Kasba Lake offers the triple crown of northern fishing: giant lake trout, hefty pike and stunning Arctic grayling


Lynn Henning (left) and guide Tyler Jones with Henning’s 45” pike

 #3  The northern pike are plentiful, big and linger in shallow water

The Northwest Territories are at the far end of Esox lucius range. So I didn’t expect to encounter the kind of bruisers I’ve caught further south, at world-renowned pike hot spots in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. But Kasba surprised again. It’s exceptionally rich in forage, with a lot of pike-holding bays and channels, as well as those plunging depths. The cold water allows the pike to stay shallow, so even in summer you can cast to them with conventional or fly tackle, and sometimes even sight fish.

The author spotted this 42” pike, and got it to eat a red-and-yellow articulated Seaducer fly

Lynn and I only really targeted pike for about two days—an hour or two here and there, plus a full day on “Pikeasaurus” Lake, which is connected to Kasba by a river (but more easily accessed via a 10-minute float plane hop). Still, we put up the kind of numbers you’d expect after a solid week of pike fishing: six fish over 40 inches, just as many in the high-30s and too many frisky two-footers to count.


And most of those pike were thick and well-fed—big all over, with the kind of beefy bodies you don’t usually see so far north. For example, I landed one 42-inch northern that wasn’t the longest pike I’ve caught but was, almost certainly, the heaviest.

A corpulent northern from “Pikeasaurus” Lake

One clear afternoon we sped down to the lake’s southeast corner to try a rarely fished estuary. Fishing for 75 unforgettable minutes in just that one spot we landed, one after another, pike measuring 36, 40, 36, 45 and 42½ inches. There’s a lot more to that story, but I’m saving the rest for my upcoming print feature in the magazine.