Short of actual meditation, there's almost nothing in the world that'll slow your pace, calm you down and give your life new meaning than a few hours of fishing.
No matter how, where or when you fish - fly fishing or spin casting; river, stream or lake; close to the city or deep in the boonies; morning, afternoon or evening of every single season - there's an inner peace about the whole fishing 'thing' that's unmatched by any other human pastime.
Fishing so wholly involves your senses (all six of them if you include your sense of exploration) that to many anglers, the actual catching of a fish is simply not the point. You can fish - well, or poorly, it doesn't matter - for hours without a bite, and be fully satisfied, all the way deep into your soul.
Fishing's for people who love the sun, lakes and moving water. It's for people who like a bit, but no too much... exercise, for those who love each other and work to spend quality time together. And fishing's for those who love to explore; it's a great excuse to find new, out of the way and usually quite beautiful places.
Alberta's geo-diversity and the variety of her ecosystems makes this a perfect place to combine fishing with vacationing. There are as many different kinds of ways and places to fish as there are places to go and things to see.
Age & gender don't matter!Fishing can be a very gentle sport, or a highly challenging one. You can throw a hook into the water from the end of a pier, or over the side of a country
||bridge. You can also hike miles up steep mountain paths to reach the tiny pot-lakes where the famed golden trout live.
You can fish when you're five years old, or 90. And the day when fishing was purely for the men has long, long gone.
Alan Brice, a guide who runs The Crowsnest Cafe and Fly Shop in the Crowsnest Pass, says he and many other guides have noticed a significant increase in the number of women getting into fly fishing. Some come with their husbands, but he also notes there are plenty of single women, often professionals, who come for lessons then return later with their friends.
Guides are teachers, too!If you have some money to put into learning the sport, the very best way to start out is to spend a day on a lake or river with a guide. They'll provide all the equipment, so you don't have to make expensive mistakes before you know what you're doing!
Even guides who focus almost wholly on servicing highly-experienced international anglers look forward to the days they spend with beginners.
"I take anyone who wants to fish, regardless of their level of skill," says Keith Rae of Get Hooked Fishing Adventures. I love to introduce people to the sport.
Fly fishing guides supply all the necessary equipment and loads of advice about how to 'read' the river, what insects the fish are eating at that particular time (flies are designed to closely imitate bugs), how to cast and hold onto your catch once the battle begins, and how to handle and release your fish. For new anglers,
||they're happy to help sort out the odd line tangle, and show you how to tie on your fly.
Spin casting - hurling a metal hook way out into the water then reeling it back in, or slowly trolling in a boat, dragging your line behind - is less demanding than fly fishing. And there are also lots of guides in Alberta who can take you out onto lakes to try out spin-cast fishing.
Tony Gellings of Adventure Alberta takes novices and experts alike on walleye and northern pike fishing trips on Lesser Slave Lake. He runs a big pontoon boat, so there's lots of space for non-fishingspouses or other family members to relax and move around during the eight-hour trips.
"At least half my clients are brand new to fishing,"he says. "Even if they don't tell me they're newcomers to the sport, I can soon tell. I totally love working with people who haven't done it before," he says. "It's hard to explain what it's like to watch someone catch their first fish. I just love the feeling!"
Tony says guides can help people get into fishing without making expensive mistakes in buying their first equipment. They can give their customers an overview of basic subjects like bait, fish feeding habits and probable locations at different times of the year.
Fishing store staff are full of advice!Most good fishing specialty stores are staffed with patient people who'll be happy to spend time with you, helping you 'kit up' for your first fishing foray.
next page (2)