Friday, August 15, 2014

Trip #22 Booth Lake August 2014

                                                     Booth Lake Trip August 2014

This trip was planned as a base camp trip with a focus on wildlife viewing and fishing. We headed up from a friends cottage near Fenlon Falls leaving the cottage at 04:30 we arrived at the Shall Lake access office about 07:15. The office staff had the permit on file and we were soon off across the road to the access put-in.
                               Put-in on shore of Farm lake across road from Shall lake access point

The weather was really great and soon the sun burned the morning fog off of Farm lake and we found our way to the 90m portage to Kitty lake. Though some reports said it was runnable our carbon fiber canoe would have been no match for the rocks in the swift. we made quick work of the portage and were soon on our way up Kitty lake. We were able to capture a glimpse of a large Blue Heron sitting in a white pine tree just meters into out paddle up Kitty lake. The lake had a few campers on it and we said hello to some as we paddled past. We made it to the portage to Booth and stopped for a snack and to toss our lines out for a few casts with out much luck just a few small bass. Two other canoes started to approach from Kitty so we made quick work of the portage to get out of their way. We loaded up the canoe and shoved off into Booth Lake. First impressions were that this was a beautiful lake and we couldn't wait to get out and explore all that it had to offer.

View from the shoreline in front of our first site on Booth
Sunset on our beach site

The heat of the morning was intense and the lack of sleep I had the night before at the cottage was catching up with me. We ended up choosing the second site on the right hand shoreline as it was a nice beach site and I was ready to at very least make camp for the day.

                                                   Unloading our gear at 1st site of the trip

After a couple hours we set off to try some fishing and paddled up to Tattler lake to see what the cabin looked like. The lake was fairly busy and the wind was so calm we could hear people on the other shoreline talking. The fishing was pretty fun and in my opinion pretty good for me. Though the fish were plentiful we released them all as we had other perishable food to eat back at camp.

A Pike caught on Booth shortly after we arrived

On Sunday morning we were up before 06:00 and after a quick coffee and some oatmeal we headed out to fish just after 06:30am and I landed my biggest catch of the trip and the biggest Pike I have caught to date.

After my catch we decided to head up McCarthy Creek to check out Mole lake and try to catch a photo of some moose along the way. We didn't see any moose on this trek up the creek but we followed a beaver up the creek for  a few meters and I was able to get a picture of it swimming. We followed along behind the beaver at a safe distance not to spook it and it made its way to this beaver house.

Beaver House on McCarthy Creek
Beaver we followed up the creek

Mole lake was a very quiet lake we checked out both the sites on this lake. The one beside the Godda lake portage was very over grown and appeared to have not been used in many months.

Mole to Godda portage takeout. Mole is a peaceful lake

I caught a pike on Mole and after a circumnavigation of the lake we headed back to Booth. We returned to camp had a bite to eat and decided to pack up and try another site on the lake just to experience more of what this lake has to offer. We cooled off one last time on our beach site and then set off the take our next site. We circled the Southern most island and chose the campsite in the narrows. This was a very big and open site and there were lots of locations to setup a tent.

                                       Our second site of the trip on South Island on Booth

                                                   Our vessel beached along side our island site

We setup fairly quick and again set out to go fishing. The weather remained as calm as could be and made for great canoe fishing and traveling about on the lake.

                                   Just one of the many Bass caught and released on this trip

We decided on Sunday evening that Monday would be a good day to head to Godda lake. We developed our game plan and hit the hay for the night around 10pm. Monday morning at 05:55 I woke up and yelled over to the other tent for Mike to get up for a coffee. we packed a lunch and our fishing gear and headed to the Booth the Ryegrass portage.

Approaching the takeout at Booth to Ryegrass portage
Looking back towards Booth as the sun rises through the morning mist from the takeout at the portage to Ryegrass
The portage to Ryegrass was not bad and the put-in to Ryegrass was also not too difficult. We pretty much paddled right across Ryegrass for the portage to Rumly. The takeout was a little bit more difficult and the start of this portage was also pretty much grown over. Mike headed off ahead with the day pack and I picked up the canoe and followed along behind.

                                                      Rumly lake calm, sunny and silent

The Rumly to Godda portage was more open than I expected but the 1350m proved to be a long one. I was able to single carry the canoe without a break which I was happy about. The mozzy's were bad on the portage so we made fast work of getting back into the canoe at the Godda end. The East end site was located beside the portage and didn't look like too bad of a site. A large rocky shoal stretched out into the lake from the portage and looked like a great spot for some fishing. we spent some time paddling around and looking at the large rocks in this area of the lake but didn't get as much as a bite. We headed down the lake and made our way to the North shoreline. As we neared the small creek that lead to Blake lake we heard something up ahead on the shoreline. I grabbed my camera and signaled to Mike to slowly paddle to the shore about 100' away. We both expected to see a moose but to our surprise a bear cub rolled out of the brush and into the shallow water on the shore. Just then the bushes rustled again and a large female bear stood up and stared us down with her nose in the air and her ears perked up. I was able to get this one half decent shot before she escorted her cub back into the dense bush.

