Pictures from Yellowknife NWT

26 09 2006

I just got back from 5 days in Yellowknife NWT.  The weather was fantastic (5C-13C) and the 5 days of autumn had just begun!  The scenery was beautiful and the people were great.  A memorable trip!


Fishing Pontoon, Prosperous, Hidden, Prelude and Tibbit Lakes in the NWT

25 09 2006

The day was brisk and sunny!  We got out at about 10:00.  First stop was the local CO-OP to buy a license.  $15 for 3 days.  Sweet deal.  Next, it was off to the Canadian Tire to pick up a couple of “five of diamonds”, a red devil and some 30lb wire leader.   We were set!
We headed up the Ingraham trail,  and our first stop was Pontoon lake.  Like all the lakes in the area, it’s quite pretty, and has a nice weed bed around the edge.  The nice aspect to this lake was that the weeds ended right where you had road access, so we could cast.  My friend was casting away, while I was getting my rod set up.  It had been a while since I used a spinning reel, so my first cast didn’t go where I wanted, and the slightly overspooled reel gave up too much loose line.  After the retrieve, I trimmed off about 40 ft of line, and it felt much better.  2nd cast….sploosh.  Damn!  Not where I wanted it.  Oh well.  Reel it in, and then “Fish On!”  A short fight later I bring in a nice sized Northern Pike!  Sweet.  Fishing the lakes around Yellowknife NWT should be easy! 😉  I said at that point, “If I don’t catch another fish all day, I’ll still be happy.”  I didn’t have my camera near by :sigh: so I let him go without a pic (“there’ll be lots more!”, I was thinking).  After 20 more minutes there, we moved up and continued our drive along the trail and fished, and walked some of the trails around Prosperous, Prelude, Hidden and Tibbit Lakes.   We got up to the end of the road (where the winter road would continue later) by about 1300.  After fishing Tibbit and striking out as well, we headed back down the road, fishing the lakes again.  We stopped at Pontoon again and this time my friend said “let me show you how it’s done”, and he promptly proceeded to have a nice sized pike hit his red devil.  I DID have a camera for this one:

Funny thing is that this fella looked almost the exact same size as mine.  We both wondered if maybe it wasn’t even the same fish 😉   We continued fishing for a while, and my friend hit a fairly large whitefish, (probably a couple of pounds at least)  We also got to watch a muskrat swim around the shore a bit, thinking “Boy, would it be cool to see a monster pike come up and swallow that sucker!”  No such excitement.
At 1630, we had gone up and down the 80km of the highway, I had taken a few dozen pictures, and we had caught 3 fish.  It was fun, and well worth it.
In the future, two things would have made fishing these lakes more productive:
1)  A boat
2) Waders
Many of the lakes along the way had weed beds right at the shore, making casting impossible.  You either needed to be in a boat on the lake, casting back to the weeds, or have waded out to the edge of the weeds, so that you could cast without hitting them on your retrieve.
We did run into some crowding on Pontoon lake, as while we were fishing another vehicle pulled up to the lake and started fishing a mere 100yards from us!  The nerve…haha!
Good to be back!

Photographing the Full moon and birds

7 09 2006

I made it out to Burnaby Lake yesterday (Sept 6, 2006) and took some pictures of the birds, and the full moon.   I hope you enjoy the photos:

Rushes under a Full Moon

Sunset on Burnaby Lake

Long Billed Dowitchers

Greater Yellowlegs

Mrs D and the Ducks

Many other pictures can be seen at my at my Fotothing photo blog  If you like any of them, I’d love to hear from you!

Sockeye wrapping up for 2006

4 09 2006

FOC opened the Fraser river to recreational fishermen from The August long weekend until the end of Labour Day weekend this year. Just a bit over 1 month of available sockeye fishing.    The weather was great.  Almost every day was hot and sunny, and for the most part the fish were there when I fished.  The commercial boats had two openings and the natives had various openings all throughout.   You could definitely feel the effects of the commercial nets (they are like a wall across the river).  The native nets had some effects as well, but because they were pretty constant, it just lowered the overall flow of fish ALL the time.  Many fish came with net marks and/or seal bites.  Once the fish hit a net, it often gives a seal the opportunity to go for a quick bite.  These fish some times get free and we (the rec fishermen) get to catch a half eaten fish – yeach, although for the most part, when the commercial nets weren’t having an effect, many bright chrome fish came in.

Fraser sockeye fishing isn’t “traditional” fishing.   These fish are harvested by running a long leader with hook through the fish’s mouth, and hooking it “in the mouth”.  These fish don’t get a chance to actively attack your “presentation”.  They are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time (as far as the fish is concerned).  Your goal as the fisherman is to find the channel in the river in which the fish are swimming, and make sure your hook is there.  The number of people that come out for this fishery make it more of a social event than a fishing event.  Sometimes you get guys that aren’t good at the social aspect, so you get small verbal fights break out over lines crossing etc.  It’s quite humorous at times 🙂  All in all, the people I have fished near have been polite, clean and well mannered.  We’ve had a good time, and enjoyed each other’s company.  You’ve just got to have the right attitude going in!

One thing that concerns me though, is to see this time of “fishing” being applied to rivers that are quite clear, where the fish will attack a well presented bait or wool.  This “harvest” mentality is spilling over into the Coho fishery of the Vedder and Chehalis rivers, as well as their Steelhead fisheries.  If you are taking a friend sockeye fishing, or you are a tackle shop, it really is your moral obligation to explain to your friend what type of fishing this is, and to explain how to do some “real” fishing on the other rivers, with the various associated reasons.

I’ve had a fun summer, and have landed 17 sockeye and 1 spring (c.a. 15lbs), and it really makes you appreciate what we have here in BC. (Thanks, God, for the bountiful fish this year!)  Now it’s time to change my set up, and get ready for float fishing the Vedder for those beautiful chrome bullet Cohos.

Here’s a small photo gallery from the past month on the Fraser.  Enjoy:

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