Fish On!

Latreille Lake III

Latreille Lake Lodge (El Cubed) Recap from 2015 (August 1-9)



Most people don’t think it be like it is, but it do


Founded in 1980 and with TEN official trips in the books, the Northern Lights Fishing Club ANLFC@ initiated chart and list making in the summer of 2014, for its 11th Bi-Annual trip to NW Ontario.  After much debate and compromise (i.e., fish 6 days or 7, eat good or really good, have a blast or the time of our lives) we selected Latreille Lake Lodge a/k/a El Cubed for August 2-8, 2015.  Trips to El Cubed in 2003, and again in 2005, made it an easy selection for the projected group of 14-24 fisherpeople. The third trip shall be known as El Cubed-Cubed.


Except for the inaugural trip to Tetu Lodge in 1980, we have always fended for ourselves (that means Andy typically cooked the fish cleaned by Clayton and the rest of us did what we were told).  In the early days, we ate fish 8 nights a week, but over the years, we have sprinkled in steak night, hamburgers, and other non-ichthyoid entrees.  In 2003 and in 2005, the Latreille Lake Lodge owner, Jeff Thomas, and his son Brad, were present and helped us some (a lot) during our week at the lodge, but for 2015, they agreed to do the fish cleaning and breakfast/dinner cooking.  We always liked being in control of the camp, but looked forward to giving Andy and Clayton a break in 2015.


The tally fluctuated, but settled on 18 campers by the late spring of 2015.  The list included the long lost Kellogg crew (Snap, Crackle, and Pop), Josh Neuman (f/k/a a man-child, n/k/a a man-man), our diving coach (Wayne Leeder), Cacteye (Tom Lacaria), and 3 Rookies with (Sponsors) - Ben Myers (Randy Shields), Luigi Parazzelli (Bob Haldrup), and Zach Wallace-Wright (Garrett Haldrup).  Also, for a severalth time were Robert and Ben Vowell, Clayton Wright, and Andy, Jack, and Neil Haldrup.


Points of origin ranged from San Francisco, Phoenix, Boston, Charleston, DC and various towns, polis=s, fields, ers, mels, lins, and ettes of Indiana.    


Friday, Carburation Day!  As per usual, the 2015 trip started and stopped and jumped forward and sputtered a few times (ala Jim Hurtubise) as we got the set up dialed in for the trek way up north.  Not to be left in the dust, Clayton and Josh showed up at Nana=s to get the best car bag of goodies and treats a little early - like 25 hours before the official start of the Indy car trip to Canada.  The Carolina gang (Zach, Garrett and Neil) took a flight to Minneonoplace to make a base for the trip north on Saturday.  We arrived in time for a treat at DQ.  Not quite a goodiebag compliments of Nana, but it had to do before we hit the sack at the nearby Doubletree.  By bedtime Friday, Wade was still passportless, but he was assured that his passport would arrive in time to be left behind.  Wild blueberries were starting to break dance in all our noggins.


Saturday, Race Day!  Nana dropped the green flag at 6:22 am and 4 Indy cars hit the circuit.  Wade languished in the pits waiting on his passport.  The Carolina trio hit Al=s breakfast diner on the U of Minnesota campus before a tour of the outdoor sculpture exhibit and a visit to the Mall of America.  Wade=s passport arrived by noon and he hi-tailed it for International Falls.


We picked up Tom and Wayne at the MSP airport after Garrett got his game face on with fish from Long John Silvers.  We rendezvoused with the Indy connection at the Hill Top in International Falls (between 7 and 8pm).  We walked down to The Spot for dinner and were in bed before Wade=s arrival around midnight.  He travelled through some bad storms in Northern Minnesota and he barely hit the pillow before we needed to be on the road.


Sunday, Shipping Day! Alarms were set for 4am and a dozen and a half of us were at the border by 5am.  All seemed to go swimmingly until Sour Andy demanded that the border patrol prove they returned Jack=s passport.  They obliged by opening the driver=s door.  Everyone had a great laugh about the incident and exchanged Twitter contacts. 


