Posts by dnazarenko:
- Patterson Lake
- Tokaryk Lake
- Pybus Lake
- Twin Lakes
- Persse Lake
- Gull Lake
A long winter has passed and spring is here! It didn’t come too early on the lake we were booked to fish the second week of May. As in, the ice left the week before! But it was gone and a group of twelve of us from the Ottawa Flyfishers were pumped to get out on the water. For most of this it was the first fishing for a few months.
The destination was Kenauk Nature’s Lac Taunton. With ice off so recent, anticipation was high.
The Taunton chalet is first class. It is one of the new and larger ones with plenty of comfortable space for our crew.
It didn’t take long to stow their gear and head down to the lake.
And out onto the lake, hopefully for some productive late afternoon fishing.
As it turned out, the fish either weren’t all that hungry or we couldn’t figure out what they wanted. It took a while but as the sun began to set, the fish turned on.
The lake is stocked with colourful rainbow trout including some very nice sized ones! We hooked into several energetic fish in the 17-19 inch range. Even after the long winter their bodies were thick and powerful. My personal success came fishing a clear intermediate line using a black micro zonker. The day ended with promise.
While conditions looked good for the following day, fishing proved tough and again it wasn’t until later in the day before people began to catch numbers of fish. Maddenly, I was skunked for the day despite trying almost everything I could imagine. At least others were more successful so there was hope.
Last morning before heading home, out on the water by 6 for a few hours of fishing before breakfast. The one thing I had not tried the previous day was dropping down to a narrower tippet size. So this morning out came the 4x, something I can’t remember using on this lakes in the past.
Gearing up and getting the float tube in the water was done in short order. My plan was to begin fishing off part of the shoreline where there was lots of deadwood fallen into the water. From a distance I had seen rises there the previous morning. One of the limitations of the float tube is that it takes a while to move around so shifting locations is no accomplished without a bit of work.
Whether it was the tippet or just a new day, things started off much better. Within 30 minutes I had hooked and landed three nice rainbows, casting a small minnow imitation towards the wood and dragging it back to deeper water.
Things slowed a bit for me after the first hour but clearly the fish weren’t done.
Kenauk Nature offers great fishing and can accommodate a wide range of fishers.
A sometimes challenging but nonetheless excellent start to the season!
We have had a very wet fishing season this year. The local rivers have remained close to spring levels with the result that wading in typical seasonal spots has been difficult or impossible.
The fish seem to have moved around in response to higher water levels. One of the results for me has been the opportunity to catch walleye on the fly.
Tuesday evening urban fishing was on the Rideau River at Hog’s Back Falls. Nice night for fishing – warm and humid. I was overdressed and by the time I quit was pretty damp from sweat as well as leaky waders. The water was pretty high and the fishing pretty slow – as in I caught nothing. John didn’t do much better. Todd caught a few.
The snow is melting, rivers are raging and the lake ice is thinning. Its almost time to go fishing.
The Holo Worm is a neat blood worm pattern by Phil Rowley. I’ve added it to my tying list.
Our fall trip to Kenauk was earlier this year than in the past. While it was great to be out fishing sooner than later for the most part we were still dealing with summer conditions and were a bit concerned that the fish would not be as cooperative as they usually were later in autumn.
We arrived to great weather – and warm water temperatures. The 69-70F surface temperatures were not promising.
While conditions were less than what we would have liked, intermediate and fast sinking lines proved to help get flies to where the fish were and it turned out they could be encouraged to bite. One of my first was a nice 18 inch rainbow that surprisingly was caught casting into shore in water less than 10 feet deep.
Afternoons proved to be slow going but early morning was productive yielding steady hits, generally over deeper water.
My most successful fly over the three day period was a rootbeer coloured palmered chenille bugger fished on a type 6 sinking line. Sometimes trolling worked best and sometimes casting and stripping.
Heading into the trip we were uncertain what to expect. Water temperatures had not cooled much but we still managed to coax quite a few fish to bite. All in all the fishing was pretty good as was the companionship. Enticing enough for a return trip.
The plan was to head down to a spot along the river not far from home. With the call for showers it seemed a good idea to wait until later in the afternoon to size up the storm potential. By five or so, it looked like the rain might give our area a miss so it was time to leave.
The spot I had in mind is close so it is possible in only a few minutes. The water is low which opens opportunities to wade in new areas and while the fish are willing they are mostly the small guys who don’t know better.
Off the cuff weather forecasting proves to be less than accurate at times but perhaps this storm will pass by to the north.
And it does. But wait, forgot to pay attention to the next one. And it doesn’t miss.
Sigh! But more amateur forecasting suggests it will pass quickly. And it does.
Going two for three on the forecasting seems pretty good.
The small, worldly inexperienced fish continue to be drawn to my flies for the next hour (rain free) before it is time to head home for dinner.
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 ……
Our spring trip to the Manitoba Parkland region has come to an end. What a trip it was. Eight days of fishing for trophy trout. Over that time we fished six different lakes:
The first five are associated with the FLIPPR program (Fish and Lake Improvement Program for the Parkland Region). FLIPPR focuses on the development and maintenance of a trophy trout fishery in the Manitoba Parkland region.
