I stood looking out across the Sylvia Grinnell River in the park of the same name. I was about one kilometre from Iqaluit, Nunavut on my last night in the arctic. The tide was high at 7:30 pm, the sun shining just as brightly as it did at noon, and the mountain ranges still painted with snow at the end of June.Sylvia Grinnell Park
As I mentioned, it is my last night in Iqaluit and the family I’m staying with decides that I can’t leave without going fishing. I wholeheartedly agree. So we get in the car after the couple gets home from work and their eight-year-old son comes home from day camp.
From Iqaluit, we drive through the city’s dump yard, with piles of garbage and a funky smell; layer upon layer of crushed vehicles, victims of crashing steel prices a couple of years ago and the realization that no one could make money by exporting it with steel prices so low; home of sled dogs who get a much-needed rest in the summer; and finally, an unexpected nine-hole golf course with tundra instead of greens!
The riverbank was quite crowded, in northern terms, but we found a nice spot where the rocks jutted out into the river a bit. Here, we set up shop and got to work trying to round up a fish for dinner. I have to admit that I was more caught up in the surreal setting of Sylvia Grinnell Park and the beauty of the evening than catching fish. I did try, don’t get me wrong, but I was too content to really care.
Our reward for all that “hard” work wasn’t a fish, however, but a perfect evening to hang out on the river. That’s good enough for me.
Smoked Arctic Char
We were extra spoiled that night, though: on the way home we stopped by a friend’s place who smokes arctic char as a side gig. We picked up freshly caught char from earlier in the day, already smoked and ready to eat. It was definitely the best meal of the trip