One Guide's Journal - Times Like These

As the end of the season fast approaches it feels like just yesterday that I was taking my first steps onto the dock, and unpacking my gear into my pike slime smelling room.  Time truly flies up here and although we do our best to keep you updated with the latest and greatest, there are so many stories, pictures, and memories that we don't get a chance to pass on to all you fellow die-hard Dogskinners. Here's a hand full of good times that will not be soon forgotten!

Straight up, die hard, passionate, polite, and just awesome guy to fish with… Ian is one of those refreshing young anglers who brings hope to the future of the up and coming sportsmanlike fishoholic community.  Also pictured below is an awesome shot of him and his little sister Alyea! 

We like to get them started young here at Dogskin!  The true star of our show, Katie Torgerson, demonstrates her fillet skills during shore lunch at our beautiful Frances Lake location.

Dogskin is most famous for it's walleye and pike populations but it is also home to whitefish, burbot, tulibee, common and red-fin suckers, as well as yellow perch.  On this day, Ethan earned one of his multi-species badges with this respectable bait stealer.

David Rykus is a great fisherman but don't count on him to contribute to the stringer because he only knows how to catch the big ones.  His brother and I watched on as he landed multiple back to back 20 plus inch fish during a morning of nasty weather fishing off of the north flats.  What a guy!

Friend, guide, and pike slayer, Jason, and I enjoyed a night of good company and great fishing as he wrangled this beautiful Bear Lake northern :)

There is no better way to develop or make new friendships than a solid days fishing… Harriss and Ethan might not be blood related but they sure look like brothers as they show off a couple of dandy 20 plus inch walters!

Craig Johnson and I share a similar passion for people and the outdoors, and after 4 years of getting to know one another he feels more like a second dad to me than anything else.  It isn't the biggest walleye in the lake but this picture will always bring a smile to my face…

Shad's father in law Jon Young, Mike, and I, fished out the evening at Johnson's Bar where we were able to get a hold of this laughably massive bodied 26 inch wally!

It isn't everyday that you meet a lady as cool as Nana Sue Belsen.  I have had the privilege of sharing two trips with her family and both were truly unforgettable.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words… 

Here is a picture of Peter Taubenberger in Dogskin heaven.  Happy birthday Pete!!!

Once and awhile mother nature throws us a curve ball and depending on your tolerance for nasty fishing conditions, you might find yourself in fishing jail.  After a few hours in fishing jail the window patterns begin to look like bars as you buzz around the lodge in search of yet another cup of coffee… you may even find yourself perched on a chair, measuring the fish we have mounted around the lodge.  On this particular day, Mike and I jumped the fishing jail fence and hit the lake running in order to bring home enough fish for shore lunch at the prison.  Fortunately, we were able to keep our jobs by bringing back enough fish for the family and even caught these beautiful 24 and 26 inch walleyes pictured below.  I love nasty weather fishing!!!

Your Friend and Guide,

Matt Sobiera

One Guide's Journal - Like Father, Like Son

Father and son trips are always a riot and there's no  better way to maintain focus and boat morale than a good ol' fashioned fish-off! Naturally, having always been out fished by my own dad, I was on team son!  Carefully orchestrated boat control allowed me to position Jig Head Joe directly on the deep drop offs, leaving Mike the Pike to angle shallow, baron areas of the watershed.  

As a result, Joe was able to out fish his dad two out of the three days.  The third day however, Mike took the win by way of some old school Chicago tricks such as spraying bug repellant on Joe's reel and dipping his jigs in gasoline.  

Here's a few pictures you might enjoy from our three day trip together…. :)

Joe demonstrates that no lure is ever really too big by reeling in this 22 inch walleye which had already begun to swallow a significantly sized burbot.

We've all dropped a walleye or two overboard in our day but not everybody gets caught on camera doing it….. THE CHICAGO DEATH GRIP!!!

Like father, like son…. 20 inch doubles!

Jig Head Joe making it look easy with this beautiful July Gator!

Mike sets the hook and a positive example with this juicy 27 inch July Eye!!!

A big thank you to Mike and Joe Strick for including me in their Canadian fishing adventure of a lifetime!  

your friend, and guide,

Matt Sobiera

One Guide's Journal - Family Matters

It isn't everyday that I find myself surrounded by beautiful women, weather, AND walleyes!  I pinched myself several times and finally came to terms with the reality that I might just be one of the luckiest men alive.  It had been a couple years since the Belsen crew and I got to fish together;  i was deeply concerned that I had scared off molly and nana sue after releasing an accidental chain-saw-sounding fart while bending over to pick up a walleye from the bottom of the boat! 

