I am blown away by how beautiful the wilderness is in Canada. The infinite beds of moss and rock. The trees so tall, so green, and aged. The wildlife that roams its lakes and woods. It amazes me how wonderful it is at Eagle Falls Lodge. The two lakes on either side of the Lodge are both fantastic fisheries offering trophy Walleye and Northern Pike. I’ve always caught a lot of fish out of both and big fish too. It’s great to be able to pick Red Lake or Parker Lake and just walk out, get in a boat, and go fishing. I prefer to take a path less traveled by fishermen, though. A path that consists of not just travel by water but instead an arduous journey over a mixture of both water and land. It provides a sense of satisfaction at the end of the day. An excursion of epic proportions is always well worth the trouble, sweat, and memories. I am talking about portaging.
In my many years of going to Eagle Falls only recently have I fallen in love with the idea of portaging. There is nothing more thrilling than waking up early and working hard to get yourself into a lake that few to none have fished. I’m all about fishing on Red Lake and Parker Lake, but I‘m even more excited to get into the lakes and streams that surround them. I’ve portaged canoes and I’ve portaged boats. One is lighter than the other but one is also more comfortable. I’ll let you guess which is which.
In any case it takes a certain level of courage to jaunt into the vast Canadian wilderness with whatever vessel you so choose along with your fishing gear. When I pack for a portage I put all my essentials in a waterproof dry sack. The essentials include a flashlight, rain gear, toilet paper, food, water, compass, camera, and a tackle box equipped with my favorite things. There is one other thing you should also make sure to have. A portage pal is most definitely necessary. Try to choose someone that is strong, knowledgeable, knows directions, and is genuinely as excited as you to make the trek with you. It is important that you have someone to go with as they will help you lift the vessel and gear. They also offer motivational support, good conversation, and can be a very helpful if you get into some fish. Having a two person team is vital to a successful portage. If you are thinking about having more people join your portage may I suggest you portage a boat into a lake not far from Red Lake.
The lake is called Coin Lake and is found off the east end of St.Pauls Bay on Red Lake. Coin Lake has a lot of good sized Walleye and Northern in it. I have often gone there when the fishing on Red Lake seems to be slow or just to try my luck. There is a creek flowing from Coin Lake into Red Lake which provides a good route into Coin. Recently the beavers have built a large dam across the stream so it is much more difficult than in years past to get into the lake. Though it still presents a viable option for a portage into an amazing fishery.
One must remember that if they are to embark on a portage they must make time and plan accordingly. I missed dinner once on a portage with Mary-Jane after we crossed 7 bogs and found a road in the deep wilderness surrounding Parker Lake. I learned my lesson and made a promise to myself to plan my portages with utmost precision from that day on. It was a good experience that taught me the importance of a portage pal. I’ve experienced my fair share of portages and I hope to continue making memories in the unknown and less fished lakes that surround Eagle Falls Lodge. I have always practiced catch and release from lakes that I have portaged into and will continue to do so. It is also fun to be able to write your name on the catch and release board with a lake that no one has seen before. I know not everyone has portaging on their agenda, but for me portaging is one of the foremost parts of my trip to Eagle Falls Lodge.
The problem with missing dinner was that it was one of Carrie’s dinners, wasn’t it?