Sunday, 13 July 2014

Catch Some Fishing Fun at Wilmer Trout Ponds!

As you might already know, I love to “Play in Grey” and so my latest adventure had me stepping out  of my comfort zone to try my hand at fishing. Granted, it would not normally be my first idea for having fun, but it did bring back memories of finishing off the dock at our Lake Eugenia cottage as a youngster. I had heard that Wilmer Trout Ponds was not too far from us and so on this gorgeous morning I grabbed my two boys and off we went, each toting an old forgotten fishing rod from the cottage garage. We headed out going west on Grey Road 4 and before long we found the place in Durham along Highway 6. 

There we met up with Yvonne Wilmer, owner and operator of the site. Thankfully, Yvonne was no stranger to first time anglers. She had lots of good information about fishing for the boys.  She made sure we had the necessary equipment including a box of fresh worms, ready to attract those gorgeous fish.  The good news was we did not need a fishing license and there was no limit to the number of fish we could catch. But should you go, be sure to bring your own equipment when you plan your trip to Wilmer Trout Ponds and bring cash, because you have to keep what you catch and you pay for it by the pound.

The ponds here are stocked with rainbow trout or brown trout, and in a separate pond you can catch large-mouth bass.  All their stocked fish are naturally fed and they actually have a separate pond, should you want to try your hand at fly fishing. This is really beautiful to watch when it is done well.

This totally amazing fish farm has a handsome collection of over 20 ponds. We were quite impressed when we learned Yvonne and her husband dug out each one themselves.  This was at the time when they transitioned from raising cattle to raising fish. Needless to say, it wasn’t all done in a day and their hard work has paid off and is equally impressive. 

Yvonne walked us out to the first set of ponds, graciously and patiently helped the kids and I get our gear set up to increase our chances of making a big catch.  We really gave it a good try with our sad looking equipment. We saw how a family from Toronto caught a big one which really fired us up. Yvonne mentioned there are many visitors from the Toronto and the Kitchener-Waterloo areas coming there throughout the season.

After giving it a try at the first pond, we thought we’d try out some of the other ponds and we noted how every pond tried to outdo the other in charm and beauty.  I could have just enjoyed meandering around them all and watching the angler’s activities, it was just so picturesque and peaceful.

By now I had managed to get over my reluctance about worms and actually baited my hook with one of them.  Alright!   Even Yvonne commented on the progress I was making.  Here at the lower pond, my son Alex cast well out into the middle when suddenly his line went taut. And doesn’t he reel in a great big trout for our first catch.  Wow, we were all so excited!  Yvonne helped us guide it into the net and bring it to shore.  I took some photos, shaking with excitement. It really was so much fun. The fish was huge!  It was a blur when Yvonne explained how to extract the hook, but my nerves made the task difficult, so I just to cut the line.  Wow, what a rush!  Now I can understand how wanting to land a big one could very easily become an addiction. 

Yvonne had to tend to her other visitors, but with our newly found confidence we proceeded to go it alone. Just sitting by the pond was beautiful, and watching the jumping fish helped our impatience.  And again it was not too long before I myself had one hooked which we managed to land on our own. The second catch produced just as much excitement as the first!  Both the boys and I were yahooing so loud, everyone around us knew we had landed another fish. It was such an amazing experience! 

One of the best parts of exploring in Grey has always been the wonderful people I meet and their fascinating stories I get to hear.  I really enjoyed meeting Yvonne and listening to her story of hard work and endurance. I much admire their family’s obvious hard work ethic and their love for what they do.

Yvonne and her family have created a family-friendly fishing experience that you will want to experience yourself.  When you want to find a friendly spot to fish and actually catch trout, you will not be disappointed if you head out to Wilmer Trout Ponds.  And the delicious meal that follows will want you coming back again and again for that wonderful experience of Playing in Grey!