On Friday it was time to head out of the office Avataaqtu Lake for a day of fishing. The last time I was at Avataaqtu lake was in 2009! The reason was time for our Department’s Spring Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) Day. Here’s more about our time in 2012 and 2013.
It was windy in Pangnirtung but we all met at the beach…and then took off across the fjord and up over the Kulik Trail. As we got on the way…the wind stopped and it was just clear skies…but still pretty cold! (Around -22C plus a wind chill).
The coldest part of the day was the time it took to get to the fishing lake…riding in a qamotiq is cold, but if you are dressed and prepared for it…it’s not too bad.
A quick stop to move and get blood flowing to all parts of your body along the trail!
Finally at the fishing lake… we went to work clearing the snow from the top of the ice… and then the guys started using the auger to drill all the holes. In some spots even with the extension on the auger the ice was ‘almost’ too thick! (like 5 feet)
Everyone quickly took to their holes…there were prizes for the First Fish, the Most Fish, the Biggest Fish and the Smallest Fish caught. I didn’t win any of the prizes…but within probably the first hour I had caught 3 fish (see below)…and had about 3 get away.
The rest of the day was just spent jigging away… the bearded lady hat didn’t bring much luck, instead just an old weight from a net…my hook got pretty tangled up in that! I had to get help from a friend to get it off. My phobia of fish hooks still is alive… they seriously freak me out still.
The day was pretty awesome…we had blue skies with the sun shining, then it started to lightly snow at some point…and then back to blue skies! It’s amazing to me how even though it was probably -22C I was comfortable enough to fish just in my hoodie!
My strategy was to stick to the same hole all day. Others in the group don’t do this…they move around, and probably caught more fish than I did…but honestly 3 is more than enough for me!
Joavie who was the outfitter that helped transport part of our group to the fishing lake…prepared some char for us to eat! Fresh fish right on the fishing lake is soooooo good!
On our way home there were a couple times that the snowmobile got stuck going up the hill…partly because of the fresh snow on the trail…and the fact it was pulling two qamotiqs! So we jumped out…. dropped on qamotiq off the train… the snowmobile continued the way up the hill then we used our power to pull/push the other one up the hill. It was a good workout.
The scenery along the trail is so stunning…everywhere you look is amazing stellar view.
Just at the top of the Kulik Trail we jumped out of the qamotiqs and walked down.
This part of the trail is pretty freaky…especially this winter because there isn’t much snow on it at all. It’s a trail that’s literally made on the side of the mountain. It’s maintained by adding fencing/boards to the side to help stop you from sliding off the mountain. Anytime going down it’s easier for the snowmobile driver to have their passengers walk…because it’s less weight in the qamotiqs.
As you can see…it’s a steep drop down to the river below.
Looking up on the left and looking down on the right…
Stopping to take a shot of Pangnirtung across the fjord!
Almost home… just waiting at the end of the Kulliq Trail for everyone to make it down safely. Then we had a short ride across the fjord home!
It was a fantastic day out on the land… During my time fishing Joavie helped with learning some more Inuktitut words and phrases. Days like this is what living up in the Arctic is all about.