Good times for old timers: Edmonton fishing club shares sweet spots and a few whoppers

The members of the Edmonton Old Timers Fishing Club are like 'family' and membership has it's privileges.

Angling to join this low-tech club? You need to be 50 or older — and must love fishing

Edmonton Old Timers Fishing Club member Martin Fung with a walleye he nabbed in Slave Lake. (Glen Dolynchuk)

Burn Evans is on the hunt for a rainbow or a brown. He's trolling the waters of Cardiff Trout Pond in Sturgeon County.

"I let most of them go, but it's excitement, I think that's the best word for it."

He got hooked on fishing at age five when he got his first nibble alongside his dad in the creek near their southern Alberta farmhouse. 

'I love the thrill of the fish on the line'

3 years ago
Duration 2:20
Meet the members of the Edmonton Old Timers Fishing Club.

"Every time a fish takes my lure, I get that little charge, you know. Whether it's a big salmon or a little perch or a medium-size trout," said Evans. 

Now 75, Evans is working the shore alongside the other members of the Edmonton Old Timers Fishing Club. 

The club started back in 1992 when businessman and angler Wally Warawa decided to form a group with a motto "seniors helping seniors," according to member Scott MacDonald. 

"Lots of people don't have time for old people but they're the ones who do more fishing and are better fishermen than these hotshots sometimes," said the 84-year-old.

The club has grown to 100 members with monthly meetings and newsletters, weekly fly-tying get-togethers, a summer fish-fry and regular excursions in search of the big one, said MacDonald. 

Scott MacDonald, the associate program director of the Edmonton Old Timers Fishing Club, soaking up all the action at their latest outing. (Adrienne Lamb/CBC)

"It's a family," said Evans.

Members, who must be aged 50 or older, come from all walks of life but they have one thing in common: "We all love to go fishing."

A few years ago, Evans had a stroke. He thought that would mean the end of his passion.

"I lost some vision. I'm still capable of casting but I can't drive myself so I depend on guys like this to bring me to these things."

He points to Glen Dolynchuk, the president of the Edmonton Old Timers Fishing Club, who's casting off the dock.

There's no fancy website but the Edmonton Old Timers Fishing Club is still attracting new members by word of month more than a quarter century after being created. (Edmonton Old Timers Fishing Club)

The 71-year-old admits the group is low-tech, with no website or social media campaign to drum up new members. It's mostly word-of-mouth; sometimes they hand out their business card.

Dolynchuk is the keeper of the newsletter as well as the flow of fish stories. 

"I don't believe anything they say unless they show me a picture," said Dolynchuk. "I say, 'When you show me a picture,  you've caught a fish.'" 

He's also the keeper of the locations of the best hang-outs where fish are hitting — but unless you're a member, that's not information he is sharing.

Edmonton Old Timers Fishing Club president Glen Dolynchuk and granddaughter Brooke, 10, showing off their catch. (Glen Dolynchuk)

"Oh, well, I'm not going to give them to you. You'll have to come fishing with us if you want to get the hot spots."

Fair to say what happens at fish club stays at fish club. But when you ask him to spin his best fishing tale, Doylnchuk is happy to pull out his phone filled with pictures.

"Taking my grandkids fishing, that's usually my best fishing stories," he said. "My granddaughter caught her first walleye a couple of weeks ago. That's going to be on the centre page of next month's newsletter."

You can see more of the members of the Edmonton Old Timers Fishing Club on this week's edition of Our Edmonton. That's Saturday at 10 a.m., Sunday at noon and 11 a.m. Monday on CBC TV. 

Some of the members of the Edmonton Old Timers Fishing Club gathered around the dock at Cardiff Park Pond in Sturgeon County. (Adrienne Lamb/CBC)


Adrienne Lamb


Adrienne Lamb is the host and producer of Our Edmonton featured weekly on CBC TV. She served for several years as CBC Radio's national arts reporter in Edmonton. Prior to moving to Alberta in 2001, Adrienne worked at CBC in Ontario and New Brunswick. Adrienne is a graduate of Western University with a degree in English and Anthropology and a Masters in Journalism.