No big surprise that our first adventure in Alberta was a fishing one! We set out at 6am January 24th to Sylvan Lake, just west of Red Deer. We were meeting some good friends we first while fishing the Parklands in Manitoba. Couple of fish heads like ourselves. Tuns out our math was off and we could have slept in another hour. Guess which one of us was bitter about that! Surely not the guy inhaling two McMuffins.
Sylvan Lake is a beautiful lake side community that epitomizes cottage life. The large marina, huge waterslides and extensive walking trails feature the lake. No one was sunbathing today though. Instead, the shoreline and lake were a bustle with trucks, snow mobiles and 4-whealers.
The sun was up and temperature was rising towards the much awaited 11°C. For two Ontarians who never dared, driving on the ice was exciting. Almost like a used car lot, every manner of vehicle was on the ice; trucks, vans, sedans, even a mini cooper. Nothing beats a truck with all terrain tires though! Two feet of ice makes the drive safe, but hole cutting time consuming. A few more inches and the auger won’t meet the water!
Though sluggish, the fish cooperated. The lake gave up walleye, perch, whitefish and even a few pike. This is not your typical Ontario ice fishing. The lake became its own community of hundreds of people on the ice doing many of different things. Making ice rinks, flying kites, playing Frisbee and BBQing (which just seemed cruel for the rest of us). There were quads dragging kids on sleds around the lake and of course snow machines of every time racing around with abandon. With the music and boisterous crowds it was more like a party.
Sylvan Lake is definitely worth another trip, if not for the fishing, definitely for the party.
Many thanks to Rick and Larry for getting us started fishing AB and joining us on the lake! Can’t wait to get out with the guys again.