In August, I decided to drop off the grid for a few days and head up into Ontario to join a couple of good friends for some fishing. I am not what you would call a fishing enthusiast - in fact, I really don't even eat fish very much. BUT, the prospect of spending 6 days off the grid with good people, good bourbon, and all that nature has to offer was too good for me to pass up. I found the fresh water fish on the menu to be fantastic ! I probably ate more fish in 6 days than in my entire life before this trip. The scenery up there was gorgeous, and it would have been great to drag a serious camera rig up there 1) if I had one, and 2) if I had the space. We had to pack light. I had my DroidPotato and a Water/Shock Proof Nikon AW100 P&S to capture photos and video. All in all, I am pretty happy with the results.
We decided to fly to Toronto and then drive from there up to Hartley Bay Marina. That's where we loaded our gear and food for the week into a 22' Aluminum Lund with a 115HP Yamaha Outboard with a tiller handle. "A little overpowered", I thought to myself, but damn if that boat couldn't scoot. The power was needed for the rapids we traversed over the course of the week. GoogleMaps is of no use on this route. The trip out to the cabin was a 25 mile (~1.2hr) haul on the water - here were the first big rapids about 1/2 way into the ride:
That's the Crooked Rapids, and the locals call that last drop 'The Jump'.
Once we arrived at the cabin - dubbed "The outpost" - we got acquainted with the local flora and fauna...
A local tree frog, no more than 3cm long... This guy hung out on the railing the whole week and greeted us.
Countless frogs and toads 'plunked' into the water as I walked the shores and rocks around these parts... This guy was trusting/lazy enough to wait for his picture to be snapped before jumping.
Foxy Lady (cue Jimi Hendrix). She came running in the afternoons when we would return from our day of fishing, eager to get some of the scraps.
I never realized Foxes were swimmers... One evening after we had fileted the fish and eaten dinner, I spied 'foxy lady' out on the island across from the cabin. "How in the heck did she get there ?", I thought. The answer came shortly after. The sunlight was waning, but I was able to catch her return trip in the video below. She was _very_ tentative about her approach as she saw me crouching on the rocks. It took her three tries before she made it down to the water and in she went... Too cool.
So many great flowers...
Including the water lilies !
The cabin faced nearly due east, and there were dense woods behind it, so sunsets were tough to capture unless you were at the water at dusk which means you would be eaten alive by swarms of mosquitoes. However, the sunrises over the bay were incredible. Each morning, the sun presented itself on the horizon painting the sky with a different pattern. Amazing.
I thought that I would be treated to some great star gazing up there without the light pollution of the city, but the atmosphere did not cooperate. There was a thin haze in the sky every night. I guess that figures being on a body of water that large (The Georgian Bay / Lake Huron). BUT, the moon did peak out often...
As far as the fishing ? I haven't ever been on a fishing trip before, but those that have can probably relate. Sometimes hours of boredom (no bites) are followed by minutes of frantic excitement... We caught our limit every day and ate fish for lunch and dinner. We fished one location for Bass that was litereally like fishing in a barrel. The minute you plunked your lure&worm into the water - BANG - fish on ! Needless to say, we ate healthy up there and I packed on a few pounds in 6 days despite my exercise. A typical service of shore lunch. I usually cleared two plates - YUM !
Here I am dragging a Pike up to the side of the boat so our guide can net him... It was cool on the water, but the sun was murderous. I hate slathering up in sunscreen, so I wore long sleeves and sun-shirt tucked under my boonie hat to protect my ears and neck.