Skunked at Bone Lake: Plan B was never so good

brook trout and meScott and I set out on our annual August trip up the West Fork of the Baptism to reel in a mess of beautiful brookies, only this time Maia was coming with us (here is me in 2006 with a 13″ beauty). It’s rough trip – dragging the canoe (and this time a small kayak, too) through a series of small rapids to fish a series of pools – but truly the highlight of my summer. This time Maia was going to get to see this country, that, in our minds anyway, had only been seen by bear, moose, eagles, and GoogleEarth since we saw it last. And yes, she was going to reel in that mess of brookies.

That was all before the rocky track that is our only access to this stretch was suddenly blocked by a 24″ diameter birch log and a “No Trespassing” sign that was clearly targeted at us. There was no way that Scott’s canoe topped Caravan – the symbol of our rugged, outdoor lifestyles – was going to traverse this titanic cork in the road. The birch leaves were still partly green; the land owner timed it just for our trip.

“C’mon,” I pleaded. “We’re responsible nature lovers. We pick up our trash. We don’t over fish. I brought my daughter, for cryin’ out loud!”

No response.

When the teeth gnashing subsided, we somehow overcame the disappointment, and after some wrangling, decided to head about 45 minutes further north to Bone Lake, a lake trout lake also stocked with rainbows.

Maia and pineLong story short, Bone Lake was a beautiful paddle, but the fish weren’t interested in our spinners and crawlers. They weren’t even interested in the chucks of cucumber Maia plucked off her sandwich and tossed in. As you can see, though, there are some beautiful white pine on the shore. These were nearly logged to extinction a century ago, and are still pretty rare.


me and paddleWild raspberries were also in season, so we spent some time picking them for our berry queen back home. We looked for blueberries extensively, but it just wasn’t the right country for them. We also had lots of time to watch a young loon learning to drive with its mother looking on.

On the way out, we stopped along the East Fork of the Baptism where it crosses the road west of Finland. It’s a likely brook trout pool, but because it’s so accessible, also over fished. Nevertheless, I landed one small brookie and a perch. Maia, asleep in the van, never saw them.

It’s back to our Gazetteers to plot our next assault on the West Fork. In the mean time, it’s muskies on the Little Fork in September. Stay tuned.

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1 Response to Skunked at Bone Lake: Plan B was never so good

  1. David says:

    Sounds wonderful. I miss that kind of fishing trip.

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