In Search of Trout – Marshland River

Today I went fishing again, in search of a good, local spot to catch trout. The weather forecast said sunny, with light winds, so that was all I needed to drag my butt out of bed at 4:30am this morning. I got a bit of a surprise, when I stepped out the door though. One, it was cold, two, it was partly cloudy, and three, there was a big full moon staring down at me, through the clouds.

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When I arrived at the Esten Lake launch area, the moon was there also. How does that happen? I’m sure I saw that moon back at my place when I was leaving. It must be following me.

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The sun was nowhere to be seen yet, but it looks like it will rise soon. However, looks can be deceiving, but don’t ask the weather reporter, they just say what they’re told to say, accuracy be damned.

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There’s that moon again, an ominous sign of things to come.

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I set the kayak up, amid a flurry of mosquitoes, and hit the water paddling. Nothing like some extra help to get you on the water faster than you’ve ever done it before.

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After paddling for a little bit, I looked back and saw this. Someone must have known I was coming. It’s not only what’s following me, it’s also what I’m paddling into, which is not what I would call “light winds”.

I would continue like this up Esten Lake, taking short breaks along the way, and paddling into a headwind all the way. I wasn’t cold, but I was certainly feeling the coolness in the air this morning.

It would be a trip of over 7kms in to the river, and the same back, so the total trip length today was around 15kms.

When I got down into the Marshland River, I started to notice a bit of a flow. I reached this area of rapids, that I never saw the last time I came this way. It’s possible that the water level was much lower the last time I was here, and there were no rapids.

Anyway, I had to decide whether to paddle down them, or not. Ya, I know, it’s not too much of a flow, however, if I can’t get back up that flow, I could find myself stranded. It wasn’t that long of a rapid, and I could see that it would be fairly easy to portage on one side of the river. So, I chose to go;

I did some fishing just after the rapids, and I caught a number of fairly nice Smallmouth Bass;

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However, I didn’t keep any of them because I’m not after Smallmouth Bass, I’m after Trout.

I worked my way down to the waterfalls, at the portage. I’ve been here before, once. There is a fairly long set of portages down this way, to get around a few longer areas of shallow rapids. And then, eventually, into Marshland Lake.

After leaving the falls, I headed back towards the rapids that I had run on the way in. I was wondering if I could paddle back up the rapids, since I had done that in different places before. However, the water in these rapids was very shallow, and I couldn’t get enough dig in to propel my self fast enough, to overcome the flow.

I continued to fish for a while, on the way back out to the main part of Esten Lake, and even all the way back down the lake. I did catch a few more Smallmouth Bass on the way, but that was it. So, I guess I can’t say that I was skunked but, as far as Trout goes, I was.

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A couple of ducks, sitting on a flat rock, sticking out of the water. They didn’t seem to care if I was there or not.

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My kayak waits for me, at the falls, on the Marshland River.

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Heading out of the Marshland River.

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This rugged landscape is real, indifferent and, seemingly, timeless.

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