One of the reasons that spurred me to explore my home province was the desire to find offbeat fishing locations — especially for exotic stocked trout. Even with old angler's guides and a weak rural internet connection, it's pretty easy to sleuth out a new fishing hole. There are no secrets to fishing in Saskatchewan.
But in the Good Ol’ Days™, the relationship anglers built with lakes and rivers was a deeply visceral one. Fishing spots were passed down from generations as treasured secrets. They were a source of pride. Sometimes they were found by risk-taking, hard work or knowing the right people. More often, they were found through family and lifelong friends.
A few years ago, I set out to find a relatively obscure trout lake in one of my favourite forests. Even with an abundance of information online, finding these places takes the right kind of nerve and a whole lot of patience.
At the time, there was very little information available about this place without digging through some obscure websites and comparing the information with satellite maps. The only reputable hint to its location was vague at best, and left a lot of room for guess work. With a four-hour drive to an unfamiliar location, the uncertainty made the whole trip a bit of a hard sell.
After spending the night at a nearby recreation site, I took a drive and found a nondescript opening in the woods that may-or-may-not lead to a lake. It was an unmarked trail with no signs whatsoever. I almost turned back before the lake revealed itself. It was quiet, peaceful and completely deserted. If I would’ve caught a six-pound rainbow trout, I would die happy.
Whether off-shore or on-shore, spring or autumn, I never got a single bite in the dozens of hours I've spent fishing this lake. This may not be saying much as trout are not my forte outside of creeks and rivers. But with shoddy information, I couldn't help but wonder if I was even in the right place at all.
This was not my super secret fishing lake, but it could be for someone else.