How to Fish Whitefish at Sylvan Lake in Alberta – Hot Spots, Lures/Flies/Baits, and Tips

Lake whitefish is a popular game fish, for both open water fishing and ice fishing, in Alberta and the rest of Canada. It is abundant and can be found throughout much of Canada.

Lake whitefish feeds on bottom dwelling animals such as snails and many aquatic insects as well as mayflies and midges. The fish prefers cool water (i.e., 11.9 to 17 degree Celsius or 53 to 63 degree Fahrenheit) and can be caught near shore in Spring and early summer. After the lake water warms up in the summer, the fish tend to move deeper where the water could be cooler. Many fishermen go ice fishing for Lake Whitefish as well.

Check here to see a table of preferred temperatures for a variety of fish species including walleye, trout, perch, and whitefish.

Find out more about whitefish here.

Lake whitefish can be finicky, but they are very not hard to catch. The best time to catch Lake whitefish is early morning, but they can be caught through out the day.

A simple and effective way to catch Lake Whitefish is a blood worm fly/hook with a float. Try to keep the hook close (within a foot or two) to the lake bottom and as horizontal as possible to better mimic a blood worm. Whitefish has very soft mouth and is fairly shy. So, try to use 6 lb or even 4 lb monofilament fishing line or Power Pro fishing line that has equivalent diameter. Another method without using a float is to tie the lure/fly using a dropshot rig, which also worked well for me, especially when I am targeting the fish in deeper water.

Below is a picture of example blood worm flies that I tied myself using Superfly worm wires, beads and #6 and #8 hooks. They worked well at Sylvan Lake, Alberta.

Fishing lure/flies for whitefish: blood worm fly pattern
Fishing lure/flies for whitefish: blood worm fly pattern

So, now you know how to catch Lake Whitefish. Let me reveal a couple locations that are great for Whitefish fishing. I am taking Sylvan Lake as an example.

You can park your vehicle and launch your boat, kayak, canoe, or whatever via the two spots marked on the map below. In May and June when the lake water is still cool, you may be able to see Whitefish within a couple hundred meters from the boat launch. It is the best to fish on a boat, kayak, or canoe etc. to increase your coverage. But it is still doable to fish along the shore when the weather is not yet hot and the fish can be found in 1 meter to 2 meter deep water near shore.

A fish finder may be very helpful, check my post below for more information.

How To Use Fish Finders and Tips for Choosing Fish Finders

Have fun fishing 🙂

Shiba Inu Dog Training – Effective Obedience Training

8-Week Old Shiba Inu Sleeping on a All For Paws (afp) Dog Toy (Squirrel)

A Little Bit Background: How is Shiba Inu Like?

Shiba Inu is an ancient dog breed originated in mountainous areas in Japan. It is a small to medium sized, agile, good-looking, fairly independent dog breed that has very few health issues. They are athletic, alert, clean and quiet, which is great for both outdoors and indoors.

I got a Shiba Inu puppy this April. Today, my Shiba Inu, Daisy, is almost 10 months. I and my wife enjoy walking with her and socializing her with other dogs and people (early training and socialization is key for successful dog training). So far, feedbacks on Daisy from my vet, dog day care folks, my dog training class teacher, and other dog owners in off leash parks are all very positive.

“Daisy is like a party dog. She’s outgoing and plays well with other dogs. Her temperament is so good and she is the best Shiba Inu I’ve ever seen.” – A Dog Daycare Girl.

Some people’s first impressions of a Shiba Inu is like “so cute”, “most beautiful puppy I’ve ever seen”, “it’s like a little fox”, “her coat is so soft”. And Shiba Inu owners are so proud of owning one: “he has so much character”, “I will never forget her”. Of course, each dog (even of the same breed) is different and any dogs, including Shiba Inus, could pick up bad habits and become trouble-makers. Here are a few of my viewpoints on dog training:

All Dogs are Trainable (and Can Be Well Trained).
Some Dogs are Easier to Train than Others.
Using the Right Method is Crucial to Successful Dog Training.

Red Sesame Shiba Inu (3-Month Old)
Red Sesame Shiba Inu (3-Month Old)

How to Train a Shiba Inu (or Any Other Dogs) Effectively: the Best and Fastest Way?

