Too Much of a Good Thing?

Can you ever have too much of a good thing when it comes to fishing?  I expect, probably one can.

But a few of us haven’t reached that point as far as fishing the Manitoba Parklands for large brown, rainbow and tiger trout.  I am not sure the exact number but I think we have made at least 6 or 7 trips to the area over the past number of years – sometimes once, sometimes twice a year.

Last year I missed out so it was a priority to make at least one trip this year.  And that we did back in early June.  Its been a busy month since I got back and I still haven’t gone through all my photos but I will soon.  But in the meantime, here are a couple photos from this last trip.

Brown Trout-Patterson

Dennis-West Goose Dennis-Twin Lakes

Manitoba Recap

Its hard to stay away. The fishing is too enticing. Before our trip this past spring there were no plans for a return but a fairly short discussion led to a few of us committing to a fall trip. This was our fourth trip to the Manitoba Parkland – two spring and two fall trips. While both spring and fall have their pluses, I think our experience has us leaning to fall.

It was a great trip – sometimes challenging but overall lots of great fish.  Here are a few photos.  Grip and grin photos are hard to get when you are in a float tube managing a fly rod, line and hook and an energetic fish so the pictures don’t always do the fish justice. Most of the photos were of 19 inch plus fish.  Some of the larger ones we estimated at over six pounds with a few approaching eight.  The larger ones were mostly released as quickly as possible without photos.

It didn’t take long for us to find cooperative fish.

Patterson Lake

And the reward – a nice rainbow trout.

Rainbow Trout

We found browns as well.

Male Brown Trout

The rainbows varied in their coloration.

Rainbow Trout

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Silvery Rainbow

The day ended with the weather closing in but all in all, a good start to the trip.

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Day two fishing conditions were mixed.  The day started slow for me but ended strong with a number of feisty browns and rainbows enticed from the reeds along the shore of Patterson Lake. These two don’t look very pleased about the situation.

Brown Trout

Patterson Brown Trout

The rainbows were energetic and seemed particularly interested in my brown P-Quad.

Rainbow Trout

Day three we packed up and headed to the Harvest Moon Inn in Roblin.  Great people and a great spot to stay if interested in fishing Twin Lakes and Persse Lake.

We checked in Saturday morning and in addition to a warm welcome back Beth informed us that West Goose Lake in the middle of town was fishing well.  That sounded interesting but our attending was focused on the lakes to the north so we unloaded what we didn’t need for fishing and headed off to Twin Lakes.

The clouds had broken over night so things looked good but unfortunately the fish didn’t get the message.  Nothing to show for our morning’s efforts so we moved on to Persse Lake after lunch.  Again, nothing but a few hits.  Somewhat discouraged, we called it a day late in the afternoon discussing a conversation we had had with a local expert – Bill Pollack.  Among other things he mentioned that West Goose Lake in Roblin had been fishing well the past few days. Was there something we should be paying attention to?

That night over order in pizza from Metal Red’s Pizza we discussed plans for the next day. A some point West Goose Lake entered the conversation.  Why not give it a try Sunday morning?

Turns out it was a good idea.  Between the three of us we landed a lot of big fish.

Roger with a large rainbow trout

 

Fat Rainbow Trout

 

The fishing at West Goose on Sunday was so good that we decided to return for a few hours on Monday before heading back to Winnipeg to catch our flights.  And it didn’t disappoint.

All in all, it was a great trip.  We had to work for the fish but they cooperated, including some really big specimens.  I suspect we will be back.

 

 

Parkland Trout – Coming Soon!

Our third trip to the Manitoba Parkland is in the horizon – next month, well actually six weeks but who is counting.  This is what we are after.  And hopefully some of his rainbow and brown trout cousins.