In its 12th year the program has many successes to point to and the region is slowly being discovered as a top North America still water fishery. Gull Lake is a brook and rainbow trout lake in Duck Mountain Provincial Park.
The first four days as part of Fly Craft Angling’s Prowling the Parklands Stillwater Seminar. Phil Rowley offers a great seminar that is a combination of teaching and fishing.
The teaching component focused on chironomid techniques and the fishing gave everyone lots of opportunity to practice. The accommodations at Arrow Lake Outfitters and Ranch work well for the way the seminar is set up. This was our group’s second time around. Phil along with cohosts Bob and Karen Vanderwater provide a great experience that is highly recommended for both first time and fishers returning to the Parkland.
For the last half of our trip we moved up to Roblin, closer to the western FLIPPR lakes – Twin Lakes and its healthy population of tiger trout and Persse Lake as well as lakes in Duck Mountain Provincial Park. We based ourselves at the Harvest Moon Inn. The Harvest Moon worked out great and Roblin itself offers a variety restaurants and services for fisherman.
The fishing over the course of the eight days was great. Each of the lakes offered their own challenges and rewards although the rewards for a couple of them were harder to discover. I’ll post again with more details about the fishing itself. Here is a shot of a Tokaryk Rainbow.
I enjoy photography and generally try to combine it with my fishing. My photos are mainly for my enjoyment but even so, I have learned that there are simple techniques I can use to improve the quality of my photos.
I thought I would share some of them on a semi regular basis. If you are really serious about photography you can likely find better and more thorough tutorials somewhere on the web. These tips are geared to the picture taking fisherman who is trying to get a good shot while dealing with the likes of fish, lines, boat gear, etc. (ie, keep it simple).
Using Your Camera’s Flash
I generally think of my camera’s flash as a tool for helping when the scene is too dark – most often indoors. While this is true, it is probably more accurate to think of the flash as a means for infilling dark or shadowed areas in a photo. This doesn’t have to be in low light conditions. Even on bright days parts of the image can have shadows that detract from the overall picture. Using your flash can help to fill in these shadows.
Here is an example I shot not long ago. The image on the left was shot without flash. In general there is sufficient light to illuminate the image but detail around the fly rod and reel is lost. Flash was used in the picture on the right and the results are quite pronounced showing much more reel detail.
While this example was taken on an overcast day, the results on a sunny day can be equally dramatic. Whether you use a full DSLR, a point and shoot or a mobile phone camera, you usually have some options to control the flash settings. Learn how to adjust your flash settings, play around a bit and be prepared for that next prize catch. You will greatly improve your photos.
I think its more sad than strange that the first monthly wrap up of my 2012 fishing season comes in April. Sad because there is nothing to summarize for the first three months of the season. That changed in April – but just barely.
April 7 – Checked out a local pond stocked with rainbow trout. I have only fished it in the fall and had good success.
The day was breezy, overcast and around 5C. My fish finder wasn’t working so I was not too sure about the water temperature however judging from the feel of the water on my toes it wasn’t too bad.
The fishing wasn’t what I was looking for. There were lots of willing rock bass in the shallows and I also landed one decent out of season smallmouth bass at the far end of the lake (not sure where that came from) but I couldn’t find a trout. Could the lack of trout in April be related to the fact they stock later in the spring? At any rate, it was good to get out.
April 15 – I headed down to the river not far from home. Generally there is an abundance of pan fish to be found and later in the season plentiful smallmouth and the occasional muskie. The water was low – hope we get rain or they release more water into the river. Other than checking out the workings of my new fly rod there was not much success on the fish front.
April 28 – The month is almost gone before I finally get another opportunity to get out. The destination is Bing Retreat a private lake a couple hours from home. I usually get there once a year – usually in the spring. My notes tell me last year it was April 18 and that the water was very cold. Today looks more promising.
I decided to fish a full sinking line and a streamer since the work was the fish were being caught deep. I took a while but I after about a half hour I had what I thought was a hit. And then another but no takes. After about an hour I finally hooked into a fish for sure but he slipped the hook after a bit of vigourous head shaking. This happened a few more times before I managed to land my first fish. It was a small brook trout which explained the head shaking behaviour. By lunch I had landed three and lost about as many. All were small – two rainbows and one brook trout.
Judging by more frequent hits the fish were more active in the afternoon. Perhaps in response to warmer water temperatures (approaching 50-51F). I was trying a few different bugger patterns and finally settled on a smaller (size 10) olive bead head bugger with crystal flash in the tail. It seemed to work as well as anything.
By the end of the day I had landed half a dozen fish, lost at least as many and had numerous other hits. A good way to end the month
Upcoming Fishing Plans
May will be a busy month work wise but there should also be some fishing opportunities including a couple days at Kenauk which has been an annual destination for some years. I hope to find time to check out a few local lakes that I haven’t been too for several years and hopefully some time to dip a line in New York later in the month.