Thursday November 27, 2014

A sunny day at Moosomin Reservoir

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Welcome to Week CX of ‘Fishing Parkland Shorelines’. 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 to a boat, a look at some of the options in the Yorkton area where you can fish from shore, and hopefully catch some fish.

So this spring my luck fishing has been, well let’s go with the word limited. Yes, I like ‘limited’ far better than perhaps the more accurate ‘bad’ fishing so far.

I will say it has been a good spring in terms of having nice clean hooks, since many of my lures, having been tossed in the water a few times, as I have gone through the collection in hopes of finding something which might entice a few nibbles.

It has not been a particularly good approach, at least from the results. The other night at the Theodore Dam was pretty typical of things.

We had planned on going to Whitesand Regional Park, only to find the grid road north out of Theodore, a rutted mess with a road-closed sign across it, so that plan was kiboshed in a hurry.

The Dam was a natural second choice and to be truthful, yes I know that’s rare among fishermen telling their tales, there were lots of bites that night.

Alas they were from mosquitos, only slightly smaller than the average raven. Sitting on the rocks casting, the air was basically abuzz with the bloodthirsty kamikazes.

The fish on the other hand were disinterested, or in another part of the lake, as I couldn’t get so much as a nibble. That is saying something since the spot is usually a solid place to find some nice pike more than ready to go after a red and white spoon, or perhaps a hammered perch design.

There was one day though when things went better.

It was back in May, the last day of the month to be exact.

A friend, and former colleague at Yorkton This Week, Chris Istace had invited me down to his neck of the woods for some fishing.

That was good news considering he was my guide the day I hooked into my first channel catfish in 2012. That was enough to earn him a lot of respect in terms of finding fish and he said he was pretty sure he could put us into some action in and around the Moosomin Reservoir on this trip.

The day was bright and sunny, which in itself was a big thing in a spring where cloud cover, cool and rain have been pretty much the norm.

This was different. Before the day was done I would actually have a sunburn on my arms, something I have not had in years in spite of being out fishing a ton. I think of that now, since it is June 17, as I write this, and my arm is still peeling like a snake shedding its skin.

But back to the fishing.

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Chris takes us south of Moosomin to a highway bridge across the Pipestone River, and we set up jigs for walleye.

Chris’ young son Josh opts not to fish this spot, choosing instead to take a metal detector and small gardening shovel to search the shore line for treasure.

While Josh did not find Blackbeard’s gold, he did catch just as many fish as the rest of us.

The walleye were not interested in our minnow-laden jigs, and when we switched to casting spoons to far shore overhangs in hope a hungry pike might dart out for a snack, the result was again, yes you guessed it, zippo.

That was strike one for Chris.

Next he takes us to the Moosomin Reservoir Dam, which looks pretty much like a clone of the one at Theodore.

We climb down past the Dam to a ‘Y’ in the river.

Chris says it is usually walleye to the right and pike to the left.

I opt for a green, rubber-tailed worm and offer it to the walleye.


I am by this time growing concerned the catfish guru of 2012 has lost his powers, especially since the spot is apparently tick central.

But, I pluck another tick off my pant leg and throw the green worm into the left branch.

Bang, I get a pike.

It gets within a couple of feet of shore, shakes its head violently and tosses the hook.

I was not particularly disappointed. I had the fun of the fight and avoided having to handle the pike to set it free. I was not in the mood so early in the day to think about filleting pike, so was strictly in a catch and release mode.

Over the next hour, or so, the pike chew the green worm to shreds.

None exactly inhale the lure, most making what are basically dainty little nips, meaning a few spit the lures and none take much effort to release. It is a great time, even with the ticks.

But it is nearing lunchtime.

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Chris suggests we try one more spot before heading back to town for some grub.

The spot is right along the west end of Moosomin Reservoir, right along the grid road.

I can sum up the fishing at the spot simple enough. Chris would end up calling his good wife to deliver some burgers and fries and root beer out to where we were rather than leave the spot.

Of course we should have expected bites. Josh had decoded the spot was one where it was worth his time to fish. Kids do at times have an uncanny sixth sense about such things.

We were tying into some darned nice walleye, all in the two-pound-plus range. That’s just darned fine fishing in these parts.

Now, Moosomin Reservoir is a catch’n’release Level I water, so we are talking barbless hooks, all CR waters are barbless for obvious reasons.

As an aside here, I am not sure why the entire system is not barbless. It makes us better fisherman and has to be easier on the fish.

As a CRI water, the limits are also lower, two for walleye, with a size restriction as well. In the case of Moosomin Reservoir two only one may exceed 55 cm - 21.5-inches. CR1 for pike is a limit of three only one may exceed 75 cm - 29.3-inches.  Moosomin Reservoir also has a 10-perch limit.

Chris had nicely recovered from the first Pipestone River stop, and remains a trusted fishing savant and the day was near ideal.

Even in a spring of rather disappointing outings, the Saturday at Moosomin Reservoir with Chris and his family was a great one. They usually are when enjoyed with friends.



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