Excerpts from 1,250-word article
YELLOWKNIFE: ANGLING IN THE TERRITORIES
by Pam Hobbs
Our first day in the Northwest Territories unfolded as one to remember. Arriving from
Vancouver around midday we wasted no time in setting off on foot to explore Yellowknife's old
sector born of rich legends. And by late afternoon, a time we would ordinarily be taking a break
before dinner, we reported to the visitor centre to embark on a seven-hour fishing expedition.
If compared to his polar-bear hunts and dog-sledding adventures, our fishing excursion seems
pretty ho-hum, guide Carlos doesn't let on. His enthusiasm is such, we could have been heading
off to the North Pole. He has come prepared for everything, with his friend Richard (also from
Quebec), bug jackets, sun protection, fishing gear, food, Polaroid camera to shoot the "big one"
and whatever else we could reasonably need or want. He speaks four languages. We opt for
English with a French accent.
Unquestionably, we are in God's country, where noise is a bird's cry and the air so pure it is
brittle. The rocky terrain - the trees, the overpowering sense of nature - is not so different from
Northern Ontario. And yet it feels different. Maybe it is because the sun is still high well into the
night. It could be the talk about Inuit legends, and age-old customs that continue here still. Or
the knowledge that everyone, regardless of what first brought them here, lives so very close to
The big fish aren't biting on our first night out, and I really don't mind. I am content to drift
in silence, or listen to Carlos as he describes life in the North. (I do believe I could become
I could see plenty of large pike in the water swimming slowly past. Carlos says they are
lethargic because the lake is barely thawed. Within a week they will be biting at anything
coming their way......
Knowing that my catch would be returned to the lake with a gaping wound, I suddenly
become a reluctant angler. So instead, we relax and
enjoy simply being here. At one point, two black bears
ambled along the lakeshore. Several very fat beavers
swam by. Carlos imitates bird calls, often answered by
winged creatures. A loon's sorrowful cry echoes across
About 8 o'clock we stop for supper on huge, flat
rocks selected by Carlos, who has hidden a picnic table
in nearby bushes. We gather twigs and he soon has a
fire going. Real coffee is brewed. The silence is
companionable as we stare out at the lake while Carlos
cooks. Once in a while a native family paddles by and we exchange waves. To me, it seems
slightly unreal that earlier in the day I had been in Vancouver.....