Friday October 31, 2014

A not so manly tale of fishing

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Welcome to Week CXX 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.

The traditional view of the sportsman, those of us of the male persuasion who fish and hunt, is of well manly men.

We only need to think about how we have traditionally thought of a hunter smiling proudly into the camera, rifle in hand, a large buck at his feet, or of a man alone, near waist deep in a river effortlessly parenting a fly to hidden trout.

It is the stuff of commercials and billboards for aftershaves and all-terrain vehicles.

Enter my fishing buds Rob and Graeme, two burly enough fellows who if not outright shattering the image, at least combine to put a rather large crack in its veneer.

It was not long ago Rob and I settled into jig fish some walleyes at Togo Bridge, our associated better halves along to keep us in line.

As most local fisher folk will know, Togo Bridge is a spot where you put a couple of minnows on a pickerel rig, toss it in the water and wait. It’s pretty straight forward in terms of process, without a lot of need for fine-tuned fishing skills.

Enter Rob stage left. He of a motorcycle riding background, he of long hair, blues jeans, beard and cigar smoking, all lending to the illusion of maleness. But the mirage burst like a gossamer soap bubble as he cajoled his wife into putting the minnows on his jig.

Now to be perfectly clear, I wondered if he might not be onto something. Perhaps there was a hidden clause in a marriage contract which empowered a husband not just to make the request, but to have the minnows actually placed on the hooks by the better half.

Flash forward to my next trip out with my better half, an afternoon at the Shellmouth Dam Spillway.

Again we prepared to jig fish, and I figured it was worth a try, so I asked my better half to put the minnows on my rig.

Being a family newspaper I must refrain from the colourful response, but I can assure you I dutifully put my own minnows on my jig, doing so in the manliest fashion possible.

I’ll also add, for the sake of absolute clarity, that how I put my minnows on the jig was in no way responsible for my catching less fish at the Spillway than she did. It was just a case of me being a gentleman and as such I herded the fish away from my jig toward hers. It is a telepathic trick I occasionally use, most often on days where it ends up I am ultimately out-fished due to my kindness.

But back to the illusion of manliness in fishing.

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Graeme is a blast to fish with. We agree on almost nothing, so it makes for lots of heated debates on the merits of everything from football to movies.

This particular Thursday we are out on the road fishing, starting at Stony Lake, then moving to Pelican Lake in the morning.

It’s slow.

I get one pike at Stony.

Graeme matches that with one at Pelican.

It is at Pelican Lake I notice a yellow glove among Graeme’s gear. It turns out Graeme, a man with the sport of taekwondo in his blood, is a tad bit squeamish about touching a fish.

I’ve seen the phenomena before, buddy Harold, suffering an aversion to what he terms ‘slimy jacks’.

Still I don’t quite understand it.

If you fish, you would not expect touching a fish to be something that would be even the smallest of issues.

But it was in evidence, with Graeme.

The trip continued with an afternoon visit to Canora Dam, where we each managed a few fish.

One having hooked itself in such a way that glove-handed Graeme was having difficulty freeing the walleye for release. So being a bud I was only too-happy to wander over and help both my friend and the fish.

I managed the hook extraction bare-handed, the front of my old fishing blue jeans working nicely to dry my hands.

Now I won’t suggest a glove is as bad as asking the better half to rig our minnows on a jig, but I fear that yellow-hand wear will set Graeme on a slippery slope. Before long he might well be knitting his own fishing gloves.

What I do know is that neither action will earn my friends a shot at starring in an Old Spice commercial, but I’ll still fish with them, since friends overlook the foibles of friends.

Goodness knows I must have my share of fishing flaws, although to-date I have not noticed them myself, and I am to wise to let Graeme or Rob have access to this computer to add their take on my process on a lakeshore.



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