I meant to finish this post nearly a year ago, and completely forgot about it.
Canoe-only lakes, in areas that have been progressive enough to put slot limits on their pickerel and pike fishery, mean the fishing up here is next level. Lake trout hang off the fringes, bass lie in the shallows, pike and pickerel are everywhere. Between this, the nostalgia of finally being back in my home land, and the stunning weather, I could hardly process it all.
I think it’s the lack of a waterway that bothers me the most about Australia. It is insidiously dry. Movement here is dictated by your diesel tanks, by your hardiness, and by your ability to use a road map, like the rest of the world. It has been mapped out. On the water, no one has ever gone the exact same route you have.
There is always that level of uncertainty on the water. Is this channel clear? Has debris floated in? Is the weather soon to change? It’s just enough to offer the sense that you are in charge of your own destiny. No one is leading you. You must make the call, for better or for worse.
These lakes, and areas of the Great Lakes that I have sailed, are remote enough not to be a casual destination for your average hack. Not to say that they require exclusivity – they only require preparedness, and the balls to get there. People who aren’t seeking the coast guard to get them out of trouble. Or roadside assistance.
The freshwater lakes of Ontario are special, and they will always be my spiritual home. I am most excited to see them again in a few short weeks.