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2019 Summer Vacation

River Kayaking in Old Town Next

Hello anglers! I think I owe you a bit of an apology, I haven’t been posting regularly the past couple weeks because I’ve been on vacation! We decided to take our summer vacation a little early this year because life will be pretty busy for my wife and I for the rest of the summer.

We packed up our camper and kayaks and traveled to a couple of our favorite places around the province. Our first stop on our adventure was Gregg Lake in William Switzer Park. The lake is beautiful and has good pike and whitefish fishing. Gregg Lake is one of my favorite places to fly fish for pike because they can usually be found shallow and the water is clear enough to sight fish for them. Unfortunately on this trip the weather didn’t cooperate, it was 4 degrees with a mix of rain and snow the whole time. With it being so cold I really had to bundle up and the one piece of gear that helps most is my MEC neoprene paddling gloves. They help to keep my hands warm even when wet. They are even comfortable to wear wet when a lot of other gloves are not. I did manage to catch a couple of small pike near the creek inlet on the south side of the lake but didn’t spend too much time fishing. It was too cold to sit in one place. In order to keep warm I did some exploring and paddled as far as I could up the creek, it was a nice trip and the Old Town Next is a perfect boat for it with its shallow draft and easy handling.

Me and my dog Icy by the lake.
Me and Icy enjoying the weather in Hinton.

Our second stop was Hilliard’s Bay campground on Lesser Slave Lake. Honestly the difference in the weather was unbelievable, it felt like we were in a different country. We were able to dry out most of our stuff from our few days in Hinton. Although the weather was much better, it was a bit more unpredictable. In the 4 days we were at Slave we might have only spent 4 hours fishing due to the roaming thunderstorms and sudden wind. When we managed to get out the fishing was excellent and we caught our limit and then some each time we were out. I don’t walleye fish often but we had some serious fun doing it. There wasn’t more than ten minutes between fish for any of us on the boat. I tried out all my favorite walleye candy, ¼ oz jig heads with pulsr paddle tails, jigging raps, and the most productive, a purple deep diving crank bait. Not because I needed to change hooks but to see what else they might bite on. Gotta love days like that. On one of our outings my Dads girlfriend caught a massive 39.5” pike, it weighed in at 14.8 lbs! 

My biggest of the trip, a 23″ walleye.

I didn’t spend too much time in the kayak on Slave Lake. My dad had brought his boat and to be honest it was a really nice change. I enjoyed having the company, kayaking is a solo sport and it was great to have a bit of banter and trash talking among friends. It was also awesome to be able to get to your fishing spot so quickly, it was a five minute ride in the boat and that same trip would have taken me an hour in the kayak. 

Overall we had a wonderful time. June is an excellent month for fishing and it was great to spend quality time with my family. I saved the very end of our vacation for the pièce de résistance, the Eastslope Kayak Fishing Classic, but you will have to wait for that story in my next post.

My dog Icy in the Kayak
Fishing is better with a buddy!

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