Friday, May 27, 2005

Northern Quebec Day 06

Day Six: Friday May 27th

We woke up this morning to an overcast sky and by the time we had had our breakfast, there was a light drizzle falling but that ended shortly after we hit the water.

Joe and David went to fish the south end of Lac Larouche while John and I went into the river. I had the helm going down to the waterfall/trailhead and was trolling while John cast to the shore. We picked up two pike in the 22-24 inch range before we switched positions and headed back up river.

Just as it leaves Lac Larouche, the river widens so it looks like two large round beads on a string. Where these two beads meet, there is a constriction as the channel narrows to about 15 yards. John said he thought “the fish might be stacked up” in this constriction and suggested we make a few slow passes and cast in the area. As soon as we approached a small fish jumped right next to the boat and I flipped my spinner in the same area, hooking a small 18-inch pike that may have been chasing that fish. We circled around and approached the area again. I cast and hooked a second pike that was just a little larger, maybe 20 inches long.

We returned to the cabin for lunch and learned Joe and David had been skunked in the south end.

By 11:30 AM the sun had broken through but the wind hadn’t kicked up. The overcast had prevented the warming of the darker, tree covered land. John and I headed back north to the islands and Joe and David headed into the river.

John and I trolled around and cast to the two islands twice with no success. The water was smooth as glass but we couldn’t find a fish. We trolled halfway back to the cabin before deciding to try the shores of the round knob-like hill attached by a thin peninsula tot he shore on the west side of the lake. Slowly drifting by, we were both casting to the shore and feeling like we were getting hits but not making hook-ups. Finally, John hooked a small, 20-inch pike from the area. Perhaps, like others, he was just hitting the blade of our spinners or the trailing rubber worm and missing the hooks. Shortly after that, we decided to pack it in and head for the cabin.

As we sat on the porch, we could hear Joe and David in the mouth of the river and around a curve half mile away. We couldn’t make out their words but could tell which was speaking. They pulled up to the dock with some branches they had cut from overhanging dead trees. That was the only thing they had “caught” all day. They did report that a major caddis fly hatch was underway in the river and, in one area, there was “one fly for every six cubic inches of air.” If they had been moving through the area any faster than trolling speeds, they would have had to have had goggles and/or face shields. Yet, Joe said there were no splashes of feeding fish and no birds plucking the bugs from the air.

The sky darkened as the clouds thickened in the late afternoon. By 4:30 the rain showers were back and heavy at times. Despite the foul weather, we had grilled kielbasa for dinner; cooked by David over the coals of the dead fir they had brought back.

This was the first time in five trips that either Joe or I could remember one boat being shutout all day long. That includes the one trip where I was fishing on my own and one in which Joseph (Joe’s other son) and I fished in separate boats.

Total fish for the day: 5 pike

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