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PostPosted: August 25th, 2011, 4:26 pm 
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Location: Halfmoon Bay BC
This is not a blown out trip report, but just a posting to let folks know what to expect when paddling from Wawashkesh into Island Lake.

I have seen postings bragging about how easy it is to get to Wawashkesh and its proximity to Toronto, 3 hours from Toronto etc.Please dont work with that kind of expectation...its a long way in.

I left Toronto at 8:30 AM and arrived at Island Lake at 10:30 PM, a full 14 hour sojourn. I soloed with my buddy Jonny, we left the dock at Wawashkesh at 2 PM.
Paddling across the still lake to the creek is about an hour.. There are 4 portages in quick succession , all relatively short but one that is quite tricky for rocks and non flat foot falls and some wading thrown in...then you get into the creek and depending on the time of year will depend on water levels ( always enough to float a boat) will influence the # of beaver dams..There are 7 of them, and since you are going upstream these dams will be uphill.. Careful on the dams since the mud will sink up to your hips and if you solo be careful if you get both feet stuck you wont have help to pull you out.

Also be very aware of not taking the creek to the right after the first few kilometres, you will have to take a not so obvious left turn and there arent any markers to tell you...A GPS is very handy at this point...the creek twists and turns so much and sometimes puts you into a dead end ..and at various times I had to yell to find my canoe buddy, especially after the sun set and the moon was also beginning to set.

There is a nice campsite at the end of the very last portage that puts you onto Island Lake..so its a nice relief after the slog up.

Island Lake is everything Steve Galehouse says it is ...its a stunning piece of land.

There is a float plane that comes in almost daily to deliver folks to the lodge at the south end of the lake , but it makes for an interesting diversion. ( the float plane revved his engines 100 metres from my tent at 7 AM after going to bed at 3 AM..hey the stars were awesome!)

We only saw two groups in 5 days and Im sure that would be considered "busy".

The return trip only took us 7.5 hours since we were lighter and pushed our canoes down the dams..( my cedar strip now needs some fixin' )...I will go again ...but maybe Ill go with the float plane next time..

and finally , the fishing is spectacular...and I dont even fish!


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PostPosted: August 25th, 2011, 8:57 pm 
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Location: Sunny Wasaga Beach
I wonder if the piece of yellow tape I tied to a lower branch of a white pine is still there where you need to make a left turn?

Did you try to get to Loon Lake?

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PostPosted: August 26th, 2011, 12:04 pm 
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Tapes gone...I looked all over for some indication...happily Jonny has been through there before and got lost , so we knew better this time..Dont know where Loon Lake is ..is that between Wolf and Island?...We were going to try to do the Kelsie portage, but each day there was a convenient excuse, oh its too windy, or the weather is turning..


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PostPosted: August 28th, 2011, 6:21 pm 
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I am glad to hear you had a rewarding trip - and trust me, the second time the paddle-in via FArm Creek will be faster... :wink:

That was along drive to Wahwashkesh: a long lunch break, maybe?

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PostPosted: August 28th, 2011, 10:24 pm 
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gunnelbob-

I'm glad you made the trek to Island Lake, and found it worth the effort. I was there with family in July; hope to return in September.

Steve


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PostPosted: August 31st, 2011, 8:49 pm 
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Well Steve,
I was there in May for 4 days over the long weekend and that's why there was no one there!
We were camped on the large island at south end and did a circuit around the lake and also had a tremendous thunderstorm with wind which almost blew down our Eureka VCS12 shelter!
The paddle up and down Farm Creek was great!

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PostPosted: September 1st, 2011, 10:33 am 
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GB, Loon Lake---actually lakes---is further up Farm Creek. Accessibility depends on beaver activity.

Steve,

How was the fishing? Does your offer of free scotch still stand, or have you drunk it all by now---waiting for the guests who never did show up? :P :roll: :doh:

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PostPosted: September 1st, 2011, 6:45 pm 
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Harold-

I'll be in camp at Yogi's 9/10 through 9/16. Fishing earlier this year, in July, was good but not great--- weather was too hot; but we still had as many fish dinners as we wanted. Some photos from the July trip here:https://picasaweb.google.com/srgalehouse/CanadaFamilyTripJuly2011AtYogiSCamp?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCNrdi77Z1oGDCQ&feat=directlink

The offer of a drink still stands(Irish, not Scotch)!--actually two canoeists who visit CCR did stop by in July for some local info.

Steve


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PostPosted: September 4th, 2011, 3:58 pm 
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I once described paddling up Farm Ck. to someone as taking a green crayon to a piece of paper, and drawing from side to side until the entire page is full. There is some Sisyphus-esque frustration from bursting into a beaver meadow, seeing the next cut through the trees a hundred yards away and realizing half an hour later you are mebbe half way across. :rofl:


Steve, you guys ever go out midnight paddling? The last couple of seasons have been average, until I started fishing more surface lures after dark on those muggy dog days. The really windy days have been the only times during the day when I've been able to put up good numbers. On the upside Noganosh is turning into a heckuva pike lake.


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PostPosted: September 10th, 2011, 6:22 pm 
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Steve,
I am one of the two guys that stopped by your cabin in July, thank you for the info. We ended up on Wolf Lake, fishing was very good . We also took a day trip into Boundary Lake, here the fishing was even better.
We did not have any trouble finding our way through Farm Creek but you do have to pay attention not to miss the left turn. Going into Island Lake the turn is more obvious than the right turn on the return trip. It took us 6 hours from Wolf Lake back to the marina on Wahwashkesh.

Ralf


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PostPosted: September 26th, 2011, 5:06 pm 
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wolfer wrote:
Steve,
I am one of the two guys that stopped by your cabin in July........
Ralf


Ralf-

I'm glad you liked Wolf and Boundary. I was back up for a week, two weeks ago, and was able to get to Kelsie, Rat, Loon, Wolf and Boundary Lakes. Rat was the hottest lake for fish, but some in our group did well on Wolf also. It was disappointing to see Wolf so low. Boundary was filled up, but weed growth in the late season makes it hard to fish. Here is a photo of Boundary Lake:
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/P ... directlink

Steve


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PostPosted: September 26th, 2011, 5:36 pm 
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I was on Island Lake this past weekend, as it has become one of our favourite destinations. It was as spectacular as usual. Unfortunately the fishing was nowhere near what it was last July (maybe too late in the season). And our solitude was ruined by a group of 20 camping on the little island opposite the Ring Rock site. Glad to see the thunder box we built is still going strong (excuse the pun).


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PostPosted: September 26th, 2011, 6:00 pm 
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brianm1962 wrote:
.....our solitude was ruined by a group of 20 camping on the little island opposite the Ring Rock site. Glad to see the thunder box we built is still going strong (excuse the pun).


Brian-

There is another nice campsite on the large island to the east of Tower Island, where the ''ring rock" campsite is...this would provide more seclusion, and a nice view of the southern end of the lake. Also, another campsite is towards the north end of the lake, before the long arms which lead to Rat on the NE and Kelsie on the W.

Steve


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PostPosted: September 26th, 2011, 6:06 pm 
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Steve - Thank you! I will definitely look for them (and relocate) on our next trip.


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PostPosted: October 5th, 2011, 7:49 pm 
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Brian-

Here's a sunrise from our cabin on Island Lake, from this July:
Image

Steve


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