This year, Molly's sister Maggie joined the gang for a few days of good ol' fashioned family fishn' fun.  Here's a pic from Molly, Sue and I's first trip together three years ago!!!

There wasn't a single fish that passed which wasn't greeted with a giant WOOOOHOOOOO! During our three days together, team moral was at an all time high and a boat load full of positive walleye attitudes produced some awesome results.  

Molly and Magz doing their thang!

Magz and Nana :)

On our last day together, mother nature decided us to throw us a curve ball with gail force winds from the the north east.  In turn, we decided to fish a spot we later named "no brainer", which is actually the south-east shoreline right out front of the lodge.  Surprisingly, it produced multiple fish over 24 inches including this beautiful 26.5 incher which miss molly wrangled by way of a chartreuse jig and a minnow.

Three days can feel like the blink of an eye up here, especially when you're surrounded by a family full of awesome people who love nothing more than enjoying each others company.  As much fun as we had catching fish, it really wasn't about that with the Belsen's.  Thank you so much to all you groups who remind me that the most important thing in life will always be friends, and family…. although monster fish are definitely a close third.

One Guide's Journal - Double Birthday Masters!

The 25th of June marked the birthday of one of our long term guests, and legendary fisherman, Pat Doyle.  As many of us can relate to, Pat is a serious fish-o-holic; often found practicing trolling in his bathtub,  and when in the city, he has been spotted jigging down sewer grates for runaway alligators and prehistoric pet goldfish..  

Needless to say, between Pat and his lovely wife Mo, something decent was sure to be revealed.  What I didn't know was that it would happen not only once, but twice!  We arrived at lost island around 9:15am and within 15 minutes, Pat had his first master walleye on the line.  Upon setting the hook, Pat's rod was down!!!  However, I wasn't sure what was on the end of it just yet as Pat was using a fairly light rod but as the fish approached the surface and I saw a barrage of gold dive for the depths, we all knew we were into a big fish.  

Pat patiently allowed for one nice run before once again surfacing the fish and gently guiding it safely into the net.  What more could an avid guy like Pat want for his birthday than a beautiful girthy master wally! Two perhaps?

Fishing died down behind the island so we headed into Francis lake where we maintained a steady pace although fish weren't exactly jumping in the boat.  After fishing a few of my favorite spots, we made a stop at the north face where Pat once again managed to put a monster walleye in the basket. 

Armed solely with a chartreuse 1/4 oz jig with a gold hook, Pat latched into another master angler walleye in 21 feet of water a mere 25 minutes before shore lunch.  It isn't everyday that two master anglers are caught in one boat, let alone two walleyes, by the same person!  The day went by like a puff of smoke and we spent the rest of our time on cloud nine catching fish and sharing laughter and companionship.  I will never forget that day as long as I live…. Happy Birthday Pat :)

One Guide's Journal - Manitoba Sasquatch!

It was 2:15pm on Friday the 13th when Patrick Kelley locked into his pike of a lifetime.  We were trolling a deep diving, fire-tiger, cisco kid muskie bait on the eastern shoreline near square rock in  10 to 15 feet of water when all of a sudden Pat's rod bent in U.  Things got pretty exciting when Mary-Beth and David Kelley's lines both twisted around Pat's but we were fortunately able to keep tension on the fish while unravelling the baits from the main line.  Suddenly, the fish surfaced, flared her massive gills, and torpedoed like freight train across the surface of the water.  After one good run and a near heart attack, Pat managed to once again surface the fish.  I could see that she was just barely hooked and urged Pat to TAKE IT EASY!  Pat did an awesome job of gently bringing the fish within netting distance and once landed, we shared a much deserved BOO-Yeah! The hook popped out in the net and after a measurement and a couple quick pictures, we released her back to the Dogskin depths…. what a day at the office.

One Guide's Journal - More June Fishing

Angling continues to exceed expectations here at dogskin on a surreal level.  With the exception of one day where a 40.5 inch missed the mark, at least one master angler fish has been landed since the opener to our 2014 season.   Right now we are in the transitional period of the year where plenty of fish are being caught in both spring and summer locations around the lake.  Depending on the whereabouts, water temperatures have been ranging between 58 and 68 degrees; allowing fisherman to hone in on warmer bays and shorelines.  As a result, baitfish are being spotted in massive schools and the big fish haven't been far behind.  

