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distinguished member (455)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/12/2017 07:10AM
We leave for our first quetico trip on Friday! Its a route that I planned for 5 years ago, but fell though because of one of groups indiscretions when he was 21 years old.

Route is generally as follows: PP, Isabella, unnamed, Side, Sarah, Tuck River, Kash, McNiece, Shade, South, North Bay, Burke.

Any recommendations for route? Specifically the water level for the Isabella Creek, for the unnamed lakes going into Side, I think we are planning to take the southernmost route, which from previous maps somebody called, lakes 1 &3.
And we are thinking of taking the McNiece route instead of Yum Yum. Nothing is set in stone so we are happy to take advice.

We generally aren't fisherman, aside from fishing for walleye once or twice a year, but I think we do plan to stay on Sarah and Kash and troll for trout. We have not fished for trout before. Recommendations on bait/depth/general location?

Thanks all,
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distinguished member(1522)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/12/2017 01:14PM
The McNeice portage (out of Kahsh) has gotten difficult as the undergrowth has gotten high and thick and the big dead trees are falling since the fires in 11 (I think it was 11). More folks opting for YumYum. I did the McNeice portage last month- it was open but quite arduous- having to watch nearly every foot placement the entire length. That being said I'm considering doing it again in another week or so- McNeice is gorgeous in the fall since the burn.

Portages from Sarah to Kahsh are not well traveled but were in decent shape in August.
distinguished member(1047)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/12/2017 02:30PM
I think you'll be fine on Isabella Creek. In past years, the beaver dams were mostly meager. This year (at least in the spring), there were a half-dozen beaver dams that were relatively substantial going up the creek, allowing adequate paddling water to pool. (Only had to drag/line my canoe over one relatively small section/riffle of shallows.)

The lakes between Isabella and Side are generally fine. They are mostly "pool" lakes. In fact, I've caught lakers on the nonamer just west of Isabella.

I did the southern-most swing out of the nonamer west of Isabella in the spring. This is a way to avoid "Cardiac Hill" on the way into Side, but I'm not sure there is any real advantage to going the "creek route." Same story on the creek ... at least a half-dozen beaver dams to keep the water levels up, but the channel is so narrow, its as much pushing off the channel edge vegetation as paddling (and in the spring, there was still some trail clearing to do on the flatter approach to Side.

But, Hey! It's an adventure.

distinguished member(1047)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/12/2017 02:30PM
Here is a little "intel" on Sarah. On my Spring trip this year, I spent the better part of a week on Sarah, so I had a chance to do a little investigating. My paddling partner and I (we both paddle solo canoes) stayed on the island campsite at the northern end of the lake (the arm that extends toward the Tuck River portages). You can actually see the area of the portage from the campsite (which is actually more on the southeastern end of the island). I concentrated most of my effort on this trip to Sarah on this northern end of lake. Once entering this area of the lake, I SAW NO ONE except my padding partner) for the entire stay (if that gives you any clue as to how busy the Tuck River route ISN'T).

I'm always looking for bottom structure. Well you have that almost due west of this island in the direction of a bluff on the western shore. There are sporatic "high points" dotted in the direction of the bluff from the campsite, but the major structure I detected was in the area of 100 yards from the bluff. Nothing visible on the surface, but the bottom raises to a plateau of sorts that varies from 20 to 12 feet deep (the surrounding area is in the neighborhood of 100 feet deep). It wasn't particularly productive during my stay, but I'd put my money on this location for walleye under less sunny conditions that we had for most days of our stay.

BTW You might also try your hand at Largemouth Bass in the small bay where the portages to McIntyre Lake from Sarah are located. (There are smallies in there also.)

distinguished member(1366)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/12/2017 11:41PM
I did the McNiece and Yum Yum Portages this year, and I'd vote for the Yum Yum. It's a bit long, but as banksiana says, McNiece is a bear now with fallen trees and thick vegetation and earlier this year, anyways, some unpleasant high water / mud areas. Those probably aren't as bad now, but the other things will still be there. :)

Yum Yum, for my money, isn't as bad as many say. If you take the McNiece portage, you have still have a portage from McNiece into Shan Walshe (not a hard portage, but some funky landings) and then one from Shan into Yum Yum (with a funky landing on the Shan side). Again, just my .02, but I think the Yum Yum Portage is faster and easier.
distinguished member (455)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/13/2017 07:37AM
Excellent advice, thank you all.
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