Every now and again you have to just take a day off and do what you love to do most. I’m an avid multi species sport angler with a passion for the outdoors. On this particular day, a snowy Sunday morning, a few friends and I set out on an adventure to try our luck at one of the many stocked brook trout lakes in the area. We packed up 2 vehicles loading them with our 4 huskies, fishing gear, and some food. It was going to be a great day. I visited this lake once in the fall and did re- ally well by landing a nice sized male brook trout by simply casting from shore using a Blue Fox Mepps spinner. So I was excited to get on the ice and walk out to a spot I had picked out in the fall time. It was close to shore and in shallow waters.
It was just over a 100km drive to this lake and the highway wasn’t in the best of conditions from all the snow we were getting so it took us longer than usual to get there. It was just before noon once we arrived and the dogs were real happy to get out and stretch their legs. My girlfriend’s little puppy was joining us on our ad- venture today. Best to start them young! It was still lightly snowing and there was a fresh blanket covering the lake. A few ravens were cawing loudly, making their presence known and flying over us. We were surrounded by some cliffs that looked absolutely beautiful with the freshly fallen snow. We were the only ones on the lake. I love when that happens!
Once we got all of our gear out on to the lake, we began to drill some holes. We first started off by trying in the area where we had success in the fall time. The ice was only about 3-4 inches thick, just safe enough. It was perfect for the hand auger to drill some holes. About a half hour went by and there wasn’t a single bite. We looked around the lake for any structure that looked out of the ordinary. On the west side of the lake there was a fallen cedar tree that looked promising. I was using an ultra light rod with 6lbs test line and my choice of lure today was a Mighty Mitch & Jungle Joes Jigfly tipped with a piece of Gulp worm. I was jigging right on bottom.
It was just past noon, the snow was still coming down, and that’s when I finally had my first hit. I reeled up a beautiful male brook trout. Finally the bite was on. Throughout the day we ended up landing 5 male brookies and 3 females. The red- dish bellies on the males were spectacular. I think that trout are one of the most beautiful fresh water fish to catch. The colors on them are vibrant, especially in the fall.
I catch and release 90% of my fish. The conservation of our fish populations, by releasing and letting them grow is important for our future angling opportunities. I only keep the odd walleye, perch, or crappie for a meal here and there but today I was itching to use my new fillet knife and my girlfriend who joined me that day also enjoys eating the odd brook trout so we kept a few for a meal. Plus, I recently had a handmade custom fillet knife made for me by Steven Tedford knives that I was itching to field test!
We just had a few hours of daylight left and a long drive home so we decided to call it a day. It was a successful day out on the ice. The dogs were happy to get out on an adventure, we were with good people, and we had the added bonus of bringing home a healthy meal of fresh fish for ourselves.
Everyone has their own way of celebrating the New Year! Well I rang in the New Year by celebrating my angling success of 2015, and that included catching 14 different species of fish, and making it to 49 different lakes! And this last trip of 2015 capped it off. Angling, hunting, and hiking opportunities in Northern Ontario are spectacular. We’re spoiled with so many different opportunities for angling! So this year it’s on my bucket list to make it out to 150 different lakes. I can’t wait to see what the rest of 2016 has in store for me!