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  1. Looking to head out on an ice fishing trip this coming February. I'm willing to travel within 3-4hours of Algonquin provincial park and looking to rent a cottage of some sort. The group I'm going with is looking to target pike through the ice the whole week we are gone. Any lakes or river with good pike ice fishing anyone would recommend? Thanks!
  2. Been a while since I have posted a report. Actually it has been quite a while since I have done some real fishing as well. This year I hadn't been to my favourite park for some real fishing, so I decided to go the weekend after Labour Day. What a great decision to not go on a long weekend. Peace, tranquility, scenery, fishing was just great. Below are some pics. I was targetting Specks using this new technique but I ended up with lakers. Hey, I don't mind. I love trout. I actually thought I had specks until I fillet two for dinner, at which point I looked for the signs - forked tails vs square tail, and the worm like markings versus the halo spots. Ofcourse, how could i forget that beautiful Speck I caught a couple years back. Anyhow, was there for the weekend. Hooked 8 fish on two tries, landed 7, kept 2 for dinner. Peace out, hope you all had a great summer. Miro
  3. The boys and I just got back from 4 days and 3 nights in Algonquin Park and here are the details: We were never too concerned about ice out but the park setting an interior "open date" of May 9th, corresponding with the exact start of our trip, was a bit ominous. We contemplated backup plans, but work had been booked off across the board, and we had our minds set on Algonquin. Thankfully the ice melted and the park opened in time. We got our wish and the weeks (months...?) of planning did not go for naught. We picked our dates to correspond with with three things - ice out, brook trout fishing, and the park being void of biting bugs. Maybe it is the "city boy" in me, but going into the park at the height of black fly or mosquito season (or both) is simply not as palatable as it used to be. The park is so much more enjoyable when you're not constantly swatting the air and when you don't have to be in the tent by sundown. After a 3am departure from Richmond Hill and many hours of driving, we picked up our rental canoe from a local outfitter amidst lighting and rain. The forecast called for bad weather all day, but the outfitter assured us that the storm would soon blow over and we'd be in the clear. I told him I'd hold him to that promise, and we were on our way. He also gave us some fishing tips, which I'll get to later. After picking up our permits and another hour or so of driving, we arrived at our access point, to realize that the storm had indeed cleared. The outfitter was right, and the Weather Network was wrong! We let out a collective cheer, loaded up the canoe, and began our journey. After 3 hours of paddling against the wind and portaging uphill, we reached our home for the next 3 nights. We set up camp and prepared for a relaxing evening. However, as it goes, things are never without their hiccups! Through unloading our gear, there was accidental discharge of our bairspray which got on our water jug...then our hands, and then our faces. This rendered two us incapacitated while we dunked our heads in the icy cold lake until the stinging subsided. It was a good confidence boost that the bear spray may actually work if we ever needed to use it, but I'm not sure it was worth the price we had to pay! We took a nap, fished for a few hours with no luck, and then hit the sack after a dinner of ribeye steak, and a few adult beverages, and some cigars. We turned out the lanterns with eager anticipation for the day of fishing that awaited us. We awoke the next morning to sunny skies but a very windy lake. We fished for around 5 hours with not even a bite. We started to contemplate what we were doing wrong or if the fish were simply " turned off." All the doubt that comes with a skunking flooded our minds - are we fishing too shallow? Too deep? Too fast? Too slow? Too big? Too small? Did we bring the wrong colours? Did we get the dreaded sunscreen on our gear? When was the last time this lake was stocked anyways? Should we stick to bass fishing...? We had it on good authority that this lake was full of big trout. Our friend the outfitter, who also appeared to be a weather oracle, had told us the next lake over, while holding smaller fish, was a sure thing. We decided that tomorrow we'd go there and see if he could go 2/2 on his predictions. The next morning we enjoyed a breakfast of pancakes and coffee... ...which was promptly ruined when we noticed a group of 6 canoes, fishing rods in sight, entering our lake, and heading for the same portage as us. You see, this portage they were about to do (as were we) was relatively short, but the next one over was extremely lengthy. We were pretty sure they were not going for that loop, considering the distance they'd already traveled, but more likely the same destination as us. It was a really small lake and we didn't want to be crowded or for them to get a head start on the fish! Nonetheless, we loaded the canoe and headed over to the next lake. Much to our surprise, they had gone for the next portage over after all, and the lake was empty! We had the water and the fish all to ourselves. We started off slow and started to question weather the outfitter's second prediction would hold true. The doubts once again started to creep into our minds. Although no one said a thing, we each knew what the others were thinking. We didn't give up, and we started on a pattern of vertical jigging spoons tipped with pink trout worms near wood structure. Eureka! That did the trick and we were on the fish! The outfitter had been right again and was quickly gaining legend status in our books. I wish I had what happened next on camera. After getting our first fish on the stringer for dinner later that night, we noticed a large gull land on the lake. It slowly swam closer and closer. We kept an eye on it as we knew exactly what it was thinking. After fishing for a while longer, our gull watch became complacent, and all of a sudden the big bird was circling 20 feet above the canoe. No big deal we said, we'll just pull the stringer into the boat. Except the trout had come off the stringer and was now floating on the surface. We tried to paddle over to net the fish but we had the anchor down and couldn't get closer. The gull was circling lower and lower. One of the guys tried to splash the bird with the paddle while we pulled the anchor up. The anchor was down ahead of the canoe, so pulling it up actually brought us further from the fish and the bird. As we got further away, the bird found the courage to swoop down. We expected it to try and fly off with the fish, and maybe even struggle to carry the fish and drop it. The bird came down, grabbed the fish with its beak, flipped it in the air, and swallowed the 12 inch brookie whole. Our jaws dropped and we were silent in the collective acceptance that the gull had bestest us. We continued to fish down the lake and our pattern held true. Although there were no trophies, we caught 18 fish, lost another 6 or so, and saw many more. The wish were between 10-14 inches long and the bite was very light. We were catching them in 10-15 feet of water, close to shore. The water temp was 12-15 degrees. We kept a few for dinner that night and enjoyed them with fried onions and pancetta (Italian bacon), and some cheddar and broccoli rice. That evening we relished the sweet feeling of victory. We savoured our fish dinner, finished the last of our alcoholic provisions, smoked some more cigars, stayed up later under the stars, and declared the trip a resounding success. Any doubts we had about our fishing prowess were forgotten (well until the next future skunking anyways...) The next morning we packed up camp and were lucky enough to paddle out of the park under blue skies and with zero wind. Through the paddle we recounted the stories of the trip - the bear spray incident, the thieving gull, the fishing successes, and all of the other inside jokes that friends share. Algonquin Park is a magical place and it went unsaid that we would be back next year once again. Thanks for reading, Alex
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