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Packing for Your Next Trip to Anderson’s Lodge

vacation-planner-passportYou’ve booked your trip and the excitement is building. Every day you go and look at the website of your chosen camp and look at pictures of past fishing triumphs wondering, no, expecting to catch more and bigger fish! You have been marking off the days on your calendar with a countdown until departure and an alarm on your cellphone that goes off every morning saying ‘Good morning, x days until you go fishing!’ In the midst of the excitement it is easy to forget things when it comes time to pack and the last place you want to be without that crucial item is in the middle of the Canadian wilderness. Today we are going to talk about what to bring on your next Canadian fishing trip and hopefully you will forget less than you did last year.

We have different kinds of trips that require different packing strategies. American Plan (all meals included) vs. Housekeeping (cook your own) vs. Fly-In Housekeeping each have their own advantages. With our American Plan package you just need to bring your personal gear and we do the rest, heck our guides will even bait your hook! On our Housekeeping package and at our Outposts you are on your own plan with your own schedule. There you will cook for yourself and fish on your schedule in quiet seclusion.

Clothes: A functioning rain suit is a must! If you haven’t tried your old suit on in years, try it on before you go. We have seen people rushing to put their suit on as the rain is falling only to find that the jacket won’t do up and the bibs won’t pull up and over a newly formed belly. You don’t have to break the bank for a new suit but you don’t want to be soaked every day if it rains during your whole trip. A layering jacket (again dependent upon temperatures), a hat, toque and a pair of gloves each will cover your outer layers. Layers, layers, layers. Put them on and then peel them off. You will want a full set of clothes for fishing and then at least one back up that we take in the boat in a sealed bag in case we fall in. If you have that, then it’s just another pair of underwear for each day and enough shirts to change into in case you get too ripe for camp and your fishing buddies make you sleep outside.

keen sandalsFootwear: Another temperature based item. Our hardiest fishing guides wear Keen sandals from June 1st until September but their feet are used to the northern temperatures. We recommend an insulated waterproof boot for spring and fall fishing and a waterproof shoe/boot for summer fishing. If you can handle it, trade out the waterproof shoe for a sandal in the summer. However, the nice thing about the waterproof shoe is no biting bugs will get through when you take a walk in the woods!

Fishing Rods & Reels: Another space based item. We prefer to have one rod per species that you are going to target but we will adapt when space is at a premium. For walleye and bass we suggest one 6’3” medium spinning rod with a spinning reel with 8 lb. mono line and bring the same rod as a back up. We suggest a 7’ medium/heavy baitcasting rod with a baitcasting reel with 50 or 65 lb. braid that would be used for northern pike, lake trout and musky. If you prefer to use a spinning rod & reel, then go with what you know, just make sure you have the right line spooled up. If you are going to target northern pike, lakers and musky a bunch on your trip then you should definitely bring a back up 7’+ rod as well.

tackle boxFishing Tackle: We produce an information piece called Tackle Talk that we send to our guests as soon as they confirm their reservation to fish with us. It breaks down the equipment and tackle that is recommended for tackling each of the five species we have to offer. If you would like a copy send us an email at fishing@andersonslodge.com and we will be happy to send you one.

keyhole vest

Fishing Gear: Provided in your package are walleye nets, paddles, minnow buckets, safety kits, life jackets, boat cushions and fish measuring boards. At our outpost we even have musky nets if you want to try your hand at some musky hunting. The life jackets we supply are a ‘keyhole’ style that is legal, but not something you would want to wear all day. If you feel more comfortable wearing a life jacket in the boat, we recommend you bring your own from home for the comfort factor. We don’t supply fish locators, GPS units or anchors, so if you feel more comfortable with that equipment, you should bring it with you.

Fishing Accessories: polarized sunglasses, fillet knife with sharpener, needle nose pliers, hook cutter, jig-eye buster, hand sanitizer, toilet paper & sanitizer in a Zip Loc bag, and a fish towel (any old hand towel that you wouldn’t put out when your mother-in-law is coming will do.)

Toiletries and Linens: at our main lodge, your standard toiletry kit will get the job done. At our kid on a pottyoutposts you will need garbage bags, dish soap, dish cloths, dish towels, hand towels, bathing towels, a pillow & pillow case, sheets and or blankets. Don’t forget spices for cooking including salt & pepper, any sauces or condiments, paper towels, aluminum foil and saran wrap and toilet paper. Most of our guests just bring a pillow in a case wrapped inside a clean sleeping bag to put on the bed for sleeping.

Other Items: A good idea is to put this gear into ziploc bags, especially if you are flying in or traveling over water to get to your camp. Pack any medication you take, tylenol/advil, camera with spare batteries, or phone with a charger, flashlight or headlamp, sunscreen, bug spray, Afterbite, lighter & matches, and a thermos. If you wear glasses, bring a backup pair. The same goes if you wear contacts. A deck of cards is an easy to pack item for nighttime entertainment as well. We also recommend bringing a portable First Aid kit that you can supplement with extra waterproof bandaids and some hockey tape. Works like a charm!

