December 02, 2017

Fishing Season 2017 (Part I) - Salmonids

The 2017 open-water season started fast and furious for me! Finished my last exam the day before opener, then woke up before the sun the next day to fish Lake Memphremagog with my good friend Tim. We managed a few decent lakers jigging; always fun on medium spinning gear :)

After a full day on Memphre, I got back home exhausted from the combined effort put into my exams and then a full day of fishing. No time to rest though! Up at 3AM again to go spend the weekend at Réservoir Kiamika with my girlfriend for landlocked Atlantic Salmon. My goal for this spring was to fish as many different bodies of water as possible with the goal of exploring more of Quebec; Kiamika was the first of these new bodies of water. As could be expected, I crashed from exhaustion upon arriving at the reservoir so we made the wise decision to catch an hours sleep in order to get my spirits up. Kiamika is known to be a very difficult place to fish, so being confident would be critical to our success. The weekend went quite well overall; Alex finally caught her first Ouananiche and I managed one of my biggest ever on my fly rod!

If I remember correctly, I had one day to recuperate and then I was off exploring backwoods lakes searching for Speckled Trout with Carl. We both spend a ton of time all winter on Google Maps looking for fishy-looking lakes, so come spring it's very exciting to finally be able to explore them! Unfortunately, this year, none of the new lakes we tried worked out because they all had thick trees around their shorelines preventing us from casting effectively. Therefore, we fell to a back-up plan and fished some lakes we already knew to have fish. You can seriously see the bags under my eyes at this point haha.

In the interest of brevity, we'll skip to the next week of the fishing season. I met up with a new friend, Aaron, with plans of fishing different tributaries in the Townships for salmonids. In my opinion, we were very successful! We found both browns and specks, plus some delicious wild garlic and fiddleheads :) In fact, we were so successful that I drove back to the Townships a few days later to go explore for even more salmonid species with Aaron. This second time we caught Landlocked Salmon, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, and Speckled Trout! I also got to experience something new; having a jerkbait stuck in my finger while still attached to a very lively salmon :(

Next, I had the chance to fish with Jeffrey, the man who first brought me on fishing trips and helped me catch my first trout along with many other species. However, this time I would be "guiding" him on a small hidden lake I know with some wild specks. We each caught a few fish early in the morning but quickly decided we wanted more. So, we made the (probably stupid) decision to go fish the outfitter where he had taken me fishing all those years ago. We decided to challenge ourselves by not fishing for the usual Speckled and Rainbow Trout, and instead targeting the elusive Quebec Red Trout (Landlocked Arctic Char). We were seriously under-equipped having only been geared up for the lake we fished earlier. But we made do and both caught our very first Arctic Char!!

At this point, I realize that this is going to be very long if I attempt to sum up my entire season in one post. This isn't even all of the fishing I did in this period. I also spent a day on Lake Massawippi with my friend Simon, put my bro Kevin onto his first trout ever, and went for an extreme hike with my friend Charles. Not to mention canoe fishing with Simon for stocked rainbows and brookies, and even more. Therefore, see part 2 for the second part of spring with more of the warmwater species.