The Mighty Peace is known for its abundance of lakes, prime fishing spots and water activities during the summer months, but the fun doesn’t have to stop there when the seasons change. As the temperatures drop and the snow begins to fly, locals and visitors alike can still find and enjoy plenty of outdoor activities within the Peace Region.
Those who like to cast a line out and troll for fish in the summer can breathe a sigh of relief, because the Mighty Peace is home to some of the best ice fishing locations available in the north. With opportunities to sit in nature, watch surrounding wildlife and catch trout and perch year-round, it’s no wonder so many flock to the frozen lakes in the Peace.
Jonathon Nilsson, a local fisherman from Fairview, has been appreciating and utilizing the local lakes for years. He has a passion for the outdoors and ice fishing is one of the many ways he enjoys his time during the colder months.
To him, and many other fishermen in the area, ice fishing is so much more than just dropping a line down a hole and waiting for a bite. It’s an entire experience, which he feels everyone should get to try at least once in their lifetime.
“Being out on the ice while it’s calm and quiet is almost like a form of meditation,” said Jonathon. “My biggest enjoyment is just getting out there and being in the fresh air, there’s nothing quite like it.”
When it comes to finding the perfect spot to set up and fish, Jonathon has a few favourites picked out that he knows locals and out of town visitors will love as much as he does.
The first being Running Lake, which is situated in the Clear Hills County, near Worsley. Here you will be able to catch brook and rainbow trout and even catch a glimpse of the many moose in the area. The lake also has ungroomed trails that are ideal for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, so planning a full day of winter activities is easy to do.
For those who want to make a weekend of it, there are accommodations nearby at the Worsley Gateway Inn, which offer cozy rooms and great meals for out-of-town guests. There are also amazing home cooked meals at the Whispering Pines Ski Hill restaurant that are perfect to indulge in after a long day on the ice.
Another great lake that fishing enthusiasts in the area enjoy is Sulphur Lake. Tucked in the Clear Hills County as well, visitors can either go north of Hines Creek or west of Dixonville to reach. Here you can also catch brook and rainbow trout and soak in the captivating scenery of pine and spruce trees that surround the frozen water. With trails edging the lake, it’s easy to pack the snowshoes and enjoy a full day in the frosty, fresh air.
For visitors coming through Dixonville, stopping in at the Dixonville General Store is must. Here you will be able to replenish supplies, grab snacks and anything else you may need for a day in the outdoors. If you’re travelling through the Village of Hines Creek, the Hines Creek Hotel is the perfect place to stay during your fishing trip and offers warm, comforting meals to all visitors and guests.
Stoney Lake is another highly recommended spot for those wanting a quiet and serene ice fishing experience. This lake has one of the most diverse catching experiences, as it’s stocked with rainbow trout, brook trout, tiger trout and perch. It’s also home to families of otters which can sometimes be spotted by fishermen throughout the day.
Just 50km north of Fairview in the Clear Hills Country, it allows visitors to stay within the Town of Fairview and enjoy more than one area during their stay. The Dunvegan Inn and Suites is perfect for those who are spending their days outdoors and looking to relax and replenish in the evenings. Fairview also has plenty of eateries, such as the Heilan Beer House or Fairview Pizza and Donair.
Last, but not least, Figure Eight Lake is also a wonderful place to kick back and ice fish at. This lake is a popular one in the area, so it’s not uncommon to see multiple groups of people enjoying the fishing throughout the winter or snowshoeing the trail around the lake. Located near Grimshaw, in the County of Northern Lights, this lake is ideal for first time fishers.
Jonathon, plus many other locals, believe that visiting the Mighty Peace to explore the outdoors is an unforgettable experience. Nature can be enjoyed and appreciated year-round and getting outside is easier than ever when you enter the Peace Region.
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If you’re new to ice fishing, then Jonathon has a few pieces of advice to help get you started.
“Don’t get discouraged if you get skunked. It happens to all of us,” said Jonathon. “Nothing is guaranteed out there. Just go in with an open mind, plan to relax and have a good a time. You won’t regret it.”