Day 1 of 5
Thursday, September 18, 2014 Late season hours at the Tuscarora Lodge scuttled our plans for a sunrise start. With permit in hand we finally hit the waters of Round Lake at about 7am. From there we attacked what was to be our longest portage (428rods) on the west side of Missing Link Lake over to Tuscarora Lake. From there we navigated our way across Owl Lake, Crooked Lake, Tarry Lake, Mora Lake, into Little Saganaga Lake. Low on energy we pulled over to campsite 537 for lunch. From there it was a straight 2 mile paddle to our planned stay at campsite 812.
Day 2 of 5
Friday, September 19, 2014 was cold and wet with hard wind from the south. Unwilling to pass on a shot at lake trout, we rigged up one of the canoes with our depth finder and rod holders and traipsed across land to the bay to the north. Exploring the depths of the bay and marking fish from 60' to 260' has me wondering what they used to measure these lakes considering that most maps only show the main hole at 140'. Dodging the wind as best we could, we happened to land three good lakers by the middle of the afternoon.
Day 3 of 5
Saturday, September 20, 2014 saw improved weather with temperatures a good 15 degrees warmer. We split boats and went on separate journeys to find fish and game. Our goal was to canoe Rattle Lake, Gabimichigami Lake and on to fish Howard, a dead-end lake that likely sees little pressure. As pretty as the entrance was to the portage, a beaver dam flooded the middle section such that we had to canoe half of the portage to Howard. The weather cleared and a stiff wind rose, so we ducked into the lee and ate lunch at campsite 481 on the south side. After lunch we fished a couple of trolling runs on Howard and then transited back to camp via Peter Lake, Virgin Lake, and across Little Saganaga Lake. The view from the last portage was spectacular.
Day 4 of 5
Sunday, September 21, 2014 was another decent day with clear skies and less wind that what we had see for most of the trip. We split boats and went on separate treks to hunt and fish. This time we worked both sides of the point for lakers but came up with only a stray northern to end the trip. It might have been the weather or the lures but we just couldn't get anything more than that one bite. Alas a quiet sunny day of fishing is better than cold, wet rainy day stuck in camp.
Day 5 of 5
Monday, September 22, 2014 could not have been a nicer day to paddle out. We finished our breakfast of French toast bagels and syrup and made for Tuscarora Lodge lake with a goal getting done in under 6 hours. Thanks to a tailwind, we beat that by a comfortable margin having blasted across Little Saganaga Lake, Mora Lake, Tarry Lake, Crooked Lake, Owl Lake, Tuscarora Lake, Missing Link Lake, and Round Lake. Maybe next year we'll pick a route with fewer and shorter portages.