Mayflies, Mayhem and “May I see your fish?”
The weather finally improved and the sun came out of its multi-week hiding spot, the water warmed a little, just enough for the black flies to burn out. So the natural cycle continued and the lowly mayfly (A.K.A, fish fly or shad fly) made its appearance, albeit a little late. And as often happens, the fish patterns changed. The shallows and bays which had been so productive for walleye over the past weeks all but shut down. Those fishermen jigging worms or using leeches were pretty much shut out. Lures didn’t seem to do much either. The walleye had not yet congregated on the points and drops, which is typically the next phase of the fishing cycle in our area.
During the transition period marked by the mayfly hatch, the walleye seem to be spread out and hanging much deeper. The trick is to cover lots of water to find them and provide a presentation that is slow and tempting enough to entice a fish to feed when they are suspended and not particularly hungry. The magic bullet: the bullet sinker and worm harness. One group of guests who slow trolled these single blade inline spinner rigs consistently caught great catches of walleye every time they went out, while others (like me) jigged in vain.
We were paid a visit by the Conservation Officers for the second time this year. The officers checked everyone’s catches, freezers, the fish gut pails and stringers, measuring and counting the fish. They complimented our guests for their sportsman-like approach to fishing, given the large amount of walleye they caught and released. All fish that were kept by our guests were within the slot sizes and the officers were impressed by the fishing results they saw here at Two Moon Lodge, stating they had not seen such a great catch all week.
We believe in supporting our wildlife and conservation officers and work to uphold the fish and game laws. In our nearly thirty years as outfitters, we have had a few occasions where we assisted authorities investigate illegal activities. Thankfully, the clientele we have at Two Moon Lodge seem to share our personal belief in sportsmanship and conservation and do their best to abide by the regulations. While it might break one’s heart to see a 24″ walleye swim away, it warms the heart to know it will live to reproduce again.
While the officers did not find any infractions, we did discuss the difficulty some people have with the complicated transportation requirements. Here is a quick refresher of the Quebec rules regarding transporting fish.
Walleye (6 fish limit)
- Butterfly fillet or whole fish gutted
- Entire skin must fully adhere to entire fillet
- Tail (Caudal Fin) must be attached to both fillets
- Pectoral Fins must be attached to fillet skin
- Fillet must measure between 28 cm and 40 cm
Lake Trout (1 fish limit)
- Fish must be kept whole and include head and tail
- Skin must be fully attached
- Full fish must be longer than 26 inches (65 cm)
Bass, Pike (6 each limit)
- Skin must be fully attached to fillet
- No size limit
- Packaged or frozen flat so full length, number and species can easily be determined.
- Bags should be labeled with angler’s name
* Note: Frozen fish is considered to be packaged for