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
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Day 4

Ragged Lake to Smoke Lake and Home

Eureka Canoe PackWell, we're heading home today. It's been a great trip and knowing how busy life will be again starting tomorrow, it sure would be nice if we could stay a bit longer. We got ourselves up around 8am, nothing too horribly early but we do need to get moving. That said, we still had time for a fairly relaxed breakfast of oatmeal along with some coffee and hot chocolate. We finished breakfast, had the dishes washed and were starting to pack up by 9am.

Having all our tarps set up had certainly helped to keep us comfortable over the last Campsite cleaned up - Ragged Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park couple of days, but taking them down again does add some time to the packing up. By the time we had the campsite cleaned up and the canoe loaded it was getting close to 11am. One thing we do when loading the canoe is to fasten the hip belts of the packs around the nearest thwart. I have never yet dumped a loaded canoe but we still want to make sure that we are prepared if something ever does happen. By having the packs fastened to the canoe, it keeps them from floating away if there was a dump and helps to keep a little more control over the situation.

Once we were on the water, we trolled our way along the south side of Parkside Bay Swift Temagami Canoewithout any luck. Still, with the wind behind us it was a pretty relaxing paddle. As we were headed out of Parkside Bay just before 11:30am we stopped to film a family of loons. There were 2 adults and 2 juveniles fishing away. The juveniles still had very grey feathers on the topside but when one of them shook their wings you could see a very white belly. Common Loons - Parkside Bay, Algonquin Provincial Park

We continued to fish our way back out through Ragged Lake and north up towards Smoke Lake. We were taking it pretty easy, but then so were the fish and I don't think we caught anything. Of course it was the middle of the day which isn't exactly prime fishing time. Actually we were taking it so easy that the narrows at the north end of Ragged Lake actually caught me by surprise.

Since we were still making good time, we stopped and took a good look at the dam Driftwood by the dam on Ragged Lake where Ragged Lake drains. I was hoping to see more of the old log shoot but there didn't seem to be anything left. I'm guessing that the slot in the dam was where the log chute would have connected to run the logs down to Smoke Lake.

We were at the portage itself around 1pm and carried our gear down to Smoke Lake before stopping for some lunch. We had our lunch finished up and were ready to start our paddle up Smoke Lake by 2pm. Madeline and I both made guesses as to how long Taking a break on Ragged Lakeit would take us to paddle the length of Smoke Lake. I guessed 2 hours which would get us back to the docks around 4pm and Madeline guessed that we would be back by 3:45pm.

Keeping with the theme of the weekend, it started raining again as we headed up Smoke Lake. We were still prepared for it and it never seems to be quite as big a deal to get dumped on the day your going home. Watching the hills along the west shore of Smoke Lake we could see the mist and fog rising from the trees. I'm guessing that probably has something to do with the lake getting it's name.

Lake Trout - Smoke Lake, Algonquin Provincial ParkOf course we kept fishing, no point in giving up just because of a slow morning. And after all there was no point in wasting all that paddling. Our optimism paid off when Madeline managed to hook a lake trout on a rattling perch pattern Rapala. I hadn't really expected to catch any trout, so I hadn't even checked if there was a slot limit or other restrictions for Smoke Lake before the trip. If it was a legal size, then it would have been a perfect trophy for Madeline to take home and show off to her brothers, but since we hadn't checked the regs, we took a quick picture (yes there were rain drops on the camera lens) and let it go. It looked plenty healthy as it headed off for deep water againMolly Island - Smoke Lake - Algonquin Provincial Park.

The rest of our paddle was fishless once again almost all the way back to the docks. Just as we were getting close to that point where you call it a trip and reel in the lines for the last time, Madeline hooked another Smallmouth Bass. I'm not sure why, but sometimes it seems to me that my kids catch more fish on the lures that I lend them than I do on the same lures. I'm sure that there has to be a rule against that somewhere! Even with the extra delays from unhooking all those fish that Madeline kept catching (ok so 2 isn't a lot Docks on Smoke Lake, Algonquin Provincial Parkbut it was 2 more than I caught), we still made it back to the docks by 3:30pm.

We were very soaked, so once we had the truck loaded up we headed to Canoe Lake for a shower and a change of clothes. Only one small problem - we forgot to pack towels. Doh! Oh well, we usually stop to look for a souvenir like a T-shirt anyway, so this time we substituted a couple of towels. Now if we can just remember to pack them in our 'going home' bags for our next trip.


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