Blue Lake – Kirkpatrick canoe route – part 3

During morning coffee of day three a group decision was made to split up for the rest of the trip. Peter and Chris were rushed to get back to the lodge since they had customers flying in soon. We, on the other hand, were in no hurry to return. So it was decided that after breakfast, Peter and Chris would leave us behind and finish on their own that very day, and on the way back would check out two alternative routes back to Kirkpatrick Lake. The rest of us would keep to the old canoe route pamphlet and take two or three more days to explore.

A 100 meter portage took us out of Pointer Lake at the southwest corner. It was to the right of a bay clogged with half-submerged logs and then ended by going down a steep grade to a grassy bay. Then, shortly after, was a quick and painless lift-over on a miniature beaver dam.

To the right of the lift-over, in a small bay, we took note of a portage sign indicating where the original route came down from Toodee Lake. As mentioned earlier, in part one of the this route description, this road is extremely rough and not worth the effort.

Another 100 meter portage was needed not to far along, and marked to the left of where the West Little White River narrows. Then the waterway takes a dramatic turn to the south, where another beaver dam, much more significant then the previous one, needed to be lifted over before entering Finn Lake. It was here, while Ashley and I stood knee deep in the stagnant water prior to the beaver dam before pushing our canoe over the pile of sticks and mud, I witnessed over forty leeches swimming around our feet. Honest! It was the most unusual leech encounter I have ever seen. And they weren’t all the same species; some had red dots while others were green and as long as snake. Yikes! At least we were able to try a few for live bait to catch trout on Finn Lake.

Finn Lake was incredibly scenic but totally devoid of obvious campsites. There were a couple possible spots to the left and right of the bay we exited after the beaver dam lift-over. But it seemed odd that a lake so idyllic had no place to make camp on. The only saving grace was that it was only noon when we paddled the lake and we had a good distance to cover still before calling it a day.

The 1000 meter portage out of Finn, located at the far western bay and heading south towards Town Line Lake, was right of the where the river flushed out of the lake and where logging debris cluttered the forest. At the take-out were left-overs of log booms, tramways and flumes; and about three-quarters the way along three cabins and a storage shed stood half-decade in the woods. Jay even stepped on a cross-cut saw while wading his canoe into the lake at the put-in.

Located at the far northwest corner of Town Line Lake was a fly-in fishing camp. No one was using it, but they should have been. The lake is populated with lake trout, brook trout and rainbow trout, with the rainbow trout rising everywhere along the shoreline for emerging mayflies. Out group took some quality time on the lake casting for all three species of trout and felt sorry for poor Peter and Chris who had probably raced across this lake earlier in the day without once wetting a line.

It was 4:30 pm by the time we reached the southeastern corner of the lake, where the next portage waited for us to reach Robb Lake. It measured 1500 meters but felt more like over 2000 meters. We should have waited until the next day to carry over because we didn’t complete it until just before 8:00 pm. It wasn’t just the length that slowed us down. We first had trouble finding the starting point (we eventually located the path in a clearing, behind an old decayed cabin and to the right of the creek that flushes out of Town Line Lake). Near the finish was even more confusing to locate at times as the trail disappeared for a bit in a grove of young birch trees. A few downed trees also blocked our way half way along. The problem was, we couldn’t find a decent place to camp on Town Line and thought Robb Lake would be better. It really wasn’t, and we resorted to pitching our camp on top a mound of rock along the eastern shoreline. Don’t get me wrong, both lakes was scenic enough, but campsites were not established on either.

It didn’t matter much where we camped that night, however. Our surroundings were idyllic, the sunset was spectacular, and fish were caught right from shore. You can’t get any better then that.


Part 4 coming soon…