Shall Lake Access Point - Algonquin Provincial Park

Booth Lake Canoe Trip

Algonquin Provincial Park

July 1 - 4, 2010

Booth Lake Canoe Trip - Loon Island Outdoors

Canoe Trip Reports

Booth Lake

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
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Day 1

Shall Lake Access #17 through Farm Lake & Kitty Lake to Booth Lake

Algonquin Bound OutfittersPeter and I started out from the cottage and were on the road about 7:45am. We headed north up Highway 62 and stopped for gas and coffee in Bancroft. From Bancroft we continued north up Highway 62 to Maynooth where we turned west on Highway 127 which took us to Madawaska Road (523) where we headed north again. On our way up 523 we saw a wild turkey and stopped to take a picture, but of course by the time I had the camera out, the turkey was long gone. When we got up to the junction with Highway 60 in the town of Madawaska, we headed west since on the Ontario road map it looked like the Shall Lake access road was still a bit futher west. Shall Lake Access Point - Algonquin Provincial ParkThat turned out to be a mistake and we turned around and came back to Madawaska and stopped at the Algonquin Bound outfitters where we stopped and asked directions which confirmed that the Shall Lake access road was the road straight across from the 523. Yep, we were already on the right road in the first place and all we needed to do was just keep going straight. The helpful folks at Algonquin Bound told us that there used to be a sign for the Shall Lake access road but it got taken down, possibly because tour buses used to turn there thinking it was the main road into Algonquin.

Loaded up and ready to head out on Farm Lake - Algonquin Provincial Park We picked up our permit at the Shall Lake office and while we were there we confirmed that there are Northern Pike in Booth Lake, which was one reason why we had picked this route. It was also suggested that we had lots of time to fish all the way up. We were loading the canoe up by about 10:20am and were on the water just before 11am.

Farm Lake

Now it's important to note that the Shall Lake access point is actually located on Farm Lake Kitty Lake Cabin - Farm Lake - Alqonquin Provincial Parkthese days. It used to be located on Shall Lake, at least it was 20 years ago when I spent a summer working at the Wildlife Research Station in Algonquin, but not anymore. In practical terms this meant that we were starting a whole lake closer to Booth Lake than if the access point was still in the old location on Shall Lake. I definitely spent a few minutes thinking about how nice this was during our very windy 45 minute paddle north-west up Farm Lake. We tried to fish a bit but it was really too windy to manage until we got to the west end of Farm Lake and then we were able to fish a bit as the lake wandered past the Kitty Lake cabin on our way up to the swift at the 90m portage. Note that the Kitty Lake cabin is actually on Farm Lake despite its name.

Approaching the portage from Farm Lake to Kitty Lake, Algonquin Provincial ParkWe had been told that it might be possible to paddle up the swift or at least to wade it. After scouting it, Peter and I agreed that it was worth a try but we didn't get very far paddling so I got out and waded the canoe up while Peter got the free ride. Just after the swift, we sat along the shore and fished for a few minutes. We caught a few small smallmouth bass and a rock bass. Nothing big, but even Peter got a smallmouth, so at least we weren't going to go home skunked.

Kitty Lake

Northern Pike - Kitty Lake - Algonquin Provincial ParkKitty Lake was a lot calmer and we trolled our way along the south shore. I caught a nice sized pike and got a few pictures before releasing it. At the west end of Kitty Lake, there is a little bit of fast water just before the portage take out to Booth so we got to practice our ferry technique. It wasn't a tough ferry but after watching a couple of other canoes struggle through that bit, I felt good at how smoothly it went for us. Approaching the portage from Kitty Lake to Booth Lake - Alqonquin Provincial Park

Since it was about 2pm, we had lunch before doing the portage. We managed to get across in 3 trips. Peter did a good pack mule impression and didn't complain at all, but he's still too small to handle most of the packs.

Booth Lake

Kitty Lake to Booth Lake Portage Sign - Alqonquin Provincial ParkAfter our portage to Booth Lake we stopped to take a look around and check out the dam. You aren't allowed to walk on the dam itself, but we were still able to take some pictures including a Booth Lake Dam - Algonquin Provincial Parkpicture of the gear on top of the dam that is used to help raise and lower the timbers that control the water level. While we were exploring we also took note of the "No Fishing within 100 metres of Dam" signs. This is a standard rule throughout Ontario and it exists for a couple of reasons. One reason is simply safety near Hydro dams where changes in the outflow from the dam in response to demands for power can quickly change water levels and create a risk for folks who are immediately downstream from the dam. The Booth Lake dam isn't a Hydro dam, so the reason for the restriction here is to protect the fishery. That protection includes both protecting the fish that can bunch up near this artificial barrier, but perhaps more importantly it is to keep folksNo Fishing within 100m of Dam from moving fish from one waterbody to another. In Algonquin this is particularly important to protect the native trout populations from invasive species, which in many spots includes fish like Northern Pike.

We started paddling up Booth Lake around 3:25pm. It was calm enough to fish but we didn't catch anything. We were stopped at our campsite along the north shore by about 4:30pm. We had picked the north shore so that we could explore the old roadbed that runs along there. The site had some nice benches around the campfire and a frame for a camp table. We setup camp while the fire warmed up for our opening night steak dinner. Campsite on Booth Lake, Algonquin Provincial ParkDinner was rounded out with peas and Lipton's Fettucine Alfredo. The noodles and sauce worked out really well. After supper it was time for some repair work on my shorts. The zipper had broken at the start of the portage to Booth so I dug out an old rusty needle from the first aid kit and cut off a piece of 8lb Berkely XT mono and sewed up the zipper while Pete fished. It was a bit tough getting the shorts on and off without a zipper but I really didn't need that kind of exposure. Camped on Booth Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park

Once my shorts were repaired, we did a bit more fishing but still no luck. It had been a good day and we were in our PJ's just after 9pm with the ligths out around 9:30pm. As soon as we turned the lights out, we heard something moving around the campsite and I had to get up to investigate. It turned out that we had a couple of snowshoe hares hopping around the campsite.

 

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