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      Brent, McIntyre, Tuck River and Kahshapiwi Trip     
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cburton103
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01/10/2018 08:31PM
Howdy Quetico crew!

Working on planning my Quetico trip for the middle of June this year. We'll only have 5 days on the water this year - hoping for our first trip over a week in 2019.

Last year we got a tow to Bottle Portage, went up the Roland Chain to Argo, then through Cone, Elk and Hurn to Ted. We continued on through McIntyre to Robinson, and out through Kett.

We really enjoyed the trip, and we had some of the best Lake Trout fishing we've experienced so far. It was great to get to do a thru trip across a part of the park like that.

We'd like to do something similar but just a little farther north this year. My current thoughts involve getting a tow to Brewer Rapids, go through McAree, Wicksteed, Darkwater and into Brent. Then paddle all the way through Brent and to McIntyre and Sarah, and take the Tuck River to Kahshapiwi. Then out through Side, Isabella and onto North Bay/Burke to Prairie Portage where we'll have a tow out.

Any recommendations on the route? Particularly good lakes/areas to fish (happy to chase all species)? Areas to avoid?
 
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old_salt
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01/10/2018 09:12PM
That’s an ambitious trip.
cburton103
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01/10/2018 10:11PM
That's basically a compliment, Old Salt !
cburton103
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01/10/2018 10:15PM
The trip we did last year was very similar in terms of miles paddled and rods portaged each day. Still got in a decent amount of fishing.

We may be crazy, but we think we can even sneak in a layover day on Brent or Kahshapiwi. It will just be two of us in one tandem canoe most likely. We single portage, so that speeds things up considerably. Being just 30 doesn't hurt, either!
jphares44
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01/11/2018 11:23AM
I've done a similar trip, up to Brent anyway. You'll find great fishing in McAree, especially near the falls. We found Wicksteed to be full of hungry smallmouth, and if you go through Ballard to get to Darky, Ballard is great for walleye and LM bass.

Darky has always been a pass-through lake for us, and we haven't fished it much. Brent, however, is great fishing. I've only fished the west end, but there's good LT fishing in the big, open-water area on the west side, and we've found good smallmouth in the bays north of that open-water area.

Have fun, that's a pretty epic haul you're planning!
cburton103
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01/11/2018 07:57PM
Well, it seems that a consensus is forming that this is an ambitious trip. 2-3 days into the trip we can always cut out the Kahshapiwi portion of things and just exit through Sarah, which will save a half dozen portages and probably about 5-6 miles as well. I'm not opposed to that. I've spent one night on Kahshapiwi before, and it's just one of those few lakes that has really stuck out to me as being especially beautiful and remote.

Assuming we save the effort of passing through Kahshapiwi, where would you guys recommend spending more time? I've spent a day fishing Conmee and a day in eastern Brent. We've only passed through Sarah and McIntyre before.

Thanks for the input so far!
cburton103
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01/31/2018 09:11PM
Any other recommendations for the area? In particular, I’m looking for information regarding the fishing on McAree, Wicksteed, Gratton, Darky and the west side of Brent. Those are the main areas that I haven’t paddled/fished before. I’ve checked out PP/PCD to identify some good campsite options for each night.
carmike
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01/31/2018 09:38PM
Honestly, I don't think you can go wrong on any of those lakes. I've had consistently OK luck on Kahsh...for me, it's been the worst of the lakes you're looking at. :)
RC
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02/01/2018 11:27AM
I agree with the consensus about skipping the Kahshapiwi part of the trip. You need to save some time for fishing and not spend all your time setting up and taking down camp and paddling and portaging.
GraniteCliffs
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02/01/2018 11:43AM
I looked at your profile. If it is accurate you are still at an age where you can move well. That is reflected on your prior Q trip. I think it is a good plan, depending on weather and how much you want to fish.
Your proposed route does give you the option of skipping the Piwi portion of the trip of you are running out of time or energy. I have never cared for any of the campsites on the southern end of Piwi regardless. And you would be running with the prevailing winds.
Great lakes, great area. Go for it!
02/02/2018 07:26AM
Although we didn't stop to wet our lines as we paddled through it, the west end of Brent just looks very fishy. Make sure you research the portages well on the Mac, Sarah, Side,Izzy route. They can be a little tricky. At least they were going the opposite way.
cburton103
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02/04/2018 10:13PM
Carmike, thanks for the comments. I mostly agree with you on the fishing in Kahsh. We spent a night there two years ago in the middle of June. Did ok trolling for lakers, but they were all on the smaller end. Probably 5-6 Lakers in the 18-22 inch range. We did a bit better with walleye, but mostly eater size. My buddy did catch a nice 24-25 inch walleye as well though, which we photographed and released.

I’m still enchanted by the lake though. Maybe it’s partially because you really have to earn it - there’s no easy way in or out. But I was also struck by how much bluer and clearer the water was than other lakes around. The water just seemed to glisten. The only other lake I’ve seen up there with that quality to it is in Argo.

Thanks for the tip again. We’ll likely nix that part of the trip. If I were to add extra mileage, I might be more likely to go from the west bay of Brent through Williams and Conmee. It would be more new water for me than just paddling through Brent, which i’ve done half of before. Also, my biggest ever walleye came from Conmee. It made sense why we saw 2 other groups back there so deep in the wilderness!
cburton103
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02/04/2018 10:21PM
RC - thanks, that seems to be the growing consensus. I get a bit of a bug looking at maps and thinking of pushing traveling harder. Gets me in trouble with the guys I go with sometimes! We’ll likely skip the Kahsh portion. I’d still consider going down the Tuck River route fishing a ways though. I’ve heard nice things about that area. I may start a separate thread focused on it.
cburton103
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02/04/2018 10:25PM
Granite Cliffs - thanks for the comments! Yeah, I’m 30 and this is my ninth consecutive year to get up there for a trip. We can comfortably do 15 miles in a day and still get in a few hours of fishing. We pushed really hard one day a few years back and did something like 24 miles or so from McKenzie Bay in Kawnipi to Lost Bay near North Bay. The group opted for doing that so we could have two nights in our last camp instead of setting up/breaking down camp an extra time. Something about wanting to fish more, haha.
cburton103
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02/04/2018 10:29PM
Cowdoc- thanks for the tips. We’re hoping to get a layover day on the western end of Brent and spend nights 1 and 2 there. We spent two nights on the eastern end of Brent a couple years ago and only did ok. This seems like a fluke though based on what I’ve heard about Brent. Either way, this should put us close to Williams as well if the fishing in Brent isn’t working out.

Also, we paddled, portaged from the bay west of Neil Island in North Bay through the Side/Sarah route a couple years ago. Definitely some tough portage’s though there and a lot of different options, some unmaintained portages, etc. I’ll have to go through some threads again to make sure I know what route I’d like to take. I know for sure I don’t want to take the ubmaintained portage from the northwestern bay of Point Lake again! That’s the only time I’ve ever fallen waste deep into a bog with a pack and canoe on. Not an experience I plan on willingly repeating!
 
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