We witnessed a great sunrise on the way to Vermillion Bay before stopping at Bobby’s (not on the) Corner for 1,000 worms and then turned the corner and motored to Ear Falls.  9 flew in at 9:30am and the remainder raced up to Red Lake for the 2nd flight.  The Red Lakers tried to secure paper licenses for a few, but had no luck and we were in the air and on the way to El Cubed by 1pm.  Jeff had ham and bean soup with cornbread waiting.  The weather was beautiful so far with a high of 73 and scattered clouds.


The third flight with fishing gear would not arrive until 5pm, so we fashioned and cobbled together a few rods to secure 37 fish fileted by Brad and deep-fried by Jeff for dinner.  Ben M landed a 20” Walleye and Randy boated a 36” Northern to set the early marks to beat.  The weather started to turn after dinner and presented some winds and a low of 49.


Monday Monday, Can’t Trust That Day:  The day started with rain and it carried in to afternoon with the high never finding 63.  The troops were nourished with sausage gravy and hot biscuits before hitting the lakes.  Cacteye brought a catcher’s mitt to permanently place on his hand, but managed to find the water and fish every day.  Some of us trudged to the No-Hole and navigated through the salad field to the Margaret Lake in-flow falls before returning to Chili for lunch. Rookie Z caught his first fish and then more and even more with Uncle Bobber near the flats of Latreille (we were never told of the exact Z-Spot).  After lunch, we managed to find plenty of fish to blacken and pair with Jeff’s pork roast.  We washed it all down with the obligatory Gimlets and toasts to our forefathers. Clay obliged more than others, but we all enjoyed the tradition and memories of all the NLFC greats.


Ping pong dominated by Ho Chi Luigi and cards dealt the evening’s welcome before we turned off the generator at midnight.  Oh Monday Monday, how could you leave and not take me………..


Tuesday I Remember Stormy Weather…  Yesterday’s rain subsided but the cool temps and some clouds remained.  A high of 63 and a low of 49 mirrored Monday’s weather sans the rain.  A nice sunrise promised a better day.


We (Rookie Ben M) picked some blueberries for the pancakes we consumed before a full day of fishing. We did see the sun at noon.  The lake remained calm and was easy to navigate.  The boys fished with Randy in the AM and did well.  A big group explored Margaret and her camp before lunch. 


Jeff and Brad worked on the employees’ dock and had some vegetable soup waiting for lunch.  The fish were difficult to find after lunch, but we had plenty for more blackened fish, Jeff’s version of candy fish, and chicken BBQ’d by Brad.  Snap and Crackle toted the fish bucket to two Eagles and a few gulls and crows. 


The sun rested gracefully on a most beautiful evening.


Pass the Trash followed dinner with McRandy taking the anything but surpupffinous pot. 


Wednesday:  The best sunrise of the trip greeted us this morning, but the red in the sky gave us her warning.  Another cool day with a high in the mid-60’s. 


We hit Latreille before breakfast and harvested several good fish.  With bellies full of eggs, bacon, and biscuits, some of us navigated the creek to Alison and found plenty of walleye between the bridge and the entry to Alison Lake.  We explored the Alison cabin and on our return to the portage, we found mosquitos keeping Josh and Ben V company at the rapids.  Jeff made fish chowder for lunch and it paired well with butter and some saltines.


The lakes remained flat all day and it was a pleasure to sit over the inactive fish. 


Additional trips to Alison were planned over dinner as the rain started to fall.  Steady rain continued requiring more ping pong and cards before Clay’s magic on the Rubik’s cube hypnotized us to bed.


Thursday:  It rained all night but started to let up by 8am.  After scrambled eggs and cinnamon coffee cake we explored the west end of Latreille and the inflow.  UA educated the boys on the finer points of “fishing.”


Another group trek to Alison and the diving coach showed his form by catching a fish in Pike position on his first dive.  Degree of difficulty - 36”


We tended to the mooseshoe pits before dinner and threw some iron in the direction of the posts, most of the time. Prime rib, mashed potatoes and gravy along with a mess of shore lunch fried walleye satisfied everyone for dinner.


We did not see the sun all day and the wind picked up causing some choppy conditions on occasion.  Temps remained in the 60’s most of the day.


Friday:  The last full day and most everyone confused at what happened to Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday.  We managed to enjoy pancakes for breakfast and planned a shore lunch.  However the morning sunrise and the red skies foretold a windy and wet day.


