Temagami welcoming back the Ling Fling

Darlene Wroe

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

TEMAGAMI - The news that the Ling Fling on Lake Temagami is returning after three years has gotten people from as far away as North Bay and Sudbury calling organizer Penny St. Germain to tell her they're coming.

The March 18 event, scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m., snow or shine, will be taking place on or beside Lake Temagami at the Mine Landing.

The first Ling Fling got started about 30 years ago and was considered a year-end party for those wintering on the lake, said St. Germain in a telephone interview. It was held at the end of the March Break week when many of the permanent residents had visitors, she continued.

The event caught on and quickly grew, attracting not only locals but also others from beyond Temagami.

As it was growing, so were the amounts of money being donated. Because it was on the lake, it was decided that a suitable beneficiary would be the Temagami Area Fish Involvement Program, St. Germain said.

Another word for ling is burbot, St. Germain said, and because the event included a fish-tossing contest, the name Ling Fling evolved.

"It's a big fish-fry," she said of the event. Fish fried over wood heat, a bean hut for the baked beans, and friers brought out for french fries are all part of the draw.

Along with the fun, there are also door prizes.

For many years ice-fishing operators ran the event, but when they slowed down, the permanent lake residents once again took over, ensuring the activity continued.

One thing that has changed, though, is uncertainty as to whether the event can safely take place on the ice.

"It was traditionally held out on the lake somewhere," St. Germain said, "but with the way the weather has been the last ten years we couldn't safely hold it on the lake. The last time we held it in 2019 we had to take it on shore."

However, many people view it as a snowmobile destination, she said, and for that reason, there is still some thought being given to whether it could take place on the lake this year, she explained.

"We are still playing with where it is going to be," she said, but it will be somewhere around the Mine Landing.

With the return of the Ling Fling, about 20 volunteers are ready to help out, mainly comprised of those who are permanent residents, but there are also ice operators who are participating.

There is no fee but there are donation buckets for contributions to the Temagami Area Fish Involvement Program.

Sponsors are the Town of Temagami, Grant Home Hardware and Camp Wabikon.

Darlene Wroe, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temiskaming Speaker