Mark's Algonquin Park Sampler - Triplog#26 - Access#11 - Opeongo - Days 7&8

Triplogs / Triplog#26 / Day 2 / Day 3 / Days 4-6 / Days 7&8

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Opeongo(IN) - Proulx L - Opeongo(South Arm) - Opeongo(OUT)

Day 7 - Secret speckled trout lake

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This beaver fled the scene after I rescued my paddles from possible destruction

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At the crack of dawn: Some folks just couldn't wait to fish

I was awoken literally at the crack of dawn, the sun wasn't up yet, it was about 6:20am. What woke me up was a sound that almost sounded like a baby. In fact it was a beaver, and there were two of them. Behind my tent, next to the canoe landing was a great deal of shrubs. This is where the beavers were, feeding on the shrubs, leaning up against the shrubs was 4 paddles. Well they didn't stay they for long! I grabbed the paddles and moved them inland and leaned them up against a big pine tree. The 4th paddle(we brought 3), was acquired upon arrival on the site. Someone had left behind a small paddle, great for a bow paddler. Score! I've heard stories of some folks stringing up their paddles along with their food packs, to prevent beavers or porcupines from having them for dinner. I didn't get that drastic, but it did make me think about it for a moment. My action of removing the paddles alerted the beavers to my presence, and soon the vacated and swam off. I didn't know if all the noise was about a fight over the food, or they were having sex or what, but it was the first time I'd been awaken at dawn by any mammal, instead of those imaginary ones with big teeth and huge ripping claws.

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Sunrise on Opeongo: Looking towards Jones Bay

For the next hour, I watched the sun rise up, and fired up the stove for our morning coffee. I guess Bo was getting tired of Oatmeal, so was I. Bo offered me a 'chuck-wagon', sort of a sub, just meat and cheese that lasts a long time in the bush in September, as it is prepackaged. Unfortunately, living in Toronto, I can't find these for sale anywhere, except full fledged subs, that are loaded with lettuce and tomatoes that goes bad fast.

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A tranquil September morning, perfect for fishing


By 8am we were on the water. Master Bo was taking me to one of his secret fishing lakes, to fish guessed it, Speckled Trout. Out of respect for Master Bo, the name of the lake will not be revealed here. Only around campfires with Bo present may I be allowed to name the place. All I can tell you is within 2 minutes of launching onto the lake, both are lines were hit with ferocity.

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A Secret lake: speckled trout galore!

Master Bo himself was surprised, he himself didn't expect to catch any Specks on our trip, Bo preferred to fish in the spring for them, and he considered early September a bad time to catch the fish. In fact Bo suspected we had arrived at just the right time of day on the right day, confiding in me that sometimes, the fish in the lake can just shutdown for days at a time, and at other times like then, go crazy. The fish loved the worms and the fish themselves were much bigger than the ones on Koko creek. However they were still small, nevertheless I had a smile on my face that day, I was beginning to enjoy speckled trout fishing. Master Bo though kicked my ass, if ya will, he caught three times as much as I did. We hung around for about three hours. The first hour catching 6 keepers. The last two hours trying to catch that elusive 7th fish. Finally Bo caught the 7th one. He must've caught close to 30, and I about 10. I kept 2 of mine(my limit), and released the rest. Bo got his 5 and we headed back to camp.

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Bo considered smaller sized trout sweeter in taste

It was friday, and as such it was busy on the lake that day. Scores of canoes and water taxis went by, weekend-ers coming in. I went for a swim under the sun, and took up Bass fishing off the rocks. I've fished for bass before, but never had the success that I was having that day. I caught bass after bass after bass. At one point I must've caught close to 30, one being over 1lb.

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Our campsite seen from the water

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A close-up of our site from the water: my tent was very close to the water

In this respect I skunked Master Bo. Bo in turn admitted he wasn't into bass fishing, and he soon gave up. I, on the other hand I couldn't put my rod down. I loved these fish, they fought! What sport! I had the fever big time. I was 'hooked'! By now, I was worming and unhooking all my fish on my own, with the exception of some deep hooked bass, whereas I summoned Master Bo to assist me. I released all the bass I caught and then feasted on the trout we had caught that day. Again the flavor was awesome. I was so energized by the great day we had, I went and dragged a fallen cedar tree and chopped it up, and we had a really great scented fire that night.

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Bo Knows with our catch(s) of the day

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Mark's turn to showoff the catch before they hit the pan

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mmmm...the smell and taste of fresh cooked Speckled trout is out of this world!


Day 8

It was another beautiful September day. The weather on this trip had been fantastic it had only rained once, 2 nites ago,(our first night on Opeongo), but that lasted only 5 min. Bo had predicted rain, and I didn't, he was right though, even if it was for a short time. However it panicked me enough to get up in the middle of the night and put the fly on in a hurry. As soon as the fly was on, it stopped raining. Go figure.

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The saddest day in Algonquin: Heading home

We left just before 8am, and arrived back at the docks just before 9am, it took us an hour to do the journey, there were light waves, and just a hint of a breeze. Passing Bates Island, Bo noticed dirty foam washing up along the shore. "Pollution", Bo said.

"Nooooo!" I called out. I had been drinking straight from Proulx and Opeongo Lakes. I drink(foolishly, some might think) straight from most lakes in Algonquin. I think though from now on, I'll filter my water from Opeongo, after all there are motorboats aplenty on that lake. I figured though if the loons and the fish, can survive in it, then it can't be that bad. However I think from now one, I'll at least boil Opeongo water. We pulled up, un-loaded the canoe, and packed our vehicles.

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Along the shoreline of Bates island: Foam indicating pollution(right of center)


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The last leg of the journey:
The last island at the head of the last bay, on our way out

I thanked Master Bo, for the great trip and the experience. As well as some of the lessons learned, especially where fishing was concerned. We shook hands, and talked of possibly doing another trip the following year, possibly with a larger party, the more the merrier. In my mind, it was a fantastic trip, the weather couldn't have been better, and the company Bo kept was equally fantastic, the stories shared(some creepy Algonquin ones too), and the fishing aspect as well made for a memorable trip. Bo is a great friend, and I feel very fortunate to have tripped with him in the short time that I've known him. I look forward to our next trip together, hoping that one day I'll bring a monster Speck to the frying pan!


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