Fishing derby adventures...

So I had my first Great Northern Adventure this weekend.

And man oh man was it a good one. I think. Though really, I didn't have anything to compare it to...

So this weekend was the hamlet's Fishing Derby. I'd never really heard of a fishing derby before, but the general idea was to spend the May long weekend catching the biggest trout and cod you could get your hands on.

Out we went. Me and 4 others, atop two ski-doos and two Hondas, headed for "The Land". Our brave leader seemed to know what he was doing, and where he was going... so we followed suit... or tried to.

I can honestly say I have no idea where we were going, how we got there, or where we set up camp. I was told it was about 20 km from town... but as far as I knew it was Arctic Bay. That's how long it took to get there.

You see, this weekend, the ice and snow were in this funny little in-betweeny stage. Where it was half slush, half snow, half tundra, and half ice. Yes, that's too many halves :P

So for the first little while things were fine. We puttered along, the two ski-doos in front, and us two Honda-goers following the best we could. But about half way there we started to hit really soft snow, and the Hondas weren't a big fan of that. Lots of circling back, digging, pushing and swearing ensued... and we were good for a little while.

I have to say my favourite part of the trip was this patch of tundra we hit shortly thereafter. I was having a great old time, humming to myself (and the Honda), bouncing over the little hills and valleys... and then dove into a GIANT PUDDLE getting myself SOAKED (but pissing myself laughing the whole time).

And then... about 1 km from our final destination ...

We. Got. Stuck.

Reaaallly stuck.

By this time I had vacated my Honda post, and was riding on the back of Fearless Leader's ski-doo... but we hit some really deep, really soft snow. Even the ski-doos were getting stuck. So we eventually decided to leave the suckers behind (the Hondas, not the ski-doos), and blaze a trail to camp, and come back for the rest of the gear.

The whole ride... probably took a good 2 hours. At least. Pretty sad, seeing as the spot was "only" 20 clicks away.

Anyways, the five of us set up camp, three tents in total... the central figure being Fearless Leader's GIANT MANSION OF A TENT.

Seriously, this thing was HUGE. A sleeping area, a sitting/dining area ... where we set up a Coleman stove to keep our shivering bodies from turning into solid human-sicles.

Lots of cheese, char and other yummie goodies were consumed... leading to the grand scheme to drill a hole and set a trap for the night.

We had a HUGE auger, the boys had to stand on the two ski-doos to start it off... but by the time it was at waist-height... the bugger was STUCK. And NOT coming loose.

So by the time we all hit the hay that night (ps, if you have a good tent and warm sleeping bags, -10 is NOTHING... until you have to use "the facilities"), we had left our mark on the tundra: Hondas and augers stuck in snow/ice.

I went home the next day (my mom was still in town) but the rest of them stayed on until late Monday night.

They tell me they were able to pry the auger loose with little effort the morning I left, and drilled a couple more holes...

But despite their best efforts, didn't catch any fish.

The fishing derby winners were announced last night though, first prize in trout went to a fish 45 1/8 inches long...(prize = $3,000) and the largest cod was 25 5/16 in long (also a $3,000 prize).

So no prize money for me, I didn't catch any fish this weekend....

But I sure as hell caught a cold. I spent all day yesterday sniffling, and all day today hacking...
channeling my 80-year-old self, repeatedly asking people WHAAAT? and turning the volume on my phone/tv etc. up really high... because my ears are totally plugged.

Aw well, tis the price I pay for an awesome weekend. Thanks guys, for letting me tag along!