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A rare photo of Mac Stark without sunglasses and holding an Arctic grayling from the Kakisa River in 2005, obviously a spawning male judging by the milt dripping from its anal fin. Mac died on Oct. 6 last year. A bench dedication ceremony will be held for him at the Kakisa River day use area on June 9. photo courtesy of John Nishi

FISHIN’ TECHNICIAN: A tribute to Mac Stark

Well, I was standing on the bank of the Kakisa River last week wondering what the fish gods would deliver this time. The last few years my most consistent prize has been wet, shivering cold and little else. The mighty Kakisa, it seemed, was undergoing a grayling crisis. Plenty of soggy and miserable fishermen and...
The fishin' technician from May 31, 2006. The technician makes his annual pilgrimage to Sambaa Deh Territorial Park in this column.

FISHIN’ TECHNICIAN FLASHBACK: Grad party fishin’ disaster, May 31, 2006

Technician recalls: OK, I’ve got some fresh content coming very soon but a few people have been asking me about the old columns so I thought I’d start digging up some oldies but goodies and post a few of them here. The annual spring grayling odyssey to the Deh Cho always made for good column...
Skipper, the Fishin' Technician's sidekick for the past 15 years, accepts a cuddle from the late Jack Layton, leader of the federal New Democratic Party, during a day's fishing with former Western Arctic MP Dennis Bevington in 2006. Skipper died Sunday after a lifetime of fishin' with all kinds of Technician guests, famous or otherwise. NNSL file photo

FISHIN’ TECHNICIAN: An ode to a family dog

On Sunday morning, our family dog Skipper went to the farm, as my wife is inclined to say when around children and talking about the brevity of pets. I say family dog because as far as my six-year-old daughter is concerned that’s what he was. She has no understanding of a Skipper that might have...
Alexie Bryant, the Duchess of Squishy Pets, and Arizona of Gregory, winner 2018 annual Yellowknifer Catch of Week contest, shows off their mighty catch of sparkly whitefish while on a journey to Prosperous Lake earlier this month. The whitefish was caught using a magic, pink wire jewel bug. Mike W. Bryant/NNSL photo.

FISHIN’ TECHNICIAN: Prince Arizona and the flying whitefish

So before too much snow hits the ground, some unfinished business. Princess Arizona of Gregory, age 4, as this year’s overall winner of the Canadian Tire Catch of the Week contest, found some time to grace me with her presence a while back for a day’s adventure on Prosperous Lake. Joining me was her daddy...
Rohan Brown shows off his limit of northern pike caught during an afternoon of fishing at Grace Lake on Sunday. Grace Lake, although subject to recent residential development around its shore, remains one of the cleaner lakes within Yellowknife city limits. Mike Bryant/NNSL photo

By the grace of a lake: FISHIN’ TECHNICIAN

Grace Lake is a relative Paradise Springs unlike its ugly sister across the road. Kam Lake, former sewage lagoon and tailings pond depository, has an alarmingly high arsenic level of 238 parts billion. Grace Lake,...

FISHIN’ TECHNICIAN: Teach a youth to fish…

Learning to cast a line in the water isn’t just about filling stringers full of fish, although for some, including me, that’s no insignificant objective. Learned well, angling is a skeleton key that can unlock our understanding of the natural world. The naturalist angler learns about stream insects, water types, even the sort of teeth...

FISHIN’ TECHNICIAN: Long Lake just safe enough

Just how much arsenic is too much arsenic, really? I ask after visiting Long Lake on Sunday with my five-year-old research assistant Alexie Bryant and finding a sea of people enjoying its waters. There were jetboats pulling people on inner tubes, people swimming, kayaking, jumping off docks and jetting around on sea-doos. One fella was...

Lifelisting in the rain and mud

Question: how many fishing maniacs out there would drive 1,300 km in the driving rain to catch an eight-inch flathead chub? I ask this question because I’m forced to admit there are at least two of them: myself, and Gijs Van Straten, a Generation X angling fanatic from The Netherlands who was making his second...

Jackfish in Jackfish Lake? Fishin’ Technician seeks answers afters years of environmental damage

Arsenic, arsenic, arsenic – when it comes to lakes around Yellowknife that seems to be all we hear these days. The drum beat of alarm probably comes too late for this lifer ‘Knifer. I was swimming the water and eating the fish decades before Giant Mine belched its last arsenic cloud. Nonetheless, in the spirit...

FISHIN’ TECHNICIAN: Lost and found fishin’

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance – not to make light of grief but I went through all the stages Saturday. Denial because I couldn’t believe how stupid I was dropping my $600 musky rod combo into the water. Anger, because dang, that was stupid. Bargaining – if only I hadn’t been so stupid! Depression...

An ill-fated trip with Hip’s Gord Downie and Yellowknifer’s Fishin’ Technician

  Editor’s note: This column originally appeared in Yellowknifer on Aug. 1, 2001. It follows a visit to Yellowknife by the Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie, who performed at Folk on the Rocks, filmed a music video for his solo album Coke Machine Glow and found time to hit the water with Yellowknifer’s Fishin’ Technician who...

Subzero fishin’ for Fishin’ Technician

I learned an interesting thing about myself last weekend. If my forehead gets cold my feet feel colder. The pseudo-physiological revelation came to light as I and my comrades jetted across a large, icy lake Sunday north of Behchoko at 45 miles an hour. The air was still while standing at the shore but now...