One week to go. The fishing gear is cleaned, oiled, reels wound with fresh line, also a full spool for each, and a backup five hundred yards of braided line. Clothes are loaded in a backpack. All is ready but the food. She's a forty mile boat-in trip to the Elbow Lake Lodge run by Steve Japps. We've spoken a few times on the phone and he seems like the man you'd want to rent a cabin from and learn the ins and outs of a big lake.
My son Allan and I - yeah, he's the guy I'm going with - first paddled Elbow in 1998. He was fresh out of high school and I was eleven years from retirement. Yup, a long time ago. We passed through on our way to and from Claw Lake in 2002 and found Elbow to hold some big pike and walleyes. Just goes to show you don't need to fly in to have good fishing. It's all about the lake. Also the weather. And maybe a little area knowledge. And skill, with a little luck to season the broth. No canoe this time. Guess I'll have to learn how to fish from a boat with a motor.