Mother Bear on Godda lake with her cub hiding behind her left shoulder
We attempted to travel to Blake lake but the small stream was too shallow and narrow to navigate without getting out and walking through the marshy area right beside where we had just seen the bears. We decided to stop for a break at the West end campsite. This is a great looking site that would be nice for a weekend trip stop over.
Mike taking a well needed break after a long morning of portaging and paddling .
We made our way back to Mole lake and then back through McCarthy creek towards our island site. Monday night we gathered some fire wood and discussed our plans for heading out the next morning back to the car. Once again I woke up before 06:00 but this time it was to the sound of rain on the tent fly. If it had to rain then this was the best day for it. Mike also got up and we both started packing up our tents and gear in the increasingly building rain and wind. Around 6:45 we were all packed up and headed off back towards the car. I packed away the camera for this trek and I am very glad that I made this call. By the time we reached the Portage to Kitty we were in a full on rain storm and the wind was directly in our faces and strong. I two tripped the first portage and once we got to the Farm lake portage I was prepared to one trip it. Farm lake was a very windy lake that morning and it was a pleasure to finally reach the creek approaching the takeout at the access. We made quick work of loading up the canoe and car and were off in a matter of 20 minutes.
 A view from on top of the rocky ridge in the middle of the island we were staying on
This was a very memorable trip and I look forward to making plans for another trip from this access point. The women at the counter in the permit office was very helpful and seemed to have the same passion for the park that we have.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Trip #21 Ralph Bice, Daisy Lake loop May 30 2014

This was our 21st trip into the Algonquin interior in the last decade since we have been tracking our trips. This trip we wanted to try a new access point off the normal hwy 60 access points we had traveled over the last 10 years. The drive up seemed quick and the traffic was great. We arrived at the Kearney permit office about 15 minutes before it was scheduled to open. The staff noticed us in the parking lot and opened a few minutes early so we could be on our way. This was a nice way to start this trip. We had read lots about the varying conditions of the access road from the office to the actual put-in so we knew it could be bad. To our amazement other than a few pot holes and wash board sections it was pretty good and my car made it without issue. We were able to see one your moose in a clearing along the road into the park but we didn't have camera gear ready to catch a photo. Seeing as though the bugs were pretty bad we didn't expect to see many people this trip. We were surprised to see the parking lot at Magnetawan lake so full. Just as we started putting our gear out by the dock and unloading the car a large group of canoes rounded the corner from the Hambone portage and we had to move our gear over into the wooded area beside the dock to give the group the room they needed to safely exit the lake and load up.

  Before to long we were on our way and Blake had his video equipment setup and ready to capture our trip. We were at the Hambone portage in minutes and one this we all noticed was how clear Magnetawan lake was. We made quick work on the 1st portage of the trip. The putt-in at Hambone end of the 1st portage was okay but given that we were 3 to the canoe it was a bit tricky to get to a spot where the canoe wasn't getting hung up on the bottom. Hambone too was a very clear lake. We set out around the South shore and as we rounded the corner and opened up into the main body of the lake I spotted a bald eagle flying out of the top of a large pine tree on the South shoreline. It flew out to the middle of the lake and circled around and then back into the tree tops. Blake was again not able to get a good picture of the great bird. After some ribbing and laughs for the failed attempt at a photo we paddled on. The wind had really picked up by this time and we made our way across the Hambone to Ralph Bice portage. We knew we were in for a rough ride on Ralph Bice and so we sat as low as we could in the canoe and headed out hugging the S/W shore. We went in behind the small islands and headed for the large island on the West shore with the one site on it. To our amaze it was vacant so we went ashore to investigate. It didn't take long to decide that this was it for us. We made camp and started gathering wood.

  I set out for some fishing and explored the water around our island. I came across a young moose calf on the back side of the island. I went ashore and attempted to get a closer look for the moose but it must have made it over to the main land before I was able to track it down for a picture. We paddled over to David lake for a side trip and investigated the island site on this lake. This is a very nice clear lake and the island site is beautiful. This would make a great lake for a secluded weekend get away.

  On day two I spent much of the day fishing and checking out camp sites on either side of Ralph Bice lake. This is a nice lake and the sites are very nice as well. I finally managed to land a Trout late in the afternoon and came to shore to fill out my survey paperwork and make dinner. This was only the second Trout I had caught in the park so I was very excited to say the least. Later after dinner I headed back out to try my luck for another Trout and within 20 minutes I landed another beautiful Trout. I measured and released this one to swim another day.

 The next morning we packed up and made our way to Daisy lake for our 3rd and final night in the park for this trip. We crossed Ralph Bice again into the wind and soon we were at the Daisy lake portage. This portage was a bit longer than the others this trip and had many ups and downs but the weather was nice and the sun was out so it made for a great walk through the woods. We approached the Daisy lake end of the portage and loaded up the canoe. We were surprised to see so many canoes paddling by heading West on Daisy. we pulled out and started looking for a site. Concerned we would pass one up and then lose it to the canoes coming behind us we made extra sure we were passing on a site before heading on down the lake. We rounded the corner at the West end of the main body of the lake and took the last site on the left shore. The site had a good breeze to keep the bugs at bay.

