Monday, June 17th 2019, 12:05 pm - Igloo Lake Lodge has 140 guests booked for summer fishing season
(Image: Gillingham and Burton speak with a staff member from high atop the snow pile, which is still extremely high for the month of June. Courtesy: Jacob Barker/CBC)
As the summer fishing season gets underway in the province, one remote fish lodge is still digging its way out of winter.
"Even though we're coming up on the first day of summer next week it's not really the first day of summer here," said Igloo Lake Lodge manager Jim Burton.
"Mother Nature has the last say."
Lodge workers were greeted by deep piles of snow, which made for lots of extra work to deal with in preparation for the summer fishing season.
Bat boxes were knocked to the ground, trees were snapped in half and propane tanks were buried under the deep snow that still covers the land the lodge's structures are built on.
"We had a picture taken last year. We knew exactly where the [propane tanks] were located. So we had to dig down to the surface and extract the propane up so we can use them in the lodge," Burton said.
There are 140 anglers booked for this season at the lodge, where they strive to catch and release some large brook trout and Northern pike.
(Image: Igloo Lake Lodge manager Jim Burton, left, and owner Craig Gillingham are busy preparing to get things ready for their first guests.)
A six-day trip at the lodge is listed at $4,500 and is about a 40-minute plane ride from Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Everything needs to be brought out to keep people fed and comfortable for their stay — a big job during a normal year, but with this much snow, 2019 is no normal year.
"This is unusual. We've been here now a week, eight men working away, getting ready," Burton said, pointing out his position in relation to the structure.
"Look at my height. I mean, I'm pretty well halfway up the roof behind me here."
The first guests were scheduled to arrive over the weekend, and while they will have been greeted by the big pile of snow, the water was wide open for them to do what they came there to do: catch some big fish.
"I think the guests will be excited about it actually," lodge owner Craig Gillingham said.
"It's something you don't get to see very often, this much snow in June."