Solitude, Good Fishing Part Of This Wilderness Canoe Trip

potter3
Scott Neustel of Duluth plays a 40-inch northern pike on a mid-June canoe trip to Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park. He landed and released the fish. (Sam Cook photo)

Six of us spent eight days in Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park in mid-June, fishing for walleyes, lake trout and northern pike. Surprisingly, mosquitoes and blackflies were almost absent. Fishing was excellent at times, challenging at other times. Walleyes were shallow, hungry for the soft plastic worms and minnows we offered them. We caught walleyes up to 28 inches long and plenty of eaters, too. We trolled from 50 to 70 feet for lake trout and caught quite a few, the longest 32 inches and several from 28 to 30 inches.

The 1.2-million-acre wilderness park is lightly traveled. We saw few other people in our eight days there. Portages were challenging, as always, but the effort was rewarded with solitude and good fishing. Look for a complete story on our trip in Sunday’s Duluth News Tribune.

potter12
Wayne Bogen of Duluth called this “Thanksgiving dinner” on the trail in Quetico Park last week. Fresh walleye fried by Larry Riley, wild rice, mashed potatoes, chicken in gravy. (Sam Cook photo)
potter11
Larry Riley and Terry Christensen leave camp for a couple of hours of lake trout fishing on a morning in Quetico Provincial Park. (Sam Cook photo)
potter10
Larry Riley of Sarasota, Fla., lifts a 29-inch lake trout from the water on a lake in Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park. (Sam Cook photo)
potter9
Campers relax during dinner on a sand beach in Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park last week. (Sam Cook photo)
potter8
Larry Riley, formerly of Duluth and now of Sarasota, Fla, holds a nice stringer of walleyes after an afternoon of fishing on a lake in Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park. (Sam Cook photo)
potter7
Larry Riley of Sarasota, Fla., puts the finishing touches on a batch of walleye fillets on a June evening in Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park. (Sam Cook photo)
potter6
Scott Neustel of Duluth carries his canoe through a muddy portage in Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park in mid-June. (Sam Cook photo)
potter5
Suppertime, and the walleye fillets are ready for campers in Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park. (Sam Cook photo)
potter4
Ankle deep in water, Duluth’s Clint Moen holds a 39-inch northern pike he caught on a lake in Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park. Moen had been fishing from a canoe, but climbed out near shore to land the pike. (Sam Cook photo)