7-11-03 - It Rained...and Rained...and Rained...
Waters Fished: St. Mary's Rapids, Little Garden
River Tributary, Primeau Lake, Carpenter Lake
Fish Caught: 0
Outing Date: 7-11-03
Weather: RAIN ALL DAY
Air Temp: Maybe 60's
Water Temp: I remember taking it on St. Mary's, but I didn't record
it. I seem to recall 60F
Water Level: Locals say it's very low
Water Color: All Crystal Clear, Little Garden was stained.
Fish Species: Um, fish?? Well, OK, Atlantic Salmon and Rich sighted
some early Kings
Pattern Fished: Assorted Speys
Pattern Color: You NAME IT!
Fishing Quality: NONEXISTENT
At some point in the morning we woke up; from here
on out we really wouldn't be keeping track of the time. All I know
is we got up to Ontario pretty late, had no problems crossing the
border, got our licenses and headed back down to the river parking.
Time to sleep in the car for a couple hours and then get up with
the sun for Atlantics!
Well, it rained, we all snored a lot, some of us
didn't really sleep, but somehow we managed to get onto the river.
Unfortunately there's not much to say about the fishing, as we didn't
catch squat. It seemed a few people had sighted the occasional Atlantic
or two but I didn't hear of anything caught. I spent most of the
morning in the WRONG water, swinging speys in the riffles.
We were all tired, cold and wet. I must admit all
the same I was really enjoying my time on the water...but I wasn't
that gung-ho to fish, so instead in the late morning I sat and shot
After lunch we decided this might be the ideal
time to do our scouting; Rich planned to look for new access points
for the Fall Pink Salmon trip. Map in hand we got into the FAT TRUCK
(aka. the Bronco) and headed out. I slept most of the way until
the roads got rough. The majority of the morning was spent going
down unmaintained forestry roads; each one we got on turned out
to be a dead end. Sometimes, there were even MULTIPLE branches,
all turning out to be dead ends! Talk about frustration.
And then it got worse as we entered a new portion
of road; the sign read something to the affect of "Road not
maintained, enter at your own risk!" Let me just say that I
am all for off-roading...it's fun for the first hour or two, but
after that you start to get a bit tired of all the motion!
Throughout our afternoon of driving literally in
the middle of nowhere, we stopped at 4 spots. Basically, it got
to the point where anytime we saw water we all wanted to stop, get
out and fish for a little bit.
The first stop was a tributary of the LITTLE Garden
River (not to be confused with the Garden); the hope was for brookies,
but none were sighted. I tried the "sure fire flies" but
didn't get any hookups either. Soon after we crossed the Little
Garden proper, took a look around but again didn't see ANYTHING
in the crystal clear water, so we moved on.
Each time the road got wider we thought perhaps
we might be back on maintained road...but then it'd get smaller
again. Eventually we made our way to Primeau Lake and we got out
to fish. BTW did I mention I totally fell and busted my reel on
the rocks???!?! I turned out OK, but when I went to reel in line
I noticed I no longer had any HANDLE on the spool!
Fortunately our luck took a slight uptick when
we ran into an area resident; we found out we were still 15 MILES
from the main road. Considering we were averaging about 6 miles
per hour, this was going to be a LONG drive home and it was already
getting towards evening. He filled us in a bit on Primeau; it holds
bass (what kind he didn't say). Jack felt there might be Pike in
there too..and that'd make sense. Our friendly acquaintance also
suggested we try Carpenter Lake about 7 miles down the road...better
Well, Carpenter Lake was a blessing in so much
as there were other anglers on the water, and our first sign of
civilization with the Carpenter Lake Cabins and Campground. We fished
for a while and I thought maybe I got a hit, but I can't be sure.
I did find out that according to the Forestry Service Carpenter
Lake holds Splake! Oh how sweet it would have been to hook up with
one of those...
Of course our luck rapidly went back to the norm;
the rain kicked back up, I lost my last pair of polarized glasses
off the bridge, and we still had a decently long ride home. The
good thing? Hmm...I guess the good thing would be that we managed
to get out there and get back! Sure beats sitting in the office
on a Friday afternoon!