Northern Saskatchewan Bound: Sometimes fried. Sometimes baked

Dena Big Fish Copy
The Tazin Lake experience is more than fishing. It’s the people you meet, the food you eat, the breathtaking scenery, sunsets that last for hours, the fish you catch, like this lake trout Dena Vick caught, and the giants that might get away.
By Dena Vick
Contributing Writer

Tazin Lake Lodge sits tucked back in a sandy-shored bay on Tazin Lake in northwestern Saskatawan. Accessible only by float plane, it definitely is not an accidental destination.

Why do people journey here? For world record-class fishing: Massive lake trout and northern pike are caught in the lake every year. The lodge, however, also packs visitors’ itineraries with unique experiences including epic shore lunches.

Tazin Lake, once a natural glacial lake, was converted into an impoundment when a dam was constructed in 1958. This water generates electricity at hydroelectric stations on the Garry/Charlot river system on the north side of Lake Athabaskan. The lake is protected against commercial fishing and gill netting. That, combined with its remote location, provides protection against heavy fishing pressure.

The lake and its landmass consists of granite boulders and ledges, islands covered with a canopy of birch, jack pine, white spruce and beautiful evergreens. Underfoot is a carpet of lichen ordained with tiny wild flowers and wild roses. Shorelines vary between rocky drops and sandy beaches. Each island and peninsula offers unique rock features and locations for a scenic outdoor dining.

Tazin Lake Lodge, owned and operated by Barry Prall and Trevor Montgomery, is the only lodging facility on the lake. Every day, guides ask their guests if they’d like a sandwich or shore lunch. The sandwiches are made by Chef Steve Driver and are at treat but the shore lunch can’t be beat. This angler always selected the shore lunch.

Always? One might ask if that would get old. Never! Each experience is uniquely wonderful. The staff has found some of the most beautiful places on the lake to host shore lunches. A different location is chosen each day based on where parties are fishing.

Some of the sites have rock structures that serve as chairs, others are located on a gravel or sandy beach, another offers a view of a five-foot waterfall located across the lake, and even another is on the site of an old trappers’ cabin. On one afternoon, a chilly shower turned in to an all out rainstorm. We hit the cabin that day.

The rain was just letting up when we arrived. The cabin is located on a bluff overlooking the lake.

Peeking into the cabin, I felt as if time simply had stopped. It included two bunkbeds minus their mattresses (bed springs were still there), a wood burning stove minus the chimney – the stove pipe lay in pieces inside and outside the cabin, broken chairs, pots and pans littered the floor.

A walk around the site uncovered a dump site of old cans and mason jars. Traveling further behind the cabin lay an esker left by the glacier that carved the lake and surrounding terrain. Like the other shore lunch sites, it was beautiful. I view the spot as a fascinating history lesson.

Losing myself in the tiny wildflowers and rock formations around the structure, I almost forgot why we were there in the first place. We even found an old petrified caribou jaw, then it was time to prepare lunch. See captions for more details on the lunch cooking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *