Day 2 – It was another dark morning and I got off to a bad start by portraying a ten yard peninsula thinking it was the McAcree portage. Finally I got to McAcree and worked my way to the Brewer rapids. I then padded up Brewer to the long set of rapids back to La Croix. Fishing so far was spotty. I then tried to find the portage to Cushing but after an exhaustive search I gave up. I did the portage to Iron Lake and found a campsite near Curtain Falls.
Day 3 – Again it was a dark morning and so far it hadn’t rained but I haven’t seen the sun. I did the Curtain Falls portage into Crooked and then worked my way through the Roland chain and camped on the north side of the big island in Argo. I actually got some nice bass in Roland. The sun came out for about half an hour while I paddled around the big island but then it disappeared again.
Day 4 – It was cloudy in the morning and it did rain later on. I portaged into Darky and set up camp on an island near the Wicksteed portage. I got scared when I thought I heard a gun shot but I think a raven dropped something from way up on a rock. I then did a circle going into Wicksteed over to Ballard and then back to my Darky campsite. I got some nice bass in Wickstead but the rest of the way was too windy to be enjoyable. Day 5 – There was still no sun but there was no wind either. I started up the river to Williams Lake. I spent the morning doing numerous portage and finally made the lake around noon. I fished up the whole lake, looked at the other campsites and walked the portage to Conmee. I caught some nice fish and had a good day.
Day 6 – I spent the day moving from William to Brent and then onto Commie. I found the day difficult because of the wind. I did a little fishing on Commee and caught some walleyes. Overall it was a day to spend some time on shore.
Day 7 – The cloudy weather continued and the wind picked up with vengeance. I made it down Conmee and actually caught walleye. But by the time I portage to Suzette it was rough and against me. I made it through the Blackwater portages and fought my way to the Burt, Marj & Pauline intersection. I decided against going into Burt as it wouldn’t have been worth the effort. So I headed to an island in Pauline and made camp. The wind died down that night and I did fish.
Day 8 – I decided to leave early in case the wind came again. So I portaged into McIntyre and paddled through the wide part before the wind became impossible. I then did a number of small portages and finally got to the no name lake at the intersection of Tuck & Robinson. Similar to the day before I decided against going into Robinson and had lunch before I set up camp. But the wind was so strong I thought the campsite was too exposed so I portaged into Tuck and found a campsite out of the wind.
Day 9 – I made my way across Tuck and into Sarah. It was another miserable day with rain and wind so I moved quickly through Sarah although I did catch some lake trout and bass. Because of the weather I decided to keep going and did the three portage to get me to Irene. I was able to fish Irene a little but it was too windy to enjoy it.
Day 10 – I did the three portages from Irene to Kashshahwipi and was happy to get through that area as the portages have some steep hills. The wind was still bad but I was able to proceed up the west side of Kashshahwipi and portage into Keefer. I camped on an island on the north end of Keefer. The wind died some near dusk so I was able to fish but without a lot of success.
Day 11 – I worked my way from Keefer to Sark and after some indecision selected a campsite. I then spent the day exploring Sark. First I tried to get into the no name lakes east of Sark. I bushwhacked up the creek to a swamp but the bush was too thick to carry a canoe. Next I checked out the two creeks at the north end of the lake and finally the creek to the west side of the lake. None of these were navigable beyond a few yards.
Day 12 – Shortly after I broke camp it started to pour. It continued that way until late afternoon. I did the long portage from Sark into Cutty while it was pouring. I paddled down to the far end of Cutty and looked at the one campsite but it was too exposed so I headed back to the other end. The fishing was so good the large walleye just jumped into the boat. I set up camp just as it stopped raining. I was just thinking how isolated the lake was when a canoe went by. When I returned from fishing that night there was a couple camped about a hundred yards away at the only other campsite.
Day 13 – I did the portage into Metacryst and worked my way up the lake but again it was windy. I portaged into Heronshaw set up camp and then went fishing. Some idiots had taken an axe to a lot of living trees to make the site more user friendly. As it usually is the fishing was amazing. Unfortunately I had a mixed experience that night. As I returned to camp after great fishing I trolled deep in the middle of the lake and caught the biggest walleye of my life. As I held it up by the gill I grabbed my camera and just as I went to click it twisted away and left me with memories and no proof.
Day 14 – I portaged into Shelly and made my way up to the No Name lake heading toward Alice I did the portage and made my way to Alice Creek. There was plenty of water and I got through the portage and into the lake but the wind was nearly impossible so I spent the rest of the day on shore. Day 15 – I made my way up Alice into the wind and rain. It was offset by fantastic bass fishing. I then portaged into Chaterton and then did the hill portage into Russell. I had to stay on shore until late evening as the wind was too strong.
Day 16 – Unfortunately the wind just kept coming from the west as I struggled out of Russell, through Sturgeon narrows and out into Sturgeon. I finally made it to my favorite island in Walsh Bay. I was able to fish but I didn’t have great luck. Day 17 – The wind was a little lighter but I still paddled to the south side of the lake. Finally I got off the wide part of the lake and headed up the narrows toward March. I did the portage and then fished and caught walleyes before I headed to Bentpine. I fished Bentpine that night but it wasn’t great. Day 18 – I started up Bentpine as the wind pick up and the rain came down. As I started the long portage to Clare it was still pouring. But the portage is a lot easier this way as you go down the cliff. The wind was still really strong as I paddled across Clare. When I got to the Clare creek I thought it was fine but I quickly realized there was no water. I was able to pole and push the canoe up to the lake but the creek beyond the lake was empty. So I had to portage down the side of the creek till I got to the normal portage. After the portage I was able to paddle and make it to Burntside. Because the weather was still miserable I decided to push right through to Jean. So I did the portage to Jean and paddle up the lake to my favorite island.
Day 19 – I stayed put because I was ahead of schedule and the weather was awful. It got really cold and the wind was coming strong from the north. I was able to do some lake trout fishing late that night and early the next morning and caught enough to keep me happy. Day 20 - I moved from Jean through Conk to Quetico and literally fought my way up Quetico into a ferocious west wind. I finally decided that this was stupid and dangerous so I stopped and set up and early camp. Again I was land locked as the wind didn’t die until dusk.
Day 21 – I got up in the dark and was ready to leave at dawn. The problem was that there was ground fog and I couldn’t see anything so I had to navigate using my compass. By the time I got to the Beaverhouse portage the fog had cleared but the wind was picking up. I decided I had enough so I called my outfitter and got picked up a day early.