Good Fishing, Thunderstorm, and Wind
Yesterday, I left my house in the Twin Cities at 12:30pm, heading for Walter's house near Cook, MN, with a detour through Ely. I got to Piragis about 5:00 and bought a reusable pack liner and a disposable one just in case the reusable doesn’t work out. I had Cannelloni at Sir G’s for dinner. High gas prices were another theme in 2022: $4.29 per gallon in Cook.
We left Walter's house near Cook at 5:25am. We returned ten minutes later because I'd forgotten the cold food in the fridge - nice start.
We were on the water at Beaverhouse a little before 10:00, trolling our pink ladies enroute to the Quetico Lake portage. We saw many lake trout in the shallows before the portage. Very, very cool.
With the high water in Beaverhouse, we were able to paddle all the way to the portage, staying to the right, out of the fast water. As we approached the portage, I mentioned to Walter to be careful with his rod tip which was leaning out the front of the canoe. He acknowledged me, but didn't move his rod. Sure enough, he broke his brand new rod pulling into the first portage. He hadn't brought a spare, but I had.
Between the broken rod and my losing a leader and one of my favorite lures we really "jicky jacked" the first portage. I don't think I've ever done such an uncoordinated portage.
After the portage, we started fishing the pink ladies in the narrows entering Quetico because of all the Trout we'd seen in the shallows on the other side of the portage. Of course, we snagged a few times. After one snag, my pink lady didn’t set so I gave it some slack. When I ripped up to set it, the knot tied to the pink lady failed and all was lost. Now I was down a pink lady, the great white spoon, the gold cyclops, and a leader - all before catching a fish.
We caught the first lake trout, which became dinner, in 100’ south of Eden Island. All the way across the lake, the trout were suspended at 11’-13’. We hooked many more fish in the narrows southeast of Eden Island. We got most up to the boat, but only three in the boat - barbless hooks and Walter was fishing with a single hook instead of a treble.
We pulled up for a lunch of PB&J on pita and a stretch. Afterward, we caught more fish, but decided it was slowing us down too much so we stopped fishing and started paddling in earnest. This was about 3:00. We decided we would make a destination decision no later than 6:00. We pulled up for a stretch about 4:30 and decided that we could make Jean.
FYI, the portage from Quetico to Conk is marked on the wrong side of the falls on both the Fisher and McKenzie maps.
Dead tired (we didn't take in enough calories today), we were thrilled to see our desired 5-star camp in the narrows of Jean available. We baked the lake trout in foil and cooked pasta for dinner at 9:30 before bed at 10:30 - way too late for us now that we're in our 50s.