Fishing the Wild West TV June 2022 Newsletter
The 2022 Fishing the Wild West TV season is well underway. During the spring we attended a variety of Outdoor Sports Shows, Bass Pro Shops & Cabela’s Spring Fishing Classics, conservation events, and shot an ice fishing episode. We have been on the road/water since the first week of May and at the time of this writing we have four complete episodes shot and leave next week to shoot episode #5!
Before the fair-weather fishing season opened, we had the good fortune of working with Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) and witnessing what goes on behind the scenes with the Alberta Walleye Stocking Program to assure we have walleye to catch and release for years to come.
Careful population monitoring is completed on where walleye eggs are taken to ensure that the activity does not negatively impact the donor lake. Adult walleye are collected in live traps from key spawning locations on doner lakes/reservoirs and then carefully moved by boat in large, aerated holding tanks to a tent on the shoreline where eggs are collected from the females and fertilized from captured males. Each female walleye holds an estimated 50,000 eggs. After removing the eggs and milt, the fish are returned safely back to the lake and in total, each walleye is out of the water for less time than an angler catching, removing the hook, and taking a quick photo of their catch. Truthfully, it was amazing to see how efficient the AEP walleye stocking team was and how careful, and gentle the walleye were handled.
From the walleye camp, the fertilized eggs are transported each day to the Cold Lake Fish Hatchery for hatching and rearing. From the hatchery, the walleye fry are stocked in a variety of lakes/reservoirs across Alberta.
At one time or another, I think most of us are guilty of being armchair biologists, including me. However, for me, the whole experience was incredibly educational, and I will have a greater appreciation of what goes on behind the scenes so we can fish walleye today and for years to come! Stalking programs like this are going on across North America at different times of the year for a variety of fish species to assure a healthy fishery today and for years to come. https://mywildalberta.ca/fishing/fish-stocking/walleye-stocking.aspx
Fish a Lake a Day for as Long as You Stay
This was the first season in my fishing career where I started the fair-weather fishing season in the province of British Columbia (BC). We Traveled 10-hours over the Rocky Mountains with the Tracker Targa V19 being towed behind the Cam Clark Ford F-150 to Merritt BC. Merritt BC and Nicola Valley have a slogan. “Fish a Lake a Day for as Long as You Stay”. While I could only stay three days so I could only fish three lakes. However, I do believe in the slogan.
We booked a room at the Best Western Plus in Merritt BC right off highway 5A. The 5A highway would lead us to over 30 lakes in one direction but more importantly, to the three lakes I wanted to fish first. Stump Lake, Rosh Lake, and Peter Hope Lake. All three lakes are in Nicola Valley and are world-class rainbow trout lakes with the added bonus of great kokanee fishing.
Even with the cooler weather and the cold-water temperatures during our stay, the rainbow trout were willing to bite. Fly fisherman were getting bites close to the shorelines on the surface; however, I had my Tracker Boat and was trolling a #2 Bingo Bug from Lucky Bug Lures in 12 to 40 feet of water, and to my surprise, the majority of my bites from the larger rainbow trout on all three lakes were coming in 30 to 44 feet of water. I lost count of the number of rainbow trout I caught and released during my three-day stay, but I assure you, Nicola Valley is truly a trout angler’s paradise. https://experiencenicolavalley.com
Lac La Biche a Walleye Angler’s Paradise
During the last week of May, I spent a couple of days fishing Lac La Biche Lake, in north-central Alberta. We were working with Lac La Biche Tourism and stayed at the BCM Inns in Lac La Biche, and I must say the BCM Inns is very angler friendly and made outside plugins available for all anglers to plug in their boat (charge batteries for electronics) after a long day on the water. We launched at the Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park, which was about 12-minutes outside of Lac La Biche and we were into large walleye almost immediately. We were fishing cold water and post-spawn walleye, so we were told by the local anglers that the bite was slow which made sense for the conditions and time of year.
We set up a Lindy-Rig presentation. We ran 20lbs Siglon Sunline PEx8 braid as our mainline with a 3/8oz walleye sinker with a bead protecting the Palomar knot that attached a swivel to three feet of 14lbs Sunline Super FC Sniper Fluorocarbon, and a #2 hook baited with a 4” Big Bite Bait Finesse Worm. We shot a complete episode of 5 to 8-pound walleye fishing rock points and post-spawn staging areas.
I couldn’t believe how many big walleye we caught and released and these fish were in amazing shape for being post-spawn walleye. Lac La Biche is one of the most amazing drive-to-lakes I’ve ever fished in the province of Alberta, and if the local anglers considered May a slow bite, I can’t wait to return during the summer or fall months. https://www.laclabicheregion.com
We will be attending ICAST 2022 on July 19-22, and I hope to see you there. I truly look forward to ICAST each year. Not only do we get to see all the amazing new products and take in a variety of events, but I also get to talk about everything fishing with people and companies leading the charge in the fishing world.