End of season Kenauk
Another successful November trip to Kenauk. For two years in a row there has been a warming up in the middle of the month. The trout should be taking anything resembling food at this time of year. However, it was only at dusk and just before sunrise that the fish really turned on. All four of us had fish on at the same time on the first evening. Although, on my last day I was catching quite regularly mid afternoon. At this time I was casting to shore and paddling perpendicular away. I would start to retrieve when half way across a bay in order to cast to the other shore. Each time resulted in a hit. Dragonfly nymphs only travel perpendicular to the shore, so this could be another trigger even though I was fishing a black Dazzle Leech and a Yellow HK (bait fish). At one time I had two rainbows on at the same time. My largest fish of 20 inches was caught on a small dry caddis cast to shore on my 3wt. Kenauk claims to be stocking the same numbers as when they had a hatchery. Maybe that is true. I try not to take the fish out of the water so whenever possible, I hold onto the fly with one hand to take a picture. A quick flick of the wrist and they are gone with no harm done. Sometimes they are so active I have to use my soft rubber net.
Calabogie a bust, so far
You see no picture here because there are no pictures of trout. I haven't caught any this fall in the Calabogie region. What a bummer. That is not quite accurate. I did catch a 10" one the other day. Low water continues to plague our region. Even private water which has many more trout per acre than our public lakes are suffering. No-one really knows why low water turns the fish off. My MNR contact in Pembroke figures warmer water puts them all deeper. However, the water has cooled off but not as much as it has in the past and still the fish are not biting. There is another possible reason and that is that there are very few rainbows left. This new breed of sterile females are easier to catch. Minnows are a main source of food (unlike out west where bugs prevail) and so any shiny object in the water such as gang trolls easily gets their attention. Without the mating urge, they are chowing down all the time. And so they more easily end up in the boats of fish harvesters. Why else would you be fishing with a gang troll? Not much sport in it. With the massive unemployment in the valley, I suspect that more fish are being taken out as food. I don't see the large bass anymore in those lakes as I have in the past. I haven't given up yet for this fall. My records show that mid November is the best time. On my way back to Kenauk on Monday. Last year this time it was fantastic. Too bad we have to pay to catch trout in the Ottawa area. It doesn't have to be like that but it would mean some changes that many will not like very much.
Manitoba is the best
Oh how I wish this were my fish! I have to be satisfied with stories from friends. The Parkland region of Manitoba offers the best flyfishing in Canada for trout in lakes bar none, even compared to the best lakes in B.C. Low population which means low fishing pressure, great management, daring actually, in comparison. Some of these lakes are C&R or with very limited harvest. These guys were caught in late September, one of the best times to go but be prepared for the weather and the wind, which is the bane of flyfishers. The fly you see is a P-Quad. This is classical fly fishing. You are casting into the tullies (western talk for "weeds") and no crummy small bass/perch to take your fly instead.