Picture Perfect Rainbow Trout Wins February Contest
12 Months of Master Angler February Winner
Congratulations to Melissa Lindsay! Her Corstorphine Lake, Master Angler Rainbow Trout action photo, was selected as the winner of the February edition of the 12 Months of Master Angler photo contest. She has won a $1000 gift card to Cabela’s along with a pile of awesome HuntFishMB gear.
Picture Perfect Corstorphine Rainbow Trout
Manitoba is full of world class stocked fisheries scattered throughout the entire province. Few regions have as storied of a stocked trout past, than Manitoba's Parkland Region. Every year countless Master Angler submissions are sent in by successful anglers targeting the beautiful trout that reside within the lakes of the region. It is for this reason Melissa was captivated to chase these stunning underwater dwellers to begin with.
On this particular day, Melissa made the trip to Corstorphine Lake, nestled just below the scenic Riding Mountain National Park. She ventured onto the lake well before sunrise and as the light began peaking over the horizon, she was ready to ice some fish.
The morning was super windy, and overall it was not an ideal day for fishing. However, Melissa just wanted to get out on the ice and go fishing, with the hopes of landing at least a fish. For Melissa, her go-to set-up for stocked trout is a Jaw-Jacker paired with a white tube and some power bait. Once she had that rig ready to go, she began fishing with her active line. On this line, she had on a balanced fly tied by a local, Todd Winters. Only moments into the day this chrome beauty smashed her fly and the fight was on. A brief battle ensued with this 22” rainbow trout, before she managed to get it up the hole and on the top-side of the ice. After a few photos and a quick measurement, this fish made its way back down to the depths, where it the fight began.
Melissa is relatively new to the fishing scene, but this certainty doesn’t mean she’s inexperienced. About three years ago she decided she needed to take up a new hobby, to occupy her time in between hunting seasons. What better hobby is there, than fishing, to fill that void!
In the years before taking up fishing, Melissa had seen countless photos floating around Manitoba, of these seemingly painted trout. The beauty of these fish intrigued her, and ultimately led her to the stocked trout waters of Manitoba’s Parkland Region. In June of 2017, Melissa made her way to Patterson Lake, and soon after, entered her first rainbow trout into the Manitoba Master Angler Program. This marked the beginning of her new found trout addiction.
When asked where and what she fished for most often, it was no surprise when she replied Parkland trout. She brought up how she has a cabin near Rossburn Manitoba, a small community located in the heart of trout country. It was this that truly planted her fishing roots, targeting these Parkland beauties.
Most Memorable Fishing Experience
Melissa mentioned a story of one of her favorite fishing experiences. Last May, she was on her way home from an incredible sunfish trip, where she had landed a number of Master Angler sized fish. She made a quick stop at her cabin to mow the lawn, and upon completion, she decided to reward herself with one last pit-stop on the ride home, to Patterson Lake. After quickly setting up a makeshift live-well with rocks, and positioning her camera and tripod to the ready in case she landed a nice fish; she started fishing.
Only 5 seconds after her first cast she hooked into a stunning Master Angler Brown Trout. To top off the amazing first cast, this trout also capped off her specialist badge as her fifth Master Angler brown entered into the program. This was just the beginning of what will go down as one of Melissa’s most memorable days on the water. When all the dust settled, she had caught an amazing 4 Master Angler trout, including 2 browns and 2 rainbows. Not to mention a handful of fish just shy of that mark.
This Ice Season and What’s Next?
I asked Melissa how her ice season had gone this year, and what she had planned for her next trip. She mentioned how overall this ice season has been a grind for her. However, when she feels discouraged, she gives herself a little bit of a reality check, when she realizes how fortunate she has been to get outside and experience so many amazing fisheries nearly every weekend this winter.
Right now, as I share this article, Melissa is on the hard-water yet again. She brought up that she is making the journey this weekend into the Duck Mountains Provincial Park, to chase lakers and burbot into the depths of Childs Lake.
In the future, a couple bucket-list trips for Melissa include, chasing the giant burbot of Reed Lake, as well as the majestic graying found across Manitoba’s far North.
Master Angler Program
Melissa is a die-hard Master Angler supporter. In just 3 years since getting into fishing, she has already submitted 71 fish into the program, including 11 species. Her 11 species have earned her a gold badge in the program. She also has a specialist badge in 6 species including Brown trout, Rainbow Trout, Tiger Trout, Common Carp, Sunfish and Sucker.
Melissa became a huge supporter of the Master Angler Program early on. The program challenged her to get out of her comfort zone and try new things. To her, the challenge is not about competing with other anglers. Instead, it was about competing with herself. Tackling different species was a huge undertaking, but the success after the trials and tribulations, is extremely gratifying for her. Simply because of the Master Angler Program, Melissa has already began nailing down dates for fishing trips as far away as October!
I asked her what her future goals are with the program? Platinum badge for 20 species caught!? Promptly, her reply was “I gotta catch them all!”
How to Spend her $1,000 to Cabela’s?
When I asked Melissa what she planned on spending her $1,000 to Cabela’s on. She quickly replied, “There is so much I want, but I would love to get a Strikemaster Electric Auger”.
We applaud all of Melissa's hard work and dedication into both the sport of fishing, and the Master Angler Program over the last few years. And we wish her the best of luck in her future fishing endeavors!