18" Lake Trout on Ralph Bice Lake

Ralph Bice Trout Fishing

Algonquin Provincial Park

May 9 - 12, 2013

22" Lake Trout caught on Ralph Bice Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park
     

Canoe Trip Reports

Ralph Bice Lake

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Day 2 - Ralph Bice Lake to David LakeCedarstrip canoe, pulled up on shore on Ralph Bice Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park

Up at the crack of 10am!

To be fair, we had all been up before 7am to visit the bathroom (um, tree/thunderbox) and to put on a fleece. It cooled off overnight - not freezing but enough that I wished I had used my sleeping bag liner. I'll probably want my toque tonight.

Breakfast today was bacon, bagels, oatmeal and coffee or hot chocolate. The temperature appears to be about 5-6° C this morning and it has clouded over. Still dry, which is a pleasant surprise.

It's about a quarter to noon now and time to get packed up for our daytrip. I think we'll head up to David Lake today and plan on an earlier start tomorrow to go into Little Trout Lake and Queer Lake.

Paddling across Ralph Bice LakeIt was 12:20pm by the time we got going. We didn't catch anything trolling across Ralph Bice Lake to the north shore and then west along to the portage to David Lake.

The take out for the portage to David Lake isn't great, but once you get up about 30' from the water it opens up. The portage itself is fine, just a bit of a pain getting out of the water on Ralph Bice Lake.

By the time we got to David Lake, it was almost 2pm so we went ahead and had lunch before starting out on the lake. It had started raining almost the second that we left camp and hadn't really stopped since then. I didn't realize it at the time, but Peter was already getting cold before we set out on David Lake.

Takeout on Ralph Bice Lake for the portage to David LakeOnce we were on the water on David Lake, it started raining harder and got colder. David is a fairly small lake and we were quickly at the portage to Mubwayaka Lake. This is a really short little 80m portage and it runs alongside a creek draining from David Lake into Mubwayaka Lake. The creek is pretty shallow and while we tried a few casts with worms, we didn't find any trout.

Lunch by David Lake, Algonquin Provincial ParkPeter was obviously getting really cold by now so rather than exploring further, we decided to finish trolling around David Lake and then head back to camp. I also gave him a pair of my gloves to wear. Normally I make sure everyone has a few pairs of gloves and that at least 1 pair has been waterproofed. I hadn't worried about that as much this year and with the change in weather I was regretting it. Looking out on Mubwayaka Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park

We finished our one loop around David Lake and it paid off with Madeline catching a 17" Brook Trout (an inch short of qualifying as a trophy size) on an EGB spinner and I caught a 14 1/2" Brook Trout on an EGB spoon.

Back at the portage Peter was still really cold so rather than getting everything organized for a single carry, I sent him and Madeline off with the fish and a couple of day packs to get Peter moving and hopefully start to warm him up. I sent Scott off shortly after that with his day pack while I finished getting stuff sorted out. I even wimped out myself and only took the canoe across. The good news was that the walk did warm Peter up. He was much better after the first trip and almost back to normal after the second trip.

Brook Trout (Speckled Trout) caught on David Lake, Algonquin Provincial ParkWe could pretty much see our campsite from the portage but we didn't want to head out across the big open stretch of water so we headed east along the north shore until the lake narrowed by the big island and then cut across. The wind has continued to be from the north-northeast today, which is a little unusual as the prevailing winds tend to come from the west. Portage from David Lake to Ralph Bice Lake

The boys had done a much better job of staying close today like I had asked them too, but since we could really only load one canoe at a time on the Ralph Bice Lake end of the portage from David Lake and since I didn't want Peter to get too cold again, I had sent them on ahead as soon as they were ready. They paddle up along the shore exactly like I asked them too and chose a good narrow spot to cross over to the island along the south side. Nonetheless, I had a bit of a scare as we came around the last point towards our campsite and I couldn't see the boys canoe. . It turned out that they had already unloaded at camp, pulled the canoe up on shore and turned it over. The cedarstrip canoe blended in so well with the shoreline that we couldn't see it. When we got to shore Scott was already starting the fire and Peter was in the tent getting into dry clothes. Peter also crawled into his sleeping bag to warm up. Smart kid.

Scott portaging the cedarstrip Prospector from David Lake to Ralph Bice Lake, Algonquin Provincial ParkThe bad news was that my 20 year old tent had been leaking at the top and Peter's and my sleeping bags were a bit damp. The good news was that they weren't too bad and are still dry on the inside. I'm glad we use synthetic bags!

We got our big tarp set up which gave us a mostly dry place to sit in front of the fire. It took quite a while to get a decent fire going but that worked out well in the end because by the time we had a good bed of coals to cook the steaks the baked potatoes were ready. Scott even had time to cook our blueberry muffin cake for desert. Dinner turned out really well and by 8:30pm or so we had the dishes done and were tidying up to head to bed.

We had tightened up the fly on the tent when we got back to camp, but water was still seeping through a bit so I took one of the small green tarps that I usually use as a wind screen and put it over top of the tent underneath the fly. Hopefully that will be enough to keep us dry tonight.

Well, despite starting to get ready for bed just after 8:30pm, it is already after 10pm. I'm definitely ready for lights out.

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