Each puppy is born different. But just like human babies, they are all curious about the surrounding environment, eager to learn more without knowing the potential dangers (e.g., hot surfaces, things not suitable to eat, and furniture not supposed to be chewed on). As a dog owner, you want your pet to learn the house rules, teach him/her what you like and what you don’t. You also want your pet to enjoy his/her time with/without people in the house so that you can be a happy and peaceful dog owner.

The method I am using was and is very effective on obedience training my Shiba Inu, which is a dog breed that is known to be smart, independent (cat-like) and hard to train.

Some people may argue with me, but I really believe that the key point of successful dog training is to prove that you (or people in general) are the “pack leader”. Respect and trust are earned, not given (true for both people and dogs). Some dog breeds like Shiba Inu are smart but “stubborn”. They understand your commands but they may choose not to listen (Shiba Inu: “Wait, this rabbit is apparently more interesting than what you asked me to do…”).

The best and fastest way of good dog training is to have consistency and patience. For example, you reward and only reward (consistently) when your dog is behaving well. You don’t yell and waste your words when your dog does not respond to your commands, like, “Sit, sit, sit, Shit, sit you son of…”. Instead, you say “Sit” once calmly and firmly, and then patiently give him/her up to 10 seconds before you take actions, i.e., physically make him/her sit and then say “Good Sit”, immediately followed by a treat. Below, I will talk about the details of the method.

1. Do Submissive Training at Least Once Per Week: Building Respect and Trust

It’s a lot easier to train a puppy than an adult dog. My breeder raises her puppies with people and other dogs around. The parents of the puppy I got were quiet and super friendly to people. The best advice I received from my breeder regarding dog training is “Do Submissive Dog Training Regularly”. This is especially true for training a Shiba Inu.

By doing submissive training regularly, you prove that you are stronger than your dog and he/she is safe with you, and he/she will always be rewarded for his/her patience. And you as the dog owner is rewarded with a dog full of love and joy 🙂

How to Train a Shiba Inu - Submissive Training
How to Train a Shiba Inu Dog – Submissive Training

a) Make sure your dog is not hungry, thirsty or in a hurry to do his/her business.

b) Make sure you are in a comfortable place and have plenty of time.

c) Lie your dog’s back on your lap and hold his/her front legs’ armpits.

d) In the beginning your dog will struggle and try to get up. But you need to hold your dog in position, until he/she gave up and his/her legs become very relaxed like what’s shown in the picture (but your hands are still on him/her).

e) Now you want to move your hands away from your dog slowly (it took me 30 minutes to get to this step for my first time doing submissive training to my dog). If he/she tries to get up, then you need to hold him/her back to position again. Stay like this for at least another 10 minutes and try to move your hands away slowly again. Repeat this step until your dog stays on your lap patiently without trying to escape. And,

f) Then, touch your dog’s body on the sides by moving your fingers from his/her front to the rear. If he/she moves (i.e., legs become straight, not relaxed), then hold him/her back in position and repeat step e) and then f) until your dog is assured that he/she won’t get away with this until he/she submits and put his/her trust in you (“I won’t get away but this human won’t hurt me anyways”). You as the dog owner must finish all the above steps, otherwise the training will never be successful.

2. Reward Your Dog’s Good Behaviors with Treats and Say “Yes”

Dogs are food driven. Naturally they want to please you to get food/treats and your attention. In the very beginning, your dog won’t understand your commands like these very useful, must-learn daily commands: “sit”, “let’s go”, “come”, and “leave it”. But after you teach or “force” (properly) your dog to perform the actions several times and reward him/her (with treats or by playing a game with your dog) immediately after he/she finishes the action, he/she would associate performing the action to tasty food and would likely react correctly to your commands later on.

3. Be Clear When You Don’t Like What Your Dog is Doing: Say “No” or “Leave It” Firmly and Use the Collar Wisely

When your dog breaks your house rules, try not to yell at him/her. Instead, calmly and firmly say “No” to him or her. Try to distract your dog with a toy or play a game with him/her (if you have time, of course). If necessary, hold his/her collar with your hands so that he/she won’t be able to move around and have fun for a few minutes (“time out”). When you don’t want your dog to check out something (e.g., a rabbit or some other dog’s poop), say “Leave It” and either keep going or say “Let’s Go” and start going away. If your dog is chewing something like wood chips and won’t give up when you say “Leave It”, try to hold his/her mouth and squeeze her mouth a little bit so that if he/she continues to bite, he/she would hurt himself/herself with his/her teeth against his/her lips/flesh.

