Fishing for discs in February

In the (almost) frozen West Don River

Added 2013-02-07

After seeing the lost disc in the river across from the E.T.Seton 4th hole picnic table yesterday...

Found disc

... I had pretty much decided to give up on retrieving it until the weather warmed up a little.

But then my friend Ty said he was going to the course today, so I joined him.

We played the first four holes, and then, at the picnic table, assessed the retrievability of the disc carefully, but decided not to attempt it from this side.

I jokingly said I'd go up the west bank of the river and try it later.

So we played on.

On the 6th fairway, almost under the Overlea bridge, Ty spotted another disc in the river...

Another disc

So, since it was starting to snow in earnest (today being the start of this winter's worst snowstorm in Toronto, the worst in 4 years in fact), we abandoned the round, walked south to the park bridge over the river, and then north up the west bank.

Here's Ty making an easy retrieval.

Easy retrieval

It turned out to be a Star Roadrunner, with no name on it.

Star Roadrunner

Then, after some arduous trekking, including some ass-sliding because the trail on the west side of the river was quite icy in places, as well as an almost disastrous crossing of Walmsley Brook where I fell down the bank and got banged up a bit (the bruises will turn purple in a couple days, I figure), we reached the spot across from the 4th hole.

You can just see the picnic table across the river here...

Picnic table from across the river

It looked like a straightforward retrieval. Both Ty and I have been in cold water before, but I felt this was going to be a bit more dangerous than usual, because the ice looked unsafe, especially after I poked a few holes in it near the shore with a stick. You can stand to be in 0°C water for only so long.

Looks dangerous

But Ty was determined, and he knew what he was doing.

First, the socks come off. You will need them later.

Socks come off

Then it's onto the ice.

Onto the ice

Naturally, his first step went right through.

Right through!

But the ice proved strong enough to bear his weight. Notice that he keeps his feet well apart to spread the load, and also leans some of his weight onto the stick.

Spread the load

Now the fun begins. Ty had to make several attempts to snag the disc, trying to get the stick under the lip.

Several attempts

Each time he touched it, it slid downstream a bit.


It's definitely going to be close, whether he gets it, or it gets carried away.


Missed! Try again.


He drags it back upstream a bit.

Back upstream a bit

Missed again!

Missed again!

Running out of ice...

Running out of ice...

Another try...

Another try...

GOT IT!! With a mighty flip, he flings the disc out of the water and onto shore.




It's a Wraith. With no name on it.

It's a Wraith.

Both of us pretty chilled by this time, we decide to exit the park by continuing to follow the trail north.

Only problem is, the trail going north actually comes to an end right about there. We spent another twenty minutes navigating ice over steep hillside getting out.

Definitely a day to remember.

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