Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Fall Weekend in the Whiteshell Part 1

This October my wife and I were given a 3 night stay at a cabin at West Hawk Lake.  The weather
forecast was not looking promising, but we were determined to make the best out of our time away, whether it was warming up in the hot tub or freezing solid at day break fishing. After a brief stop in Winnipeg, we were on our way east, the drive out was pleasant and we arrived in the Whiteshell a little earlier than our check in time. We decided to try our luck fishing off a dock for a while catching stunted perch and small chubs, while taking in the surrounding beauty. After over a dozen very small fish we decided to check out our cabin at Tall Pine Lodges.

Settled in and unpacked, we took a scouting/sightseeing drive around the area. Driving down the
winding roads we found trail heads, possible shore fishing spots for the weekend, and an abundance of  deer. The fall colours were in full force, the white trunks of birch topped with bright yellow and
dulling orange stood out amongst the dark greens of the fir, cedar and tamaracks. With a few hours of daylight left, we decided to spend 45 minutes hiking half of the Dragon Fire trail at the campground in town. It leads you up and around one of the high points near the lake giving some great vantage points with a few interpretive signs about the history and creation of it.

The next morning was a slow start, the weather cool and clouds covering the sky, we did not make it out at daybreak, but the days events would motivate us to do so our next few days. After coffee and some sight seeing, we made our way to a trout lake to test our luck and tackle, and that is exactly what happened.

The water was crystal clear and wind direction in our favor as we were protected by the tall trees at the spot we chose. My wife started by still fishing and I thought I would toss a spoon or two. It wasn't long before I had my first strike and a missed hook set, a good sign none the less as this let us know we were near some fish. A few feet down shore and I got my first glimpse of a Whiteshell trout, a sudden flash caught my eye in the shallows and I was instantly intrigued and lowered to the ground. I made a cast past that direction and as my spoon came through where i saw the fish, I got another bite and set the hook. The fight was brief yet feisty, I thought it was a rainbow but as it came out of the water i was pleased to see my first ever brook trout. Nothing huge, but a new species and I was ecstatic, the colours popped, tiny red spots with blue halos on its sides and squiggly dark camouflage on its back, the white lines on its fins were pristine.

Being motivated to try different lures and techniques, I changed over to a fly under a bobber with some small split shot to get it down. A few cookie cutter rainbow trout were quickly  caught along with a few small brook trout, again no big ones, but extremely fun and an entertaining fight on light tackle. The rainbows really took to jumping out of the water over a foot and head shaking trying to spit the hook.

Now on the note of light tackle, I knew some decent trophies have been caught on this lake, but the general consensus was a lot of small hatchery fish get caught. I was under the impression that our chances at a trophy were slim to none being we were limited to shore spots, so we were using light line and light rods. We would soon learn, as we had in the past, there is always a chance at a trophy when fishing in Manitoba even if it is minimal, and you should be prepared.

1 comment:

  1. These one are brookies for sure. Beautiful brookie from the dock