Jeff gave his marching orders for fish and where to get them with a plan to rendezvous’ near Louie’s cabin for lunch, but as the day progressed, it became clearly cloudy and we were destined for an indoor “shore” lunch.  Clayton and Josh witnessed the Eagles goofing off in the woods.   They bummed a cigarette and kicked back after the show.


After lunch, the boys drove me to No Hole and back in driving rain.  We enjoyed Jeff’s steak dinner with Cajun walleye before Zach’s official ping pong championships.  Top seeds proceeded to the finals and fought a glorious battle to a standoff to be recreated and resumed later.  More cards and Clay’s tutoring of Garrett on the cube as we started to pack and lament our last moments in Canada.


Saturday:  Thunder boomers rattled the cabin throughout the night and the rain pelted the tin roof at a steady and relenting pace, but the skies cleared during breakfast and the temps passed 70 for the first time all week.


We packed and cleaned the cabin before official picture taking and meetings.  The 2013 meeting minutes were adopted by unanimous Ayes.  We likewise voted to return to Canada in 2017.  After much debate and general agreement, we voted the 3 rookies to full NLFC membership status and declared them Rookies of the Year Cubed!  El Cubed Cubed Cubed.




As everyone jockeyed for flights out, Wayne feigned illness and demanded the express to Red Lake and the hospital where he met privately with several nurses for “treatment”.  The Red Lakers found the Ear Fallers in Ear Falls after their Red Lake fly-over and we were all on the road to the border by 3:30.


We passed the inspection without much incident as Andy had sweetened during the week.  The last supper at McDonalds in International Falls around 8:30pm.  Garrett had McFish for his 3 cubed straight days of fish.


We all fought the dark, fog, and rainy unlined road for the first few hours in Minnesota.  The fliers received a police escort in Minneapolis before we hit the pillows around 2:30am.


Sunday: The fliers were up at 5am and at the airport by 5:30am, except for time that had a later more appropriate flight.  The Indy cars split near Chicago, but all made it to the finish line by noon and the fliers were all home by 5pm.


I think Bob caught the big Walleye at 23” and Randy and Wayne shared the largest Northern at 36”


This was the Big Daddy trip of all-time with 18 campers, but the 2017 trip could exceed 20.  Until further notice, save all June/July/August dates in the summer of 2017.


Like Uncle Remus says, “Dis [trip] Sho Am Good!”


Things We Liked

Fish Cleaning by Brad

Cooking by Jeff

Great Hosts

Great Group


The Lodge and Indoor Plumbing

The Big Group



Things We Did Not Like


3rd Trip To Latreille

Slow Fishing with No Trophies

No Candy Fish

No Shore Lunch

No Fires

Long Drive


Jeff told me he would not change a thing and our help with dishes was a great help to him.

UPDATE 1/1/15 - Happy New Year NLFC!! in our 35th year.

Hope all had a great holiday, and maybe now have a few new sharp shiny toys to try out on the Latreille piscine population.  I know Garrett will be sporting a new tackle bag rivaling his uncle Bob's (both of them) and will likely have to leave his one change of underwear at home to save weight.  I am having visions of a couple of new rods on my assembly bench and if anyone is interested in a custom rod, let me know.

 We are headed back to Latreille for our third official NLFC expedition.

For those that haven't been there, this camp is normally operated as a full American Plan Lodge by the owner, Jeff Thomas.  Facilities are a couple of notches above the outposts we normally frequent, with amenities like INDOOR plumbing, commercial kitchen, and electricity.  On past trips to Latreille, we have operated the camp on our own, but for this trip Jeff will be preparing dinners with our help and handle the fish cleaning.  NLFC will pitch in for breakfasts, lunches, & camp cleaning, Thumbs up from Andy and Clayton!  

The lodge has 10 bedrooms with two twin beds, so will accommodate at least 20 people, with overflow potential in the detached 8 man cabin on the property. SO NO One will be left out if you want to go.  Please contact Neil, Andy, Bob, or Clayton if you are interested. We are collecting deposits of 300 per head at this time.  Expect total costs to run 1200-1500 adult, 750-1000 kids.  

Currently have 15 fully committed, with several on the fence.  Lets make this our biggest trip yet!