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The Sky is So Huge!

Day One

Canoe Canada had taken care of securing our park entry passes and camping permits, so we were able to be in the water by about 8:00 in the morning. After a quick 20 minutes of paddling, we reached our first portage. None of us were ready for this. We had a lot of stuff! Of course we thought we'd be sissies if we didn't carry it all in one trip. So by the time we finished the 750 meters of hills and mud puddles we were doing some serious whining and wheezing. But the sights! There's so much water, rock, trees, rich colors, absolutely nothing man-made. So we were pretty excited as we broke out or poles and prepared to troll as we paddled across the second lake. Right out in the middle, Yahoo! Knuck caught the first fish! A small lake trout. By the time we reached the opposite shore, we were all catching lots of bass in the rocks and islands.

Soon it's clear there are always landmarks to help us keep track of where we are, so the concern about getting lost fades. By noon a short rain blows in. It's funny, the sky is so huge, you can see the whole storm. It's not like back home, where the storm just comes over the top of the house next door. You know how big it is and what to expect. The rain only lasted for 20 minutes, while we had lunch under some trees. From the island we were sitting on we could all see the channel we had to go through next. So we all kind of meandered off in different directions. My canoe mate and I decided to make a straight line for the channel.

I was trolling with a gold, 4 1/2 inch Rapala. I noticed we were getting into shallow water (about 6 - 7 feet), then it happened! My pole bent way over and the drag started sizzling. "Whoa! Stop the boat!" I pulled and pulled on my line, but no budge at all. So I realized it must be a snag. I put the pole down in the bottom of the canoe, noticed where the snag was, and we paddled over to see if we could rescue my lure. When I picked up my line to reel it in, the "snag" had moved! "Oh my God! This has got to be something big!" I started howling for the other boys to come over. Then I looked down through the clear water and saw her. A huge, log of a fish! She was just sitting there, unfazed by the fact that I was tugging from above!

Now here I was, pulling on this huge fish, with only 6lb. line and no leader! "Oh God, please let me catch it!" When she finally realized what was happening, she was gone! There was no stopping her, nor did I want to with 6 lb. test. After about 10 minutes, she tired to the point that she was next to the boat. But what to do? What do you do with a fish this huge? So I told the guys in the next boat to take a net, put it under her and quickly flop her on top of their packs. It worked! As soon as she was in the boat, she threw the hook and began thrashing. We were close to shore so I just jumped out, held her down and started measuring and weighing--48 inches, 28 pounds! After a few quick shots, she was back in the water. We pulled her back and forth a few times, and she was swimming again. God I hope she's still alive to make some more monsters! Within 20 minutes of catching that northern, I had a 13 pound lake trout in the boat! I think this is going to be a good fishing trip.


“Whoa! Stop the boat!”

“I was trolling with a gold, 4 1/2 inch Rapala. I noticed we were getting into shallow water (about 6 - 7 feet), then it happened! My pole bent way over and the drag started sizzling. "Whoa! Stop the boat!" I pulled and pulled on my line, but no budge at all. So I realized it must be a snag. I put the pole down in the bottom of the canoe, noticed where the snag was, and we paddled over to see if we could rescue my lure.”