I had planned to do nothing last weekend… the key word there is planned. LOL. I have been out doing something every weekend for as long as I can remember and have not slept in my own bed on a weekend in , well, I can’t actually remember. I had decided to spend the day Saturday fishing with my dad. He was going to drive up to my place and then we would head to Mill Lake in Parry Sound to rent a boat and do some fishing. It was a great day!
That left Sunday for me, to plan some trips, sleep in, check out and ensure all my gear is all up to par, whatever I felt like doing, non writing, non blogging, non video making, related. Then I got an email from Paddling Adventures Radio and that day slipped away from me.
I have been listening to the informative and entertaining podcasts by Sean Rowley and Derek Specht of Paddling Adventures Radio for a while now. I met them officially in person at the Toronto Outdoor Adventure Show and saw them again when I spoke at the KW Canoe Symposium. They seemed like nice guys and a bunch of fun. Recently, at the 150 for 150 I chatted with Derek again and really liked what these guys were all about and the more podcasts I listened to, the better I felt I got to know them and liked them even more.
Sean was planning a day trip Saturday, to do some paddling with his family and Derek and his family and anyone else who wanted to come out. I advised I was busy, but quickly threw out I was free Sunday. I was? LOL. I guess technically I was. I don’t do a lot of day trips these days, so this was a rare opportunity for me to do a day trip and turned out they were both up for it, so the plan became a reality.
We decided to head to QEII Wildlands as it was somewhat in between our two locations. We picked a time, decided on a few other things and on Sunday I headed out to meet them at the put in for 8am.
We each had our own canoe to paddle and loaded up our fishing gear and items we’d need for the day. I also offered to make lunches and bring food, so I had lots of goodies to share and also to carry.
We started on Head Lake and paddled towards Head River. Head Lake was quite large but the water was extremely calm, the winds were down and it was easy enough to get across.
When we got into Head River, I was in heaven. It is exactly the type of water I live to paddle. It was calm, narrow, mirrored and full of the sounds of nature. It was also at the time, full of the sounds of Derek and Sean chattering away about everything and anything and I was doing my best to paddle and film and take photos all at the same time. It was definitely a challenge but I think the videos came out great and you can get some idea of what the day was like by checking them out starting tomorrow.
I asked lots of questions to the guys and we had lots of discussions which can be seen on the videos. One of my favorite topics was about the show Alone and who won it? I think we all agreed it was the Baird Brothers, but of course, this is just speculation. We also discussed cool trip ideas and I found out that these guys really just fly by the seat of their pants as far as making up shows every week. They are very good at it, for sure!
QEII Wildlands is quite beautiful and we took our time paddling along as we chatted the day away. We had one portage into Fishog Lake which was just under 400m. The portage went up a steep hill, then down a steep hill and I almost got lost both on the way in and out as I had rigged the Backcountry Custom Canoe I was using with a pillow for my head to portage with as it didn’t have a yoke. It worked great but I had a few issues seeing when I was carrying it.
After the portage we had more paddling on the river, which was amazingly calm and peaceful and we didn’t see many other people around. We located a nice site and stopped for a bit to stretch our legs, set up our fishing rods, do some shore fishing, have a swim and some lunch. Oh yeah, and check our phones.
Sean caught a fish almost from his first cast on shore, and the trend continued throughout the day after that. Little fish were everywhere. LOL
I brought turkey sandwiches for lunch with 2 yr old aged white cheddar and tangy dill pickle slices on fresh kaisers. They were quite yummy and with it I had brought a penne pesto pasta salad which was pretty tasty.
I had cookies, brownie bites and even sour blue raspberry big foot gummies which didn’t work too well with Derek, causing more laughter, something the entire day was full of.
After hearing descriptions of the privy on site, I had to go take a look and was amazed that the description I was given wasn’t even half as hilarious as what my eyes saw. Good thing I didn’t need to use it!
It was very hot out, around 30 degrees, and we were definitely feeling it. Derek and I went for a swim while Sean offered to take some photos and a cool video, that will be posted in the videos that will be up tomorrow and Thursday. These guys are way too funny and my cheeks still hurt from all the hilarious antics of the day!
Once we’d cooled down, eaten our lunches,and taken a bit of time to stretch our legs, we got back in the canoes to do some fishing. I had not been lucky in this area for almost a month now. My dad had actually come down to fish with me yesterday (Saturday last week now) and taught me a bunch of tips and tricks, but I still hadn’t caught a fish. Sean had caught two and offered me one of his Mepps spinner lures. I put it on my line with a tiny bit of worm (also leftover from yesterdays trip) and VOILA! I caught a fish!
Look at that perch! Isn’t it a beauty? LOL, Okay, so I did learn that trick of how to make a fish look bigger by putting it closer to the camera. HAHAHA. This is the actual size of the fish above.
But I didn’t care. I caught a fish and even though it was small, I was learning every catch how to set the hook. (I think that’s the term?)
I ended up catching 6 fish that day. Four perch and two sunfish and I was pretty happy about it. None of them were fish I could keep but I didn’t really care at all. Sean caught about 11, one was big enough to keep but he let it go and Derek caught 2 and could’ve kept one, but let it go also. I would’ve loved to eat that fish, but I will just have to catch my own another time.
It was so beautiful on the river and I could’ve stayed there all day long, but eventually we had to make our way back towards the portage and Head Lake. It was also a great place for people to leave their socks, according to Sean, this is something he’s experienced on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, the wind had picked up and we knew we would be in for a fight. The canoe I was in weighed only 27 lbs and was extremely light and not the best in the wind. I was very grateful I’d brought my kayak paddle because it would help immensely.
We stopped for a quick picture and video summary of the day just after the portage. We also did our best to weigh down our boats and balance the weight to help with the windy waters ahead. I got Sean to put my backpack up in the very front of the canoe, which helped on the river, and probably did on the lake but I’m not 100% sure about the latter. Derek filled his dry bag with water, which I thought was really clever, (I will bring one my next canoe trip for this purpose as well). Sean was comfortable in his Swift and didn’t seem to have to balance out anything. It was a nice little boat for sure!
We hit Head Lake and I only have one photo from there. We literally paddled almost an hour and a half straight, hard paddling to make it across with the winds, which were around 35 km gusts. My shoulders were not very happy with me but I just kept pushing, there wasn’t really any other option and eventually we made it across to the other side.
After a short rest we picked up our canoes and packs and headed back up the trail to our vehicles to put our boats on them. We chatted a bit more and recapped the day, said our goodbyes, thanks and a few last jokes, cause those were never in short supply with these two, and eventually headed off in different directions to our respective homes.
Thanks so much to Sean and Derek for a really fun day and for adding a few more wrinkles to my face caused by excessive laughter. Stay tuned for the videos, yes, there are two, full of fun stories, comments and chatter about some of our favorite outdoors people.