Wednesday November 26, 2014

Maybe you can have too much gear

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Welcome to Week CXIX 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.

In terms of fishing few things are more disruptive to the joy of getting away rod and reel in hand than a summer cold, followed by that most anti-fishing of all things, a job.

And when those two things conspire to join forces, it is a bleak week in terms of fishing indeed.

Last week a fine old summer cold hit me. It was not a love tap either. It was more like an STC bus went out of control and rolled over me, stopped, backed up, and took another run at me.

By the time Tuesday morning rolled around every joint in my body throbbed, my muscles ached, as did my head, and my throat was sore. Yet, for some reason, one, which in retrospect I still do not fully understand I went to work.

I gave it the old college try, managing three hours before I crawled home, fell into bed and for the better part of three days stayed there.

In my world three days away from the keyboard means only one thing, I get behind.

Sadly, although I have looked behind a lot of rocks and bushes over the years, I have not found the agriculture column-writing fairies, nor the editorial writing brownies I sometimes dream exist and which would occasionally fill in for me in filling those spaces.

And then just to add to the no-fishing-for-me week, it was my weekend to cover events. That translates into needing a couple of full-page features.

Thankfully, I suppose, the weather on the weekend was drizzly and cold, the usual August reminder fall and winter are next on the calendar. So I could almost enjoy the Canadian Football League games, and not miss the fishing too much.

But then Monday morning came, and I sat at the keyboard wondering what I should write regarding fishing.

I will start with a little reminder that a camera should be part of your gear when heading to fish.

Yes, I can hear many of you saying they can use their cell phones to snap a picture of a nice fish, and have it posted to a number of social media sites in an instant.

Probably true, although I’d suggest leaving the cell phone on the kitchen table, or maybe in the kitchen sink under six-inches of soapy water. Yes, I am somewhat anti-cell phone. I am that way because in 54 years I have not come across a single instance in memory where I would have truly benefited from carrying one.

Sure there are moments I can imagine one to have been convenient, but truly needed, not one.

I’ve talked to a few people on the subject, and likewise need is rare.

Sure, a breakdown during travelling, and a call for help would be handy.

But, I think back on the times I’ve been stranded on a road, and in almost every case they are character-building moments at worst, and are generally thought of with a smile because in the end they were not near as bad as we had expected.

The thought of being on the Togo Bridge fishing, and having a cell phone going off every time a friends posts a picture of their lunch on Facebook simply doesn’t appeal.

So I carry a real camera.

Besides a real camera, even one with a few thousand shots to its credit, leaving it a bit long in the tooth in terms of current technology can take some pretty cool pictures which are not just big fish.

Such was the case when the better half and I, and another couple headed to The Starving Artist Café in Roblin for Mexican night, followed by a little Togo Bridge fishing recently.

Other than bud Rob coming within a step of falling in the water, the fishing was pretty lackluster.

But as we were leaving the restaurant, after some fine cherry pie for dessert, a dragonfly was good enough to linger on flowers in the parking area long enough for a few quick snaps.

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A bumblebee did likewise.

Now neither picture has anything to do with fishing in the sense of catching a walleye, or pike, but they are part of the experience of a fishing trip.

I suppose that is one thing we should always remember when we leave home in search of a fish, take some time to enjoy the experience of the entire trip.

Granted, few things are more fun than fighting a pike or carp, but that dragonfly on a flower, the sun setting in the west, a good meal, with good friends was great too.

I should also share a funny littler tidbit with readers, since they say sharing laughter is a good thing.

Now at its heart there may be an underlying message to myself here, one that I might have almost enough fishing gear.

There is an adage about ‘if you know how many fishing rods you have, you don’t have enough’, and this fits that saying.

A few weeks ago I went looking for the tackle box insert which contained all my lead heads, and assorted rubber split tails, which are often good options for area walleye. At Whitesand Regional Park they seem to prefer white, and at Canora Dam green, but I carry a few other colours too.

But I couldn’t find the right box.

I went through my carry bag, the smaller, over the shoulder knapsack I throw the lures for the day in to make carrying them over the rocks, or on longer treks, like the one down from the dam at Moosomin Reservoir, and it wasn’t where I expected it.

Next was a look through the expansive Cabela’s tackle box I have. It has multiple pouches and zippers, and I opened each, looked, cursed a bit, and ultimately came to the conclusion I had left it on a shoreline somewhere. I thought it was likely Stony Lake, but it really didn’t matter where, they were gone.

So the other day on our way to the Shellmouth Dam Spillway I stopped in a store in Russell, MB., and grabbed a few lead heads. It was about 50 bucks worth by the end of things.

I have my pickerel jig out in the water, and decide I should put my new purchases away.

Into my carry bag I delve, opening a side pocket I had apparently overlooked, because inside, yes you guessed it, I found the missing container.

My better half laughed, although it was sort of one of those laughs that asked the question of how the man she had said yes too could have missed a container of lures, lamented it’s loss repeatedly, spent 50 bucks to replace the gear, only to then find it.

I’ll admit it’s a question which rolled through my mind too. I’d like to blame the near full moon that week, or maybe the stress associated with a bad round of disc golf, but in truth it might be just a case of too much fishing gear.

But shhhh … don’t tell anyone.



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