With a 3 hour drive over logging roads behind us a dream was realized. For me it has been at least 40 years that I had been on Shakwa Lake. For my partner Ron Sirkka it has been 7 years. With great anticipation we loaded the boat. The boat we were using was Ron’s 14 foot aluminum. With a strong north wind at our back, Ron headed for the first narrows. High on a hill stood the fire tower. The first sign of change was low water in these narrows and abundance of weeds. We slowly steered the boat through the deeper water. Then came an old beaver dam with very little water over it. Jumping overboard we dragged the boat over with little difficulty. Both of us now had wet feet. Oh well. Moving on through the channel brought us to another obstacle. Small stones with an inch of water flowing over. Ron suggested gathering pieces of wood to use as rollers. Ron and I dragged the boat over the improvised rollers into deeper water. I ended up to my waist in water at one point. Finally we were clear of the channel. Moving on brought us to the next channel.
The next channel was easier to negotiate. Ron had to clean off the propeller a number of times. The weeds would foul up on the prop. Forty years ago there was a lot more water in these channels. Using paddles to make quick adjustments in direction, we were through. The last channel was filled with stumps hence known as stump narrows. I had to get out of boat to get through a number of spots. The boat was soon moving through open water.
Shakwa Lake is a long narrow lake opening into larger bodies of water. It has quite a number of islands spread out over its length. Surrounded by dense forest and hills. A very scenic location. Home to the Lake Trout. Ron soon had his fishing rod rigged up for trolling and in the water. It was not but five minutes later I heard fish on. Oh boy, the net was still packed away. As I rummaged through my pack for the net, Ron proceeded to lose the fish. I finally got the net ready in case of another hooked fish.
Our campsite was soon at hand. Landing the boat, we soon had the camp gear unloaded. I held off from setting up the tent with the strong blowing wind. I decided to wait until later. I suggested that we eat supper. Ron was happy with that. Ron’s homemade stable was still in place from seven years before. With a full belly of spaghetti, launching the boat, we were soon trolling for lake trout. Our catch that evening was three lake trout between 1.5 to 2 pounds.
We returned to the campsite with the wind blowing steady. We set up the tents quickly. It was time for bed. The sun was down and the wind blowing strong. That north wind blew all night long and never let up. As a matter of fact it blew steady the whole four days we were there. The only difference was it finally swung to the south. It was a cold night with morning being quite cool for July. There was a mist on the water that morning. Though the photography was scarce, I did manage to get a few shots that morning. Using Turtle Rock as my main subject, I captured some wonderful lighting that was golden in color. You can see the tip of an island to the left. This added depth to the photo with the tree covered shoreline in the background.
Once I had finished photographing it was time for breakfast. Ron who is a very experienced cook when it comes to fish.He was appointed the job by yours truly. I soon had the coffee boiling. Ron and I soon were sitting in our camp chairs sipping hot coffee and eating the so awesome cooked trout. Nothing like fresh fish cooked to perfection.
That was the only morning that I would be able to photograph. So until next time happy trails. Oh, before I forget The Killarney Art Show runs this coming weekend. Do yourself a favor and check it out. While you are there indulge in the famous fish and chips at Herbies.