Fishing in the ponds proves to be rewarding

Photo: Dan Dooly, left, and Tyler Booner with two Tiger Trout caught at the ponds north of Lac du Bonnet. Express photo submitted.

Hi. Thanks for stopping for a moment to enjoy a few fishing stories our buddies have been kind enough to share.

Time and again lately, I have stopped by the Ponds north of Lac du Bonnet hoping to meet some anglers. Finally, last week I found two chaps there, local boy Dan Dooly and Tyler Booner of Birds Hill, who had caught a couple of Tiger Trout. I probably should have talked about the “Tigers” before because they are so unique to the Ponds and a few other places; however, let me make amends now.

Tiger Trout are a spectacular fish with their yellow sides overlaid by brown worm-like patterns. These ferocious eaters are created in hatcheries by crossing brown trout eggs with brook trout milt, which results in the breed being sterile — but, boy, can they ever give a fight when hooked! If you get a chance, go over to the Ponds and try for them sometime.

I was visiting folks at the Betel retirement home a couple of weeks ago and met a gal by the name of Jennifer Sweetland from Fraserwood who fondly recalled a childhood fishing experience when her grandmother took her riverbank fishing on Lee River north of Pinawa. They were setting when up grandma pulled out a jar of Noxzema and insisted that Jennifer put some on her Red Devil lure. Jennifer was a little hesitant but did what grandma asked and then cast out her line. In minutes, jackfish were taking her lure time after time. “

It’s worked for me for years,” grandma uttered through her teeth as she reeled in another one.

I guess we can add this unusual bait story to the others, including wieners and kubasa!

Last Saturday, in the cloudy, calm cool afternoon, I roamed up and down the Red riverbank listening to the stories of so many interesting anglers. I ran into one chap, Frank Guzzi, who stood out because he had a clear idea of how he should live his life. He declared that he was a man who took care of his job and family but other than that he was gone fishing. We’ve all heard the jokes about golfers who live on the golf course and horribly neglect their wives. Frank freely admitted that when it comes to fishing, he’s just as guilty.

He was sitting in his favourite folding chair as we talked. According to him, he, the chair and his favourite rod had been to just about every lake and river in Manitoba. As he went on about his love of fishing and being alone in the outdoors, I that he was a commanding figure. His personality, however, was the exact opposite. He was a light-hearted joker.

”I’ve been married to three women and lost them all to fishing,” he quipped as he scratched his beard reflecting, “The last one hit me so hard as she left, she knocked me tooth out!”

“See,” he cried as he pulled back his top lip to expose a dark gap where a tooth should be!

I just stood there not knowing what, if anything, to say as he told this tragic yet humorous tale. What else could I do?

Later, a little further upstream, I saw a gal in the process of landing a nice pickerel. Tall and thin, Carol Jackson of Winnipeg had a rugged outdoor attractiveness about her with her long light red hair and throaty mellow voice. We talked quietly in the misty afternoon as she gave an odd story. A month ago while fishing, her dog splashed into the water, grabbing one of the fish on her string and dragged the whole catch onto dry land. The dog was very proud of herself! In the following month, the dog came to believe that was her job and now Carol can’t break her of the habit!

Well, it’s starting to get cold now, I mean, I saw anglers boat fishing on the Winnipeg River in their snowmobile suits, so bundle up!

Till next week. Bye for now.