News — 01 April 2015

By Chris Marchand

When it comes to the Wabigoon Lake Ice Road smart anglers know that the difference between catching your limit of walleye or ‘getting skunked’ comes down to location, location, location.

While its GPS coordinates remain a carefully guarded secret, it takes but a glance at the ice road community to discern where the prime real estate is to be found. Look for the tight cluster of ice shacks huddled like sled dogs and you’ll have found the most productive winter fishing spot along the length of the road — each shack having jockeyed for position at the earliest opportunity after the annual opening of the ice road.

Now the annual scramble to secure a spot above the honeypot is evolving into a four-season affair as one local shack owner has vowed to keep his structure on the lake over the summer.

Self-professed ice-hole and co-owner of The McWac Shack, Nolan McWackerson says preparations have been underway since February to convert his already converted camper-trailer-based ice shack into a floating barge.

“We’re using several large drums to keep it afloat,” said McWackerson. “Right now, we’re working on a four-point anchor system to try to keep ‘er in place over the summer. It can get pretty windy out here in the open. We’re gonna be ready for next season no doubt, eh?”

McWackerson says he’ll access the shack by dinghy or jet-ski over the summer months.

“Oh I’ll use it lots,” said McWackerson. “I spend the odd night there when me and the missus aren’t seeing eye-to-eye and I don’t foresee much of a change in that regard. I got Netflix, so I’m alright. I’ve even been talking with some of the local food vendor types who are interested in renting it out during the Walleye Masters.”

Understandably, McWackerson’s unprecedented efforts have ruffled feathers among local officials and members of the Dryden Yacht Club who maintain that the floating jalopy will sit smack dab in the middle of the lake’s busiest corridor.

For those opposed to the plan, the issue has generated no shortage of confusion over which agency would assume an enforcement role on the waterway.

With calls going unanswered from the local office of the Fish and Wildlife Branch of the MNR, a visit to the Provincial Government office location revealed that the location had not seen human visitation in many months and was found to be sheltering a herd of urban deer. (See story page two).

Seemingly in the clear, McWackerson says he wonders how long it will be until he is joined on the lake by his fellow ice-anglers.

“I’ll keep it warm for you boys,” he cackled manically. “See you in December!”

 

Ed’s note — Well folks, if you’ve read this far, and studies say most of you won’t, you might have guessed that this story is a lighthearted fabrication in the spirit of our publishing date April 1st.

A happy and healthy April Fool’s Day to you dear reader.

 

 

 

 

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About Author

Chris Marchand is a native of Dryden, Ontario. He served his first newspaper internship at The Dryden Observer in 1998 while attending journalism studies at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops B.C. He's worked desks as both reporter and editor at the Fernie Free Press as well as filled the role of sports editor at the Cranbrook Daily Townsman. Marchand was named editor of the Dryden Observer in Aug. 2009.

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