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River of Gold

 

On my bike ride home from work I couldn't help but be taken by the beautiful color of the North Saskatchewan River. It had cleared up and was flowing with a striking hue of aquamarine. The river seemed to have taken on the same laid-back summer attitude that we all enjoy. It was moving along in no particular hurry and everything was happening at a relaxed, peaceful pace. Stopping on the banks for a moment, I peered into the depths. I was now able to see down several feet and with such good visibility I was certain the goldeye would be rising come evening.

Taking a slight detour I went to one of my favorite pools just below the McKinnon Ravine and sure enough, there were dozens of goldeye working the river. These fish love to rise and sip the bugs off the surface. Today they were doing it in mass and there was no doubt that they would still be at it later in the day.

Goldeye are a fun fish to catch. They swim in schools which means where you find one you will find a bunch. Once they find a home pool in the river they will likely be there for the summer until the cool days of fall send them on their downstream migration. The fishing during these warm summer months is as good as it gets, particularly with flies.

There are a number of ways to catch goldeye. They are very aggressive fish that will eat a minnow, a spoon, a worm, a plug, a spinner and, of course, a fly. The real trick to goldeye fishing is determining the right depth to present your lure. I've caught goldeye down deep but the most fun will be had with a presentation on or near the surface. A spinner is a good choice, but my preferred method is to chuck a small bobber and a fly. I attach the bobber a few feet up the line with a bead head fly tied at the end. I prefer using a size 10 or 12 bead head pheasant tail nymph, bead head prince nymph or bead head zug bug.

Now for the fun part. You can throw out all the books on flyfishing because goldeye are different. Skip the drag free drift, the perfect presentation and whatnot. Goldeye are suckers for a moving target. I cast the bobber far out into the river and let the current drag it back to shore. There should be a 'V' wake from the bobber as it's pulled across the surface. The bead head fly will be trailing behind just inches under the surface and trust me, there will plenty of goldeye rising up to meet it. Just a word of caution, hook sets should be gentle, as the drag of the current on the line will help set the hook and goldeye have a tendency to hammer the bobber. A hard hook set at those times turns the bobber and fly into a missile coming straight for you.

Now back to the river and catching those fish. I made plans to bring Angela, my baby daughter down for the following evening. We hiked down the bike path to the trail that led us to the pool. Right on cue fish were rising everywhere. I only brought one rig and on the second cast a goldeye took the fly. I held the rod as Angela reeled and soon a goldeye was splashing on the surface much to her delight. We brought the fish close and she held it for a photo. We sent it back and promptly caught another. We lost a couple more and then caught a third. It had only been about half an hour but it was time to call it a night. The fish were still rising but Angela was fading fast. It was time to get her home.

As I said, goldeye are great fun to catch and are found in many of our prairie rivers. If you haven't tried it yet I strongly recommend you do so. You won't regret it. Much like summer days, goldeye fishing is all about having fun and relaxing.

Good Luck!


Previous Fishing Tips & Facts

(1) Selecting the right fly

(2) Road Trips

(3) The Roll cast

(4) Fly-fishing for Pike

(5) Walleye Tip

(6) Mountain Lakers

(7) Hints For Dry Fly Success

(8) Survival Strategies For The Silly Season

(9) Local Advise

(10) It's A Pink Year

(11) Ice Fishin Safety

(12) Third World Travel

(13) Casting Angles

(14) The Rocky Mountain Whitefish Rig

(15) Using Sinking Leaders

(16) The Pike Fisherman's Vest

(17) Walleye Tips

(18) Trophies Are In The Eye Of The Beholder

(19) The Right Tool For The Job

(20) Respect The Weather - Expect The Weather

(21) Approach

(22) Gearing Up For Ice Perch

(23) Do It Yourself Excersions

(24) Shots

(25) Atlantic Salmon Fishing Techniques

(26) Fishing Etiquette In Crowded Conditions

(27) Swinging Caddis Flies

(28) Selecting a Fishing Rod

(29) Pike Angling Retrieves

(30) Detecting The Strike

(31) Unmatch The Hatch

(32) Off The Grid Air Travel

(33) Practise

(34) How Deep Are They Biting?

(35) Netting and Landing Your Fish

(36) Texas Travel Tips

(37) Quick Tips for Triggering Strikes

(38) Be the Last Man Standing

(39) Water Temperature & Trout

(40) Visiting Reindeer Lake

(41) Stillwater Stratagems

(42) Those Crazy Cohos!

(43) Leaders & Tippets

(44) Big Water Strategies

(45) Small Stream Stealth

(46) DO I GET UP EARLY?

(47) ACCESSIBLE PLACES TO FISH

(48) Travelling Angler Tips

(49) Choosing The Right Fly

(50) They come out at Night - Our Friends that is

(51) Fishing at Night

(52) Having Troubles Catching fish?

