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gymcoachdon
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04/18/2019 10:34AM
It has been a while since I posted, and I wasn't sure I was taking a trip this summer. However, things have changed, and I will be heading North this season!
What I know currently:
I will be leaving Indiana the morning of Friday, June 14th
Plan to enter Quetico on the morning of the 15th
Exit either Saturday or Sunday, June 22nd or 23rd
My 26 yr old son will be going with me
We will both be paddling solo canoes
We will have all of our own gear

What I am thinking:
Nym Lake entry, no set schedule, and exploring the small to medium lakes south of that entry. Might stay on a lake as long as it remains interesting/fun, might move everyday. (not as likely)

Goals are the usual: great fishing, solitude, beauty, wildlife!

My questions at this time:
I believe I can pick up my permit in Atikokan the day before, how soon would I need to arrive to do that? (what time do they close?)
Where we should stay the night before/possibly after?
Any particular lakes or points of interest that shouldn't be missed?
Fishing in general:
We love smallmouth, son has PB of 18 1/2", mine is 19 1/2". Big pike are fun, we like to eat walleye, and my son hasn't caught a lake trout.

This will be my 2nd trip to Quetico, 2 years ago I left French and looped through Deux rivieres down to McDougall, back up to French through the B chain. My son went with me 3 years ago to BWCA, hopefully he will pack lighter this time!

Thanks in advance for all your advice and wisdom!
Don
 
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gymcoachdon
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04/18/2019 11:10AM
Minor wrinkle in the plans, I just went on the website to look at reserving the permit, and nym lake is unavailable for June 15th entry. So, other entry points are up for discussion as well!
Johnh
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04/18/2019 10:41PM
Don - I will suggest going in at Stanton and taking out at Nym. You can make a good loop that way. You have to get a shuttle to Stanton but it is a good put in spot and worth the shuttle cost imho. If you get Canoe Canada to do the shuttle you can stay overnight there and they can do your permit for you. I could tell you about the lakes on the loop but they are good and you will find good bass and lakers also.

I saw you on your trip two years ago. I was paddling solo with my dog and saw you moving through Shelly Lake. I followed you to some pictographs on Montgomery. Only ones I have seen so thanks for that.

gymcoachdon
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04/19/2019 09:42AM
I remember you and your dog well! I believe you were fly fishing, and that caught my attention. Then your dog was a Toller, a breed my wife and I were considering. Your dog confirmed my thoughts that they would be an excellent canoe dog. (We ended up getting another Boxer, he is too big and rambunctious to ride in my solo canoe with me!) You were out for quite the walkabout if I remember correctly.
I was trying to avoid the cost of a shuttle on this trip, but using an outfitter for that, procuring my permit, and an overnight stay would be convenient.
We could head from there to the narrows, then head south to explore.

gymcoachdon
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04/21/2019 11:45AM
So, assuming a Stanton Bay entry, heading towards the Pickerel Narrows on day one, we have a lot of smaller lakes south of us to explore.
Any thoughts on the following lakes for campsites, exploring, and fishing opportunities?
Maria, Jesse, Hamburg, Oriana, Elizabeth, Walter, Draper, Halliday

Looks like Maria, Jesse, Walter, and Draper all hold species to get a Quetico Slam. Which one would give us the best chance?
Any particularly nice campsites? I'm not against basecamping and exploring from a central location.
old_salt
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04/21/2019 04:45PM
Walter.
Johnh
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04/21/2019 04:57PM
Here is some info from my experience there -

Maria is small but pretty. I have done okay on bass there. Nice campsites and maybe a good first day stop.

Jesse is narrow and I have not done well there but have heard people say they have done well on walleye there.

The portages in/out of Hamburg are difficult and there are marshy, buggy creeks also. I suffered going that way once and would say not worth it.

Oriana has a bathtub ring from an old logging dam which I did not like much but I did catch some bass and walleye there and other people speak highly of it.

Elizabeth is small but 20” bass have been caught by yours truly. I would try it. There is only one campsite so if you get it the lake is all yours.

I went to Halliday and could not find a single fish but I suppose they are there.

Old Salt is wise. We got the slam at Walter last year. Base camping there and day tripping to Draper and Lonely or even back to Elizabeth is a good plan. Everyone camps on the mapped island site but it is heavily used and a little messy. There is a good unmapped site in some red pines about 0.25 miles if you turn right (west) from where the portage from Elizabeth comes in.

I fished Draper and found lots of 12” bass but no big ones. I did see a giant pike.

Lonely has good sized walleye and I have had good bass days there when they were on the shoreline. Nice day trip From Walter.
carmike
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04/21/2019 05:20PM
I don't think you can go wrong on any of those lakes, and you can probably check out most/all on daytrips if you do stay camped on one or two of them.

That being said, I think Oriana is my favorite. I've never seen another canoe there.
mapsguy1955
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04/22/2019 08:35AM
Walleyes on Jesse are great... Last September we nailed them right from the campsite...
mgraber
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04/22/2019 11:59AM
Agree with Stanton Bay entry, plus you'll have less portaging. There are a lot of great lakes in the area. I second Walter, we really tore them up there 2 years ago. It is a good grand slam lake( all 4 species).
gymcoachdon
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04/23/2019 09:04AM
mapsguy1955: "Walleyes on Jesse are great... Last September we nailed them right from the campsite..."

Care to share which site you stayed at, and general thoughts on the site in addition to fishing?
gymcoachdon
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04/23/2019 08:40PM
ok, wrinkle number two. I called Canoe Canada to arrange a Stanton Bay entry and bunkhouse night before and after. She checked and said she could get me in the Nym entry the day I needed, then found out I had all my own gear.
No go on any of their other services if they aren't outfitting you. No permit, no bunkhouse, no shuttle unless you rent a canoe minimum. I get it, they are outfitters, not a taxi service.
So, I guess I may be looking at a more westerly entry, or changing the general area I was wanting to explore. I really don't want to enter French Lake again. Sue Falls looks interesting, but that is a long day just to get to the park? Beaverhouse entry?
Or, do any of you know another outfitter who would secure a permit and shuttle us to Stanton Bay?
Castaway
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04/23/2019 09:19PM
Here's a couple of outfitters on the east side that shuttle to Stanton Bay.

Camp Quetico
Doug Chapman
gymcoachdon
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04/24/2019 02:20PM
Quetico North is going to allow us to use their bunk house, and will shuttle us to Stanton Bay for our entry. I have reserved my permit for Pickerel Lake entry on the 15th of June.
Concern now is timing to pick up the permit at French Lake. Since we aren't outfitting through them, they couldn't use their system to reserve my permit.
But, progress is made, and I have an entry point planned!
AmarilloJim
distinguished member(1987)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/24/2019 02:45PM
gymcoachdon: "Quetico North is going to allow us to use their bunk house, and will shuttle us to Stanton Bay for our entry. I have reserved my permit for Pickerel Lake entry on the 15th of June.
Concern now is timing to pick up the permit at French Lake. Since we aren't outfitting through them, they couldn't use their system to reserve my permit.
But, progress is made, and I have an entry point planned!
"

Couldn't or wouldn't? If you are unable to pick it up maybe offer them some $ to do so.
gymcoachdon
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04/24/2019 09:09PM
It sounded like couldn't...But I don't pretend to know the ins and outs of their reservation system.
Done deal now, I may just leave late Thursday night, drive the 16 or so hours, and arrive mid day Friday and pick up the permit. We have 2 drivers, so it will work. Maybe take a tour of the Souris Canoe factory...isn't that nearby?

I'm just happy to have a plan! Entering Stanton Bay, paddle west to the narrows and take it one lake at a time from there. I'm gonna try to not have any real goals or timetable, that will be a new tactic for me.
dentondoc
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04/25/2019 10:37AM
Castaway: " Here's a couple of outfitters on the east side that shuttle to Stanton Bay.

