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 Post subject: Canada Trip Report
PostPosted: September 3rd, 2017, 10:45 pm 
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Location: N44.88305* W68.67206*
Just got back from my annual trip to Canada – it was the same trip 1Weight & I had planned for last year but had to abort for mechanical problems and it was also the same trip I did in 2012, except this time I dragged a “portage pod” (not to be confused with a porta potty) stuffed with an inflatable kayak, pump, paddle, PFD, landing net and some rigging. My objective, based on some rumors I heard 13 years ago, was to get into the headwater lakes and streams of a remote river and explore and assess the area. This river is the longest in this part of Canada and its Innu name means “trees good for tent poles”.

Here’s how it went: I drove 33 hours north of Orono to the end of the most remote road in NE Canada, then I started walking and dragging my pod. My first scare, of many, came on my 2nd day in the bush, when after a stream crossing I realized I left my GPS on the other side of the stream – when I realized my error I heard myself utter an audible whimper but was able to find it fairly quickly. The 2nd scare of the trip came the next day when I was 16 miles in and my primary GPS crapped out because it was saturated with rain – luckily I had a primitive, 1st generation backup GPS which got me thru the rest of the trip. 3.5 days and 29.9 miles later I reached the first of 3 headwater lakes of the watershed. Twice on the way I had to use the kayak to cross streams that were too high to cross safely with my 60 lb pack – this was easily the most physically challenging outing of my life aside from when me’n 1Weight dragged our kayaks & gear into the Elizabeth River. Once there, I deployed my kayak and paddled up into the watershed another 15 miles or so. There was WAY more water up there than there was the last time I was in the area – which made it necessary to wear my waders for the entire hike in and out and also complicated the fishing. When I was done with the paddling portion of this trip I had planned to leave my pod packed with kayak & fishing gear lashed to a tree on the shore of the 1st headwater lake, but since the streams coming in were so high, I needed to drag the pod back out 3.25 miles to get back across the streams.

Everything happens for a reason: When I paddled across the northern most lake, I missed the inlet – as I paddled back to it I noticed a dilapidated, log built float plane “dock” washed up against the shore of the lake – I investigated and found an abandoned caribou camp – the roof of the camp had caved in and there was a tent platform next door also with a collapsed frame – the bears had chewed and shredded everything they could get their hands on and the place was a mess – I took a few photos and moved on. As I was heading back down out of the watershed, 2 days later, I broke my kayak paddle – paddling my spinny little kayak across 3 big lakes with a single bladed paddle would have killed me, but I remembered seeing at least 2 old canoe paddles in the wreckage of the caribou camp, which was just around the corner. So, I headed over there, fashioned a kayak paddle out of 2 canoe paddles and decided to spend the nite there because it was getting late. After I unloaded my gear I picked up my rod and flipped a muddler about 12’ out into the lake and noticed a huge brookie follow it in – I yanked my fly out of the water, ran and got my GoPro and 4 casts later I was into one of the biggest brookies of my life – the next morning, before my second cup of coffee, I had hooked 4 and landed 3 trophy brookies off that dock…

Like I mentioned before, the streams were as high as I had ever seen them in late August and all the bogs were full – I believe that put the fishing off a bit, as the streams were inundated. I didn’t catch all that many trout, but damn near every one of them was bigger than the biggest brookies I had ever caught before – I would guess that the biggest few came in somewhere between 5 and 7 lbs… I caught 1 pike which was fun and the entire watershed is full of pygmy LL salmon – I caught many of them on all 3 of my trips to this river and never saw 1 bigger than 12 – 14” – aside from the fact that I had to spend a great deal of time & effort to protect my fragile craft both going up and down stream, fishing was a relatively small piece of this trip, but I think this area has tremendous potential…I could write a whole other report on just how amazing it was to be out in this incredibly wild, remote area and to have it all to myself – I’d go up on a hilltop and look around – everything that the daylight touched was mine…

The Gear: As usual the stuff of the trip was simple – some of the standouts were my Innova Twist kayak – at 16 lbs and 8.5’ long, it was a great, durable little craft. Another was the NexCare first aid tape that I used to rebuild my feet every morning – has many applications beyond first aid – very good stuff. Loon Products UV wader repair gel – that stuff saved the day twice – works in minutes on wet waders. Rustoleum spray sealant – fixed all the leaky seams on my tent – also the real deal – the last 99 miles I travelled on the road took 6.5 hours – bad road - the 4 matching BFG 10 ply tires on my truck removed all tire worries from my worry list…my fishing gear was my standard big game set up – a 4 wt custom Pac Bay 9’ rod, Orvis Clearwater C&P reel and a LLB bargain basket 6 wt line – I used 3 flies all in sz 4 – Royal Wulff, Orange Marabou Muddler and an Olive Mega-Bugger, but I very easily could have gotten away with the muddler…

Damage/Loss report: trashed 1 GPS, trashed 1 pair of waders (by hiking nearly 60 miles in them), trashed knife holster due to constant wetness, lost 1 tent stake & water bottle, broke kayak paddle.

