Welcome to Week VIII 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.
It's mid-June and we're heading north to explore two, or three possible shore fishing spots.
No worries though this is not the far north. We just hit Highway 10 and made our way to the Sturgis/Preeceville area. It's a nice hour drive.
So our first stop turned out to be at one of the nicest lakes in the area, and was also sadly a disappointing stop in terms of this particular fishing endeavour.
Just west of Preeceville there is a sign which points north to Lady Lake. Check the Saskatchewan fishing guide and you find the lake is home to trout; rainbows and the hybrid tiger trout (a cross between a brook and brown trout). On-site another fisherman noted brook trout make the lake home as well. All three species are introduced by stocking.
Now in terms of fishing trout hold a special place for most anglers. There are several reasons for that, including the romantic notion of casting flies in solitude on some trout stream, one often written about in fishing magazines, or brought to life in fiction.
In Saskatchewan the trout fishing options are also much more limited than pike, perch and walleye, so they hold out as something we do not get to fish for often.
And then there is the fact trout are wily, finicky fish which often confound the intentions of fishermen.
So we drive toward Lady Lake with a rather heightened level of expectation.
We have left Yorkton early, not crack of dawn early, but early for a Saturday off nevertheless, and so arrive at Lady Lake when the place is deathly quiet.
The lake is down a long, small, grid road, and my son and I are joking about how that is the way so many horror flicks start, people driving down a road they have never been on before.
Well at the lake no one is stirring. It's another regional park, but no one is at the gate taking money.
We head to the campground area along the lake. There are many motorhomes and campers, but no one is moving around on what is a dull morning weather wise.
I search the shoreline for fisherman sign. There is a small beach area for swimming at-your-own-risk, but fishing is not allowed. The options to fish there are nonexistent.
We finally see a camper fall out of their weekend home and he is good enough to tell us there is a shore fishing area by the lake's aerator. Many small lakes are aerated over winter -- usually through the efforts of an area Saskatchewan Wildlife Association chapter -- to ensure fish survival.
It takes a bit of finding down the winding roads around the lake, but we do find it.
The area is small, three or four shore fishermen small, but it does exist.
A fisherman launching a boat suggests jig fishing, and says corn or marshmallows are the best baits. We have neither.
There is a lesson there, scout ahead and try to learn about the lake and what works. In some cases it's hard. Many small lakes don't have stores or offices to call, and when you phone nearby towns there is a pretty good chance the person that answers won't be a fisherman.
So by now you have probably guessed the sad ending to this tale, we did not catch a trout, although we did try some spinners, jigs with shrimp (which we had in case of perch at a lake later on the trip).
While the trout were uncooperative, we did find one of the prettiest lakes around. Lady Lake is nearly completely tree surrounded, thus the lack of shore spots to fish, so is very pretty. I will note that while no one wants clear cut shorelines for aesthetic reasons, as well as preventing erosion, but it is too bad the provincial department would not create a few shore fishing areas at more lakes. Not everyone who enjoys the sport can afford a boat.
The lake also has island features, not usually seen in smaller lakes, and that adds to the ambiance of the place.
It would have been nice to have hooked a trout, but it was still a pretty place to spend some time on a Saturday morning, after all as they say there is only one thing better than time spent fishing, and that would have been time spent catching 'em.