If you are a stillwater fisherman, who ventures to the lakes of Central B.C., your nemesis will not be the weather, the mosquitoes, the wind or too many rods on the water. NO! Your enemy will be the sinister Loon. The most clever and annoying challenge you will encounter. Not beavers, otters, muskrats, eagles, ospreys or misguided Labs will equal the chaos one, or heaven help you, two or more Loons can create to your fishing experience.
Yes they loom off at a safe distance and appear to be soaking up the ambiance of the moment. But no. They will, with deathly certainty recognize the sounding of a Kamloops trout…the thrashing surge….and then ‘where did that Loon go?’ Well, you will find out soon enough as the underwater missile is propelling itself/themselves toward you.
Now if you are still playing the fish near you, you will see a ominously large yellowish grey creature chasing your fish beneath you. Perhaps there will be more than one ominous shape. If you are (temporarily) lucky you will get the fish in. Now here is why I know most BC anglers seem comfortable to kill their fish: when you remove the hook and admire the beauty of the trout you are deceived! Ease that fish back into the water…all 16″ to 24″ of it and odds are those swirling underwater devil’s disciples are going to catch and devour your fish. I know, I know just part of nature. But when you see a Loon emerge from the depths with and 18″ trout head first down its gullet, and look at you as it coaxes the fish into its stomach or where ever fish go in a bird…well it is frustrating. OK, once I can handle it. But as you move around the lake and the birds stalk you…yes stalk you…then you know you either won’t get any hits or if you are fortunate enough to get the fish in the Loon will be waiting.
When you release the fish and it cruises downward to regain its’ bearings, it is now vulnerable to attack and vooom the Loon has it. I figure, BC fisherman long ago gave up on the catch and feed the Loon routine and kept the fish.
I hate Loons. Beady blood red eyes…the devil’s eyes that aptly portray the cunning evil of this bird. Yes, on Salmon L. east of Merritt, I cheered as the Eagle raided the Loon’s nest and carted away the baby Loon…hooray for fisherman, I thought. I have seen fisherman hook a fish and a fishing buddy nearby crash the water with fins, oars or nets, away from the fisherman playing the fish. The Loon’s attention is drawn to the decoy disturbance and away from the fish and fly combo….sometimes it works. But with more than one Loon stalking you, believe me on how smart they are….
Ha! Crazy, I know. But they are as annoying as harbor seals…a whole other story. Where are my meds….? I am a Loonatic!
p.s. I will give the Loon one postive nod, the sound of the Loon over a beautiful B.C. lake is so amazingly euphoric…lest there be any doubt….I love B.C. (kind fish, kind people).