Ragged Lake Canoe Trip - Algonquin Provincial Park - Loon Island Outdoors

Ragged Lake Canoe Trip

Algonquin Provincial Park

September 3 - 6, 2010

Ragged Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park - Smallmouth Bass

Canoe Trip Reports

Ragged Lake

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Photo Gallery

 

Day 3

To Big Porcupine Lake and Back

Common Loon on Parkside BayI woke up for that first trip out of the tent just before 8am but assured Madeline that we didn't have to get up yet. She had made me promise that we would get up before 10am today, but it didn't mean we had to be up that early. So we snoozed for a bit longer and about 10 to 9am I suggested that we get up since I wanted to keep my promise, but this time Madeline wanted to sleep a bit longer. We finally got up at about 9:20am.

This morning we cooked our fruit dumping for breakfast which tastes really good but takes a bit longer than oatmeal. By the time we were washed up and ready to go it was getting close to 11:30am. We were still a bit ahead of yesterday's schedule Campsite on Ragged Lakebut not by a whole lot.

Our plan today was to head towards Big Porcupine Lake and at least do a bit of scouting for a future trip. Of course we were going to be fishing along the way so depending on the fishing and the wind, we'd see how far we got. We caught one small mouth bass while still in Parkside Bay and another heading south down the channel to Crown Bay. There are quite a few folks around, which isn't surprising for the last long weekend of the summer, but not every campsite is occupied. I expect that the weather scared a few folks off. I know that Ragged Lake itself was booked solid for the weekend when I had been reserving our site a couple of weeks ago.

Mergansers on Ragged Lake, Algonquin Provincial ParkWhen we got around by the big island on Ragged Lake, we tied on some 1 oz. weights and leaders to see if we could get down deep enough for some trout, but no luck. The wind had been blowing from the west all day so we had been taking it pretty easy as we headed toward the portage to Big Porcupine, knowing how much work it was going to be getting back to camp later.

On the way down the final inlet toward the portage to Big Porcupine, there is a pretty obvious trail on the left hand/east side. Right beside it is a portage sign with an arrow Arrow towards the real portage from Ragged Lake to Big Porcupine Lakepointing toward the real portage to Big Porcupine Lake. I have no idea where that trail goes to, but it's a good thing the sign is there because if anyone headed up this trail thinking that they were headed toward Big Porc then they would be going in completely the wrong direction.

We finally got to the portage to Big Porcupine Lake around 2:30pm. By that time it was late enough that we knew we were just going to hike the portage to take a look around, ePulled up at the portage from Ragged Lake to Big Porcupine Lakeat some lunch and then head back to camp. The portage itself is nice and wide, very dry and almost all straight up hill. Out of the 590m portage, I would estimate that 50m are flat, 30m are downhill at the Big Porcupine end and the other 510m are a steep uphill climb! Since we weren't carrying any gear, it made for a nice walk and I was able to get some good pictures of mushrooms and fungi along the portage. Madeline carried her rod up with a worm on a hook so we both got to try some casts in Big Porcupine to say we had fished the lake before I lost the worm and we headed back down. (Note, dad's who lose the only worm off their daughter's hook A very uphill portage from Ragged Lake to Big Porcupine Lakebecause they were too lazy to bring their own rod, do not win any popularity awards. )

After our lunch of pitas and PB &J plus pepperoni's and Nibs, we started the upwind paddle back to camp. This was a lot more work than the trip out had been. When we finally reached some shelter from the wind, we stopped and cast some worms for a few minutes which yielded another smallmouth bass for me. After our rest, we headed further upwind along the Big Porcupine Lake, Algonquin Provincial Parksouth shore of the big island on Ragged looking for an empty campsite so we could make use of the thunderbox. Along the way I finally managed to snap off my Perch Rapala on a snag. When trolling a new lake, especially if we're fighting a wind then I'll usually go with a Rapala because the run at a nice depth and, assuming I pick a floating one, then if we do stop they will float up to the surface rather than sinking down and getting snagged on me. This time around I had just tried to cut a corner a bit too tight. Oh well, if you aren't snagging then you aren't fishing.

The site we stopped at on the island actually made that portage to Big Porcupine Lake look like a gentle slope. The The Vertical Campsite - Ragged Lake, Algonquin Provincial ParkThunder Box was probably 60' *above* the firepit and you could barely make out a spot that *might* have been big enough for a tent.

After a quick picture as it started raining again, we headed south into West Bay and around to Parkside Bay. I was trolling an orange floating Rapala now and Madeline had on a rattling purple Rapala. As you get into Crown Bay, the lake gets shallow and weedy so we reeled in our lines and much to my surprise I had a very small bass on my lure. This bass was literally only 2X as big as the lure. He was so small that I hadn't even noticed the extra drag on the line.

Madeline's first fish of the dayAfter that it was a windy struggle to get around the corner and headed north towards Parkside Bay. At the corner campsite where you turn west into Parkside Bay, we talked with a guy who had lost the smallmouth bass off of his stringer to a snapping turtle. He held up the stringer to show it to us and about all that was left was the head.

As we worked our way west across Parkside Bay, Madeline finally hooked her fiSunset on Parkside Bay, Algonquin Provincial Parkrst fish of the day. We let the wind blow us into an inlet along the north shore while she reeled in another nice sized smallmouth. That was it for the fish and we finally made it back to camp at about 5:50pm.

We're settled in for the night now. It's noticeably warmer and calmer tonight than it has been the other days. We'll be heading home in the morning so it would be nice to have an easy paddle on our way out.

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