My most recent adventures include a trip of a lifetime with Neil Valencia, Tim Gold, and Allan Ketteler.  Amongst numerous high 30 inch class pike, Neil managed to wrangle this beautiful master angler Northern in style below the south rapids. 

Darrel Williams, Dave Wald, and I finished their trip on a high note with another awesome day down river to Hutch lake where Dave landed yet another beauty gator.  

The past few days have been well spent with the awesome folks from the Hansen group.  Countless mid to high 30's pike, and enough 14-24 inch walleyes to feed a small village have been caught casting flies, spoons, crank baits, and dead sticked sardines.      The master angler club welcomes Dwayne with open arms in honor of the massive bodied 28.5 inch walleye by casting a large size solid silver doctor spoon.  I can hardly wait for tomorrows trophy pike hunt.  10 holy walleyes now and 10 hail northerns later, fish Gods, hear my prayer.

Your Friend, and Guide

Matt Sobiera

One Guide's Journal - June Update

Fishing continues to remain fantastic as the season progresses with over 30 master angler class fish on the board.  We are still finding some great fish in the traditional spring locations such as wally world where Ron Lange proved that the early bird truly does catch the worm by landing a 28.5 inch walleye.  Ron was spotted leaving the dock at 4:45.  In addition to the spring spots, walleye and pike are beginning to spread out into the main parts of the lake.  With a surface water temperature of 65 degrees, the majority of fish are being caught in 6 to 8 feet of water.

I had a blast yesterday fishing down river with Darrell Williams and David Wald as we tackled the hutch lake portage.  We spent the majority of time hammering down on walters below the third set of rapids, only stopping to light a fire and devour 11 walleyes between the three of us.  After running our boat back up the rapids we stopped for a final 15 minutes of fun below the second set where Dave patiently hauled up this beauty pictured below in heavy current.  Tonight we're getting a fully guided group of 10 so stay tuned because something massive is bound to be revealed this week.  


Your friend, and guide,

Matt Sobiera

One Guide's Journal - Getting Pumped for the Season

This year marks my fourth season working as part of the dogskin team.  There isn't a day that passes where I don't stop and think how truly fortunate I am to be counted amongst the lucky few who can honestly say that they love what they do for a living.  Fishing, hunting, and people have always been my greatest passions in life and I can't see that changing any time soon.

If you're as obsessed with fishing as I am, you probably get out a lot but it is this time of year with open water walleye and pike season fast approaching where I really start to get excited!  I've come to realize that as much as I truly love fishing, the best part about the sport transcends the personal satisfaction of the catch.  Surely I hope to catch a few masters of my own this season, but the best moments come from the comraderie between anglers sharing their passion and taking time to enjoy the simpler things in life that are all too easily lost amidst honking horns and tight deadlines.

Over the years, I have had the pleasure of making so many great friends from all across the country and I am very thankful to be included in your fishing adventures.  Last season was pretty tough to beat with plenty of monster northerns and lunker walleyes landed but as always, I promise to do my best to put you on top of the fish of a lifetime.  Although master angler fish are never a sure thing, I guarantee you we will have one heck of a good time trying.  In the meantime, let's get pumped up with a few pics from the 2013 season...

Your Friend, And Guide,

Matt Sobiera

Logan's River Monster

Logan's River Monster

Dave with 1 of 2 Masters he caught on his trip

Dave with 1 of 2 Masters he caught on his trip

Logan with another beauty!

Logan with another beauty!

Miss King with her 41 1/4" Master- Last cast before shore lunch

Miss King with her 41 1/4" Master- Last cast before shore lunch

Miss King with an Honest 27.5"

Miss King with an Honest 27.5"

One Guide's Journal - Setting up the portages

You know you're living the dream when…. Today Darrin and I set up the South Clayton and Hutch Lake portage opportunities.  Naturally, we had to test the waters and found ourselves wetting a line or two in-between hauling boats and motors up and down the rapids.  Darrin and I had  blast on our adventure despite accidentally shooting the second set of rapids backwards.  The icing on the cake goes out to Terry Skilling who landed yet another 42" Manitoba bruiser a mere hour after setting up the South Clayton portage.