  We spent the afternoon exploring the site and I took a few cracks at catching fish with no luck to be had. That evening we finished up the rest of our food and spent time relaxing around the camp fire.

  The next morning we packed up and headed back to the car. The portages were n eventful and we made a quick trip of it. Once back at the car it became clear that there was much less people in this part of the park then when we departed.

                                              Getting started on Magnetawan Lake Access

1st Portage of 2014

Daryl excited for the trip!

Our alarm clock for the trip

Ralph Bice lake from island site

Visitors to our Ralph Bice site

The calmest day of the trip on Ralph Bice

HDR of Ralph Bice Lake

One Tripping

looking for the elusive Trout

Blake's HDR from our site

I finally caught a lake trout!!! whoot whoot

Blake and Daryl relaxing by the fire

My prize for my patients

Taking part in the Trout survey

Delayed exposure of passing satellites over Ralph Bice

Rock behind Daisy lake site

Trying for more Trout on Daisy

My attempt at playing some tunes on the harp.

Delayed exposure with flashlights to signify our 21st trip in 10 years

Trip #17 Rock Lake September 2012

In September 2012, I (Blake) and Dad took a short trip to Rock Lake.

Here is the Video:

Trip #20 October 2013 Tom Thompson, McIntosh, Brule, Potter Creek

 This trip was a chance to get away into the park for one more canoe trip before winter. This time our nephew Daryl came along as well as our friend Mike. The weather was not the best for a late season trip such as this. We had to contend with wind and rain on most of the trip. Our first day took us to Tom Thompson and we were forced off the lake by an incredible head wind. We opted for the site along the side of the narrow passage to Bartlett lake. The site was rather large and had plenty of space for two hammocks and two tents.
  After we were set up and fire wood had been gathered I decided to take a solo paddle into Bartlett lake to check out the camp sites on this lake. I really liked this lake and would like to some day spend a night on this lake in the future.

  I slept very well the first night and woke up before sun rise to start making some coffee and oatmeal. The day looked as though it was going to be another overcast one and rain was likely in the forecast. We packed up and vacated the site before 08:30am.

  The Tom Thompson to Ink lake portage was on the agenda first off for day two. We managed the portage in good time one tripping it for all but the last 200m. Mike and I were the first to the Ink lake end and we sat and had a snack while waiting for Daryl and Blake. I noticed a couple of Grey Jays in the trees overhead. I held out my hand and in seconds one was sitting in my hand trying to take my granola bar. Blake and Daryl arrived and we were soon off to Ink Creek, a favorite spot for me in the park. We were at McIntosh in what seemed like no time at all. Since our last time on this lake we were forced to the West shore due to heavy winds this time we stuck to the East shore as we searched for a site. We stopped and checked out about 3 or 4 before settling on one around the point near the North East end of the lake. This site was large and protected from the wind. It started to rain as we were setting up and we struggled to get a fire going but were successful in the end. I set out to explore this end of McIntosh and got wet from the increasing rain fall before returning to the site for the night.

Day three we set off for Brule lake and this took us through a few smaller lakes none of which we had traveled before. The first was Straight Shore Lake, followed by Rosewood.  The Rosewood to Brule portage was mapped as 175m but since we took the wrong way, we actually more than doubled the portage.

We soon entered Brule Lake and made our way to our third and final campsite for the trip.  We rounded the corner and located the campsite sign.  The takeout for this site is very steep and narrow.  We managed to pull the canoe up the hill and haul our gear up to the top, where the site is located.

After a short time we decided where our tents and hammocks would be situated, and we made camp.  I set off to try to catch some bass, and on my first cast I reeled in this 3 pounder, seen in one of the pictures below.

The weather turned cold and windy that afternoon, and we were forced to wear all of our clothing to keep the chill off from the strong cold wind.

We pretty much hung around the campfire that afternoon, and tried to eat up as much of our leftover food as possible.

Day 4
We packed up extra early, just as the light of day was setting in.  We were soon on the water and heading towards potters lake and potters creek.  The wind was out of the south and by the time we reached Canoe Lake we were faced with a full-on headwind and whitecaps.  We hugged the east shore of canoe lake, rounding the corner at the Tom Thompson cairn and totem pole, and made a B-line for the east shore, crossing the mouth of Ahmek Bay.  We continued down the east shore, eventually rounding the corner, and into site of the Canoe Lake Portage Store.  This ended our final trip of 2013.

Brule Lake Campsite up on the Hill

Tom Thompson Lake

McIntosh Site
McIntosh Lake

Blake's Hammock on McIntosh Lake
Chilling out around the fire at Tom Thompson Site

Canoeing on Tom Thompson Lake

Campfire on the hill on Brule Lake site.

Grey Jay on Ink Lake

Bass on Brule Lake

Trip #35 Pen and Rock Lake August 2017

Trip #35 Pen and Rock Lake August 2017