I’ve been posting some old family photos lately. Earlier this week I was looking through an old album and a few pictures caught my attention, so I scanned them and thought I’d share them here.
I recall this spot well. I must have been in my late teens and my father and I were way up in Northern Ontario at some remote lake or another, fishing for walleye and pike, and my dad had the idea that there must be trout in the outflow of this lake. He had a nose for trout and I didn’t doubt for a minute that he was right. We had caught our fill of walleyes and were up for an adventure. We motored our boat as close to the outflow as possible, until it was too shallow to run the motor, and then I paddled us along until we came to the stream proper.
We found a place to tie up the boat and we scrambled our way partly bushwhacking and partly wading the stream. It was really tough going as you can see from the picture. The stream had deep holes and was dangerous to wade in parts and the bush was thick and nasty. We didn’t have to go far though, before it started looking like a seriously beautiful trout stream. My father was using a fly rod, but he wasn’t fly fishing. This was a time-honoured technique for him, worm-plonking with a long fly rod, dropping his bait into likely spots and letting his worm drift temptingly behind boulders and logs.
Not long after I took this photo, he caught a very large brook trout, about 4 pounds, and just a few minutes later, I caught a smaller one – but still big in my books – perhaps a pound and a half . After that, in the same set of pools, in what looked like trout water, we started to catch pike and more pike and we didn’t see another trout. We wanted to explore the stream further downstream but it was really dangerously difficult and we were limited to one good stretch of runs and pools.
Paddling back out to the lake, we saw a large black bear along the shore. I don’t know if it was coincidence or if the bear was following us but it seemed to be keeping pace with my paddling. Eventually the bear stopped and we paddled ahead, and then I looked back to see the bear was in the water swimming across the outlet well behind us. I can tell you that bears can swim remarkably fast. We wanted to go back to the outlet again after more of those big brookies, but we were both nervous about Mr. Bear, and we decided after that we would leave that whole section of the lake and outlet stream to him.