4. Be Consistent and Patient: Don’t Waste Your Words

By being consistent, you avoid confusion and save time in the end. By being patient, you’ll finally achieve success in dog training and enjoy your time with human’s best friend. In addition, if you say your commands too many times in a row, your dog will get tired of doing the same thing. For example, do not use the command “Come” too often. And when you do, make sure you reward your dog every time when he/she does come to you (from chasing a rabbit, running too far away from you, etc.).

5. Allow Your Dog To Have a Lot of Fun Whenever You Can

People get bored, so do dogs. Some dogs/puppies are very energetic. They need a lot of exercise everyday. If you don’t allow them to get nice and tired, they could become anxious, bored, and want to chew on something or do something bad to get your attention. You could take nice long walks with your dog, or stay in one location and play “fetch”, or bike with your dog, or whatever way that fits your lifestyle and mood. When they get their exercise they need, you’ll find them so lovely in your house.

Have fun with your dog! I wish you every success in your dog training.

Shiba Inu Wearing a Cone after Being Fixed (6-Month Old)
Shiba Inu Wearing a Cone after Being Fixed (6-Month Old)
Shiba Inu Hiking in Rocky Mountains at 7-Month Old
Shiba Inu Hiking in Rocky Mountains at 7-Month Old
Shiba Inu (Red Sesame) in a Car @ 8-Month Old
Shiba Inu (Red Sesame) in a Car @ 8-Month Old


A 3-Day Trip to Tofino, BC during Christmas Holiday Season: Hiking, Sight-seeing, Food

Happy Holidays, folks. After a year’s hard working, everyone deserves a nice and lovely vacation. This holiday season, me and my wife wanted to escape from Alberta’s coldness and snow and spend some quality time in a warmer and greener place – Tofino and Ucluelet on Vancouver Island, BC definitely meet our needs, although it would be nice if we had time to go there in the summer. The good thing is that we lived in a guest house surrounded by rain forest, with a wood stove that gave us extremely nice and cozy holiday atmosphere. Oh, my goodness, I just love it!

For a PDF map of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve of Canada, please check here.

How we got there and where we lived

We flew with Air Canada from Edmonton to Vancouver on Dec. 23rd night and spent one night at St. Regis Hotel (602 Dunsmuir St., Vancouver), located about 2 minutes from the nearest Sky Train Station (City Centre, and Buses 257 and 250 are nearby as well). The hotel room was nice, but a bit small compared to those I use in Fort McMurray for work. Yeah, location, location, location! The housing prices of Vancouver are much higher than those of major cities in Alberta. I guess I won’t move to Vancouver anytime soon. LOL.

The next morning, we took the ferry at Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay at Nanaimo. It takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes to cross. Check here for the official ferry schedules. The boat was really nice, huge and very stable. People bring their vehicles and pets with them. After we arrived at Nanaimo, we took a free ride with Enterprise Rent A car and rented a vehicle, with which we drove to our guest house in Tofino. We found the guest house (49.131279,-125.894765, Tibbs Place and Abraham Drive) on VRBO. We shared the kitchen, the living room and the Man’s Cave (a garage with a wood stove) with another nice and kind tenant.

Where to buy grocery

There’s a T&T supermarket near the St. Regis Hotel and we bought some food and seafood there, just in case no grocery store is open in Tofino during the holiday. Actually, there’s a nice Walmart in Port Alberni, about 1 hour driving away from Nanaimo. So, you can get your grocery there as well.

It’s time to have fun!

Incinerator Rock on Long Beach

Our first stop in the morning on Dec. 25th, a beautiful sunny day, was Incinerator Rock on Long Beach in Pacific Rim National Park. The Incinerator Rock is a giant tidal rock, which is a perfect spot for you to stand on and enjoy the view. If you don’t have a National Park annual pass, it’s $7.8 per adult. See here for more information about the fees.