Groceries: if you are on an American Plan Package you will probably be getting your meals at camp besides that delicious shore lunch! If so, then think about bringing snacks and drinks for the boat and in the evening. Apples, jerky, raisin boxes, granola bars, mini chocolate bars and Pringles chips make great one handed snacks for the boat. If you are on a Housekeeping Package, then you will want to have organized meal plans before you pack so that you make sure you have meals covered. Make meals up ahead of time that you can prepackage and freeze; meals that you can quickly prepare in an oven or on a grill. For those of you that may be coming to Canada from the US, be sure to check with Canadian Food Inspection Agency website here: What Food Can I Bring Into Canada? If you are wondering about bringing anything else into Canada, including children (yes there are rules for them too) then you can check out the following document from the Canada Border Services Agency: What Else Can I Bring Into Canada?

There you have it, our recommendations on packing for your next trip to Anderson’s Lodge. If you have questions regarding this blog feel free to call us toll free at 1-800-465-1098 or send us an email at fishing@andersonslodge.com.

How to Take Better Fishing Pictures

Most of you have received our new 2016 brochure and if so you will have no doubt viewed the 125 pictures that we incorporated into our publication. There is something specific; something special about each photo that we chose to include out of the many hundreds that we receive from guides, staff and guests alike. Here are some tips that will help you take more impressive photographs that will allow you to capture those perfect walleye fishing moments, those perfect sunsets and those “take a kid fishing” moments.

First off, get to know your camera. Whether it be your Digital SLR, your standard point-and-shoot or your cell phone camera. Most of us keep the camera on the ‘auto’ setting and never bother to experiment with other settings believing that those are just for professionals. However that is not the case. Take a moment before the upcoming holidays and pull out your camera manual, play with the settings and take pictures while you do. Keep doing it until you learn what settings work best for you in different lighting situations. This will definitely increase the quality of your pictures for the holidays and for fishing season too!

Keep it Handy! How many times have you been riding along in a boat and you see a moment like a loon sitting up in the water flapping its wings or a bull moose grazing along a shoreline and you think wow that would make a great picture but your camera is buried at the bottom of your tackle box or boat bag? Keep your camera handy and you won’t miss these majestic moments going forward. If you are worried about water damage, you can buy a waterproof case, or waterproof bag to put your camera in (don’t worry the price has dropped on these items significantly in recent years). If you have a waterproof camera, attach a float strap to it before getting on the water (trust me, I know how fast they can sink!). Now you will always be ready for those once in a lifetime moments on the water!

The Haunting Call of the Loon...Can you hear it yet?

Keep your camera at the ready and you won’t miss shots like this!

Peekaboo!!!

Or ‘peek-a-bear’ moments like this!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bright Colors: Bright colors get noticed and so do pictures with bright colors in them. Do your part and make yourself pop by wearing bright clothing.

 

Bright colors make your pictures pop!

Bright colors make your pictures pop!

Smile!

Smile!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be Organized: Someone in the boat has a big fish on and you want to capture the moment. Reel up your line so that you don’t have to dive for your rod while taking your dad’s picture. Grab your camera that is now in reach and start taking pictures. Capture the action, joy, stress and excitement that comes with fighting a jumping smallmouth bass or  trophy musky; capture the spray as a big walleye or northern pike splashes boat side or a lake trout as it rises to the surface only to dive back down deep again. Depending on the size of the fish that is coming in, you may need two people to land it. In these moments it is even more important to be organized. One person on the rod, one on the net and someone taking pictures makes for a smoother experience especially if the fish cooperate too! Once the fish is in the net the focus should be on removing the hooks from the fish safely, preferably in the water. Don’t take the fish out of the water until you are ready to measure and photograph the fish especially if you plan on releasing it. A good technique to remind yourself the maximum time a fish should be out of the water is to hold your breath when you take the fish out of the water. When you are out of breath, the fish should be going back in the water.

Landing giant musky like this is a team effort.

Landing giant musky like this is a team effort.

DSCN1080

Try changing the angle of the fish to the camera for a different perspective.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lighting: You’ll want the sun at your face, not at your back. You may not be able to move that much in a boat, so in that case you or your guide should reposition the boat to better capture the light. You can also play with your flash settings. Try taking a picture without flash and then try again with flash to eliminate any ‘hat shadows’. You should also try the same technique on overcast days as this can really make the markings on your fish pop!

Hard to see this one.

Hard to see this one.

A little repositioning goes a long way!

A little repositioning goes a long way!

 

Holding Fish: Always support fish horizontally and don’t be afraid to show some dimension to your fish. Most people do the standard grip and grin flat sided fish held out towards the camera. Try angling the nose of the fish towards the camera, this will give the fish a unique profile and set your photo apart. Also, focus on the fish’s eye as it will keep the fish eye in focus and make the fish appear alive and more vibrant.

Photo Courtesy of www.drowningworms.com.

Photo Courtesy of www.drowningworms.com.

Rule of Thirds: This involves mentally dividing your proposed image into a 3×3 grid as shown below. (Some cameras have the grid as a feature that you can activate before taking your photo.) You can then position the most important elements in your scene along those grid lines or at the four junctions where they meet. The idea is that an off-centre composition is more pleasing to the eye and looks more natural than one where the subject is placed in the middle of the frame. Try practicing with the rule of thirds and I’m sure your photos will be more pleasing to the eye.

Well there you have it, our tips on taking quality fish pictures while out on the water.

Remember; satisfy your appetite with golden pan fried fish, then fill your memory card while practicing “CPR” (Catch, Photograph, Release)!

References: www.drowningworms.com, www.worldfishingnetwork.com

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