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River Monsters’ Jeremy Wade taps into local legend for Eagle Lake episode ‘Canadian Horror’

Chris Marchand

Chris Marchand served as editor of the Dryden Observer from August 2009 to April 2018.
Famed TV angler Jeremy Wade in a screenshot of the recently aired River Monsters episode ‘Canadian Horror’, filmed on Eagle Lake last fall.

By Michael Christianson

Jeremy Wade found out first hand last year why the muskie has been called the fish of 10,000 casts.

Wade who hosts the popular TV series River Monsters filmed his program in Eagle Lake last year and last weekend the episode entitled ‘Canadian Horror’ was aired. Wade was on the search for a giant serpent like creature that native legends have spoken about for generations.

Though he did not find the creature in the end Leonard Sky who was featured in the episode knows first hand there is something lurking in the depths. Sky says he saw a serpentine water creature that was about 20 feet long and it just dove away.

“Back in the 60s when I was guiding for another camp and I thought that was an animal swimming but I mean a moose or a bear or a deer wouldn’t dive,” said Sky. “It was swimming by the Spirit Rock and then it just dove. I was guiding some psychologists that time and they saw it too so I was in good company for piece of mind anyways.”

The Spirit Rock is a sacred rock island and in the episode Wade thought it could be the home to the giant creature. He went out to the rock and went diving around looking for evidence of the monster’s existence.

Wade seemed out of his element the whole episode and most locals might get a chuckle at his views of the region.

“This place really does have quite a mysterious feel to it,” said Wade in the episode. “We tend to think of lakes as large, open expanses of water but this lake is anything but and we’ve now entered this creek that is just winding away as far as I can see and this connects to another open area and it’s very easy here to lose your sense of direction. It’s a bit of a maze, a bit of a labyrinth.”

Not being used to the mazes of water we call home Wade soon began to think the creature could be a muskie, or perhaps the whole reason for his trip was to catch one. The last half of the episode showed Wade hunting for the elusive fish. After days without any bites Wade seemed frustrated to land one. Wade then took another trip to spirit rock to offer tobacco to the spirit in a hope that an offering would help his troubled fishing. Whether it was the offering or the magic of editing Wade soon caught his muskie. It took him over 13,000 casts but Wade landed his fish.

“That has to rank as one of the most extraordinary catches of my life,” Wade said towards the end of the episode.


One thought on “River Monsters’ Jeremy Wade taps into local legend for Eagle Lake episode ‘Canadian Horror’

  1. Watching this episode, it is hard to believe it is not staged to some degree. Why? Having logged fishing trips such as he does in this episode, and having caught many fish, the one thing missing in all of his 10,000 casts except the last one was using bait. Note he got the fish when he used bait. This is something any angler who fishes in these areas will tell you, who catches a lot of fish, will tell you is necessary.
    As to catching all those Northern Pikes, there are certain conditions and days in which they hit on almost anything and you can catch them one after another with or without bait – as is seen.

    Another interesting item is that the creature the Cree report are black – a Muskie – as can be seen in the water even in this video is a lot lighter colored than black.

    I have personally seen what the Cree in Waswanipi, Quebec call a “snake.” To them it is just a natural part of the wildlife up there. There are backwoods lakes, then there are really backwoods Lakes where tourists do not get to. We fished the latter.

    Both snakes I have seen have been at least thirty feet long – judged by being at least double the length of our 16 foot aluminum boat we were in. One of the snakes I was close enough to – within about 20 feet, to see it was definitely a single animal and was writhing along the surface similar to the way much smaller snakes do. Some of its head was also riding high on the surface and had to have been about a foot and a half wide. The head reminded me more of a giant black salamander head – the portion I could see – in that it was round-ish.

    My Dad has been in numerous Lakes such as this all his life (now 80). When I saw the first one and was shocked, he said, as if nothing special was happening, “its just what the Cree call a snake.” He had seen them quite a few times.

    I have been wanting to know more about them all my life. But, as I can see here, although a fun video, this program misses the mark considerably.

    I admit to also being shocked that Mr. Jeremy Wade was not using bait, but only lures in these waters. The best way to get the fish in these lakes is with a lure called a willow leaf, night crawlers for bait, and trolling back and forth over underwater ledges. I know most people nowadays will not believe it, but my Dad and I would catch 30-40+ walleye a day using this method in these Lakes. Fishing like this is something very few people in our modernized world, where people cannot live without a cell phone, have ever experienced.

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