Tobin or not Tobin: That is the Question
Portaging over Francois-Finlay Dam, we had a hard grind upwind to nowhere. No campsites, no man-made landings, nothing. My map did show a marina 10k away so we put our heads down and paddled into the increasing dark.
We pulled up to the docks at Twin Lakes Outfitters just past 10pm and realized that we had paddled into Tobin Lake.
Tobin Lake is a world-class Northern Pike and Walleye fishery. Jan, being a world-class fisherman couldn’t wait to get there. I, being a world-record holder, was indifferent. I hold the world record for the longest unsuccessful fishing trip in history. Over 7 continuous months of trolling with nothing to show for it. I was not really expecting my luck to change…
We left early the next morning and began fishing almost immediately. Just as quickly we didn’t catch a thing.
Now Jan is the determined sort and we weren’t going anywhere until he caught something. Hours later something turned into anything. Hours later again, anything evaporated into hopes and prayers.
With nothing to show for our efforts, we spent the late hours of the afternoon paddling into a vicious headwind and big-lake chop. I looked over my shoulder at Jan and was shocked to see most of his boat out of the water as he crested the swells. I thought it best to keep that to myself until we landed. It looked like he was at the helm of a destroyer, not paddling a canoe. It’s the only time I ever heard him complain. Paddling close aboard him, he glanced my way and shouted over the wind and whitecaps, ‘Where the hell are all the fish?’
We planned to spend a day fishing on Tobin once we were in the Lake proper. The following day, the day this picture was taken, the wind blow 30+ km/hr all day. We were pinned to the shore, unable to paddle or fish.
Eating at the restaurant, everyone there seemed to be on some kind of fishing adventure of another. And, of course, everyone was catching monster walleye and even bigger pike. Except for us. We couldn’t even catch a break. Between mouthfuls, I heard Jan mumble ‘Where the hell are all the fish!’.
Jan pounded the water in front of the Tobin Lake Resort all the next day. He would have preferred a less visited spot, but the wind would not allow it. He was not entirely unsuccessful but there were certainly no monsters. Not even anything remotely monster-like or scary.
Apparently the answer to the question is not Tobin. At least not this time. But you should have been here last week!