Sharing the Catch of the Day

Photo: Ron Iverson, left, Wes Hurd, middle, and Dale Iverson with some of Dale’s catch on the Red River.

Hi guys and gals.

Man, talk about mowing the lawn one week and cranking up your snowmobile in a ice storm not long after. On the bright side, maybe we’ll be able to go from open water fishing to ice fishing in a really short time.

Ron Iverson of Balmoral, his brother Dale Iverson of Stonewall and his buddy Wes Hurd of Gunton, whom I met on the Red riverbank upstream of Selkirk a few weeks ago, shared this sentiment. They were joking and teasing each other when I walked up to them, and it never stopped until I was out of earshot later back in Old Red. I asked Ron if he had caught anything.

“Not a darn thing,” he responded. “My brother keeps on catching. I’m just here to look good.”

Wes, chimed in, “Yeah, we pushed our way close to Dale, making him move further downstream, thinking we might get lucky too. That didn’t work.”

As Wes and I shot the breeze for a bit, we couldn’t see Dale for the underbrush but we could hear him periodically breaking out in a happy growl over the sound of water splashing, which meant he had landed another fish.

“It’s easy to get ticked off with Dale,” Ron remarked. “He’s always lucky and he’s always a little smug about it.”

Later, when I was about to leave our new friends, I asked the guys to hold up some fish so I could take a picture of them. Dale, with a slight smirk offered, “Sure, I guess we can use some of my fish.”

Unfortunately, there are times when I have to make a choice about which stories I will write, which also means it gets very interesting when I meet someone who has offered a story but couldn’t find it in our papers or on the Internet. So it happened that I found myself some three weeks ago standing in front of two guys, Stefan Stevens and his son Warren from Stonewall, on the Hnausa pier, who, with accusing looks pointed out, “We checked the Selkirk Record and the Stonewall Teulon Tribune and couldn’t find our story.”

I searched my mind, trying to remember where I had met these fellows. Then it hit me. Two tall guys with half-length beards and trappers caps on the ice last winter off Chalet Beach. They had been so gracious taking the time to talk to me even though they had been fishing on the ice all day and wanted to be on their way home.

Here on the Hnausa pier, I apologized for having to make a choice between Stefan’s story and others. Gentleman that he was, he offered another story about not long ago when he was boat fishing on the Red and caught a huge sturgeon.

It literally dragged him and the boat upstream right up to the Lockport locks where he had to cut his line for fear of hitting the concrete lock divider.

Being an open water angler at Balsam Bay is not that easy anymore but that doesn’t stop our anglers. Last year, one could fish over the metal water barrier, but now a newly placed rock water break is the only place to cast from, and you better be part mountain goat. King Cob of Winnipeg, a round-faced chap with long brown hair, thought he was one two weeks ago.

I stopped there to see who was catching what. When I met King, he couldn’t wait to tell me how he ventured out onto the rock barrier and got soaking wet. He had caught an eating-sized pickerel and balancing on the rocks strung it and continued fishing. A few minutes later, he noticed his caught fish slip the string but become corralled in a hollow of rocks with shallow water.

King sprang to action, sprinting from one rock to another down to the water’s edge to reclaim his fish. He should have remembered that wet rocks are slippery. Up went his feet and down King splashed into the water right up to his waist. To his credit, he didn’t lose sight of his objective, rolling to one side, he reached over and grasped his fish holding it high as others on the rocks cheered his victory.

Well, with this cold, our waterways are making two or three centimetres of ice cover a day — terrific.

See you next week, friends.