YORKTON - Welcome to the third and final 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.
Fishing trips, even quick little jaunts to well-known haunts, rarely go as one might expect.
It would be impossible to accurately estimate how many times through my 60-plus years I have woke ready to head out to fish only to look out the window, see it pouring rain, and instead of getting soaked crawled back beneath the covers.
Or, how often there is a message from a fishing buddy whose life has gotten in the way of going out as planned.
But, even when you are on the road, the weather ideal, the bologna sandwiches with regular mustard packed in the cooler, things can go awry.
Such was the case not so long ago. There were those who were raving about how fish have been biting at Togo bridge, so my son and I headed out.
We get almost there and a cement barrier has been placed across the grid with signs the road is not safe.
But, at the same time there is a well-worn set of tracks around one end of the barricade, indicating people were regularly ignoring the barricade to access the bridge beyond. We followed suit, a sports car right on our tail.
The road was fine, although there was a sizeable cave-in along one side at one point, and had it been wet I wouldn’t have suggested we follow the tracks and that cave-in confirmed that thinking.
At the bridge only two fellows were fishing. They had found a few feet of rock amid a virtual forest of shrubbery and weeds which had grown up above a far higher water line than usual. Without even looking it was obvious the fishermen were standing on rocks, which as I passed 60 years a couple of years back, I’d prefer to avoid if possible. I like firmer footing, and to be honest if I am at a spot where I will toss a jig and wait, I prefer a place to sit – space for a lawn chair or at least a flat rock.
So we ate our sandwiches, the dill pickles and cherry tomatoes too, with mini chocolate bars for dessert, turned around and left.
We ended up at the boat launch on the west side at the lake itself, and while it was still high water and shrubs we found a spot – a flat rock actually – and tossed out our jigs.
The fish – well all but one at least – proved to be big teases that evening. Several times the rod tip twitched in that tantalizing way fisherman actually dream of, only to swim happily away as we tried to set out hooks.
Adam finally did get one walleye to shore, but as it was pretty apparent by that time we weren’t going to land many we didn’t even measure it to see if it was in the range to keep, opting to release it back to the water so it could tease some other fisherman one day.
Still, it was a warm night. The bugs were not overly starved. We talked and just enjoyed father-son time, in other words the best of any fishing trip.
Now I have to switch gears just a little. There is something about fisherman that whenever they have a chance they have to tell tales of their recent exploits.
A case in point, my better half needed some garden dirt to fill some large pots her amazing husband had bought for her at a yard sale.
Some farm friends said to pop out their way, so we did. As we drove into the yard they were unloading a boat – evidence of just returning from fishing.
We stopped and before we had even gotten out of our vehicle grandpa and grandson were showing us a nice northern pike and a chubby perch caught at Theodore Dam.
Interestingly, as we chatted, grandpa began to fillet. It was the first time I’d seen an electric knife used – neat it was but not useful on a lot of shorelines – and the first time I had seen someone sit to fillet. I suspect the comfort of a chair is only a reasonable option using the electric knife, but if you had a full stringer it would be less stress on the back for sure.
And finally, I have to once again throw out a big fisher folk pat on the back for Len Thompson Lures and the company’s Fishing For Foodbanks program.
For the last three years Len Thompson has produced some special lures sold to raise money they donate to foodbanks.
In 2020 they donated $24,350 and supported 29 Canadian community food banks and in 2021 they donated $16,840 and supported 35 Canadian Community food banks.
This year they have six lures in the line, three glow spoons and three brass spoons, all in designs different from what the company usually produces.
When it comes to spoon fishing, and pike like spoons, Len Thompson – a company launched by its namesake after he returned from being a First World War soldier, developing his first fishing spoon in Abernethy, Saskatchewan, in 1929 – there aren’t any better. The spoons have good weight. The paint stands up well to bouncing off stones and pike teeth.
And many of the designs, red and white, red five of diamonds, leopard frog and lady bug, just flat out catch fish.
So try the new designs and see how you like them and help foodbanks in the process. Check them out at lenthompson.com