Tobin Lake, Saskatchewan

Jason Hamilton

The same adage holds true for a number of fish species in the spring. Growing up I’d heard it about brook trout and now it seems walleye have caught on. When the birch leaves are the size of a mouses ear is a good time to get bit by fish and it seems like the bugs hold off until the leaves are almost full size.

The North Saskatchewan River where it flows into Tobin Lake is a well known producer of super-sized walleye in the fall, but no surprise these fish are around in the spring too. Piles of smaller walleye are present in the river at this time as well.

In between bear baiting with the Bone Quest Outfitters crew, we hit the river to rig up some walleye. Although it seems we were a bit too selective in waiting for a monster chocolate boar who seemed to have us patterned as well. Lots of other bears were seen but when the trail cam shows a specimen like this, its not difficult to wait a while.

Lots of excitement is found in spring bear hunting, moms, cubs, charges, not to mention a whole host of other bird and animal activity as the boreal forest wakes up from a long winter.

We did have some luck on the river though. Shallow water live bait rigging is one of my favourite ways to connect with spring eyes. We fish large flats 5-10’ slowly drifting over fish with big leeches on long (6-8’) leaders. With the bigger fish mixed in with scads of smaller fish it makes you fish every bite like it could be a double digit eye the area is known for.

As May draws to an end focus is full time on all the details required to get Scott Lake Lodge ready for another season. A work crew is up doing some building and renovations, seemingly innumerable purchases made and logistics in place to receive our first guests June 10. Now the ice just needs to cooperate…stay tuned for the trip north, opening the lodge, ice out and hanging some hog pike in the shallows.

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