Algonquin Canoe Trip

Algonquin Spring Fishing

Rock Lake, Pen Lake, Clydegale Lake, Welcome Lake, Harry Lake

May 9 - 13, 2005

Algonquin Portage Sign

Canoe Trip Reports

Algonquin Spring Fishing 2005

Trip Preparation
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
What worked well
Lessons Learned
Photo Gallery

Day Three - Pen Lake to Welcome Lake

Start of the long portage to Welcome LakeThis was the day we went up to Welcome Lake. The portage up from Pen is a fairly short 295m piece to a pond on the Galipo River and then a 2170 metre long piece to Welcome. The long portage runs up to a beaver pond about 2/3 of the way up from Pen to Welcome. I find that counting the steps helps me get through the portage when it's my turn to carry the canoe. I count about 1700 steps to the beaver pond Beaver pond on the portage between Pen Lake and Welcome Lakeand then another 1400 or so to Welcome. This year the second part only came out to about 1100 steps, but I lost count in there acouple of times and had to start over again from the nearest hundred.

This was the third time I've been up to Welcome and I'd only caught one fish in the previous two trips. That may seem like a lot of work for only one fish, and it was. However, my brother-in-law Eric catches 2 or 3 Specks every time we go up there. Beaver dam on the portage between Pen Lake and Welcome Lake

For me at least, Welcome is notorious for being very windy, especially in the afternoon. Eric on the Welcome Lake portageToday certainly started out looking like it was going to do the same thing this year. We trolled around the lake clockwise and the wind was in our face most of the way. About a quarter of the way around, Eric caught a Speck. There's a nice sandbar that sticks out into the lake there and if you can keep from getting snagged then there's a good chance of catching something. The wind was picking up a bit, but since it was coming from the west we eventually got a bit of shelter. We stopped for lunch about half way around and then started out again. It was a hot day, up in the 20's for sure but still no black flies in sight. As we started out again after lunch the wind was shifting to come from the south so we swung wide of the rocky point with the campsites on it and headed up the river toward Harry Lake. The wind was blowing strongly enough that we coasted almost half the way up to Harry, the downside of that was that the wind was in our face by the time we did get to Harry.

We trolled all along the south shore of Harry without so much as a nibble between 3 canoes, so for variety we trolled back along the north shore. The wind was picking up now and we were definitely not looking forward to paddling Looking back up Harry Lake - Algonquin Provincial Parkback across Welcome. It was also clouding over and getting pretty dark. It wasn't late, probably only about 3pm, but there were some really dark clouds blowing in. Just before the rain hit, we started catching fish. Well, I should say the other guys started catching fish. I had a strike, but didn't catch a thing.

Before heading back down the river from Harry to Welcome, we stopped to put Beach at the east end of Harry Lakeour rain gear on. Then we headed on down the river expecting to have to paddle into a strong headwind all the way back across Welcome. A couple of years ago, the first time I was up here, we paddled back in about 2 foot waves, which was not the most comfortable thing. This year we got lucky, by the time we were back at Welcome Lake the storm had blown over and the wind had died right down. We even trolled back across to the portage, something that I don't think I've been able to do before on that lake. It didn't make a difference though, I still didn't catch anything.

The good news was that I could relax now since it was Eric's turn to carry the canoe back down to Pen. I just had the rods and the day pack. It feels like an afternoon walk in the park after the portage up. Oh, by the way, in case you were wondering that now adds up to about 7.5 km of portaging for the one Speck that I've caught in Welcome over the years.


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