RVs are not allowed in the parking lot in front of the beach at the Incinerator Rock. However, we did see people stayed in their small van campers (or, small RVs). I thought it would be nice to camp here and go surfing, kayaking, hiking, or fishing around. Actually, we did see one guy carrying a bucket, a fishing rod and his tackle walked onto a smaller rock and caught a fish a short moment later. Yeah, this location is a good one for shore fishing around Tofino and Ucluelet on Vancouver Island.

Shore/Beach Fishing around Tofino and Ucluelet on Vancouver Island
Shore/Beach Fishing around Tofino and Ucluelet on Vancouver Island

In addition to sight seeing and shore fishing, we saw people came here for surfing in as well, yeah, in the winter with we suits. I would imagine that more people could be here in summers. For myself, I don’t do surfing, but I kayak regularly in summers in Alberta. I thought it would be fun to kayak on the ocean sometime.

Hiking Light House Loop, Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet, BC

After seeing the Incinerator Rock, we went on to hiking the Light House Loop trail (30 – 45 minutes walking, 2.6 km). You can see beautiful mossy rain forest and nice coastal line. Do enjoy the frequent benches along the trail.

Sight seeing along Lighthouse Loop Wild Pacific Trail
Sight seeing along Lighthouse Loop Wild Pacific Trail
The 100+ Year Old Landmark - Lighthouse.
The 100+ Year Old Landmark – Lighthouse.
Hiking Half Moon Bay Trail in Pacific Rim National Park

On the way leaving Ucluelet back to our guest house in Tofino, we hiked the Willowbrae Trail and Half Moon Bay Trail. There are wood stairs on the trail. Use caution when the stairs are wet or icy. They could get very slippery.

Halfmoon Bay Nice Sandy Beach
Halfmoon Bay Nice Sandy Beach
Cox Bay Beach: surfing, walking, and sight seeing

We wrapped up the day by visiting the Cox Bay Beach Resort, where we could see the cooks preparing food for their guests on Christmas, and the Beach itself.

Cox Bay Beach - Great Open Area for Gathering, Surfing, Walking
Cox Bay Beach – Many People Go for Surfing and Walking (with dogs!)

The Cox Bay Beach is very wide open and it’s a popular place for surfing, family gathering, dog walking, and so on.

Hot Springs Cove in Maquinna Marine Provincial Park

On Dec. 26th, we went to Maquinna Marine Provincial Park for hiking the Hot Springs Cove trail and then we enjoyed the hot spring. Use caution while getting to the cove or the hot spring water falls, as the rocks could be very slippery. It was freeing stepping on the rocks with our bare feet. However, once we get to the host spring water, we were very happy that we made it. It was a very unique experience compared to the “landscaped” hot springs in Banff and Jasper National Parks. You get hot spring water falls! With the water coming down onto my shoulders, I felt very comfortable and relaxing. It was like having a water spa – with hot spring water!

Hot Springs Cove and Water Falls
Hot Springs Cove (hidden behind the trees) and Water Falls
Movie Nights

After hiking and having fun all day, we spent the nights watching movies with the wood stove on – nice and cosy, isn’t it?

How time flys – heading back

In the morning on Dec. 27th, we started driving back to Nanaimo. Before reaching Nanaimo, we have a short tour of the giant Douglous Firs in MacMillan Provincial Park.

Giant Douglas Fir - 800 Years Old
Giant Douglas Fir – The Oldest was 800 years, more than 70 meters high, in the Park

For food lovers

In Tofino, we enjoyed great sea food in the beautiful restaurant: Shelter. At the Departure Bay ferry in Nanaimo, we really enjoyed the fresh, delicious tuna sandwiches. And, before we get back to Edmonton, we bought a full backpack of smoked salmon at Sea Drift sea food market in Nanaimo, not far away from the Departure Bay in Nanaimo. In addition, we also bought some nice spaghetti at the market on Granville Island. Oh man, the spaghetti could be one of the world’s best. We took the sea bus to get on Granville Island. It was a very short, fast, and convenient way to get on the Island.

