The Backwoods Classic is an annual Ice Fishing trip that takes place up North every February. This gathering has been going strong for 10yrs and I have had the privilege of attending the last 5 yrs. Its a great time spent with friends. Although the focus is not always on fishing, it is a welcomed break from my routine at work and home.
The location this year was Ravenscroft Lodge, located about 75 Km north of North Bay. Our convoy of Vehicles pulled into the Colonel Hogies restaurant in North Bay around 9 am Friday morning. Stopping at this 50's style diner has become a tradition the last couple years and the food is excellent!
After a huge breakfast consisting of 3 eggs, hash browns, beans, bacon, toast and coffee it was time for us to complete the last leg of the trip to the lodge.
It was wintertime again in the Near North as we snaked up Hwy 11. About a foot of snow had accumulated over the past few days before our arrival, no doubt way below the average amount for this time of year along with the temperature which was a balmy -3.
Arriving at the Lodge we were greeted by the owner and we had a quick look around the common areas. Some interesting items adorned the area.
I forgot to take a picture of the +10lb Walleye on a wall, it sure put me in the mood to fish. The lake we would be fishing was called Jumping Caribou Lake.We split up into 3 separate cabins and unpacked our gear and a bunch of us got ready to fish.
The huts were within walking distance of the cabins, I always cringe when this is the case. I just feel that a laborious out of the way pain in the ass expedition usually results in better fishing and along with it a true sense of the Northern experience. None the less a few of us headed out to the huts, but this time we would be lazy and hitch a ride.
The sky was overcast and the temp was fairly mild, for some reason I was optimistic we would get into fish.
After awhile I marked a fish, and coming up to him on the screen, I was able to nab the only fish of the afternoon, a little whitefish. My first through the ice.
The food was superb at the lodge and not once was I hungry. The weekend seemed to fly by, such is the case when your having fun with good friends. The fishing never really picked up this year.
Moving outside of the hut area on the last day produced a couple of missed opportunities. Luckily the weather on the last day was just superb, blue skies and no wind.
Who would have thought that one little whitefish would have secured the highly coveted "Backwoods Classic" Trophy.
And so another "Backwoods Classic" has come and gone and I am already counting down the days till the next one. Perhaps the fishing will be better next year, but if it's not that's ok too. The great parties with great friends are well worth the drive.