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Solobob1
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01/09/2018 07:04AM
My dog Jake and I are planning a 6 - 10 day trip in the Quetico. We have never explored her before. We prefer smaller more intimate waters as we do travel solo and try to avoid larger lakes in early spring as we have been wind bound before - can be a bummer.

My idea is to cross the border at Ft.Francis, get on hwy 11 and eventually enter #32, Beaverhouse. My plan is to travel southeast into Quetico lake, then south to Fair, Your, Boulder, Jean Creek and, weather permitting, explore Jean, then head back the way we came. We are looking for walleye as well as wilderness.

My questions (as I have never been in this area before);

~ Is this a plausible plan - good walleye water?
~ Outside of a longish portage out of Quetico are there any concerns I should be aware of?
~ Is there lodging in the area near the entry where I can rest and eat that will accept dogs?

Any help would be appreciated.

Bob.
 
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Jackfish
Moderator
 
01/09/2018 07:57AM
So, if I understand correctly, you want to go Beaverhouse, Quetico, West Bay, Badwater, Fair, Your, Boulder, up to Jean... then you're going to backtrack? Over 6-10 days, that would be awesome. You'd definitely have a wilderness experience, a Quetico experience, good fishing and, except for BH and Q Lakes, smaller lakes to paddle.

You'll find the portage from West Bay to Badwater a bit of a bear. At a mile long, it can have everything that makes a portage tough. Sometimes wet. Sometimes fairly dry (mostly). Stretches of shin-deep mud, along with lots of standard portage trail through the woods. Two swamps to pass through, but they're corduroyed now and not that big of a deal. Just watch your step. Pretty rocky on both ends so watch your step there, too.

With all that said, don't shy away from doing the portage. It's doable and each trip through will take you 30 minutes. Double portaging will take 1-1/2 hours.

I haven't been into Fair, Your, etc. so no help there.

Another thought that you can keep as an option dependent on weather... if you have a nice west wind, you could let the wind push you down Quetico Lake to Jean, then go through Boulder, Your, Fair and into Badwater. It's a nice paddle down to Jean.
Solobob1
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01/09/2018 06:28PM
Thanks Jackfish,

Other questions pop up. If I cross in Fort Frances, and have my permit with me, do I have to stop at the ranger station on BH or can just cruise on by?

Am I legal with barbed hooks in my kit, but barbless on the line?

Are there outfitters near the put in on BH where I can get a fishing license or order my permits, etc?

Bob.
jdddl8
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01/09/2018 09:14PM
I would agree with Jackfish’s suggestion. Go down Quetico with the west wind, then paddle down Jean and go out through your way. If you have time, try Wildgoose for walleyes. Best bet for accommodation and fishing license is Fort Frances unless you want to drive 25 miles further from the BH road and go to Atikokan.
dentondoc
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01/10/2018 12:04AM
Solobob1: "If I cross in Fort Frances, and have my permit with me, do I have to stop at the ranger station on BH or can just cruise on by?

Am I legal with barbed hooks in my kit, but barbless on the line?

Are there outfitters near the put in on BH where I can get a fishing license or order my permits, etc?"

#1: While you might have a document indicating that your selected date/entry point have been accepted, you still need to make it to a Ranger Station. BH does have a Ranger Station, but I'd say that most prefer to drive to Atikokan (Park Headquarters and Ranger Station) to pick up their official documentation, which includes evidence that you have paid your camping fees. In addition to entry and exit dates (the basis for calculating camping fees), they will also record other important information to help locate you in the event of an emergency (planned route, number/color of canoes, number/color of tents and the like). The reason many prefer the Atikokan option is because BH is a reasonably large lake and the Ranger Station is on the opposite shore line from the (parking lot) portage to the lake. If you catch a windy day (esp. if its out of the west), you'll be glad you made the trip to Atikokan. You can get the permit at Atikokan in the late afternoon of the day before your entry, but don't expect to find them open if you arrive after 4:30pm.

#2: You are "legal" with this approach.

#3: You actually need TWO things to legally fish in Ontario: (a) an Ontario Outdoor Card AND (b) a fishing license. I'd say save your self some grief and do both online at the Ontario MNR website. You can find more details of the requirements and make purchases HERE. Since I only keep enough fish to feed myself, I have always opted for the seasonal conservation license (my minimum trip length tends to be 2 weeks). But if you need to "press the flesh" to get your fishing license, I think I'd do it in Ft. Frances. You'll pass at least one as you near the edge of town as you exit (regardless of your route through town).

dd
TomT
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01/10/2018 07:01AM
DD has it down. The fishing permits are very easy online. You print your own license. They send you the card in the mail and I believe it's good for two years.

