The Queens Birthday

The Queens Birthday


A Summer 2015 Yukon Prospector Web-Extra.

So I spent the Queen’s birthday honouring the old gal the best way I know how: fishing and having a few beers.

  Over in Carcross I couldn't throw a line out without hitting an Arctic Grayling in the head. But even then I wasn't getting much out of the experience. A crotchety mood had taken hold, and the 30 or so people laughing and hanging out on the beach were setting a scowl on my mug. So after pulling in a decent sized fish and tearing out its innards, I made for home.

  On the way back a dirt turnoff piqued my curiosity, and I decided to do a little discovering in hopes of finding solitude. Luckily, about five meters off the road was another gorgeous, deep-turquoise lake nestled in the mountains.  As an added bonus it was completely hidden from the road.

  There would be no respite however.  A jacked-up white truck pulled in shortly after I’d dropped my first line in the water.  Gentle, inward sigh. Years of living in Ontario and Calgary have created a certain stigma around big white trucks.

  Luckily it was just another angler looking for his own respite, and he seemed about as happy to see me as I was to see him.

  “I’m a terrible fisherman, so don’t worry about the competition,” said a man of about 60 years, sporting a khaki outfit. 

  Not a bad way to make an introduction, but I was still struggling to hide my chagrin at the (totally justified) intrusion. 

  “I caught a few graylings down at Carcross,” I told him, hinting gently. 

  He told me that’s where he was heading, and wouldn't be but a few casts. Things lightened up from there.

  His name was Ron Patrick, and he was a Mormon, which he kept mostly to himself after mentioning it.

  Instead we chatted for a few minutes about music and his travels. He’s a big Michael Bublé fan, and loves a good Broadway show. I told him about my journey and what I was doing, and he told me he used to be an English teacher who dreamed of getting his students published.

  We hung out for about 15 minutes, flicking our lines out between talking points. Being quite when it was good to be quite, and not forcing out conversation for the sake of it. To my surprise, it was genuinely enjoyable.  Before long the grouchy mood I’d been in evaporated, and when Ron left I felt a slight pang of disappointment.

  I guess the solitude wasn't what I was really after, after all. Just a bit of calm.

Photo, Story and Video by 

Jonathan Duncan


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