I tried to think of something crazy to title this. After thinking about it for awhile I realized that if I put any other title on it, it would undermine the importance of this weekend.
I’m not a seasoned veteran of May Long like some of the folks I camp, fish and hang out with are. They always spoke of it as a mythical beast of a weekend, spent in the woods or on the mountains. Doing things you can only do in the wilderness like camp, fish, burn wood, raise hell and generally step outside the general confines of everyday life.
This year was my second May Long and I had Dave Waddell as Co-Pilot. We worked out a shorter route to the campsite and left at reasonable hour. There was a head wind, which cut into fuel economy a bit, but we still managed to make good time.
The thing I was most excited to do was go fishing. Last year I was the only one to catch a fish and made sure everyone knew about it. The rest of the crew was convinced there are no fish actually living in the river.
Location wise we were smack dab in the middle of Hinton and Robb. A great little camp ground called the McLeod River provincial recreation area. Now I’ve been telling everyone, and anyone, who will listen and even the ones who don’t my opinion on provincial rec areas. This is how it goes. The campsites are well kept. It is cheap to camp. There are not the crowds you see at National or Provincial parks. There is no ban on liquor. Lastly since they are usually operated by logging companies there is wood provided for free.
Fishing wise the McLeod River reads like all the tributaries in the region. Main species Include: Rainbow Trout, Bull Trout, Brook Trout, Arctic Grayling, and Mountain Whitefish. Lower reaches of the river also have Pike and Walleye. There is also a Bait ban.
We set out to the spot we fished last year and since they are making another camp ground near that area, there was a locked gate. We decide to drive the Jeep across the bridge and see if there was a way to drive down to Gregg Creek which meets the McLeod River a short walk upstream. I was riding shotgun and looking out at the river, I also managed to spot a sizeable Black Bear down in the ditch. We decided to head back and Bear proof the camp a bit more just incase.
When we resumed fishing Mike and I put on our waders. Chris and Logan decided to fish from shore because it was a bit cool. This was my first forte wading into a stream so I was a bit cautious. Mike jumped in feet first and waded just across from where the Gregg creek enters. I moved a small ways down and after no success I decided to head up stream.
I didn’t see it happen. I didn’t hear it happen. I took a chance look over my shoulder and Mike was on the other side. I headed back and Mike had started taking off his waders and pants. I asked Logan what happened and he told me that Mike had lost his footing and been taken by the current. Luckily for Mike he kept calm and made it out alive. Things could have gotten really bad, really fast. I walked upstream, on the opposite shore from Mike to where it was a bit flatter; I met him halfway and walked back with him. I’m glad we’ll be able to fish another day. Discouraged by a fishless day we headed back to camp. We are now all fully convinced there in no fish in the McLeod River.
In a later conversation, someone asked us what we caught. Dave replied that the only thing worth pulling out of the river was Mike.