A Day At The Lake - Catching Fish & Naps!

by Elmer Prather, guest blogger

This is the 35th Cobble Hill puzzle that I have had the pleasure of putting together. It is a 500 piece puzzle titled A Day At The Lake by Douglas Laird. This is the second Douglas Laird puzzle I have put together, the first was titled Flat Iron. When I first saw this puzzle I was amazed at how much the rocks and lake in the puzzle looked like a real lake. 

Douglas Laird's A Day At The Lake (500pc) assembled by Elmer Prather

I have fished during some of my past trips to Canada. It is in the Pas, Manitoba. I have been to the Pas three times to fish with several of my good friends. On these trips to the Pas we would leave Atlanta, Georgia on a Friday in the third week of June. We did this because the temperature in the Pas is quite cold for most of the year.  The Pas is 2000 miles from Atlanta and it usually took us about 40 hours to get there. This is driving nonstop except for bathroom breaks and gas.  Once we got to the Pas we drove to Clearwater Lake and camped in the campground. Clearwater Lake a natural glacier formed lake. It is the clearest lake in Canada and the second clearest in the world. The lake is filled with Great Northern Pike and Lake Trout. We carried enough supplies to allow us to have a fish fry every night we were there.

On our first trip to the Pas we met two other fishermen. They were from Dallas, Texas. They shared with us that they came to Clearwater Lake every year to fish and camped in the same spot in the campground. One of them was a doctor and the other was a builder. On our subsequent trips to the Pas we made it a point to camp in our same spot so we could be close to our new friends from Texas.

The rocks at the edge of the lake in the puzzle remind me of a favorite place we fished near the campground. It is called the jetties. It is called the jetties because the rock formations there extend into the lake for about 100 feet. The jetties allow fishermen to walk across the rocks farther into the lake in order to be able to fish in deeper water and lake trout like deep water. I have posted a picture of me catching a nap on the jetties along with a picture of this puzzle below.

Elmer Prather camouflaged amongst the rocks! What a great nap!

We drove over to the jetties several times on each trip and fished for lake trout. The mosquitoes there were enormous and plentiful. We made a mistake on one of those trips to the jetties by not closing the doors on the VW bus while we were fishing and when we went back to the bus, we found what seemed like a million mosquitoes all throughout the bus. On this trip to the jetties, we had caught a few lake trout when we saw two Game Wardens rush into our fishing area.They asked to see our fishing licensees and we produced them. The wardens noticed that the four of us had a total of five fishing poles in the water and one of my friends advised them that he had two of them. The Game Wardens gave him a ticket, took his rods and reels and told him to be at the Judge's office that afternoon at 4:00pm. We drove into town and let our pal out at the Judge’s office. When our friend returned to the bus, he explained what an experience that had been. He said that the judge was dressed in his full English judge attire and after firmly reprimanding him the judge charged him $25.00 for the infraction and dismissed him.

The next day we were back at the jetties fishing when about mid afternoon we noticed an old Toyota pickup truck with two Inuit Indian ladies inside, pulling a small aluminum fishing boat, drive onto the jetties and park beside our VW bus. They put the boat into the lake, loaded their fishing gear into the boat and took off. Approximately two hours later the ladies came back to the jetties and docked their boat. We watched as they drove the boat onto the trailer and hooked the boat trailer to their truck then we saw them struggling with getting something out of the boat. They finally were able to get it out and to our amazement, it was a huge lake trout. It seemed almost as long as the women were tall. It must have weighed between 30-35 pounds. I was so impressed that I asked them if I could take a picture of it with them holding it. They said yes so I took the picture. I have posted a picture of the two ladies and their prize fish below.

Huge lake trout catch!

On one of the days that we were on this trip, we drove over to the boat rental place which was about 25 miles down mostly dirt roads from where we were camping. When we got there, we rented a boat and motor and did some lake trout fishing. We motored across the lake and found a huge mound of ice about ten feet tall on the edge of the lake. This huge mound of ice was formed by the ice that had covered the lake during the winter months breaking up into ice chunks and being forced off the lake and onto this mound by the strong winds and huge waves on the lake. We climbed the ice mound and posed for pictures. We left the ice mound and headed back to the boat rental place. On the way back we saw several Inuit Indian children swimming in the lake (talk about tough people). We had our insulated underwear and our field jackets on and these children were swimming in that cold lake water.

These trips to the Pas with my friends have been some of the most enjoyable times of my life. The obstacles that we overcame during these trips have caused us to bond and have made us lifelong friends

I am glad that I found this beautiful puzzle because it has caused me to reflect on some of those good times we had.

A Day At The Lake 500 piece puzzle by Douglas Laird

Available at your local retailer or favourite online store.

On the USA and Canada Cobble Hill website, search item code: 85074

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