Canoe, Portage, Camp & Fish
On our fly-in fishing trip to Scotia Lake in 2007 I had the opportunity to meet with John Berger as he and his paddling partner passed our cabin on their way to Temagami. Their trip pricked my interest in the Temagami area, thus the plans for 2008 began. My search for routes took me to the Canadian Canoe Routes website where I found 21 routes and loops. Since this was to be a leisurely trip with ample time for fishing, I chose the 60 mile Jumping Caribou-Red Cedar loop. This would also return us to our launch site on Temagami Lake.
This picture of the Kermit crew was taken as we left Temagami August 15.
The rain didn't keep the fishermen from going forth as shown at our first camp by Bill with this nice Smallmouth Bass from Driftwood Lake.
Bill was the fillet specialist showing the rest of us how to properly clean fish for a hearty dinner.
Normally we use our 68 Lb. ABS river canoes for tripping, but this time I wanted to use ultra-lite Kevlar boats so arangements were made to rent them. Renting would allow us to leave our vehicle in a more secure location in town instead of parking at the remote access site. It never occurred to me that the outfitter would impose a substantial additional fee for shuttling to/from the launch site. With this new realization I altered the plan. Instead of doing the 60 mile loop we would enter and exit at Iceland Lake, spending our time exploring the reaches of Wasaksina Lake. The weather was promising as we left our homes near Baltimore, MD for the 14 hour drive. Despite the good weather report, the rain of the past three weeks continued to fall as we reached the outfitter at the appointed time Saturday morning. We unloaded the gear from our covered trailer to find that water had leaked in and things were wet. Not to matter, as they were loaded into the uncovered trailer of the outfitter for our muddy road trip to the launch point into Iceland Lake.
We paddled across Iceland Lake to our first portage of 350 M. The map was little help as the lake contained numerous undocumented islands. I retrieved my compass from my fanny pack and took a bearing to verify the portage was to the southwest and was not the longer portage toward another lake to the east of us. The rain continued off and on while we launched into the North arm of Driftwood Lake. We quickly found a suitable campsite as depicted on the map. By 12:00 noon we had the tents up and dining fly in place.
It rained all night Saturday and Sunday. I always claimed I could start a fire in any weather by splitting the wood and exposing the dry interior. It was so wet that the the wood was soaked through. Even the birch bark burned slowly! It was very discouraging. If the weather didn't improve I would not have enough fuel to cook for the entire week.
Monday morning we saw the clouds begin to break up and by afternoon we could see improvement in the weather. Tuesday was partly sunny while Tony and I went South to Wasaksina Lake to scout for a better campsite the other four went fishing.
This 33 inch Northern Pike was caught by Joseph near our camp on Driftwood Lake.
Water Lillies seen on our scouting trip to Wasaksina Lake.
With the sunny weather the beauty of the North comes forth.
Our new camp had ample room and green grass!
Bill watches as the sun burns away the morning mist.
Early morning sunlight on the island campsite across from us. We laid the sun shower on the rock and used this site for showering. Even the thunder box was better than ours.
Steven and me on the portage into Denedus Lake. Me on the right.
Along the route to Denedus Lake.
Where the creek empties into Denedus Lake fishing is its best even at midday.
Joseph and Ken with fish for dinner.
Off to another day of fishing.
Our lunch spot on Greenlaw Lake. We had to rush as a large group was portaging into the lake and would be blocking our retreat to Wasaksina.
Two short portages brought into Greenlaw Lake where we found great Smallmouth fishing all day long.
The Temagami train station was beautiful.
Seven weeks earlier I had my right rotator cuff repaired. They thought I couldn't paddle a canoe. Actually, getting out of the tent was the most difficult activity. I Love these ulta-light Souris canoes! They are great to paddle and carry but very uncomfortable for fishing. A greeting from Canada to my therapists Susan and Debbie.
Sunset over Wasaksina Lake
This page was last updated: February 13, 2011
We had no trouble getting rid of our fish cleanings.
Denedus Lake has many scenic island campsites.
We followed this winding stream leading to Greenlaw Lake.
Wow, Dad. Good catch. He must be 18 inches.