Killarney Provincial Park Sign - Bell Lake Access Road

Bell Lake Canoe Trip

Killarney Provincial Park

September 22 - 25, 2011

Bell Lake Canoe Trip - Killarney Provincial Park - Loon Island Outdoors
     

Canoe Trip Reports

Bell Lake

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Day 3

Three Mile Lake to Balsam Lake

Fishing on Three Mile Lake, Killarney Provincial ParkWe were up around 8am today, proving that we weren't going to just sleep the whole trip away. We made some coffee and headed out for some fishing before breakfast. I managed a smallmouth bass and a couple of northern pike with the 2nd one being 24" long. Still not huge for a northern pike but an improvement over yesterday. This northern pike had inhaled a 5 - 6" X-Rap Rapala. It was a bit of a challenge getting the pike unhooked and it took the fish several minutes to recover before swimming off. One more reminder to at least keep the barbs squeezed down on the hooks. I'm also thinking about adding a longer pair of pliers to my tackle box (and no that won't help me to pack lighter).

 

When we came in for breakfast, it was Mike's Famous Apple Pancakes cooked over the fire on Gerald's skillet. The skillet is one of the big flat ones that you'll more commonly see when you're car camping but I'll tell ya, when cooking pancakes it goes a whole lot faster with the skillet than with the smaller frying pans from the cookset.

 

Portage from Three Mile Lake to Balsam Lake, Killarney Provincial ParkWe were washed up from breakfast and ready to head out for our day trip to Balsam Lake around 11:30am. Fishing our way up Three Mile Lake to the portage to Balsam Lake only took about 30 minutes. It would have been nice if we'd been catching fish and it had taken longer. Oh well.

 

The portage from Three Mile Lake to Balsam Lake is the 30m long tramway portage. If the tram car is there, then I understand you Tramway Portage from Balsam Lake to Three Mile Lake, Killarney Provincial Parkcan cart the canoes & kayaks right across without unloading, but the tram car was missing. Still, it's a short enough distance that it was easy enough to just carry the canoes across with the day tripping gear in them. On most portages it pays to unload the canoes and carry them on your shoulders but for this one it didn't really matter.

 

We kept fishing on our way up Balsam Lake which is roughly shaped like a V. I caught a smallmouth bass coming into the marshy area near the middle of the bottom/southwest arm of the V, but the fishing was still pretty slow.

Start of the portage from Balsam Lake to David Lake, Killarney Provincial Park

Thinking ahead for future trips, we stopped and checked out the start of the portage from Balsam Lake to David Lake, which starts off fairly steeply.

 

After that we continued back towards the east along the north arm of Balsam Lake. Again we took some time to find the portage to Pike Lake. It was pretty mucky and very shallow getting to that portage. We also spent some time fishing in the bay just off oSite #120, Balsam Lakef site #120 but the fishing was still pretty slow and I only caught 1 more smallmouth bass.

 

Around 4pm we started back towards camp, still not catching anything. By 5:30pm we were coming back up to the portage from Balsam Lake back to Three Mile Lake so while we spent about 4 hours getting to the far corner of Balsam Lake it only took us about 1 1/2 hours to come back. That just goes to show how much time we spent fishing on the way out, too bad there wasn't more catching ...27" Northern Pike, Balsam Lake, Killarney Provincial Park

 

That is until I went to reel in my line to get ready for the portage. Finally I hooked as decent fish - a nice 27" northern pike that barely fit in the net. Mike took a couple of pictures for me and he gets credit for this one.

 

After the portage we headed straight back to camp to start theSunset - Three Mile Lake - Killarney Provincial Park spaghetti sauce soaking for supper. Tried a bit more fishing while the sauce was soaking but I was on my own in the canoe and it was getting a bit too windy to have much fun.

 

The skies had cleared up over the course of the afternoon which gave us a beautiful clear sunset, really the first sunset of the trip.

 

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