How’s this for a start? About 30 minutes into our first day, my friend Dan Armitage of Columbus, Ohio, hooked this 42-inch monster (on a five-inch split-tail swimbait), demolishing his previous personal best pike record. And just as exciting was the 35-inch fish below. Why? Because it was the first-ever pike caught by my friend Jake Sotak, and he did it on his fly rod. Although he’s an experienced outdoorsman, this was Jake’s first time in the remote far north, and it made quite a contrast from the 350-square-foot Manhattan apartment he’d left behind the day before.
We pulled these fish—and at least 20 more in the mid-30-inch-range—out of a gently swirling, pond-sized back eddy of the Cree River known locally as the Devil’s, um, Perineum (well not that exact word, but we’re keepin’ it classy.) That two hours was incredible, but just a mild preview of what was to come.