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Fly Fishing for Giant Lake Trout on Saskatchewan’s Lake Athabasca: Day 2

Big fatty: Just 37 inches long, but 23 pounds on the scale—my big fish of Day 2

Saturday, September 14, 2012

I’ll start by saying this: the quest for big fish on Lake Athabasca continues. And yes, on the fly. But I must quickly add this: today, we got into bigger lakers, on average, than yesterday. My big fish, for example, pulled the scale to 23 pounds. Funny thing, though, it only stretched the tape to 37 inches—four inches shy of my longest fish yesterday. I guess we should have weighed that 41-incher yesterday. Lesson learned.

John, meanwhile, continued to quietly break (as of yet unofficially) his own Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame line-class records for catch-and-release fly fishing. Once again, he bested his 12-pound-test record, first notching it up an inch, then yet another, ending the day with the bar now set at 37 inches. Too cool.

As for me, I’m just happy to be catching piles of lakers—more than I’ve ever caught on a single outing, both today and yesterday. But what’s really awesome is that we’re doing it all on the fly, continuing with our pattern of casting and stripping on the drift, then trolling back to repeat the drift. Like yesterday, this resulted in plenty of action. Mind you, we were not as busy today thanks to gusty winds and scattered showers, but John and I still managed to score 11 double-headers. And like yesterday, I really can’t tell you how many fish we brought to the side of the boat, this time deftly released by our guide of the day, Saskatchewan’s own Trevor Campbell (thanks, bud!).

Here’s the best part: we still have five more full days of fishing here at Lakers Unlimited. Stay tuned.

Another potential record: John and his 37-incher on 12-pound tippet
Another potential record: John and his 37-incher on 12-pound tippet

Big fatty: Just 37 inches long, but 23 pounds on the scale—my big fish of Day 2
Big fatty: Just 37 inches long, but 23 pounds on the scale—my big fish of Day 2

Patrick Walsh

Patrick Walsh

Patrick Walsh is Outdoor Canada's Editor-in-Chief and Brand Manager. He grew up fishing and hunting in Bracebridge, Ontario, where he began his magazine career in 1983 as assistant editor of Muskoka Life magazine. Since then, he has worked for a variety of media, both in Canada and abroad, earning numerous writing and editing awards. In 2005, 2011 and 2012, the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors named him Editor of the Year, while Outdoor Canada was honoured as Magazine of the Year (in the medium circulation category). Walsh has been at the magazine's helm since 2000.

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