Fly Fishing Manitoba

Fly Fishing – Fly Tying – Lessons – Guiding – Winnipeg MB. Canada

May 29, 2018

Lyon’s Lake Manitoba

Headed out to my formerly favorite lake, Lyon’s.
I say former because changes in focus on the delivery of services by the hatchery have changed this lake from being the jewel of the stocking program to an also ran.
The drive is still not bad, the launch is easy and the scenery is stunning.

First off a trip to the Whiteshell is not complete without a stop at the Nitehawk Cafe!

Big Boy Bruce Burger

The lake was busy with kayaks and canoes as well as some shore fishing.

After launch I made sure I had the essentials!

It didn’t bode well as I got a fish on the first cast!

Trout Fly Fishing

I was to go on catching a few of these. Clones is the best word as they were all the same size. These would be the most recent stockings.

When I started the clouds and light rain boded well but the the sun came out. It got hot fast and the fishing slowed down. But then come the perch that have always been in the lake.

Perch from Lyon's Lake

It picked up a bit when the sun dipped.

I fished from 2-9:15 and caught a handful of trout fresh from the hatchery (7 in total). Saw one bigger fish work the shallows but that was it.

This used to a great lake. Back when a lot less lakes in the province were stocked, this lake got lots of fish. When the attention shifted to making then stocking the aerated lakes in the west, there were less fish to stock. Then the number of lakes in the west boomed. This (and the other Whiteshell Lakes) got zero fish for 2-3 years. The new director, who was clearly more focused on the western lakes, claimed the eastern lakes were ‘over stocked’ for years and used this as a basis for denying these lakes fish. That is when the fishing declined and has stayed pretty crappy and forgettable to this day. Even when the stocking returned (at seriously reduced levels) the lake has never been the same. Now we sit with crappy lakes in the east and a domino of failing aerators and bucket biologists in the west. There are still some good lakes in the west. But a system dependent on pot hole lakes not freezing during our long and cold winter and aerators to prevent winter kill seem precarious at best.
The economic benefits of these trout aquariums has been proven to be a reasonable return on the money via tourism, so there is definitely a need to continue the program. The problem maybe is every reeve and mayor wants a piece of this action and squeaky wheel politics is putting too much emphasis on the west.

I have lost count of all the new stocked trout lakes that have popped up in the west. Some I only hear about because it winter killed when the electricity was off for a few days or some reeve or mayor swapped out a working aerator for one with cost benefits etc.

You know how many new lakes there have been developed in the east in the last 20 years?


And that one is really  (you guessed it) an aerated lake that just winter killed this year.

I am not against the western lakes as they have proven their worth but the Whiteshell lakes have clearly been the ones to suffer. These lakes just need fish. They don’t need aerators and the associated maintenance. They just need fish. The budgets are cut and they don’t have gas for the stocking truck but 2 of these lakes are seconds from the hatchery.

Eastern Lakes Western Lakes
Distance from main population/ international airport Close Far (except for Anton’s Lake)
Resource needs other than stocking Needs no aeration Needs aeration
Economic benefits Minimal Proven
Fish Growth Acceptable Substantial 

The western lakes provide economic benefit and grow big fish while the east grows smaller fish and the Whiteshell doesn’t need the help. But is that the only reason to stock the water, so you get more tourism?

How about stocking lakes based on  the benefit of ALL Manitobans?

4 thoughts on “Lyon’s Lake Manitoba

  1. Shawn says:

    If I’m going to cast to a stocked fish why would I waste my time in a lake where they don’t get very big? If you were concerned with a native population I would agree with you but don’t you think it’s worth an hour longer in the car to turn those 8″, first year stockers into 20″ hold overs? Aerated or not, you have access to some of the finest artificial trout lakes in the world just a 3 hour drive away. You really want to fight for 12″ fish to save an hour of driving? Eastern Manitoba and most of Southern Ontario’s lakes that have stocked, non native trout species require too much effort from the government and the angler to enjoy. If your happy just catching a fish on the fly, the red is full of goldeye and is only a 20 minute drive for you.

  2. Shawn says:

    Every fish you caught was freshly stocked…. Where are the older fish that survived the winter? Put 10000 trout in an unfertile lake and see how big the survives get after a winter of – 30. Why put even more fish in a lake where you can only catch fish that were just put in? Ontario is the same way… Thousands of fish dumped into a lake that can’t support 10 and we wonder why they don’t get very big. Parkland lakes are magic for growing fish. That’s special on a much larger scale than your drive out of Winnipeg.

    1. robert says:

      There was a time when this lake was taken care of and the difference in the drive was the same abut the difference in the fishing was minimal. Lets get back to that.

  3. robert says:

    And if you think the difference is just an hour…

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