This past Saturday, May 18, 2019 was the first kayak fishing tournament of the year here in Alberta. It was the Allen Zilkowsky Memorial trout on the fly tournament, held at Dickson pond, about an hour east of Red Deer. 17 anglers braved the cold and super windy conditions, landing numerous fish in the 11-hour tournament time frame.
Cold and windy were words of the day. It was windy when we started and windy when we finished. Pushing people around (my self included). The morning was a bust, no fish were marking on the fish finder, nothing was biting, it was starting to become miserable on the water, so I headed towards shore, The wind and waves had other plans, forcing me in to the shore about 50 yards from the launch. Its OK though, it was a nice leisurely walk in the wind and waves towing my fishing kayak behind me.
(the severe wind was kicking my butt)
After a quick bite, and warming my bones, I was back on the water with my friend Robb, fishing about 10 feet away from each other. I use the term back on the water loosely as back on the water meant about a foot offshore in a secluded corner or the pond where the only bites of the day were happening. (thanks Jim). It was on now!!! The fish were biting. Soon we were joined about another 5 anglers in our little secluded corner, throwing what ever flies we could, to land as many fish as possible. After landing 6 fish decent enough to enter I was off the water for a stretch. Robb was landing two fish for every one I was catching, and after my break I upgraded two of my five fish for a grand total of 49 ¼ inches of rainbow trout. At around 4.30 I headed out of the water for good, I was chilled to the core and needed to warm up. Word was starting to spread on who the winner may be who had the most fish, who had the biggest.
(MIke Z Wilderness Pro Staff / Tournament & Trail Organizer.)
AT 5pm we gathered in the lot adjacent to the pond for the final fish tally and measurement checks and awards. It turns out my top five fish equaled 49 ¼ inches, and was good enough for second place, my first ever podium. (1/4-inch shy of first place.)
(Andrew in the money for 2nd place, AQoutdoors shop team, Asst Manager,Edmonton)
IT was a fantastic day!! Lots of fun, albeit chilly and wet, event, but I will be back next year!!
Congrats To Robb G. for his first place finish, and to Doug H. for his third place!!
(Robb G, receiving his first place award)
Big thanks to Mike Zilkowsky, for organizing this wonderful stop Western Canadian Kayak Fishing Trail.
Dickson Dam Pond is a great place to paddle (watch for leeches). Check it out on Paddling maps here:
For more information on other fishing tournaments in and around Alberta please check the following link:
Stay Safe on the Water, happy fishing!!
(all of the tournament anglers)