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An evening of mosquitoes and pike

Theodore Dam offers a lot of easily accessible shoreline from which to cast, and on the night we headed out we were alone of most of our time there.
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Changing hooks is part of fishing.

THEODORE DAM - Welcome to the second edition of ‘Fishing Parkland Shorelines’ for 2022. Like most of us, I remain very much a novice fisherman, loving to fish, but far from an expert. In the following weeks I’ll again attempt to give those anglers who love to fish but just don’t have access to a boat a look at some of the options in the Yorkton area where you can fish from shore, and hopefully catch some fish for a good summer fry.

There is something reassuringly familiar about going fishing.

While occasionally we fisher folk might venture to new waters, sometimes far from home, we very much tend to like the familiar.

Perhaps we are not so different from the fish we seek. They follow the same rivers and find the same locales within lakes to spawn and spend their summers.

We climb in our vehicles, gear packed in the back and head to the same spots we fish each year.

I have fished the shore at Stoney Lake for years now, and have never ventured to the south end of the shore along the road. The first visit I stopped as soon as I saw water. I caught fish.

Since then I generally catch in the same spot, or within maybe 50 yards, and when I don’t, well the lawn chair is out, the seat comfy, so a long wander down the stony shore just never seems quite worth the effort. Yes, I can be satisfied by a day fishing sans fish these day.

So when my son and I ventured out this year it was first to familiar Canora Dam waters, and day two it was Theodore Dam, another of the familiar waters so easy to access for a few hours of fishing.

While the result was not the impediment to fishing it was at Canora Dam, the water at Theodore was higher than it has been.

But the dam area offers a lot of easily accessible shoreline from which to cast, and on the night we headed out we were alone of most of our time there. But again we picked a spot, only scant yards apart and barely moved. You have to stay relatively close if you are to discuss the Blue Jays season, or the Roughriders, or a new board game without yelling to one another – which I might add is frowned upon if others are fishing nearby too. The camaraderie of fishing is a big part of it for me. I recognize some see it as a solitary endeavour, alone with a good fishing pole and nature, but I like the distraction of chat, maybe to help keep thoughts of what’s on the work books the next day from invading the fun of fishing.

So there we are, fishing a spot I am sure we have cast over a thousand times each over the years, and the only down side to the early evening were mosquitoes. We are not talking one or two, but rather flocks of the buzzing kamikaze bugs. Even after almost bathing in bug spray they swarmed around looking for that one square centimeter of skin not covered in repellent to land upon.

Now, for fisher folk this is hardly a new annoyance, so on we fished serenaded by the choir of buzzers.

Adam was the first to catch, a pike.

Now it was at this point we had to make a decision, keep it and maybe have only a moderately sized pike to clean at trip’s end, or release it to grow.

We chose the latter as it did not appear the fish were particularly hungry, and for Adam that was the case.

The rest of his night was generally one of frustration, a hook lost on a hidden rock after our lines crossed.

A snapped leader that rocketed a Len Thompson lure far across the water to plop into oblivion.

And, then it happened a second time.

Now leaders occasionally fail, the ends giving way the usual issue, but these snapped in half, the leader material breaking with the pressure of a cast. To borrow a term from Texas Hold’em after a bad beat, Adam was most certainly on tilt, and I could at least sympathize with his pain as I merrily kept casting.

Oh, and to make matters worse, for Adam at least, the pike started to bite, at least where I was standing. I would get four, the last after he said to get it as I was winding down a final 10 casts before retiring home for the night.

The quartet were not of a size which will be part of a fishing tale of grand success but early season pike are good eating, so that is a win.

As for the leaders, the rest of the leaders, well they are now landfill refuse, and we will hope the next package is better.

As for the trip, it was comfortable, familiar, satisfying, all the things I remember from all the years at the same spot, which is why I am sure I’ll be back in 2023 too, since we fisher folk tend to be creatures of habitat.


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