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Fishing Articles by Bob Riege
Tales from Ses
By Bob Riege
As a teacher of history and an outdoor writer it is a rare occasion when both can be combined especially on a fishing trip. An outdoor writer can usually work some type of history of a lure or area especially if the indigenous people of the area left behind some paintings on the rocks, or some artifacts of an ancient hunt.
On a recent trip to Ontario, my wife, Ginny and I had an even more exceptional experience, let me explain. Ginny and I decided to take a summer vacation to a pristine wilderness lake in Ontario. I had always had a desire to fish one of the best walleye lakes that this region had to offer. We both had done some research into which lakes provided trophy walleyes, northern pike and lake trout. The one that we agreed upon was Seseganaga. Seseganaga is only accessible by air, a real plus for us, because it receives limited angling pressure and it has large fish. Therefore, we contacted Brad and Karen Greaves from Ignace Outposts, Ltd. Their reputation for running a first class fly-in and for having the best outpost on Seseganaga is the reason we decided to select them for our vacation. From the time that we met them at an All Canada show until the time we arrived back at the float plane base, they took care of us. Prior to the trip they give all of their clients a booklet that allows them a checklist of things to bring and items to remember. Since you are limited to the items that you can bring and the weight of the items that you do bring on a fly-in, it helps insure you have included everything you will need. This personal touch is very impressive and gives one lasting memories of the fly-in.
Ignace Outposts, Ltd. became our host for a week, but the things that we learned while at camp go far beyond the experience of flight or catching of fish. The experience of living vicariously through the journal that resides at the cabin in Seseganaga is priceless and creates a lasting memory for this journalist.
Each night after battling fish all day long and doing the nightly chores of dishes my wife and I would read a few stories or tales from Ses. (By the way, Ses, if you havenít guessed by now is short for Seseganaga.) Many of the stories told of personal experiences such as how many eagles a group saw or how many fish they caught. Some even went as far as measuring and weighing the entire catch for their stay and then giving the reader the tally at the end of the story.
The stories that impressed me were stories that told of personal goals achieved. Something like this: " I finally save enough money to come on a fly-in to catch a fish of a lifetime, little did I realize that fishing was secondary to the friendship that this time has kindled in me." Or you could read about a Dad telling of his sonís first fish. "Mark starting screaming into the water. I got a BIG ONE DAD!!" Many of the stories talked about life jackets, tackle boxes, rod cases, sleeping bags, clothing. Heavy boots and rain gear, just in case. Coolers, canned goods, onions, potatoes, salad fixings, cooking oil, bread, milk, and cheese. Cookies, potato chips, peanut butter and jelly. Frequently, there is a physical condition referred to when a person spends a lot of time in the boat seated. This term is affectionately called "boat ass." And an ample supply of soft drinks and not so soft drinks. Occasionally some of the stories told of what happened when some of the group got involved in too much of those not so soft drinks.
Probably the best tale of all was told by someone who had a great imagination. The tale was told by one of three people that came along on the trip. This "tale weaver" told us that the weather was terrible, the plane was late and that the fishing was bad, there was no food, no heat, not enough clothes could be put on to keep warm. Of course, every good storyteller must set the stage and this storyteller did his best to put the reader in the frame of reference that everything was bad. The subject of the tale was the demise of "Jim."
"Jim arose to the hollowing wind in the trees and decided it was time to make the daily morning trek to the outhouse. The outhouse set back in the woods a little from the cabin and as Jim navigated that narrow path he heard a strange sound. He looked around and saw nothing and proceeded on his way to do his job. As he positioned himself over one of the holes in the outhouse he heard a growl from outside and the house started shaking. Jim already in a delicate position relieved himself in record time and timidly opened the door to see what was outside. Not seeing anything again he thought that maybe he had had too much to drink the night before and this was all a dream, or a confused condition that follows a long night of heavy drinking. "
"When Jim got back to the cabin he told his friends what he had experienced and of course they all laughed at Jim and told him that he better watch what he consumed for the rest of the day. It appeared that no one was going to go out fishing that day because the waves were to high and the cold air had hints of snow. Jim and his buddies decided to pass the time by playing a few hands of cards. Also, to help keep warm they decided to have a little alcohol to keep the chill from their bones. A little alcohol became a lot of alcohol and eventually Jim had to go to the outhouse again."
"With the wind a howling, Jim slipped on his red tennis shoes and grabbed the camp axe while heading to the outhouse. Jim had just made it to the outhouse when all of a sudden the others heard Jim scream. The ran to the door to see something big and furry carry Jim off. The others searched for two days, but only found Jimís tennis shoes and the camp axe. No one ever found a trace of Jim, but some can say occasionally they see a red tennis shoe around the outhouse."
Needless to say this author went to some real lengths to tell the story. What makes it even more "true" is that someone has cast off some red tennis shoes on the way to the outhouse and either going to or from the outhouse you can spot those shoes.
Other tales tell the readers that Ses is a special place, where they can get in touch with nature or they can work on problems that they maybe experiencing back at home. Reflectively, the writers tell that the peace, and beauty of this special place, puts things back in perspective for them.
Historically speaking I found a couple of tales very fascinating. One was about a group of workers that came to Ses to cut ice for an icehouse. I knew that they use to do this years ago, I didnít realize that it still goes on even today. Another series of tales told about the MNR ( Ministry of Natural Resources) and how they come to Ses each year to capture and tag Woodland Caribou. These are fascinating animals. They are a very shy member of the deer family and they are tremendous swimmers. My wife and I had at least six sightings of these animals. When they decide to swim across the lake they have just their head and rack, and their tail above the water, but they can move as fast as a boat equipped with a 15 hp. motor.
The tales from Ses are the bonus because fishing is great, the weather
is super, and the wildlife is spectacular. After reading all that Ses
has to offer we contributed our own piece to the journal. In order to
read about ours and others entries into this journal you need to
contact: Ignace Outposts LTD, Ignace Airways Brad and Karen Greaves, Box
244 IGNACE ONTARIO, P0T1T0 CANADA 1-807-934-2273 office, 1-807-934-6647
fax or on the web at: email@example.com. or
www.ignaceoutposts.com. Donít worry, I think Jim was never along on the
trip. He was just a figment of imagination, or course there are those
red tennis shoes.
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Since August 1, 1998