Friday, June 10, 2011

'O Canada!

We just returned home from the great white north!  Our annual spring trip to the Manitoba Providence of Canada will be one to remember.  It's always fun to be with people as they experience northern Canadian fishing for the first time, especially when it's family.  Along for the trip was Steve (father in-law) and Dad (Jerry).  I referred to the pair as "My Two Dads", which always drew strange looks from folks.         
The fishing is intense and extreme with the occasional element of danger.  Each day typically involves 12-14 hours of flinging lures and navigating miles of lake.  The weather is unpredictable and often dishes out major swings in temperatures and conditions.  The sun does not set until 1AM CST and rises at 4AM CST.  For first-timers the routine can be a bit exhausting, but the payoff is always worth the effort.

Manitoba is home to the oldest master angler program in North America, 50 years and going strong.  The Master Angler program provides an awards system that recognizes anglers’ abilities and achievements.  There are two criteria for entering a Master Angler qualifying fish, the length measurement, and the use of a hook and line to make the catch.  We are always in the pursuit of "Master" fish.  On our trip we were all fortunate enough to catch at least two fish which qualified for the coveted award.

The walleye fishing was outstanding during our trip.  Almost everyday we caught a stringer full of walleye and would take a break from fishing to eat a warm shore lunch of fresh fish.  One particular afternoon, we had dropped-off supplies in anticipation of an afternoon shore lunch.  Upon our return, we discovered there had been a visitor to our picnic spot.  Apparently a bear decided to rummage through our supplies and found a tasty treat in my backpack.

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