Yesterday was spent exploring. Wednesday was some very rough weather that lasted well into the morning, and the stiff breeze on Jessie Lake discouraged us from getting out there on Thursday, so we took off with my map book into the back country looking for small stream action. We went back up Black Sturgeon road. Near Shillabeer Creek we passed two Trans Canada work vehicles headed the opposite direction- these would be the only vehicles we would see all day.
|head high in bear country|
We attempted to fish the Nonwatin River, but couldn’t buy a bite, the river isn’t really wadeable where we crossed it, the bankside brush was so ridiculously thick we could barely penetrate it, it had by far the most bear sign we had seen anywhere, so much that you had to really watch your step so as not to be knee deep in it so to speak. There were loads of berries in the area, but they all tasted like bear spit, so we moved on. Black Sturgeon Road becomes this interminable two track, barely passable in places, with blowdowns from the recent winds everywhere. My new slogan for Canada is “Canada- The Clear-cut North of the Border”, as we drove through miles of it. Well, it’s good to know where my toilet paper comes from. In a way, it was like going home. Black Sturgeon Lake is a jewel set in granite, and I wish we had time to explore it. Our goal was to check out the Poshkogagan River, some 80-100 miles from camp. I believe Black Sturgeon Road itself is 80-100 miles long; in all we drove 230 miles yesterday. While I was looking through the pictures on my camera, Sam spotted a bear crossing the road just north of Black Sturgeon Lake. We finally reached the Poshkokagan River at about 4 pm. It is a beautiful river that I’m sure is full of fish, but again- unwadeable, and no time to explore. We drove north from there to rout 527 which is paved, then took the Dorion Cutoff back to 17 to get back to camp. It was a long day, and beautiful drive through wild country.
|big fish of the day- 20"|
I realize that most of you just want to see fish, so here goes. I got up this morning in time to see the most stunning sunrise of the week, quickly followed by more rain. I launched the kayak anyways, and hooked up on my second cast on a solid 20” fish that took me for a few rounds before landing. I couldn’t find my tailing glove, and hadn’t figured out how to do the self-portraiture and so the pictures stink. Two points later I hooked up on the big fish of the week, 19” but deep, heavy and muscular. He took several hard runs and really put my 3 weight to the test and I was afraid he would smoke the reel. The color on these fish is astonishing. This time I figured out how to take the pics, but when I lifted the fish he thrashed and left me with this shot. The picture says it all.
|so much for the hero shot|
I then paddled over to a group of small islands that had deep drop offs on all sides, and got this fish- gorgeous fish, found the glove, got the pic. I’m going to thrash this lake hard the next couple of days in search of decent pictures to share, now that I have the system down. By the way, all of the fish have come on Au Sable skunks, except for that big 19” which hit the same orange and black Chernobyl that I got my big Michigan brookie on. Today I made a point to cast streamers at all of the spots that I stopped and have not had a follow. The local guides have all been reporting very poor fishing conditions, and I’ve caught the most fish of anyone I’ve talked to. The fish I’m catching are not the giants everyone is after, but they are still great fish in my book and worth coming for. I’ve missed a couple of bigger fish that may have gone 5 pounds.
|not a monster, just a great fish.|
We had to come back to town for more ice, thus the post- I’ll try to do some better posts when I return, with some analysis. This trip has fully lived up to my expectations and has been just the vacation I’ve needed. Sam has been a great travelling companion, we’ve eaten well, snacked non-stop on junk food, gotten too much sun, gotten stormed on, and our minds are full of more beautiful scenes than we could ever take pictures of or share. I’ll put together a couple of posts after I get home with the highlights and lessons learned and try not to wear you out with it all.
|greetings from the bush|
It has been fantastic. I'm headed back out in the kayak to explore the lake for the rest of the day.