Fish On!

Tetu Island Lodge
June 1980


 Jack Haldrup with Indian guide

This is the trip organized by Jack Haldrup that started them all and got the Haldrup boys hooked on fishing and exploring the spectacular Northern Canadian wilderness. We've scraped together some old photos and scratched our increasingly dwindling memory cells and put together this recap. Feel free to provide revisions for the sake of accuracy.


 Tetu Lodge from Air

 Tetu Island Lodge Current Website

The Original Crew


Back: John Wilson, Ellsworth Shields, Vern Clauson, Randy Shields
Front: Andy Haldrup, Bob Haldrup, Jack Haldrup, Neil Haldrup
(Andy holding Bob's big Northern)

The Recap

First stop on our trip up from Indy is Chicago at Eva and Vern Clauson's home to pick up Vern and Bob.  After some of Eva's refreshments and putting Vern's small tackle box in car, on to Milwaukee.
Stop in Milwaukee to pick up Ells Shields at his parent's home. Onward to Canada.  


 Eating Lunch prepared by Eva in rest stop somewhere in Wisconsin

Overnight in US at International Falls, had a nice dinner in the hotel and brandy manhattans in our rooms courtesy of Ells. 

Up in the morning, and on to Kenora for our flight out.  Not sure when we  became aware of forest fire situation in Canada, but began to hear news stories on radio of massive forest fires burning throughout Canada.  Keeping our fingers crossed that our lodge would not be affected.  
On arrival in Kenora, no such luck as we find that ALL flights out of Kenora have been grounded due to the fires.  Our original outfitter is burned out by the fires, so Jack & Vern & Ells scramble to find alternatives that don't involve planes.  We wait on the dock in Kenora and Neil befriends a local squaw who is dentally challenged (tooth count = 0).

Jack located Tetu Lodge about 60 miles northwest of Kenora, just east of the Manitoba/Ontario border.  Tetu is a full service lodge located on an island in Tetu Lake (about 15 miles long) formed by the convergence of the English and Winnipeg Rivers.   We pile back into the cars and off we go.


The drive from Kenora was a bit eerie.  At one point we drove through miles (10?) of recently and completely burned forest - just burned out trunks and still smoldering ash.  We arrive at the very smoky Tetu Landing and await pickup by the boats to take us to the Lodge.  While waiting, ash is falling around us like snow.  A passing forest ranger stops to question our sanity, and remarks that our cars may not be there when we return from our trip.

 At the Landing with Ranger 


This is NOT fog, view west towards the Lodge


Tetu shuttle boats arrive, serve us whisky and lake water on our 20 minute ride to the lodge.  Beautiful lodge with small 4 person cabins surrounding a dining hall, and main lodge.  All our meals were served to us in the dining hall, by staff. Operated at the time by Bill Kozak and his wife, Tetu has now changed hands and become even more upscale than when we visited.  See website for current amenities. Website

  Tetu Docks

All of our fishing was guided by Indians from the Whitedog Indian Reservation about 10 miles down the lake.  Not a talkative group, but put us on plenty of fish.  Randy catches a very big Smallmouth Bass at 5-ish pounds, we spot bear and eagles and generally have a great time.  Evenings are cards, fish stories, and gimlets ala Vern.


 Go Fish

Nice Fish 
Bill Kozik, John Wilson, Jack, Neil

On day two, the wind shifts enough to allow a small 4 man float plane in to take part of our group into Musk Lake - about 10 miles from the main lodge.  Musk is a small landlocked lake about a mile square with access only by plane.  The Manitoba border passes right through the middle of the lake. (you could tell by the dotted line)  Two boats and motors await Bob, Andy, Neil, and John.  We drew straws - odd how that worked out.  There are rumors that Jack rigged the straw drawing and that Randy selected the wrong straw.  Not a big deal as a second trip was planned for the next day for the four left behind.



 Plane to Musk Lake

Lotsa Fish 
Neil, John, Andy, Bob

Musk lake walleye were HUNGRY.  We caught so many fish so fast that we we culling the little guys off our stringers.  We stand on a small rocky island, and bring in fish on nearly every cast.  Came back with a pile of at least 20 nice walleye.

Day three wind shifts again, brings in smoke, and cancels 2nd fly in to Musk Lake - Sorry Randy.  We travel en masse to Boundary Falls area north of Tetu and catch Northern.  Bob gets a big one 12-15#.


 Gearing up. Randy , Andy , Ellsworth


 Vern, Bob, Jack


 Vern, John, Jack


 Heading Home


Thats it, we pack and prepare to depart in am.  Cars still at landing no worse for wear, light cover of ash.  Overnight in Au Clare on way home.  A wonderful first trip and the beginning of a legacy passed down from our fathers and uncles.

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Waiting on the dock in Kenora.