Have just returned from a extended long weekend camping around 100 miles from home at a campground on the Saugeen river here in Ontario.
We left Wednesday and returned yesterday afternoon
Part of the trip was to spend some time over the long weekend fly fishing with my son on the Saugeen river. Been a bit of a bucket list item to fish the Saugeen ever since i heard about it being a good brown trout river back in 2005. My youngest and i have not been fishing together since he was a tot so it was a long time coming.
So it turned out the layout of this camp straddled two sides of the river one side was for seasonal sites and the other for weekenders like myself.
When i had inquired at the camp as to fishing i was told no problems even after my asking if the pool that formed prior to some rapids in the river was to be full of people swimming. The reply was well water at this time is colder than normal and i would most probably be fishing during early morning or late evening which was true so i gave it a go.
Well things turned out fine until Friday came and my son arrived. Saturday evening we hit the river it was getting pretty dim from a light point of view was about 7 pm but with the cloud cover masking sun it was pretty dark.
So we had a few bites in the pool which inspired us to continue and move to the rapids.
We both end up casting a line into the rapids and on one retrieve i look back and had to stop as a couple of male adults and a horde of kids starts moving in on me. Not wanting to hook them with the fly i stop my next cast. Shudder to think what would have happened had i not but that is another story.
So the on parent ( pretty intoxicated) says can i stop fishing to let the kids go down the rapids and wash off they full of dirt. Well i look at the kids who have all been set up to stare at me holding a waterproof camera and none were dirty it was just a ploy to get us to stop fishing.
I told the adult that we had waited all day long for the kids to finish swimming before coming fishing and that this was our time now. Besides the pool just above the rapids where the kids had been swimming earlier was not occupied by anyone.
Well that's when things took a turn and the guy starts on at me about depriving the kids and frankly i was so bamboozled by his words that i don't even recall them all. I think my jaw must have dropped to the ground.
He then protested and asked for just 5 minutes to which i thought what the heck i was in a lose lose situation and was not about to have this turn even nastier. So i asked my son to pull his line in and wait and we both stood by while the kids now went round and round going down the rapid and walking back up and repeating the cycle. The " one adult" had taken up position at the end of the rapid to catch the kids so as not to have them end up floating off down the rest of the river. The other stood close by me. He then said ok they done at one point to which i started to prepare my line to recast into the river. My son by this time had moved off to fish the pool we were in.
Well then this "parent" down river shouts at me that if I hook a kid it will be on my head and their will be hell to play. He wanted the kids to be able to go one more time. Well i did not want to get into it, they had already spoilt a special occasion for me so i retrieved my line and let them go one more time. They then got out and left.
By that time it was now dark and i was not in the mood to fish anymore. I could just not believe the audacity of this parent. We wonder why kids behave the way they do, well it seems as long as its for kids anything goes including infringing on others lives.
This just blew me away. I could never imagine me thinking i could get my Dad to go and push someone off the river so i could swim. Regardless of whether i had been swimming all day or not.
And my friends wonder why i want to live on a piece of land far away from others. Now it looks like i need to find a place with water too.
I tried not to let this incident spoil my weekend but for me being the character i am this kind of issue goes back to tramping on my principles and values so i could not get it out of my head.
Suffice to say i should have read the warning signs and never gone to that camp.
But here is the rub, in this specific part of the province landowners have been granted the water rights. Normally in Ontario the water and its banks are crown land so all one needs are an access point to fish them. Not in the case of the Saugeen as far as i have been able to ascertain it.
I think its sad that a natural resource is so occupied by a few that don't even use it, that one cannot get to fish on something like this river without going to a camp.
Oh well we live and learn but it leaves a sour taste in ones mouth. Whats next, take my wallet because you don't have cash and the kids need food.
I am going to see if i can find a fishing syndicate on that river and join it then i know i will be allowed to fish in piece, heck its not as if i am that successful that i catch a bunch.