TR: high water, no trout

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TR: high water, no trout

Post by brent_e » Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:36 pm

My dad and I have been going to this place since I was 5. Somehow he managed to drag me in there across a 5 mile portage and a couple 10 mile long lakes. I guess it helped that he made carts to put the canoe on, which is probably blasphemous to most.
This year him and I had to bail on a trip with some friends due to work. It would have been great to share their company but not so great to wake up to 6 inches of snow, as they did on their second night. The next week a couple days opened up and I made a last minute decision to go, but couldn't find a partner, though I wasn't looking particularly hard. I thought it would be fun to go in alone.

food prep. Since I was doing a non-blasphemous trip I tried to stay light. Cat didn't make it.
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A nice sunrise on the way north.
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drive by the locals.
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This was a new spot for me. Though the conditions to paddle the first lake were pretty perfect, I wanted to get a jump on the trip and not spend 4 hours on the lake when I could spend 20 minutes.
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still 2 trips worth. But, made a lot easier by a 37lb rental canoe.
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starting down the river. huge amounts of precip in early May made the waterlevels super high so there was a lot of flow. Great in this direction.
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floating the first portage.
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I was told that the river has a good population of trout. Apparently they move out of the outlet lake and feed, but I think these guys have been well fed on fontinalis.
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another floatable portage.
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There weren't a tonne of eddies but thankfully there was enough water to push any wood through.
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I had a fly in the water through a lot of the lakes. I could take my time paddling. When I lost as fish off a point I thought it had to be lake trout or brookie, but another pass brought up this guy.
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a few of these around, but nothing eating them.
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first nights camp.
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after a franzen, I boogied on a few lakes further in. The portages into the next lake was not maintained.....
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there were a few of these, then I took a wrong turn and ended up at the wrong lake after some bushwacking. After a consult with my gps, I found the lake and where I took a wrong turn.
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I got to the lake and fished pretty hard. José would be proud, I caught nothing. Pretty lake, though.
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there was 1 unmaintained site. someone left some firewood, which had these living in it.
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another franzen, then more hard fishing. I could not catch a fish. deep, shallow, big flies, small.....nada.
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I walked up this river on the way into the lake and thought I'd see if any fish were resident. again, nada. I thought this may be a nursery stream and some young fish may have been in there, but no!
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Last edited by brent_e on Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TR: high water, no trout

Post by brent_e » Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:49 pm

this is usually dry. As I paddled through a pike or two darted away from the boat.
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I had to meet the taxi at a specific time on Sunday and I was a bit concerned about paddling up some of the sections of the river. The concerning sections were just swift water, but with not much in the way of portage options. The bush beside the river was super tight and the banks were flooded where there was some openings. Waders were worth the extra weight and I thrashed my way through the banks and bush where I couldn't safely hop my way upstream. I settled in beside the river at dark hoping I didn't have a long day ahead of me.
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an open section, thankfully.
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no fire pit here.
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one more out of season pike for the road.
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the last portage. pretty easy walking.
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fauna. I was early to the pickup, so walked down a logging road to another lake that was supposed to have fish. The outlet stream didn't produce fish, and I couldn't find any in the lake, either!
Solo was a lot of work but a lot of fun, too. I got lucky with weather that it was rainy but not windy. Fun trip.
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I put this report together in a hurry the other night. I had some more time to think about it so am adding this edit.
What I enjoyed about this trip was the pace and the ability to take the time to do a task. I woke up when it was light and moved at a pace that felt right for that moment. Since I wasn't sharing the time with anyone I was lonely, but because I was solo the experience was more challenging and more rewarding. I found satisfaction in the simplicity of moving across a beautiful area with all that I needed in a couple packs.
I did not anticipate the difficulty in paddling back upstream. Before I saw the river I thought I'd be able to walk up the banks. But the banks were 2 feet underwater, so I had to slog through the trees and find a reasonable path. Where I paddled upstream it took the strongest strokes that I had to make progress from one tiny eddy to another. Sometimes an eddy was just a small recess in the brush on the shore. I'd paddle until I could feel my arms and the boat slowing down, hoping that I didn't miss a stroke and put the boat further into the main current or sideways into the trees. The effort was fun and the consequences made it worth it. It made me think of all the people that had traveled this way before me at a time when the rivers were the roads. This also made the portages feel pretty easy.

thanks for taking the time to look at this.
Last edited by brent_e on Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: TR: high water, no trout

Post by Heero[CntRmbrPwd] » Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:54 pm

The salamander is named Pete. Pete is my favorite.

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Re: TR: high water, no trout

Post by fatman » Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:32 pm

real fine
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Re: TR: high water, no trout

Post by The Wandering Blues » Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:42 pm

That was completely fascinating. What a sweet getaway from the human race.
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Re: TR: high water, no trout

Post by austrotard » Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:00 am

coupla things:

a) put your writing above your photos. we're scrolling down. you must be a southpaw or something. or jrunk.

2. I would've considered eating the cat after a review of that food. where's the caesar salad?

also. someone, for the love of all that is fair and just in this world, show that egg thingy to jose. no more excuses, jose.

2. I'd bet your frantzins look like rabbit pellets.

2. I didn't see one trilobyte. therefore poor showing, this. hiss.
we'll always have buffalo, sweet josh.


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Re: TR: high water, no trout

Post by west_jay » Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:16 am

I need to dust off my canoe.

No leeches? :cool
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Re: TR: high water, no trout

Post by McH » Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:44 am

Grand adventure!
How were the Black flies??
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Re: TR: high water, no trout

Post by Da Ax » Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:00 am

The difference between decency and indecency is opportunity...

One could search their entire lives for the perfect drift, and it would not be a wasted life.

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Re: TR: high water, no trout

Post by B.M. Barrelcooker » Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:10 am

Heero[CntRmbrPwd] wrote:
Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:54 pm
The salamander is named Pete. Pete is my favorite.
Pete woulda got a hook thru his lips and a fun ride.......

Looks like a fine trip.
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Re: TR: high water, no trout

Post by stillsteamin » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:14 am

Really enjoyed this. I can never seem to find the time for trips like that...which is completely my own fault.
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Re: TR: high water, no trout

Post by Ginseng Sullivan » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:12 am

Very cool Brent. I always loved to solo trips even if it did double everything work related. You always have good company!

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