I know there are many in the Yukon who have an interest in fishing but don’t know where to start.
Fishing can be intimidating and downright frustrating if you don’t get a little help at the beginning. To make matters worse, proficient anglers tend to be a bit of a tight-lipped crowd, not wanting to give away tips for fear of losing their fish or special spot.
There is a solution to all of this: stocked lakes.
Start by visiting the Environment Yukon website, www.yukonfishing.com, and then clicking “where the fish are”. Next, download the Angler’s Guide to Stocked Lakes.
Stocked lakes and the stocking program in general have been created for those who recreationally want to get out with family and friends and try catching fish.
Now that you know where to go and what species may be in that specific lake, grab the rod, head to shore and start casting.
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Next you need to check the regulations and then think about your gear and presentation for a specific fish species.
Most of the stocked lakes in the Yukon feature Rainbow Trout.
Rainbows are like a double-edged sword: they are often picky, but they fight like stink. It is not unusual to hook into a three to four-pound Rainbow that acrobatically jumps and does everything it can to throw your lure.
If you are a beginner, chances are you have a mid-weight rod and reel sitting in the garage or closet. Glenn Babala, at Sports North, suggested the following set-up for that rod: six to eight-pound monofilament line, a Size 4 split shot weight near the end, with a Size #14 treble hook positioned approximately six to eight inches from the split shot.
Squeezed onto the treble hook is a wad of a bright, floating fish-attractant called Powerbait. Glenn suggests that this is a well-balanced presentation and is designed to position the hook where unsuspecting Rainbows may be lurking.
The split shot can be adjusted up or down depending on the amount of structure (i.e. weeds) on the bottom.
Glenn points out another popular technique of casting lures like the spinning Panther Martin. Casting these small lures large distances into productive waters can be a challenge, so a little split shot can help here as well. The final approach includes rigging a bobber on your line to let the fly, Powerbait or lure hang at the right depth in the water.
Glenn figures this is a little trickier given you need to really know your depth and it’s easy to sell it too short or too long.
Now that you are properly rigged up with a delicate presentation, you have a fighting chance to hook a Rainbow.
Notice I didn’t say “catch” a Rainbow?
Some things to think about when fighting a Rainbow: keep your rod tip up, be patient, don’t force it in and use your reel drag.
Remember, you lose some and you catch some. If you decide to keep your catch, I’ll leave the cooking up to you.
If you would like to share your fishing story, or hear more about this one, visit Dennis Zimmermann’s Yukon fishing blog at www.fishonyukon.com.
PHOTOS: DENNIS ZIMMERMANN