Reaching into the water, Padlesky scoops up the pike, swiftly removes the hook and holds the fish in the air. I reach out and run a hand along its slick, wet, brown-green speckled back.
It is permitted to keep up to two pike (of regulation size) on Winefred, but mostly it is just catch and release. In this wild, remote place, life is both fragile and powerful. Not everything can be held and kept, so when you find that special something - like Padlesky did - you hold on tight.
Trapping as a way of life is slowly vanishing, but Padlesky is doing everything he can to keep it alive at Winefred Lake.
“There’s a lot of history, a lot of heritage here people should know,” he says. He releases his finger from the fish’s gill and it slides back into the water, leaving behind only a silvery, opaque ripple.
Travelling from Edmonton to Lake Country is easy, at about a three hour drive North East.
Wilfred Lake Outfitters, found here http://www.winefredlake.com, is only one of a half-dozen resorts and lodges who offering fishing experiences and/or overnight accommodations within the region.
The others include:
- Elinor Lake Resort in Lakeland Provincial Park: http://www.elinorlakeresort.com/
- The Haven at Elinor Lake: http://www.elinorlakeresort.com/
- Winefred Lake Lodge: http://www.winefredlakelodge.com/
- Plamondon Whitesands Resort: http://www.plamondonwhitesands.com/
- Kikino Silver Birch Resort & Campground: http://kikinoresort.com/
For more on the area and to get planning visit, laclabicheregion.com
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