Sea bus to Granville Island: short and fast
Sea bus to Granville Island: short and fast

Garage Storage Shelves Idea

Too many stuff for your home? Need more storage space? Don’t worry, you are not alone. I live in a town house with no back yard nor basement. I do have a flexible room on the ground floor, but it’s taken by my Ping-Pong table. The square footage of my town house is decent, but I still felt like I needed more storage space for my tools, shoes, outdoor gears, etc. So, I built a storage shelf on the back side dry wall of my garage. The dimension of the shelf is 205 cm height, 197 cm width, and 38 cm depth. There won’t be a problem for parking a regular size car or SUV in the garage. My garage is 5.9 m (19.2 feet) deep, so after installing the shelf on the back side wall, I still have 5.5 m (18 feet) depth for my 4.3 m (14 feet) long Ford Focus, which is more than good enough.

Materials (all can be bought from HomeDepot):
SPF 2x3x96 SPF Premium Stud, CA$2.18 each, 10 pieces.
PROGUARD 1x6x8 Treated Wood Fence Board, CA$4.80 each, 10 pieces.
SPF 1x2x8 Framing Lumber, CA$ 1.66 each, 3 pieces.
8×3 Flat Hd Soc Wood Screw 100/Bx, CA$12.77 each box, 1 box.
ZMAX 18-Gauge Galvanized Steel Angle, CA$0.52 each, 5 pieces.

Total material cost = CA$90.15.

Drill, screw bits, and drill bits (if you want to use drywall anchor).

If you don’t screw the right angle brackets on studs in the wall, you may consider getting a set of screw and plug (FIXA 260-piece screw and plug set) for CA$7.99 from IKEA.

So, here’s the design as shown in the picture below:

DIY Garage Shelves Design Dimensions
DIY Garage Shelves Design Dimensions

Step 1: cut 36 cm (14 in) off one piece of 2x3x96 stud. Do the same thing for another 5 pieces of studs. Then you get 6 pieces of studs 207 cm (81 inch) long, which will be used for the verticals. In addition, you get 6 pieces of studs 36 cm (14 in) long, and these will be used for the horizontals on the two narrow sides (left and right).

Step 2: Cut 46 cm (18 in) off one piece of 2x3x96 stud. Repeat this step for another 3 pieces of studs. Now you have 4 pieces of studs 198 cm (78 in) long, which are for the main horizontals on the front and back sides.

Step 3: Assemble the main frame (6 verticals (207 cm high) and 4 horizontals (198 cm long)). I put the horizontals in between the verticals, which makes it easier to fix the shelves onto the wall, using right angle brackets and drywall anchors, to make the shelves more stable. To put the studs together, I simply drill two wood screws into each joint.

Step 4: Install the board supports using a drill and some screws at spots marked in the picture shown above. Each board support is 38 cm (15 inch) long. These supports are cut from the framing lumber mentioned above.

Step 5: Cut the treated wood fence boards to 198 cm (78 inch) long. Each level requires two pieces of boards. Screw the boards onto the board supports installed in Step 4.

Now we have the home custom made shelves. I hope you enjoyed reading the instructions. Feel free to let me know any questions or comments. Thank you 🙂

How to Store a Kayak in a Garage – Easy and Effective

I have a double garage with 8 ft ceiling maximum and I wanted to store my Pelican Unison 136T tandem kayak in my garage for the winter season, without taking up too much space. Lying it down on the ground or hanging it on the wall horizontally at a height that is easily accessible would make my garage a bit too narrow for two vehicles. Lifting and suspending it overhead would be a solution that won’t take any space on the ground, but I kind of feel uncomfortable with hanging it overhead above my vehicle for a long time (what if it falls!). In addition, this kayak is 67 lbs and would take quite a bit of effort to lift it and secure it onto the ceiling. Yes, you always use fancy gears and/or pulley designs to save your efforts, but I just wanted an easy and effective enough solution to store it for the season.

So, here comes my compromised idea: what about lifting just one end of the kayak? In this way, it saves a significant amount of space compared to just simply lying it on the ground. And it looks less crowded and kind of neat. I have tested parking one full size car and a SUV in my garage without any issue.

Enough said, here are some pictures that would help you get the idea quikly:

Store a Kayak in a Garage
How to Store a Kayak in a Garage
Kayak Storage Idea_Easy Solution_closeup_pulley_hook
Closeup of the pulley and hook configuration
Kayak Storage Pulley and Hook
One end of the kayak lifted to the ceiling by a pulley attached to the overhead door mounting hardware.
Kayak Storage - Pulley Rope Anchor
A slotted metal bar was fixed onto the stud of the garage door frame to secure the rope.