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This will be our third trip to the Parkland.  Our first was a September trip and last year we decided to head back in spring.  That venture only wet the appetite for more so back we go at the end of May.  Flights to Winnipeg were secured with Aeroplan points long time ago as was the time we will spend with Phil Rowley. with points were booked long ago as was our time with Phil Rowley but accommodations for the second half of the trip still need to be booked and we need vehicles to move us around.  Last year the plan was to rent two hatchbacks for the four of us but since the rental companies would guarantee specific vehicles the plan only partially worked.  When we got there there was only one hatchback available so we ended up upgrading to a compact SUV for the second.  Although a hatchback is more than adequate for all our gear and access to the lakes is easy, the extra room of the SUV was nice so I will probably lobby for paying a bit extra and reserving one outright. I figure the extra cost is worth it.

The big task is finishing up my fly tying.  I am in good shape for most things but need to tie some more chironomids which were absolutely essential last spring.  And I need to tie some dragon fly imitations.  Jeff Lauze just posted a version on his blog that looks like just the ticket.  Never mind that I suck at spinning and trimming deer hair.

Dragon Fly Nymph - Jeff Lauze
Dragon Fly Nymph – Jeff Lauze

Amazingly, I don’t think I have any major purchases to make (shocking as that may be) although I am on the lookout for a new pair of float tube flippers.  My Outcast flippers work fine when wearing wading boots but I have a tough time keeping them securely fastened with only neoprene booties over my waders.  I am considering the Force Fin flippers but may compromise with something a bit cheaper.  I am open to suggestions.

So that’s it as far as preparations go.  To manage the anticipation, the plan is to get in as much local fishing if spring ever gets here.

 

Manitoba Parkland – Part 2

Its amazing how quickly a great fishing trip gets left behind.  Two weeks have gone by since we got back from Manitoba.  I had planned to get some photos posted but somehow work got in the way.

Rather than a lot of text, I’ll comment on a few photos. I have also compiled a slide show that includes a number of additional photos of fish for those who only really care about the fish.

As mentioned the first four days of our trip were spent with Phil Rowley who has been organizing twice yearly Prowling the Parkland trips.  This was our second trip with Phil and his team.  Without a doubt they are well worth the cost in terms of learning, access to lakes and general good fun.  Here is a photo of Phil giving us some early morning tips from the dock in front of the lodge.

The fishing was very good in the sense that everyone had shots at decent sized fish.  They weren’t jumping into the boat but with hard work and smart tactics (thanks again Phil) they could be had.  At different times pretty much everyone was on to good fish.  Here is Wade playing a nice trout.

The Parkland region offers lots of fishing options.  In addition to FLIPPR lakes there are other lakes within Duck Mountain Park and elsewhere that offer fishing opportunities that we just didn’t have time for.  One could spend a lot longer than the eight days we had and not get bored.

Most of our fishing was either with chironomids or streamers.  For us Ontario guys this was probably our first serious attempt at chironomid fishing.  The techniques Phil showed us actually worked!  And it was also our first attempt at fishing anchored from float tubes.  That seemed to work pretty well too although we came away with some ideas on anchor system design modifications.

And did I mention the fish?  We caught quite a few and quite a few large ones.

Our last morning was spent at Patterson Lake.  When we got there the air was still and the water flat calm except for trout rising to the surface.  The morning turned into a caddis fest – at least for the fish.  We weren’t as successful coaxing  them to our flies although we did manage to convince a respectable number of fish to take whatever we were offering – as caddis emergers?  Who knows. George and Roger did have some success with a few bigger fish.  We were all set for a shot of this 10+ pound rainbow when it slipped away from Roger.

After that George also lost a big brown after it took him into the brush along shore.  But maybe that was a good way to end the trip.  We know where he lives so next time ……

 

Getting Ready!

In less than two weeks four of us are heading to the Manitoba Parklands for a week in search of behemoth trout.  The lure of large rainbow, brown and tiger trout is one that brings some people to the region year after year.  We made our first trip to the area last September with results that tempted us to make a return trip.

Here is a link to a blog post by Dave Jensen from a recent trip to the Parkland area.  As if we didn’t need more encouragement.