Outdoor Report: Canada’s National Fishing Week
Did you know it’s Canada’s National Fishing Week?
From July 5 to 13 this year there are activities across the country to encourage Canadians to enjoy our amazing outdoors. With hundreds of rivers, thousands of lakes and the longest ocean shoreline of any country in the world, there are more fishing locations in Canada than you could ever hope to experience in one lifetime! The good news is, wherever you live there’s likely a variety of great choices nearby. An extra incentive for new anglers are the licence-free fishing days. In the province of Ontario for example, you don’t need a licence to fish during National Fishing Week. Find information about licence-free days plus fishing tips and events for your province or territory here.
OUTDOOR REPORT: Canadian locale offers thrill of a lifetime
Many people associate great fly fishing with the cold mountain rivers and streams of British Columbia and Alberta, but the warmer waters in other provinces offer some great catches too. Along the Rivière du Diable in Mont Tremblant, Quebec you’ll find brook, rainbow and lake trout, bass and musky, among other species. Fishing conditions vary along with water temperatures and flow conditions, there’s a handy weekly report on fishing conditions here plus information about fly fishing lessons. Whether you’re a beginner who needs help getting started or a more experienced angler looking for local expertise, a fishing clinic can help you improve your skills and get the most out of your summer adventure. With a practically limitless choice of fishing spots, local outfitters and specialty shops are a great resource for both short day trips and longer family vacations.
Anglers are famous for their “tall tales,” colourful stories of fish they’ve caught and those that got away. Most experienced anglers have a ready set of anecdotes as well as a list of their favourite spots to fish - many are very knowledgeable and love to share their passion with others, so ask around for suggestions. My friend Mike Stewart has been fishing for over 30 years and when I asked his advice for this column he immediately said, “It doesn’t matter where you are, just get out to the nearest water!” He also suggests you talk to a local bait and tackle shop to get their local expertise. One of Mike’s favourite places to fish in Ontario is Lake Simcoe. That’s because of the variety it offers - you can fish from shore, in a boat or with a guide. Mike has had success fishing all three ways, he’s caught perch with a worm from the docks in Orillia and gone deep water fishing with a guide for whitefish. He’s spent time trolling for pike and bass at the south end of Cook’s Bay, and anchored his 16’ boat near weeds to fish for panfish like perch and pumpkinseed. As with any outdoor adventure, check the weather before you head out and the bug report too - here's the forecast for Orillia.
July is the perfect time to kick back and do some fishing - it’s also a spectacular month in the garden. The hard work of spring and early summer has paid off with plentiful blooms. If you’ve had a busy year and haven’t done much planting or if there are areas of your garden that need a boost, this may be the perfect time to add splashes of colour or a whole new design. Whether you’re creating a garden or flowerbed from scratch or enhancing an existing one, here are some basic garden design principles to get you started:
- Plan your planting thoroughly, before you start shopping. Start with the ‘big picture’ and ask yourself ‘what will I be using the garden for’ – does it need to include areas for entertaining, lounging, kids playing, vegetable garden, reading nook, garden shed, yoga or exercise platform, bbq, fire pit, hammock, bench, water feature or other items? Use this criteria to create a ‘wish list.’
- Next, look at your available space and figure out which items on your wish list are the most important.
- Draw the shape of your garden on a sheet of paper or with a computer. Start with a blank area then fill it in starting with the most important items on your wish list to create a basic design. Incorporate existing features if you wish to keep them.
- Budget is a big consideration at this stage – think about how much time and money you are prepared to invest in this process. You may want to consult with a professional landscape designer to assist with your dream plan. Or you may want to do it all yourself, creating a master plan that you can install over several seasons.
- Walk around the garden with your new design and mark it out to see if it works. Garden hoses and electrical cords are very useful, you can spread them out to mark the edge of new flowerbeds or patio spaces. Continue to tweak your design until you have a general plan that satisfies your needs, desires and budget.
- Get my complete set of garden design tips here.
“I say, if your knees aren't green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life.”
Calvin & Hobbes author, Bill Watterson