Fly Fishing Manitoba

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

May 14, 2017

Anton’s Lake Manitoba Brown Trout

Anton’s Lake is another pothole type prairie lake and considered the closest of the so called “Parkland” lakes. It is located 202 kilometers from the western edge of Winnipeg. Located at the junction of highways 10 and 16, this lake had an aerator install and has been stocked with rainbow trout and brown trout for a number of years. This week marked the beginning of the Manitoba general fishing season. I’ll never know why but the opener is always on the same weekend as Mother’s Day. As I teach all day Saturdays I have a hard time getting out on this particular Sunday. So I went trout fishing (trout lakes are legal all year round) on the Friday before. The wind was a steady ‘ill wind’. That is to say an easterly wind. When this happens fishing the shores and points the wind has been hammering doesn’t always produce fish they way an predominant NW wind does. What actually happened was the fish were feeding in their normal spots but that driving wind made positioning, casting and stealth, a real challenge!

My opening fly was a weighted muddler. On the bench a brown tailed orange winged muddler with a burnished brown diamond dub body seemed the perfect fit.

Fished the whole lake with that thing trying to beat its weight AND that wind. My shoulder was a aching.

Now I did see some active fish slashing minnows in the weeds but they did not seem to find this muddler enticing.

What did end up working was a golden flash-a-bou nymph pattern.

Frymph (Fry/Nymph pattern)

Here are the 2 fish I got on that fly.

The Smaller Brown

Afterwards, the the wind died and the BP changed. The active fish stopped showing and nary a hook up to finish my time.

I did risk taking my Nikon D70 and got good bird captures from the boat.


May 11, 2017

Fishing News

Changes At the Hatchery

So we are down to one hatchery location. This isn’t news but it is relevant. In reaction to, or in anticipation of actions of the newly elected government, the hatcheries has started on some austerity methods.

Those of you who are in the know who might think they are cutting back on

  • Stocking back country lakes most can’t access
  • Stocking ‘put and boil in the summer heat’ ponds
  • Making hybrids that use the same amount of resources but produce less fish

Well you’d be wrong.

Other than a hiring freeze, that seems to date back to well before the election, they are cutting out the rainbow trout (and possibly brown trout) brood stock program. Instead having fish on hand to harvest eggs and milt, they are buying pre-fertilized eggs. The reasons are sound for going in this direction. Apparently hatchery fish take longer to spawn than in the wild. But gone are the days when you could accidentally catch a 24″ trout in an unlikely location. And gone is the security of making your own fish reared in your own water.

Another strange development is the addition of Albino Trout???
I guess they where giving away these fish from the “Trout Lodge” to their new best customers here in Manitoba so all tax payers  were paying for was the rearing of eyed eggs to swim and the truck to the stocking locations around the province.

I am not sure the value of these fish beyond that. As one person put it “They look like someone threw a light bulb in the water”. Glow in the dark pink-eyed hatchery fish should prove no match for the loons, mergansers, and other piscivorous species out there let alone the trout that have been in these waters for a few years.

Better to save these fish for the ornamental ponds the were probably designed for.

Your Tax Money.

That stamp on your fishing licence, that became a permanent print on the licence, that was supposed to be only for fish enhancement, is now for fish AND wildlife enhancement. That means the fisher (who out number the hunters) will be footing the bill for all things outdoors and not just fish as intended.

Illegal Stocking

Many years ago and many times since, it has been suggested that some of these aerated lakes with tax payer fish in them, should maybe have a ice fishing ban placed on them. Not all but maybe the ones that had special fish in them that don’t take well in other stocking locations. Two reasons have been given against any such change.

  1. That banning a form of fishing is seen as a form of favoritism to fly fishing. This is bunk, we have bait bans and motor boat bans all over the place based on biological reasons. (Even though keeping the gut hooking, grip and grin, photo op, eyeball freezing ice holes off a couple of sensitive lakes can easily been seen as biological. So we could have ice fishing bans on lakes LIKE EVERY OTHER PROVINCE IN CANADA AND EVERY NATIONAL PARK IN CANADA.
  2. That, if we did ban ice fishing on any lake whatsoever, that some locals would ruin them by illegally stocking them.

Well guess what. Pike, perch and even catfish have been introduce to many of the aerated stocked trout lakes. Some can be blamed on overland flooding but most are a direct result of the so-called “White Pail Biologists”

The worst of both worlds. We could enact a law for fear of someone breaking a different law and sat back while they broke that law anyways.

So we still  have no 20th century regulations in place outside of barb-less hooks. and the can and cannot fish regs, designed to be simple. are a joke.

in summary

  • Complete closure on all fishing except on stocked trout lakes (that now have closed season fish in them) April to mid May.
  • We can net for suckers during that time but not angle for them
  • We can angle on lake trout water in the presence of pike, bass and walleye
  • We can’t angle for pike (like we can across the Ontario border) anywhere
  • As fly fishers we can only use 2 hooks as each fly counts as 1 lure but we can throw a 3 treble (9 hook) plug.
  • We have no C&R season for any fish
  • We have almost no C&R water

Afraid of change much?

April 30, 2017

Same Secret Creek New Stretch

The other stretch of secret creek is becoming a series of beaver dams. Sure the fish are there but it is more like pond fishing. Very few wading stretches. On top of it the land is flooded so gettin between those ponds is hard to impassable. So I broke out my back roads maps and Google Earth and found a new stretch. Wider, less tangled, no beavers, one dam that you can fish and walk around. Fewer fish but a better fly fishing experience.

Don’t ask where because I will not tell you.

April 16, 2017

Tiger Trout and Brown Trout Manitoba Still Water Fly Fishing

A little eastern Fly Fishing For Stocked fish. Its was cold and windy for this Easter Fishing but 3 fish were caught before skedaddling back to Winnipeg for Easter dinner

some idiots who tied off on the aerator buoy. they also went fishless


April 01, 2017

Fairford River Freeze Off 2017 Edition

What better way to start our 2017 Manitoba Fly Fishing Season than to go out on April 1st

January 01, 2017

Florida Fly Fishing

I have spent a few Christmas Holiday in the Emerald Coast region of Florida. Everytime I have concentrated my fly fishing efforts on the salt. This time around I focused on the fresh water. After Figuring out they wanted small stuff like tiny nymphs and streamers, I did quite well. The amazing irony is that the best fishing was a pond behind the Bass Pro Shop.

The following are pictures from December 27th 2016 to January 1st 2017

November 13, 2016

Splake and Perch Fly Fishing Manitoba

What used to be a fun Brook trout lake has turned into a crappy splake and perch lake. The idea is that splake can grow bigger but that doesn’t happen in the eastern shield lakes. So we get stuck with limp washed out fish on a pretty lake instead of pretty fish on a pretty lake.


November 06, 2016

Tiger Trout Still Water Fly Fishing Manitoba

There are a of of stocked trout waters in this province. It sort of makes up for the lack of rivers, sort of.

October 31, 2016

The Tradition Continues

As stated in an earlier post, I like to hit the Whiteshell River the last Sunday of October. This year I hit the jackpot as it was very late in the month. To make it more special I used my Tenkara.

October 25, 2016

Fall Time On Lyon’s Lake Manitoba

Again and again I return.