It was my first trip north of Pine Falls in quite a few years but finally I was headed up to fish the Manigotagan River as it empties into Lake Winnipeg. The nice part about this drive, despite it being five in the morning, was that Highway 304 was paved all the way to our turnoff. As the rain clouds gathered we enjoyed the solitude of the country at this early hour of the day in mid June.
One small channel catfish and a walleye, a unique doubleheader!
The Manigotagan is a challenging whitewater river that wends its way from Nopoming Provincial Park some 45 kilometres, to the community of Manigotagan itself, which sits at the river's mouth, on the shores of magnificent Lake Winnipeg
The park is composed of a corridor stretching 750 meters from each bank of the Manigotagan River.
The Manigotagan River is classified as a natural park and is composed of two land use categories. Over 99 per cent of the park's 7,432 hectares are backcountry (the area is protected from mining, logging and hydro-electric development). Less than one per cent of the corridor, or 16 hectares, is classified as recreational development, to accommodate a small mining claim.
We were only concerned about the part of the river that stretched from the falls on Highway 304 and the next seven kilometres out to the mouth. Finding the government boat launch, we quickly dropped my rig in the water. A friend who had spent the previous week there told us start by trolling the mouth of the river, using shallow diving cranks to fish in front of some emerging weed beds. We started in five feet of water and I had my first fish on in about five minutes. Unfortunately the walleye was no bigger than the crankbait I was using and it was the only one we caught in the next hour.
Trolling crankbaits near the mouth produced one small walleye so we headed out to the main lake.
We tried trolling with spinners and cranks with no luck. Since the wind was inshore at a moderate speed we decided to drift with jigs. Bingo! We started catching some decent sized walleye until another front moved in with pelting rain. After heading in for a quick breakfast at the local motel, we arrived back down to the boat only to see the winds increase to sixty kilometres an hour from the west.
Robert with a rockie!
This was not going to allow us to head back to the lake. Instead we headed up river to the falls and started catching a variety of species of fish, including some nice juvenile catfish, a couple rock bass, and two walleye.
All in all it was a fun time and I would head back there again.