There is great vitality in connecting to nature. By accepting and integrating nature into our lives it can mend and heal and steer us into the placid places. It’s all around us in Sooke authored by our own perception and intentions.
“Salmon eggs,” I say to the seasoned fellah who seemed to either be day dreaming or dead reckoning at the foot of Kemp Lake. “Power bait,” he says with a nod not breaking eye contact with the horizon. We chat at one of the access points to Kemp Lake at the end of Chubb road, off of the aptly named Kemp Lake Road. The scenery may not be as picturesque as Matheson. The trout may not be as big as the ones at Fairy or Lizard Lake but the humble beauty, coupled with the short 10 minute drive heading west from Sooke makes Kemp Lake a great spot to hit before or after work.
“Catch anything lately”? I say, as if someone is pulling a string from between my shoulder blades forcing me to spit out short cliché fishing questions.
“Ya, there’s fish in this lake” he fires back, string winding up.
I decide to give him some space and get back to my van before my string recoils and I’m forced to ask another question about say, barbed hooks.
As I start to walk back, he fires up, “yeah, nothing better than getting a trout and wrapping it in tinfoil slapping it on the barbeque.
“With a bit of butter and some lemon,” I chime in.
He nods and introduces himself, “I’m Norm,” he says as he stretches out his arm. We shake in agreement on our cooking style.
“Ya I love fishing for trout out here, but I don’t use gang rigs, just a couple of pellet weights, some power bait, that way you can feel the fish.”
I scratch the side of my face and throw out a half-hearted “yeah” as I’m guilty of having a collection of Ford Fender, Willow Leafs and Cowbell lures in my box.
“Yeah I find trolling in a slow S curve works pretty well,” I say, trying to balance out the fishing tip jar.
Norm assures me that the key to catching trout is to hit the shady spots at Kemp and adds that while the S curves work, don’t paddle too fast because he says, “you will end up with little guys because the bigger fish are too slow and cranky to waste their energy.”
Norm elaborates on “there’s fish in this lake” and tells me, “’bout this time last year the Freshwater Fisheries Society dropped about 1,500 rainbow in here. Kemp Lake is non -motorized so a canoe or kayak will work best as casting from shore is difficult.
While Norm packs up his tricked out fishing kayak complete with rod holder, I contemplate how awesome my newly patched canoe will be once the ding repair epoxy and fibreglass roof repair paint dry. Hey, whatever floats your boat.
Ron Larson writes about his outdoor adventures in the Sooke area.