With a big entry lake it's best to get a very early start to beat the breezes. When I entered at Pickerel last year it was great picking up my permit the day before and getting on the water at first light vs. waiting in line for the Ranger Station to open up at 8:00 in the AM. I'm sold on northern entries now. Plus no RABC and the daily fees are cheaper!

Jackfish
Moderator
 
01/10/2018 07:53AM
Agreed with all of the above. Order fishing license and Outdoors Card online and get your permit in Atikokan. The only barbless hook required is the one attached to your line. Simply pinch down the barbs before using the lure.
dentondoc
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01/10/2018 10:12AM
TomT: "The fishing permits are very easy online. You print your own license. They send you the card in the mail and I believe it's good for two years."
And, if you are working with a short lead time and can't wait until the physical card comes in the mail, you can print and carry a temporary "card" that you will have access to when you finish your Ontario Outdoor card enrollment.

dd
MattM
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01/10/2018 12:25PM
Thank you Jackfish for the info on the portage into badwater lake. I was looking at doing a route through there this year and spending one night on badwater. Can anyone recommend a campsite on badwater? How is the fishing?

Just thought that I would add that the Outdoor Card is valid for three calendar years.

Jackfish
Moderator
 
01/10/2018 04:47PM
MattM: " Can anyone recommend a campsite on badwater? How is the fishing? "
There is pretty decent fishing in Badwater for walleyes and northerns. No smallies... thank god.

As for campsites, there are basically five sites. Really four because the one right near the Mile Portage is a little rough.

Paddling east, there is one on the first point you come to, on the right maybe a 1/2 mile or so down. Right by the bay that goes to Omeme. Pretty nice site for 1-2 tents. If you go a bit further east, there is a larger campsite on the large rock outcropping on the left (north). Pretty exposed though.

If you go another 10-15 minutes past that site, there is another site up on the rock ledge that has a cool campfire pit overlooking the water. Probably 3 tent pads back in the trees. Sort of a tough landing spot though. Near the end of Badwater, there is an island with a small campsite on it. Enough room for one tent, but a nice site.
OldGreyGoose
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01/11/2018 09:32PM
Great route. Went in August 2017, 8 days. Agree with going straight down Quetico for Jean. (From Jean there are 3 ways to get to Badwater.) IMO Badwater was not the worst portage, lol. Low water levels can affect this route. Good luck. --Goose
01/11/2018 11:23PM
Beautiful area! June of 1988, I was 13 years old crossing the Badwater Portage...first time I ever heard my old man drop an F bomb. Horrible portage back then. 89 and 90 weren't much better. I'd like to do it again someday.
Solobob1
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01/14/2018 03:01PM
Well after talking with Jordan in the Quetico Park Office and his suggestions, I have decided to change my plans ... I will put in at Nym heading south through Batch, and ultimately toward Jesse.  From there I think I can base camp and explore the area, even get to Jean from the East.  I think the crowds will be minimal and most of the lakes smaller, walleye fishing should still be good.  Hopefully I will have a trip report by end of June.

Any tricks to fishing Jesse for Walleyes in June?

Bob.
dentondoc
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01/14/2018 08:17PM
Nym/Batch to Jesse puts you in a nice area. Of course, you should be on Jesse Day 1 (assuming you want to get away from some of the traffic on Batch ... which is also an East/West route lake for people running the "top tier" lakes of Quetico (B'house to Pickerel/French). Just keep in mind that you will also be on a route that many people use to run from Nym down to Sturgeon. However, if you tuck yourself back off the line between entry/exit portages on these lakes you'd see a bit less of the traffic.

Use the same technique you're probably using in the BWCA for walleye in Quetico (except you probably want to make sure you have tension on your line to reduce the likelihood that they slip off your non-barbed hook). So the classic conditions you look for would be an overcast day with a bit of a breeze to put a chop on the water while fishing on points (and somewhat back on the lee side). For June, I often troll to find the depth where they are hanging ... starting at 10 feet and working out from shore to about 30. (Keep in mind that I taken a ton of walleye in even less water than this, but the bottom structure was somewhat unique.) I generally use a white jig head with a 5" twister grub on the end and bounce that along the bottom until I strike gold!

dd
OldGreyGoose
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01/14/2018 08:56PM
"Any tricks to fishing Jesse for Walleyes in June?"

Years ago Jim at Canoe Canada told me to fish the narrow rocky "pinch point" at the West end of Jesse for walleye. His advice paid off one morning and I had walleye for breakfast. (I believe there was actually a little current there from the water coming into the lake.) Other than that, I would look for the usual structure: reefs, points, weed edges, etc. Jesse is a very good walleye lake!
--Goose


 
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