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Big Pike and a Little Canoe (Quetico Provincial Park): Part 2

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Jim is a retired software/electrical engineer who enjoys the outdoors. He likes to challenge himself with creative projects at home.


We had one day behind us and worries about my canoe being adequate for this trip had diminished. I was now becoming comfortable with being in the remote setting and grateful to be spending this time with my son.

Day 2 of Our Trip

We awoke early to cloudy but still warmer weather and were on the water by 7:30 after breaking up camp, packing and having breakfast. It was instant oats and coffee, hot chocolate for Dan. I caught a small walleye while trolling our way to the next portage, Elizabeth Lake. I was a little sore from the day before but once I got moving down the trail, I was fine.

I never read much about fishing in Elizabeth Lake but we fished it anyway. Dan caught a fat 34” Northern coming up on a pinch point near the next portage. I caught a few shorter but fat walleyes, I guess there are fish in that lake.

The next portage was to Walter Lake. The trail was quite rocky but a fairly easy portage and not too long. Walter is a pretty lake, a larger roundish body of water with a channel on one side, kind of like the Greek letter omega. The surface was calm and we trolled all the way through hoping to catch some lake trout, but none.

The portage from Walter to Lonely Lake was actually two short portages separated by a small pond. The only real difficult part, besides having to unpack/pack/unpack/pack, was one of the landings in the pond. It was strewn with large rocks breaking the water’s surface all along the shore near the take out. We had to stand on rocks and lift the canoe up onto a small ledge in the rock face, then climb a fairly steep angle up the remainder of the rock face.

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The wind was picking up by the time we got to Lonely Lake, and the clouds were getting thicker. We paddled the eastern shoreline to the channel that led to the next portage. By the time we got there, the wind was blowing pretty good from the southwest. With only about 10 minutes to paddle before we took out at the next trail, it started raining hard. We got a bit wet but still put on our rain gear when we landed.

The portage to Sturgeon Lake, our destination for the day, was two short trails separated by a shallow creek. I enjoyed paddling the creek even though the rain was really coming down.

When we finally started paddling east on Sturgeon Lake the waves were getting larger. I originally had planned to travel another 3 or 4 miles to find a campsite but thought we should find something sooner since the weather was getting worse.

I said to Dan that it would be nice to find a site near a sandy beach. When we rounded the next point, there was a campsite with about 50 yards of sandy beach. That was our base camp. We set up and had fried SPAM and instant potatoes for dinner, yum! We stayed in that night waiting for the storm to blow over, but it lasted well into the night, luckily it was not a thunderstorm with lightning. Not much fishing that day, but we were starting to get more comfortable with the portages and carrying the canoe was getting easier.


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