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Truck stop kayak fishing.
Photo: sCott maCGreGor
muskrat Love
iNNER-CitY RivER KAYAK fishiNG—thE oNLY wAY
You can’t reallY fish it any other once the city’s source of hydroelectric- get you down the Muskrat. i know this
way. some try of course. You know it by ity, the Muskrat now lies mostly forgotten because after this first trip russ and i
the bobbers swinging from power lines. behind subdivisions and beneath main have fished it lots. in high water where
You know it from the empty worm con- street bridges. today it’s a bone-yard for we crashed through class iii whitewater
tainers and whisky bottles beneath over- milk crates and shopping carts discarded and in the lowest august levels dragging
passes where it’s easiest to access, and by drunken teenagers racing home from our boats over gravel bars in ankle-deep
where few fish can tolerate the rumble of house parties. soupy summer water.
traffic above. russ didn’t know anyone who’d fished every one of these fishing kayaks, no
the Muskrat river begins miles up- it in years, and made no promises. We left matter the make or model, is better than
stream in edmunds lake in the heart of my avalanche downtown in the parking lot shore fishing. in the weedy sections of
renfrew county. it flows quietly, muddy of the farmer’s market and drove upstream the Muskrat we caught northern pike.
brown through farm country, surely a nui- to put in at the irving truck stop on the in the deep shaded pools, walleye. and
sance to today’s farmers interrupting the edge of the highway where the Muskrat is from shallow rocky swifts, beautiful smal-
otherwise straight furrows. leaving the widest and slow-moving, not in any hurry lies. all of these areas are inaccessible
last of a small chain of lakes it picks up to trade hayfields for factories. from any other type of boat.
its name and more momentum before it a couple nosy truckers wandered over i answered the trucker’s questions tell-
makes a run for the streetlights of Pem- asking the questions you always get ing them about the finer difference be-
broke’s city limits. while rigging rod holders and strapping tween sit-on-top kayaks, sit-inside kayaks
My buddy (and advertising sales guy in tackle. Questions like “You fish from and hybrids. about length, width and per-
for Kayak angler) russ schroeder and his those?” and “What’s the difference be- formance. Popular features and accesso-
wife grew up in Pembroke. We were bar- tween all those boats?” ries. While i was doing so, i realized i was
becuing burgers on their patio discussing in this issue there are more specialized answering the wrong question.
evening plans of northern pike on the ot- fishing kayaks than the world has ever they should have asked me the differ-
tawa river when he told me a story of fish- seen. fishermen have never had a greater ence between catching fish from a kayak
ing the Muskrat with his brothers as kids. variety of variations and options; never and fishing without a kayak. that’s easy.
“Where is it? are there still fish in it?” been more able to buy a kayak that will i’d tell them that when it comes to places
i asked. suit their fishing styles and most impor- like the Muskrat where a kayak is the only
russ told me he used to fish the Musk- tantly allow them to catch more fish. way, the answer is: everything.
rat in the city’s Pansy Patch Park. i’d know i was in ocean Kayak’s new 13-foot
Scott MacGreGor is the founder and publisher of Kayak angler,
the spot, he said. it was where i’d shot trident and russ his native ultimate,
adventure Kayak, rapid and canoeroots magazines. coincidently, he
photos of his wedding last fall. i’d driven radically different boats. the funny thing
recently purchased at the Irving Big Stop truck stop a discounted cD,
over the Muskrat on the way to his house is that both worked just fine. in fact all america’s Greatest Hits, History.
and hadn’t even noticed. the boats in this issue’s buyer’s guide will
www.kayakanglermag.com

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