Herald outdoors editor Brad Dokken recently joined three friends for a week in the wilderness of northern Saskatchewan, a land where the days are long, the lake trout are abundant and willing to bite and there’s more pristine water than even the most diehard angler could ever hope to explore.
Their destination was a rustic outpost camp on Kamatsi Lake, a big, deep body of water accessible only by air and about 20 minutes by floatplane from the small town of Southend, Sask. To get there, the crew drove more than 950 miles from Grand Forks, the last 120 miles on a washboard gravel road that twisted and turned north across bogs and granite before crossing the Churchill River to the end of the road at Reindeer Lake.
In the following photos, Dokken captured a few moments from the trip and a week that passed much too quickly.
1/7: After a week that passed much to quickly, gear and other essentials await loading onto a DeHavilland Beaver floatplane July 13 at Kamatsi Lake in northern Saskatchewan. (Brad Dokken photo)
2/7: Lake trout, denizens of deep, cold northern waters, bit willingly when weather conditions permitted during a recent fishing trip to Kamatsi Lake in northern Saskatchewan. Accessible only by air, the lake is about a 20-mile floatplane ride from Southend, Sask., a small town about 900 miles northwest of Grand Forks.
3/7: Tinted by the smoke of an unseen forest fire, a large moon rises above two fishermen July 11 on Kamatsi Lake in northern Saskatchewan. (Brad Dokken photo)
4/7: An old canoe -- its best days a distant memory -- likely carried its occupants to many adventures on Kamatsi Lake in northern Saskatchewan. (Brad Dokken photo)
5/7: A rock formation offers a good view of the wilderness as seen from the vantage point of a rustic outpost cabin on Kamatsi Lake. Despite its remote location, the cabin had hot and cold running water pumped from the lake and an indoor bathroom. (Brad Dokken photo)
6/7: A female spruce grouse wandered into camp July 11 on Kamatsi Lake in northern Saskatchewan. As their name suggests, spruce grouse are birds of the forest and also are widely known as "fool hens" for their lack of fear, a tendency that allows humans to get into very close range. This bird eventually settled in the branches of a spruce tree behind the cabin. (Brad Dokken photo)
Brad Dokken joined the Herald company in November 1985 as a copy editor for Agweek magazine and has been the Grand Forks Herald's outdoors editor since 1998.
Besides his role as an outdoors writer, Dokken has an extensive background in northwest Minnesota and Canadian border issues and provides occasional coverage on those topics.
Reach him at email@example.com, by phone at (701) 780-1148 or on Twitter at @gfhoutdoor.