Camp Quetico
Doug Chapman "

I've known Doug Chapman for well over a decade, and I can personally vouch for him. He runs a outfitting service with a personal touch. Even if he doesn't have a financial connection to what you are doing. This was the case once when I was entering French Lake at the very beginning of "no permit" season. The problem was that the rangers at Dawson Campground had not yet put out the self-permitting box. Having previously met Doug at the French Lake take out on a previous trip (along with a somewhat lengthy chat ... standard protocol for Doug), we drove over to his operation to see what was going on with the rangers. He was clearly just getting going for the day, but he took the time to look up the ranger station number and call them to see what was up. Needless to say, the box was present when we returned to Dawson.

If you want to link directly to Doug's operation, you can find a (work-in-progress) web site for Canadian Quetico Outfitters.

If you are looking for before/after trip lodging and perhaps a meal or two, I can also recommend Quetico College School, run by Head Master Michael Heaton. The school rents out dorm-style rooms (and cabins if you want) to paddling (and other) guests. They also have a chow hall for meals. This facility was a former executive retreat, so the grounds on the edge of Eva Lake (just a short drive from Doug's place). Rates (both meals and rooms) are reasonable and I don't think you will find a more comfortable facility in this neck of the woods.

Just my 2 cents.

dd
dentondoc
distinguished member(1023)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/25/2019 10:37AM
Castaway: " Here's a couple of outfitters on the east side that shuttle to Stanton Bay.

Camp Quetico
Doug Chapman "

I've known Doug Chapman for well over a decade, and I can personally vouch for him. He runs a outfitting service with a personal touch. Even if he doesn't have a financial connection to what you are doing, he's willing to help. This was the case once when I was entering French Lake at the very beginning of "no permit" season. The problem was that the rangers at Dawson Campground had not yet put out the self-permitting box. Having previously met Doug at the French Lake take out on a previous trip (along with a somewhat lengthy chat ... standard protocol for Doug), we drove over to his operation to see what was going on with the rangers. He was clearly just getting going for the day, but he took the time to look up the ranger station number and call them to see what was up. Needless to say, the box was present when we returned to Dawson.

If you want to link directly to Doug's operation, you can find a (work-in-progress) web site for Canadian Quetico Outfitters.

If you are looking for before/after trip lodging and perhaps a meal or two, I can also recommend Quetico College School, run by Head Master Michael Heaton. The school rents out dorm-style rooms (and cabins if you want) to paddling (and other) guests. They also have a chow hall for meals. This facility was a former executive retreat, so the grounds on the edge of Eva Lake (just a short drive from Doug's place). Rates (both meals and rooms) are reasonable and I don't think you will find a more comfortable facility in this neck of the woods.

Just my 2 cents.

dd
ParkerMag
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04/26/2019 07:32AM
Agreed, dd - Doug/Canadien Quetico Outfitters and Quetico College both went a long way to making our trip last June a terrific one! Cannot imagine Doug denying anyone a trip-related service they might be in need of.
MossBack
member (25)member
 
05/21/2019 03:47PM
Doug Chapman is great to deal with. You will not find a more helpful ,interesting gentleman.

gymcoachdon
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06/11/2019 11:33AM
So, preparations are in the final phase. We will be leaving Indianapolis after i finish work Thursday night, around 9:00 pm. Taking shifts, we will drive through the night to arrive Friday with time to get our permit, do a little looking around, and check in with our outfitter.
Any recent updates on fishing conditions, water temps, or bug reports would be appreciated!
Plan is to head towards Pickerel Narrows on day 1, and see what happens exploring South from there.
AmarilloJim
distinguished member(1987)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/11/2019 02:34PM
gymcoachdon: "So, preparations are in the final phase. We will be leaving Indianapolis after i finish work Thursday night, around 9:00 pm. Taking shifts, we will drive through the night to arrive Friday with time to get our permit, do a little looking around, and check in with our outfitter.
Any recent updates on fishing conditions, water temps, or bug reports would be appreciated!
Plan is to head towards Pickerel Narrows on day 1, and see what happens exploring South from there."

You should be hitting the prime bite perfectly. The water temps were in the lower 50's last week.
 
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