Welcome to the fifth and final edition of ‘Fishing Parkland Shorelines’ for 2021. 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.
So fisherfolk we have arrived at what is nearly midsummer, never the friendliest of time for the shore fisherman in east central Saskatchewan.
Generally, as temperatures rise, so too do water temperatures and fish tend to head to deep, cooler spots for much of the day, although you can still catch at times as predatory fish like to chase prey into shallow water for easier capture. I suppose it’s as simple as the prey in shallow water can only turn left, or right to try to escape, not go up or down as well.
Then there are the weeds and algae to contend with. Both apparently love hot sunny days and in some area fishing spots it gets so bad that every cast you are plucking weeds off your hook.
Actually the weeds are not so bad to deal with, but add some slimy, greasy algae and the fun factor of fishing declines significantly.
It’s also a case while a hook is trailing weeds the chance it will attract a fish strike is almost zero, so the time to attract a fish becomes that between the hook hitting the water and the first algae or weed area the hook passes through. You can do a lot of reel turning to no real effect in terms of catching a fish.
Then of course there is the heat itself.
Afternoon fishing is generally just a case of being uncomfortably hot, so you need to rise early – something I very much try to avoid as I like my pillow very much in the morning – or head out for some evening fishing.
The problem with evening fishing is mosquitos tend to hide out the hot afternoons then go hunting blood at time. While I avoid bananas in summer having read somewhere that mosquitos are attracted to something in the fruit, and I take garlic pills for various reasons one is ‘I think’ mosquitos like me less as a result – after all they are sort of mini vampires – they still seem to find me shore fishing.
This year the problems are made worse as water levels were already low, and the day after day high temperatures and the rarity of showers has not made summer fishing trips very appealing.
Of course one can hope for some better fishing this fall.
In the meantime, might I suggest a shady spot in your garden, or in front of a fan inside, to read a good book until the calendar turns to September maybe?
Even if you make a calculated retreat from fishing the shorelines over summer, you can still enjoy fishing through books.
One of the better options in that regard is to seek out the Sean Stranahan mystery series by Keith McCafferty.
MaCafferty is the Survival and Outdoor Skills Editor of Field & Stream. He has written articles for publications as diverse as Fly Fisherman Magazine, Mother Earth News, Grays Sporting Journal and the Chicago Tribune
While much of his writing through the years has been nonfiction, McCafferty launched the mystery series in 2012 with ‘The Royal Wulff Murders’ a great tale with fishing an integral part of the mystery.
What has followed have been seven more tales all starring private detective Stranahan.
I have enjoyed all eight books. These are not gunfights and four letter word mysteries, but rather tales rich with characters you grow to know book-to-book with the great outdoors, the work of trout streams and mountain lions as the backdrop. They are ideal books for fisherfolk with an itch to be fishing.
The latest in the series, released in August 2020, is ‘The Bangtail Ghost’.
“On a cold day in the dead of a Montana winter, a single whisker discovered at a scene of horrific violence suggest that a woman has been attacked and carried away by a mountain lion,” teases keithmccafferty.com “Sheriff Martha Ettinger employs her fiancé, part-time detective Sean Stranahan, to “join teams with the dead” and put a name to the gnawed bones and scattered remains, which include fake fingernails and a breast implant that, along with other clues, point to the victim being a prostitute who was entertaining wayward hunters.
“The woman will be the first of several deaths that Sean suspects are not as easily explained as they appear.
“As a reign of terror grips the Madison Valley, blood in the tracks will lead him from the river to the snow-covered ridge tops, as he finds himself on his most dangerous quest yet.
“For as Sean comes closer to unearthing the secrets shared by the dead and missing, the tracks he is following will turn and the hunter becomes the hunted.”
As with the earlier books this was a fine read – I devoured the 320-page book in a couple of days off from work – and highly recommend it and the entire series.
And that’s it fisherfolk. As always, it’s been fun sharing some tales with you these past weeks, and good luck wherever you cast a lure the rest of 2021.