Fishing at Winchell Lake
So the warnings online from people that you need to wear rubber boots at Winchell Lake? Yeah they’re legit. If you’re a smart guy like me and risk going in runners, enjoy your wet socks all day. Winchell Lake was some great fishing, but it’s surrounded by ankle deep wet marsh. Wear big rubber boots if you plan on going to fish here.
Winchell Lake itself is beautiful. It’s located just south of the town of Water Valley, and about a 50 minute drive from downtown Calgary. It’s a somewhat shallow lake, surrounded by trees and your typical Albertan wilderness. Bears sometimes frequent the area, so not a bad idea to bring bear spray if you’re going to be away from your vehicle. There is a road that leads in, and some room for parking.
We spent a few hours here today trying our luck. The sun was out in full force, it was hot and gross, but the wind picked up for a bit and the clouds moved in, nice day out. We didn’t catch anything, but did see someone else pull a large trout of some kind out. A bad day out fishing is still better than a good day in the office, so they say. There were a couple guys floating around, but I didn’t see them catch anything either.
Reminder: bring rubber boots.
Made a brief time lapse of Winchell Lake while we fished. There were so many dragon flies! Never seen so many. No mosquitoes either! Thank you very much army of dragon flies.
Winchell Lake – Be Careful
Especially if you’re bringing children. The land is very swampy, and it feels like it’s floating on the top of water. Because it actually is! In the below picture, there was a good 8-10 feet of water directly under this. You can imagine how bad things could be if a kid was playing and fell in. I almost fell in myself, I stepped on the small board – which didn’t really have anything under it. Scary. These wood pallets are placed here and at various other places around the lake, due to how marshy and spongy it is. If these things weren’t there, you’d be standing in ankle deep water.
In addition to the wood pallets, were lots of cigarette butts and some beer cans. So many cigarette butts. Clean up after your damn selves.
Also we heard either a moose or cows nearby. Murrrrrahhhhuhhhhhhhhhhhh!
We saw a duck close up! He casually swam around the pallets, eating bugs, doing duck stuff. He hung out for a bit then flew away. So long duck. We also saw a deer (on the drive), and a frog!!! He was just swimming around being a frog. I tried to catch him because hey, free frog! I was not quick enough. Bested by a frog.
The photos don’t show just how many dragon flies were buzzing all over the place.
So long duck. Not bad for a cell phone picture I suppose?
Anyway, So How Was The Fishing?
Well we didn’t catch anything, so that kind of sucked, but it was still great!
- Here are the regulations: http://www.albertafishingguide.com/location/water/winchell-lake (limit of 5 trout per person, as of 2017)
We fished reel and fly, not even a bite. Fish were jumping all over the place, they’re certainly in the lake, but luck was not on our side. I used a variety of spoons, spinners, jigs, a buzz bomb, even tired a fly attached to a bobber. Nadda. With the amount of bugs flying around this lake, these fish are extremely well fed and my wimpy lures ain’t gonna cut it.
This would be a really good lake to boat on. If you’re thinking of bringing a boat to Winchell Lake, just a heads up, there is no dock. The east end of the lake is also filled with weeds. Towards the middle of Winchell it also had weeds but not nearly as many as the tip. Deeper waters, too. I read online that there’s a vehicle at the bottom of this lake? Fallen in from clearing ice or something.
What started out as a bright and sunny day turned a bit windy and cloudy towards the afternoon. It was still wonderful to get out there, and I can’t wait to go back and conquer this lake.
Deciding to call it a day on Winchell after being skunked, we headed to a place called Market Junction, in Cremona, for coffee and apple pie. See here: https://crackmacs.ca/travel/market-junction/
After that, also dropped by Mitford pond in Cochrane, fished a bit but didn’t catch anything there either.
Finding Winchell Lake
The easiest way to get there is to drive (duh haha). Winchell Lake is located directly south of Water Valley. Can’t miss it. Click here for Google Maps directions.
Best of luck if you head out to Winchell Lake!