Welcome to Week V of 'Shore Fishing the Parkland'. Like most of us I am a novice fisherman, loving to fish, but far from an expert. In the following weeks I'll attempt to give those anglers who love to fish but just don't have access 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.
All right fishing fans this week you need to pack a shore lunch and get up early since we are headed a bit farther afield.
Head north to Canora, and while the Canora Dam is tantalizingly close, we're off to try someplace new, so hang a left in Highway 5.
My son and I made this little trek recently, and it was interesting going down a highway it was probably nearly two decades since I travelled it, at least farther west than Buchanan, having been to that small town a few years back for the grand opening of the pea cleaning plant.
Had I been thinking ahead the highway goes past an old Tisdale buddy's sheep farm. Ray Bansley sells shishliki from the farm, and I should have made arrangements to stop in and get a few pounds. Next time Ray, and folks I do recommend lamb shish on the BBQ.
But this day our goal was Margo, and once there we turned left again in search of Stony Lake.
I had read about the lake on a website, or two, and talked to a few people who had a similar story, 'oh yes I fished there years ago'.
That said Adam and I were flying blind in terms of knowing exactly where we were going.
In this case precise knowledge of how to get into a lake is not required. We came around a curve on the grid road and to our right was Stony Lake, a much larger lake than I had expected.
Now in terms of shore fishing, Stony Lake is a gem. The grid road is basically the eastern edge of the lake and for about half a mile it's wide open. So we pulled over, exited the car and were basically on the lake edge.
Now just because there is an open area on a lake does not mean it is conducive to shore fishing, but we had to start somewhere. In this case the good news was that there was evidence of previous fishermen along the shore. An occasional lure package. Now while encouraging to see in this case, come on folks take the hooks out of the package at home and throw your garbage away there. We should try to keep our shorelines pristine.
There were also an occasional driftwood stick thrust in the mud, a good sign someone used it as a fishing chain anchor.
The sign was good, but this Sunday, at about noon, the wind was up, and whipping across the large lake into our faces. There were legitimate whitecaps on Stony, so casting was going to be fun.
In such conditions keep the hook low and snap it quick.
In a new lake I like to start with a smaller hook until I know how rocky the bottom is, or how thick the weeds are.
Good news, neither was an issue in our locale at Stony, so we were able to go up a size in hooks, the extra weight an asset into the wind.
So conditions were a tad wild, so all I am hoping for is something to make this column one where I could verify shore fishing works at Stony.
It takes a while but finally the tug comes on a trust red and white. A good eating size pike. I am happy.
A few casts later, another hit. Bigger. It breaks the surface with a golden hue. It's a real nice sized walleye.
But then nothing.
I go to a red five of diamonds and another pike takes it.
So black and white goes on. Yes I am a believer in using the tackle box. Rotate through your hooks on a slow day.
Another pike likes it.
So I am smiling. Adam is not. He is being skunked, and at the ripe old age of 23 he is growing bored, wearing his dad's oversize coat since in his fishing wisdom he had left home without one. Another hint here, always prepare for the cold in Saskatchewan when going fishing, even in the summer. Winds off lakes can be chill in July.
So Adam is ready to go home, but dad has another plan (see next week for that part of the tale).
As for Stony it would give up one more pike on a lady bug spoon, but sadly no more walleye. It is a lake I would like to try on a calmer day, which would allow rubber baits to be used, and offer casts a bit further out to see what might lurk there.
While a bit further down the road from Yorkon (120 kilometres) Stony Lake is one worth a road trip to check out (and more so when you factor in Pelican Lake but that's next week).