Nice fish: John Cleveland hoists his big fish of day 3
Nice fish: John Cleveland hoists his big fish of day 3

Fly Fishing for Giant Lake Trout on Saskatchewan’s Lake Athabasca: Day 3

This will be a short posting tonight, recapping my third day on Lake Athabasca here at Lakers Unlimited—the guides are preparing a campfire for the guests, and attendance is mandatory. This must-not-miss event has a rather storied history, complete with the burning of guitars, rowdy sing-alongs and other late-night shenanigans.

Today on the water, my fishing buddy for the week, John Cleveland, and I were squired about by camp owner Ryan “Cap’n Bruce” Lowry, himself adept at catching the resident lake trout on the fly. Our plan: hunt solely for big fish.

The wind dropped right off, and the sun shone brightly, making for great sight-fishing conditions. But as with any sight-fishing, the fish also have the reciprocal advantage of seeing you, and booking it out of casting distance when they do. Still, we managed to catch a good number of fish—some 50 in all, according to Bruce, including 11 double-headers. Crazy to think that this was “slow” compared to the first two days.

John’s big fish of the day was a chunky 35-incher, while mine topped that by three inches—big enough to pip (as of yet, unofficially) the 17-pound line-class record in the  Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame’s fly-fishing catch-and-release category. It was a bittersweet accomplishment, in that John holds the existing record of 37 inches, even though he gave me the 17-pound tippet and egged me on to go for the new record. Top drawer, that guy.

Anyway, enough for now. I can hear the guitar strumming and the laughter beginning down at the campfire. Please check in tomorrow for my Day 4 report.

Unofficial record: My 38-incher on 17-pound tippet, an unofficial new line-class catch-and-release record
Unofficial record: My 38-incher on 17-pound tippet, an unofficial new line-class catch-and-release record
Nice fish: John Cleveland hoists his big fish of day 3
Nice fish: John Cleveland hoists his big fish of day 3

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