Fishing on Maligne Lake
Maligne Lake is one of the lakes that you can go fishing in Jasper National Park, where the scenery is as beautiful as the sport of Fishing. The weather was hot this particular day and it was about time, as this year started out cold and it seemed that El Nina was going to make Jasper a frigid summer. To get back to the fishing tale on Maligne Lake, some good friends were up from Sherwood Park for a visit and of course, some fishing. We picked up our National Parks fishing permit (provincial fishing permits are not valid in National Parks) the day before at a local sport shop and got a tip from the vendor that Maligne Lake was the hot spot to be!
We were going to go there anyhow, so it just made us happier to go there. We (Perry, Kim, Gord and I) picked up our snacks for the outing in the morning and headed off to the lake. The bonus was Perry and Kim had their own canoe and electric motor (gas powered motors are not allowed on Maligne Lake) and Gord had his “Rainbow Warrior”, a finely crafted 19 foot cedar strip canoe with all the fixings. This eliminated us in renting any gear that is available at the local shops. Or you can hire a fishing guide that will supply all the necessary gear, I had the pleasure of getting a seat in the Rainbow Warrior with an experience guide (Gord).
This fishing trip was not an ordinary one as most fisherman / women knows that early morning and late evening is the time that the fishes bite. Putting in at around 10:00am is just a wee bit late, but nevertheless, we were determined to catch some fine trout. Gord led the way to a secret spot where the fishes were just waiting to take a bite in our hooks. Who knows which one of us had the first bite. As I fumbled with some of my archaic lures (lead and live bait is not allowed, and barbless recommended) and tried some that just did not work for me, so I ask Gord for one of his special lure (can’t tell ya, going have to…. you) and sure enough, BAM! I got a bite!
We were pulling them in and there was Kim pulling in her first one and asking Perry, “can I let him go?” after releasing the fish she says, “alright I’m done fishing!” Ahh, to be satisfied with just one catch, such a refreshing thought. We laughed and baked in the sun. We have all release one or two by now, but kept trolling. Then suddenly, Gord lands a two to three pound Brook Trout. (Did I mention this is a tale?) After taking a photo of this trout, Gord says “looks too good to keep…he’s a breeder” and my mouth dropped as he releases it back into the water.
I usually like to keep the fish I catch, because it taste so good up here and specially if they are big ones. But today was just catch and release day, good friends and beautiful sunny day.
June 15, 1999
by Eddie Wong