Caribou Lake Adventure

Destination:  Caribou Lake

One of the great aspects of fishing Eagle Lake out of Vermilion Bay Lodge is the option to take a back-woods adventure and walk the portage trails back to several other lakes.  Caribou Lake is the furthest away, and takes the most effort, but the fishing and seclusion make it worth it.  I needed to get back there and set up the boat for the summer.   Keith Mitchell volunteered to accompany me………little did he know!

Keith Mitchell
“Will Keith survive this adventure to Caribou Lake”?

Of course many lodge guests have “done” the creek up to Clearwater Lake…104 curves of log filled obstructions.  This first part of the journey is best taken slow and steady, yet some part of me rebels at the notion of taking my time when such interesting things await.  My first mistake!

Dry Docked
This is not good!

On reflection, perhaps a slower pace would be advisable.  Ending up on the only two rocks on shore after hitting a submerged log can only be described as “humbling”….and it was going so well till that point.

Will we ever reach Caribou Lake?

Well, it may have been embarrassing, but shove it back in and carry on.  No harm done and a lesson learned.  Not sure why but I seem to need this lesson dealt out to me every couple of years.

This Isn't Good!
We are screwed now!

We’ll just start the motor and…..what the @#$ !!  No tools, we are up the Clearwater Creek with two paddles!

What Can You Do?
Stuff happens……….

Paddling against the current is less than fruitful.  Fortunately the Evergreen Lodge boat that we were so smug to pass earlier caught up to us and offered to give me a lift to the boats I have on Clearwater Lake.  In a case like this it is good to have a “plan B”.  Stay with the boat Keith, I’ll come back to get you”.

Young Laker
Catching a lake trout on Clearwater Lake

I do return and while towing the boat to my ramp on Clearwater Lake Keith drags a line with some results!  This may be a good omen.

Onward to Caribou Lake…

Airplane on the Portage!
Not sure we should borrow that Keith!

Over the next portage trail to McGregor and what’s this?  An airplane would certainly speed up our trip, but I file away the fleeting thought of taking it for a spin…..I’m not feeling that lucky today!

Caribou Lake Portage Trail
Is someone else having a “crappy day”?

Some wolf poop on the trail to Caribou Lake.  We hope the evident “hair” diet is animal and not someone we know!  I feel secure in the knowledge that I am faster than Keith…..he will be the first to fall!

Caribou Lake Scenery
Back in Caribou Lake…

Finally, we have reached our destination, Caribou Lake.  The 6hp Johnson runs great and all is well.  The only minor issue is that a bear has chewed on one of the spare gas cans and released the contents….still plenty in the other cans.  Why do they enjoy chewing on plastic, that is the question…

Top Water Bass Action
Keith lands a smallmouth on Caribou Lake.

A selection of Rapala Skitter Prop lures seems to be the ticket for catching bass this day.  The action seems to indicate that the bass have yet to get into the spawning mode….likely due to the cooling water temps.  It bodes well for Dustin who will be fishing the next week.

Colourful Smallmouth
Nice markings on these bass!

While it wasn’t a banner day, we did manage to catch more than 3 dozen bass, plus a few northern pike thrown in for good measure.  All catch and release back in this remote lake.   I’m happy to report that the trip home was uneventful.  We were even able to pick up a few eater walleyes along the way back for a fish dinner that night.

Eater Walleyes
Keith retrieves the jig he lost the day before in a pike……

While it didn’t start out so great the day ended up being pretty good all round.  I’m sure we will have stories to recall about that fateful trip back to Caribou Lake during the opening week of 2011……..

9 thoughts on “Caribou Lake Adventure

  1. Great post! I really enjoyed the pictures. They do so remind me of my old Polaroid (sniff). Two more weeks till the girls and I arrive. Are you ready for us Gord?!

  2. Well just for the record when you read this story it was nothing like you read it is better when they tell the story while tipping a few Canadian beers.
    I am still laughing when I think of this run that Bamboo Mark and I almost got suckered into man am I glad we did not agree to this run.
    Everything is an adventure with Gord

  3. Yes, Keith was quite calm about the prospect of paddling upstream for 3 miles. Fortunately I did not have to resort to cannibalism……

  4. Gord,

    You are going to have to put together a repair kit for guests venturing back to the remote lakes? The Professor will be pleased to note that the picture of Keith with the walleyes includes a seat! Is there a motor on Long Lake?

  5. No seat on Long Lake …yet……although there is no motor either! Long Lake needs to be discovered, it’s secrets unlocked……………

    A repair kit might be handy…. or at least better paddles….

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This is a first class resort located on Vermillion Bay on Eagle Lake. The cabins are very clean and well kept. The boats are new with new motors and are in great shape. The owner will also clean your fish for you after your day on the water. Make no mistake the fishing on Eagle Lake is world class.

The Lodge is owned by Gord and Susanne Bastable who will make you feel welcome and before you know it you feel like family. They are the best of hosts. The atmosphere is low key and laid back leading to a great vacation.

This is my 19th year of enjoying the hospitality of the lodge and i can’t think of going anywhere else on Eagle Lake.


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