Fishing the Funky Blues at Chadburn Lake

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of getting out fishing with kids.

Likewise, spending time with friends on the water brings memories to last a lifetime.

While fishing can be an incredible social experience, sometimes you just have to get out yourself. This past weekend, I spent some quality “me time” fishing at Chadburn Lake.

Preparation for fishing by yourself is pretty straightforward with one exception: music.

In my opinion, it is a prerequisite to have your iPod loaded up with whatever music gets you in the right mood. For some this could be Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A Major, others the Ramones final concert at the Palace; but for me it’s a healthy dose of G. Love and the Special Sauce. I don’t know what it is about G. Love’s funky blues, but it gets me in the fishing groove.

I dropped my fishing kayak in at the end of Chadburn Lake Road. It was cold and windy, but I was dressed well and in a good head space for the occasion.

I paddled straight into the wind just as G. Love started to jam in Stepping Stones. The beat propelled my paddle as I ripped through the water trolling my woolly bugger. With a constant eye on the tip of my rod, I continued to kick it through to the island on the southeast corner of the lake.

While in the calm shelter on the far side of the island, G. Love appropriately started to slow it down in Sunshine.

Working with the vibe, I slowly coasted down the south side of the lake casting and retrieving methodically from shore. I was searching for Rainbow Trout in these shallows lazily feeding on things like bugs falling from the trees.

Now past the island, the wind gently pushed my kayak into the aqua-marine coloured shallows. It was in this area that a family of otters decided to join G. Love and I in Back of the Bus. Not feeling the touch or tug of a fish, I changed my fly and made my way back to middle of the lake. I fished my way past a pair of beavers trying to get their home ready for the winter blues.

While I was running out of lake at this point, I still had plenty of songs to keep me going. I fished around the north end of the lake up to the portage point to Chadden Lake. I changed my fly again and again and started to realize it just was not going to happen.

I paddled and fished this beautiful lake for over three hours without the slightest indication of fish.

Still feeling fully alive and refreshed, the song Free at Last made perfect sense as I ran my kayak onto the beach.

I know that G. Love puts me into the fishing groove, but I have a feeling that Johnny Cash will get me into fish. I’ll have to try the Man in Black next time.

If you would like to share your fishing story, or hear more about this one, visit Dennis Zimmermann’s Yukon fishing blog at


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