Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Fall Weekend in the Whiteshell Part 3

Our next morning brought frost and a layer of ice on the car windshield, the sky conditions were the complete opposite from the previous day, clear and not a cloud to be seen. We made it to the lake with 45 minutes before sunrise, still light enough to fish though. Beyond casting distance a rainbow trout of decent stature breached multiple times, it seemed everywhere you looked a fish was breaching or surface feeding.  We repeated the process from Saturday with a few small rainbows and brooks caught and released before the sun broke the tree line, with the bite slowing down as the sun rose. It was agreed we would head back for a snack before fishing some more, so I took one last cast with a spoon and I had the pleasure of landing my personal best 18.25 inch brook trout, a good fight that probably scared off any fish in the area.

After a quick bite to eat we decided to head to the Whiteshell river in between West Hawk and Caddy lakes. The trail in is a self guided interpretive one, and after about 30 minutes of scenic hiking through the forest and over and down the rocky surface we arrived at the trout stream. This is strictly a catch and release area, and is used by some novice fly fishers to hone their craft. What a cool place! This experience was honestly one of my best times fishing yet, I forgot we were in Manitoba for a while, it could've been BC or Montana for all I knew.  Pristine crystal clear stream, fallen logs and rip rap areas leading to deeper pools, I knew as we approached that the trout would see us before we saw them, luckily if we spooked a pool, there was another one near by to try.

It was here our lighter set up was useful. Multiple lures and flies produced, but they had to be small. My wife and I started by each working a different pool with different tactics, I used a small fly and she her go to lure, both producing about equally. After hiking and trying multiple areas downstream catching and releasing rainbows and brookies in almost every pool, we headed back near the first area to settle in. We made a point of casting in all the previous pools as we went back having great success. Clear sky, barely a breeze, no one in sight, not even a piece of garbage, we continued to fish for a good hour with a few double headers as well. We landed well over a dozen each and agreed it was worth the hike. Small trout on light tackle is a blast!

After a great meal we were off for 90 minutes of fishing before dark, we approached the shore quietly and took care to stay low to the ground avoiding any shadows we might cast.  It wasn't long before we began to see trout surface feeding and soon after that a brook trout took my offering. I had an ear to ear smile as the fish fought, it wasn't a giant but it was determined to stay away from shore. Soon after my wife landed another an inch or two shy of twenty as well. Catching these brook trout for the first time and good numbers of them was a true pleasure. In the spirit of learning and trying different lures I changed over to a spoon again and began to cast out. after a few casts covering some different areas I hooked into and landed a nice 18 incher. The brook trout fight with such voracity and I now know why so many anglers enjoy pursuing them.

With no sign of the one that got away the previous day and one last chance the next morning, the sun had set and we were forced to retire for the night.


  1. Those might not be brook trout you got there from the lake. They almost look like splake. The small ones from the river are definitely brookies.
    Absolutely beautiful fish regardless.

  2. Thanks for the input Joel. It wasn't pictured but even the larger ones had what I perceived to be the tell tale camo of brook trout on the backs. I will have to take a closer look, I am by no means an expert.

  3. splake will often have a belly with colour mixed from both parents. Lakers have a yellow belly, brookies a bright red and will often have a jet black stripe along the belly during the fall season. Splake will have an orangey belly - usually with no black stripe