just in case, but mixed in with your worries is also a warm and subtle joy of being free from what ails you. Well, spending a solid four days in the middle of the bush with these fellas is much like that. Not the worry-filled painful parts, but that sweet sweet indescribable feeling of joy.
The annual fishing trip into the heart of Sunset Country in the NWO (North Western Ontario) started with a long drive through the heavily snow covered Canadian Shield to a landing zone where we unloaded our power-toboggans, equipped them with sleighs, and drive a few miles through thick forest to where our log built accommodations awaiting our arrival.
Lacking everything average and normal, the log cabin made up for its shortcomings by offering an experience like no other, which ended up hosting many of the more memorable moments of the trip.
The days were filled with adventuring through trails in order to get to small, typically un-fished fishing holes that were mostly covered in ice and a hefty layer of snow. Many beautiful shield fish were caught and photographed as we all broke off into smaller crews, bouncing around from shanty to shanty in order to meet our daily quota of chuckles, name calling and belittling each others angling skills.
Once the sun set, the party moved back to the old log shack where we all huddled together to try and stay warm whilst enjoying a few beverages and cooking excessively large quantities of animal based proteins, to give us a reason to cheers our tin cans and break out in happy song.
In the end, we all made it home safely with full tummies and full hearts. The Americans made it back safely to their native lands as the Canadian team risked their lives on the snow blown highways, dodging semis and snowdrifts all the way back to Winnipeg (and surrounding areas).
Can’t wait for the next one. Cant forget the last one. Hope the memories last far longer than the pictures.