(53) Having Troubles Finding Fish?

(54) Stay Skinny To Catch Fish

(55) Tips For Fishing With Kids

(56) The Wonderful Woolly Bugger

(57) Wading Safely

(58) Double Your Fun

(59) More About The Red River

(60) Rookie Rod Buying Tips

(61) Hook Sharpening

(62) Going Light

(63) Hopper - Dropper Rigs

(64) Tips For Buying A Pontoon Boat

(65) Fishing Tips and Facts for Sturgeon

(66) Three Flies to Live by

(67) Reading Rise Forms

(68) Tips and Facts for Early Season Success

(69) A Fly for All Seasons

(70) Ice Shelters – Seeing is Believing

(71) Effective approaches to working small streams

(72) Unburdening the Travelling Angler

(73) 5 Flies for Anyones Fly Box

(74) Road Trips

(75) Dry Flies for High & Dirty Water

(76) Tips For Dealing With Biting Bass

(77) Summertime and the Fishin’ Ain’t Easy

(78) Depth and Light

(79) Rigging Large Dry Flies

(80) Best Rod for Spring Angling

(81) Stream Etiquette for Floaters

(82) Tackling Whites Through the Ice

(83) Angling Tips for Finding Books

(84) Winter Smart Open Water Angling

(85) Fall Primer for Pike

(86) Packing Tips

(87) Tips and Tackle for the High Country

(88) Hunt them Shallow

(89) Polarized Sunglasses
The smart anglers’ advantage.

(90) Fishing Tips for Early Season Flyrodding

(91) Know Your Knots

(92) Alternative Thoughts about Ice Fishing

(93) Tips for Mexican Bonefishing

(94) Techniques for Tantalizing Grayling

(95) Understanding Fly Leaders & Tippets

(96) Catfish on the Fly

(97) Get Your Backswimmer On

(98) Reading the Sonar

(99) Insect Identification Made Easy

(100) The Sinker and Floating Plug

(101) GADGETS & GIZMOS for "OLD GUYS"

(102) Fishing Drop Offs

(103) Stay On Fish

(104) Landing The Big One

(105) Fighting Fish on a Fly Rod

(106) North Saskatchewan River - Be River Aware

(107) Backswimmer Pothole Trout Frenzy

(108) Hunt for Suspended Fish

(109) Reading Your Waters Before You Cast

(110) Setting Up Your Bait Casting Reel

(111) Fishing Journals

(112) First Casts of the Season are at a River Near You

(113) The Crazy Whitefish Days of Last Ice

(114) The Bait of Choice

(115) Shallow Water Jumbo Perch

(116) Getting Started on the Ice

(117) Plan an Ice Fishing Getaway

(118) Brookie Season

(119) River Fishing is Heating Up

(120) Become a Better Angler

(121) The Forgotten Pike

(122) Get Out Your Plugs and Spoons

(123) Slip Bobber is King in Spring

(124) See You at the Show

(125) Red Hot Whitefish

(126) Staging Walleye

(127) The Lure of Lake Whitefish

(128) Great Rainbow Fishing At First Ice

(129) A Simple Approach to Ice Fishing

(130) Big Pike Combo Approaches

(131) Gearing up for Fall Whitefish

(132) River of Gold

(133) Bottom Bounce Your Way to Success

(134) Small Stream Fun

(135) Consider the Spawn and Water Temperature
for Early Season Fish

(136) I Believe - The Glow in Glow Jigs

(137) Tricks to Improve Your Ice Fishing

(138) Trout Fishing is Red Hot

(139) Dealing With Fishing Pressure

(140) All I Want For Christmas

(141) Staying Warm on the Ice

(142) Hunting Big Browns in Lakes

(143) Where Did All Those Walleye Go?

(144) Keep an Eye on the Weather, Fury of a Storm

(145) Great and Affordable Fishing on the West Coast

(146) Lake Whites in the Summer? You Bet

(147) Prime Time for Lakers

(148) A Slip Bobber is so Much More

(149) Ice Fishing for Pike and Walleye

(150) Catching a Big Pike

(151) Purchasing a Rod

(152) Catching Rainbows through the Ice

(153) Gearing up for the Snow and Ice

(154) Gearing Up For Pike

(155) Getting the Most out of Your Fly Fishing Set Up

(156) The Bottom’s Up in Fishing

(157) Fish Where They’re Biting

(158) Three Standard Walleye Presentations

(159) Two Early Season Presentations for Pothole Trout

(160) Tackle Tips for Catch and Release Fishing

(161) Keeping Your Head Above Water

(162) HEALTHY BAIT CATCHES FISH!

(163) Beginner Baitcasting Tips