A Few Numbers: dooryard to dooryard the drive was 2214 miles and took 33 hours each way – I took 14 days, was in the bush for 10 days and fished on (not for ) 4 days – I burned 8 gallons of diesel and 135 gallons of vegy oil – total cost of trip minus food, booze & damages was $37.81 (diesel & fishing license) – cost to fly 2 guys (no boats) in and out from nearest seaplane base: $4600 + 15% tax – total miles hiked: 59.8, total miles paddled: approx. 30 – pack weight: 60 lbs (dry) – gross pod weight: 33 lbs – temps were in the mid thirties at nite and anywhere from low 50s to mid 70s during the day – on Friday it snowed 2-3 inches just before I hit the road for home…

As usual it’s REALLY great to be out of the bugs (they were beyond horrific) and back into a warm, dry bed – thanks for listening – Happy Labor Day & good luck this fall!


Attachments:
Deer Camp.JPG
Deer Camp.JPG [ 100.75 KiB | Viewed 817 times ]
Brookie 1.jpg
Brookie 1.jpg [ 51.42 KiB | Viewed 817 times ]
Boat.JPG
Boat.JPG [ 106.54 KiB | Viewed 817 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Canada Trip Report
PostPosted: September 3rd, 2017, 10:47 pm 
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Location: N44.88305* W68.67206*
Some more photos.


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Pod Resting Place.jpg
Pod Resting Place.jpg [ 176.3 KiB | Viewed 816 times ]
Paddle .jpg
Paddle .jpg [ 68.69 KiB | Viewed 816 times ]
Brookie 2.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: Canada Trip Report
PostPosted: September 3rd, 2017, 10:52 pm 
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Joined: December 3rd, 2001, 1:00 am
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Location: N44.88305* W68.67206*
A few more...


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River.JPG
River.JPG [ 89.38 KiB | Viewed 814 times ]
Pond.JPG
Pond.JPG [ 100.9 KiB | Viewed 814 times ]
Brookie 3.jpg
Brookie 3.jpg [ 72.33 KiB | Viewed 814 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Canada Trip Report
PostPosted: September 3rd, 2017, 10:54 pm 
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Location: N44.88305* W68.67206*
The last 2 (for now...)


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Brookie 4.jpg
Brookie 4.jpg [ 81.5 KiB | Viewed 814 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Canada Trip Report
PostPosted: September 3rd, 2017, 11:57 pm 
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Joined: May 18th, 2015, 9:27 am
Posts: 27
What an awesome trip, well done and thank you for sharing it. I look forward to reading more!
Sixguns


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 Post subject: Re: Canada Trip Report
PostPosted: September 4th, 2017, 2:10 am 
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Joined: February 14th, 2007, 1:00 am
Posts: 1203
Location: New Hampshire
I was noticing that the FFIM was void of Folley for a while. Great report, welcome back. Those fish are FAT!!! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Canada Trip Report
PostPosted: September 4th, 2017, 5:44 am 
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Joined: October 29th, 2007, 12:00 am
Posts: 340
Location: Vassalboro Me. USA
Great post..
Sounds like quite a trip, really awesome country :!: sure are some beautiful Brook Trout, in the first fish photo you can see the swarming flies that you were so glad to be away from.

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 Post subject: Re: Canada Trip Report
PostPosted: September 4th, 2017, 7:43 am 
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Joined: May 9th, 2004, 12:00 am
Posts: 20
Location: Southwest Harbor
To be as tough and motivated as you are... Another phenomenal trip and report.


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 Post subject: Re: Canada Trip Report
PostPosted: September 4th, 2017, 7:46 am 
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Joined: February 27th, 2002, 1:00 am
Posts: 1517
Location: Mercer, Maine
Awesome trip!

Thanks for the great post,

Kat


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 Post subject: Re: Canada Trip Report
PostPosted: September 4th, 2017, 8:18 am 
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Joined: February 14th, 2007, 1:00 am
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Location: New Hampshire
PS - I do give you a lot of credit for continuing to move, once you had found a place that yielded 5-7lb brookies on such regularity :) I probably would have set up roots right there, and called my wife to tell her i was running late :)

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 Post subject: Re: Canada Trip Report
PostPosted: September 4th, 2017, 8:47 am 
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Joined: June 18th, 2006, 12:00 am
Posts: 45
Location: Pawling, NY
Wow. Those are some beautiful trout.


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 Post subject: Re: Canada Trip Report
PostPosted: September 4th, 2017, 9:04 am 
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Joined: April 11th, 2003, 12:00 am
Posts: 100
Wow, Brian, only thing Hubbard had on you is that he had to eat his moccasins. Nice to know that there are still a few of you out there who thrive on adventure, solitude and the occasional fish. Glad you're home safely.
CR


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 Post subject: Re: Canada Trip Report
PostPosted: September 4th, 2017, 9:13 am 
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Joined: October 16th, 2006, 12:00 am
Posts: 1272
Location: Harrison
Well I would say you're an inspiration Brian. But that's no good, because I don't possess the stones required for such a trip. So I'll just remain in awe.

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 Post subject: Re: Canada Trip Report
PostPosted: September 4th, 2017, 3:28 pm 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 3270
Location: Vassalboro, Maine
I am-again, SO impressed. You have fortitude.

Hutch

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 Post subject: Re: Canada Trip Report
PostPosted: September 4th, 2017, 3:47 pm 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 3897
Location: Lewiston
maineangler wrote:
Well I would say you're an inspiration Brian. But that's no good, because I don't possess the stones required for such a trip. So I'll just remain in awe.



Me too.

Dave M

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