Well we woke up at 3am, packed the truck, ate breakfast and off by 4 am. We stopped off and picked up 3 dozen worms for the weekend, more on the worms later. We had a pretty good drive up missing most traffic through the Toronto area and clear highways from there. The boys slept most of the way up and missed the moose running through a field just south of Trout Creek. Turns out we forgot the dried pepperoni in the fridge at home so we stopped of at Gramp’s in Temagami and pick up some beef jerky fueled up with gas.
Had to stop off and get the standard tourist photo at the Temagami sign
Our put in point was Mowat’s Landing, we arrived at about 10:15 am, got everything unloaded and off by 10:45 for the short paddle on the Montreal River to the Mattawapika Dam 270m portage. Portage was quick and easy and off on the Lady Evelyn river in no time. Along the river we saw a family of Otters up on the banks, there was maybe 7-8 of them some young, some very large, larger than I’m use to seeing. We also saw in the distance what appeared to be a Peregrine Falcon. We came across a bunch of moose bones scattered about one area on the river bank.
Seamus holding the leg bones for size reference
Easton with the Skull
This picture shows the low water levels this year, the Mattawapika dam was closed tight to retain as much water as possible in an effort to bring levels back up.
We lucked out heading into Lady Evelyn Lake with no headwind making our paddle to the campsite much more relaxing
15.8 km to the campsite leading into Whitefish Bay took 5hr 20 min. Once there we setup camp and prepared for some fishing. This is the big base camp tent we use when there isn’t much porting involved, it makes for a comfortable camp.
View from campsite north out to Lady Evelyn Lake
So we have supper and get ready to head across the bay for some fishing. We discover the worms we bought were in an advanced state of decomposition, not happy about that! I salvage what we cpould but no luck other than a small perch that was released, no Walleye like we had hoped for. Back to camp and some time lounging around then off to bed.
The plan today was to head into the Muskego River for some Brook trout fishing, After breakfast we headed off into the wind on the 10km round trip. Once into the bay leading to the Muskego the wind was not an issue but the water level was, rocks and logs just below the surface kept us alert until we could paddle no more. Along the way we did see many Merganser ducks and a pair of Sandhill Cranes which make quite the racket. Because of the low water we had to hike into the fishing area, we brought everything we needed for a day along the river and hopefully a shore lunch of Brookies.
Easton working the pool at the falls
I have to say that The Muskego River is a very beautiful place to fish, the waterfalls although water volume is down now, is an amazing place to hang out. We did catch a few trout but not as many as hoped for, just enough to tease the taste buds.
Some wolf tracks along the banks of the Muskego River
After a hot sunny day in the bush we headed back to camp to cook up the trout we caught, not a full meal but oh so good.
View of shoreline in the early evening, note the black line at shore showing previous water levels
Looking into Whitefish Bay from the campsite
The setting sun over Lady Evelyn Lake
A lazy start to the day and fresh cooked Cranberry Cinnamon bannock.
So we decided today we would break camp and head back home, we had a great time even though fishing was not as we had hoped, the worm issue was partly to blame, we did try lure’s but nothing seemed to take. Luckily we had a tail wind most of the paddle out and rigged up a makeshift sail, the trip back took 3hr 29 min. I had hoped to see more wildlife but noticed due to the low water levels, what normally would have been good moose feeding grounds along the lake’s edge was for the most part dead and brown. As a bonus we did see 3 cow moose on the drive home.
I will be back this way at the end of June for a 2 week 180km solo trip. Hopefully I will make up for the fishing and have more time to focus on photography.
I am in the process of putting together a short video of this trip so check back soon!