Saturday, July 08, 2006

Lake Simard: 2006

We left The Bolt Hole (my cabin in the Adirondacks) at 10 PM Saturday night. Joe, Joseph, David and Steve had arrived around 2 PM in the afternoon having hit a major tie-up on the NY Thruway on the way up from NJ.

Our drive north through Ottawa was uneventful although, as usual, that city was hopping even at 2 AM. Apparently they had a massive fireworks show and the after party was just breaking up (i.e. the bars were closing down) and there were pedestrians all over Nicolas and Rideau.

We made our gas stop at Maniwaki at around 4:30 AM and hit the end of the dirt road off highway 117 at about 5:30. We parked to nap for an hour and then, with enough light to see the washouts, rocks and other hazards, headed down the 104 miles of good dirt road. (Let’s not talk about some of the bridges!)

We reached Coursol Base at 9:30 AM to discover the two groups who were supposed to fly out at 8 AM and 9 AM were still there. The low ceiling had kept all the seaplanes grounded for two hours. They were just starting to fly.

The first group got off …and things ground to a halt again. The Beaver had developed electrical problems on one of the out lakes. The pilot could not get the plane restarted. The Cesna was required to investigate the problem and that brought things to a stand still. The 9 AM group (from Pittsburgh) and we were at Coursol Base for several more hours. Most of the parties due to come out of the wilderness were sitting at their cabins waiting, and waiting, and waiting. We at Cousol at least knew what had happened. We were given a cabin with some bunks to nap.

At around 4 PM we learned that the Beaver was back in operation. Apparently it was an alternator kind of problem. The battery wasn’t charging off the running engine so, when the pilot tried to restart the engine, there was insufficient juice to get it to kick over. I have no idea as to how you jump start a plane but they never shut the engine down for the rest of the day. Oliver took over the piloting chores also; he being owner and the most senior pilot ferrying people around.

The Pittsburgh group got off to LaRouche around 4:30 aboard the Cesna. Then the rest of the Pittsburgh crowd departed aboard the Beaver (no stoppage of the engine!) We were given a very nice spaghetti dinner by John the caretaker at Coursol. Two of the LaRouche people got brought back to Coursol and Joseph and David were ferried out to Simard aboard the Cesna. The Beaver returned with the rest of the LaRouche group, and Joe, Steve and I boarded to go to Simard some 40 minutes north. It was 6 PM.

Our fishing wasn’t as great as we had hoped. We landed just 75 northern pike and 41 walleye in the next four days but there were lots of firsts. (Reports from the pilots said things seemed spotty on all the lakes.)

This was Steve’s first true fishing experience. He was teamed up with Joseph and David as instructors and they did pretty well. Steve lost a monster pike that jumped twice before spitting the hook. David estimates it would have broken Joseph’s 40-1/2 inch mark. He (Steve) also landed the largest walleye we have ever caught—a 21-1/2 inch 5-1/2 pounder.

Joe caught a pike on a jitterbug and another on a 6-inch chub he put on a Johnson spoon.

Joe and David both hooked the same pike while jigging for walleye. It took both their black rubber jigs at the same time. Greeding SOB!

Joe and David claim to have figured out this jigging stuff and had some success when the wind let them hold bottom.

We were entertained by a pair of loons that held a marathon chase right in front of the cabin for over 15 minutes and that covered at least 3 kilometers. (They were still going when they rounded a distant point and disappeared from sight.)

Bears visited our camp for the first time. At least three bears, probably a mother and her two 2-year olds ambled into camp Wednesday evening. Mom and a cinnamon took off when they realized someone was home but the other “cub” stuck around looking for fish guts and whatnot. It walked right up to the porch despite my yelling at it and seemed totally unafraid. It returned during the night to investigate the sump into which the kitchen waste water drained and again the next evening before dark to check out our buckets.

Joseph and Steve spotted a bear around a bend in one of the side bays on the other side of the lake. It took off when it saw the boat motoring near so may have been yet a fourth bear.

Our return to Coursol Base on Friday was uneventful and we made just one detour in Ottawa passing in front of the capitol building as we went through the city.

All in all a very nice trip.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The bear left a huge turd on the South Lake trail!