Well this post is long over do, and everyone knows it. But long story short May long was unreal. It always is, but the jury was out until the weekend was over. For those who don’t know, or had their heads in the sand, there was a province wide fire ban due to a wildfire that destroyed most of Slave Lake. I checked the reports daily and really hoped the ban would be lifted in our area but it didn’t happen. While I sympathize with all affected by the wildfire, I think the move for a provincial fire ban was purely political. It was imposed to show some measure of control in a situation that was totally beyond the control of authorities. I’m not a big political commentator but when we rocked up to the campsite the road had puddles on it, the campsite was wet and there was water dripping from the trees. However ridiculous it may have been there would be no fire that weekend.
Lucky for us the first night was unseasonable warm for this weekend and I was able to wear my shorts till I turned it. It becomes very apparent how important fire is though. Like jumping over it FUBAR Style, throwing camp chairs in it and just having something to watch and cook on. We passed the time with cards and drinking games and after everyone was sufficiently bombed we headed to bed before the sun woke up.
After waking up and cooking breakfast we decided to hit the river. Last year we pretty much just played beersbee the whole time and the fishing was minimal. Saturday we tried a new spot that was downstream from us instead of upstream near the bridge. There were tons of spots to fish and we spread out. The original spot I was working was right where a current was changing and circling a deep pool. I’m sure there were fish in there, but no one could hook one. Chris and I waded upstream and I did spook a few fish out from under a fallen tree, but that was all the fish I saw that day. By this time I was getting pretty hungry and thirsty so we headed back.
Saturday was mostly about beersbee though. For those who don’t know the Rules of Beersbee click the link. Logan who was the reigning beersbee champion was not able to attend the weekend. While this really sucked it meant a new champion would be crowned. As a side note Logan made a legit trophy in his spare time that will be unveiled June 25th. Dave had drawn up a bracket and we had a round robin of seven people participating. Nik ended up dropping out cause he was sleeping off his hangover so the rest of us played through. I had a rocky start against Ben who was one of the favorites for tourney. I had lost 2 points on pole hits and needed to get my focus back. My next three throws were all beauties, and I scored 4 unanswered points. Turns out I peaked during that game and ended up dropping the next four games, thus missing the finals. Colin and I tied for last place with one win each. I beat Ben and Colin beat me. Ben and Dave ended up squaring off during the finals and Simon and Chris, who was the odds on favorite for the weekend played in the toilet bowl.
I took an awesome video of the final but for some reason I cannot get it off my camera. When I figure out how to do this and get it edited, I’ll upload it to our YouTube and dedicate a post to it here. I really wish I had it ready right now because the final was unreal. Start to finish the entire game was about 5 minutes long. The tempo was unreal and both Dave and Ben made some crazy catches. In the end Ben took the win with a great can hit and he gave a good interview afterward.
Saturday night we one for the books, the beer was flowing pretty freely and we were also having smoke rolling contests which were pretty memorable. After a significant number of beers we saw some headlights coming through the woods and thinking it was the ranger because we were raising all hell it was a total surprise when we saw who it was. Shaun himself! He said the drive from Grand Prairie was pretty hairy but was relived to have a beer and proceeded to tie one on with us like crazy. Simon and Chris ended up staying up till after the sun came up. Their morning was super fun.
Sunday was the best. After having my standard breakfast we laid around and had a beer or two before heading to the river. Colin, Shaun and I decided to get some fishing done upstream and I scouted ahead for a spot I wanted to try. I found a great spot with rocks that created a shallow but wide pool broken up by other large boulders. The main benefit was a run of fast current on the edge and after Shaun recommended where to throw my second cast I hooked into a nice whitefish. It was only about 8 feet away when I got the hook set and after a short fight I had it netted and ready for a photo. The biggest bonus was that I caught it on the Olive Wooly Bugger I tied. Talk about a good Sunday. Again I was the only one who caught a fish. Shaun mentioned the Trout would start biting later in the season and when I returned back to the city my neighbor mentioned the Whitefish run there during October. Possible fall trip in order?
Sunday night played out like Saturday except we had the rain and strung up a tarp. No fire sucked at this point and while it wasn’t uncomfortable it defiantly wasn’t comfortable either. I ended up getting the start of some sickness on the Saturday and I didn’t sleep well because of this and it was raining so hard it was noisy in the tent.
Monday was Monday, we broke camp and got the hell out of dodge, back to the real world. Oh and big surprise the fire ban was lifted on Tuesday.