Manitoba: Land of leisure

Long known for grain fields, polar bears and cold winters, Manitoba is an ace in the hole when it comes to fishing

by Jim Prentice

Name your pleasure: Trolling from a boat, sitting on a riverbank or rolling a fly line across a stream, Manitoba has it all. For the hardier souls, come out in the winter and drill a hole through four feet of ice to try your luck.

Whatever your favourite might be, chances are we have it. From the wonderful walleye to the Northern Pike, lake trout, crappie, channel cat and a dozen or so more, you have many choices. When it comes to world-class fishing, Manitoba is well-known among sportsmen. Not so well-known in Canada, however, is Manitoba’s world renowned trout fishery.

This is a modern mecca for fly fishermen. In lakes, rivers and streams lurk the rainbows, the speckles, the brookies and the browns—or perhaps you prefer the more exotic Arctic Char, or grayling. The Manitoba Master Angler Award program lists fish of 30 species that are eligible for certificates.

Just north of the capital city of Winnipeg, the Red River runs through Lockport—so named because it is the location of the locks through which boats are raised or lowered to access Lake Winnipeg. Lockport is world-famous for walleye, known locally as pickerel, and the giant channel catfish often caught there. Manitoba has thousands of lakes, many of which are accessible by road. In the Western Central region are lakes such as Tokaryk, Patterson, Corstophine, Lake 400, Anton’s and Pybus. These are accessible north of the Trans-Canada Highway 16 between Minnedosa and Shoal Lake, and south of Riding Mountain National Park.

If this sounds interesting, here is a list of websites with tons of information, and don’t forget to Google Manitoba as well for more great resources.

These sites provide photos, maps and just about anything you want to know about the keystone province.

I have saved the best for last! My own favourite spot is a small stream running through rolling farmland about 40 minutes from my home. It is stocked with trout and sees little pressure from anglers. On our last trip to Stoney Creek I caught seven brook trout in about two hours with a fly rod and black fly. My wife caught her first ever trout on her first day with a fly rod.

Stoney Creek is very close to the Trans-Canada Highway 16, north of a village named Franklin, which is between the cities of Neepawa and Minnedosa.

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