Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Here's Hoping This Year is Better!

Spring is just around the corner despite there still being around two feet of snow.  While I'm looking forward to the warmer weather and longer days I'm hopeful that this season will be better than the last couple. Due to personal reasons I was unable to get away on my annual spring solo canoe trips.  In 2017 I also had to cancel my annual August trip with my Dad due to a scheduling conflict.  So last summer I was finally looking to get away with my Dad and two boys for our annual canoe/fishing trip to Temagami.  Due to forest fires in the area that trip as well had to be cancelled.  With the boys still wanting to get into some good pike and bass fishing and myself wanting to get out on a canoe trip I decided to switch gears for August. 

I was fortunate enough to reserve the Kitty Lake Ranger Cabin in Algonquin for a couple of nights.  This was great as it was still into the interior, there was great pike and bass fishing, it was a short paddle from the access point and as a bonus there were no portages.  That fact meant we could take anything plus the kitchen sink if we so desired as long as we could fit it into the canoe.  So I loaded up the portable grill, propane tank and large cooler.  By staying in a cabin I wasn't concerned about having to hang food as I could just lock everything in the cabin.

The trip was great!  We caught our first, of many, good bass about fifteen minutes after leaving.  The cabin was wonderful.  It was spacious, great grounds, two excellent landing areas for loading/unloading canoes and a good beach/swimming area.

The weird highlight of the trip was catching a very curious and not shy, 4lb. bass with a fishing net. On two occasions while swimming it would approach us and not be over concerned with us soaking after a hot day of fishing or the kids splashing about.  Out of curiosity I wanted to see if I could dive down and net it.  Sure enough it was undeterred by the approaching net and I landed it.  After a couple of pictures Mr. Bass was released back into the lake.

Big ass bass!

While it wasn't a traditional backcountry canoe trip it was definitely one of the easiest and most relaxing.  Definitely nothing like the trip the the Birchcliffe Lake cabin three years prior.

So what will this year hold?  I'm not sure.  I have no spring trip planned for this year as I usually do.  I think I will just sit back and play it by ear and see how things unfold and head off if the opportunity arises. 

As for August, well Dad is getting up there, he'll be 72 this fall.  I'm sure he can still hump his canoe over a 2km portage no problem but when he does that it makes me forget that he's in his 70s.  The deciding factor will probably be my Mom.  While Dad is still up for getting out there she is getting more hesitant and worrisome each year.  So now the trick becomes trying to find an easy route yet somewhere out of the way were we aren't running into all the weekend warriors.

Here's (hopefully) to a good season.  Happy Paddling!