Forums Forums Help/Rules Help Edit Profile My Profile Member List Register  
Search Last 1 | 3 | 7 Days Search Search  
Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through August 16, 2005 * Aurora Trout Lakes < Previous Next >

Author Message
 Link to this message

tsm
Member

Post Number: 34
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Sunday, July 3, 2005 - 6:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hi all
Just wondering if anyone’s ever gone into the Aurora Trout lakes before…….Whitepine, or Whirligig Lakes? We are planning a 5 day (4night) trip later this summer, flying into Scarecrow, hike the ridge, then make our way up to Smoothwater, and eventually into Sunnywater, where we would fly back into town on our 5th day. We are planning on flying into Scarecrow early in the morning, climb the ridge that day, so we’d be able to get an early start towards Smoothwater the next day. I noticed in Hap’s new book that there are indeed campsites on White Pine and Whirligig….anyone ever been there before. Any recommendations on campsites, etc. would be appreciated.
We were supposed to do a variation of this loop last year, but for various reasons ended up going into Cassells-Oboshkong-Lorrain-Rabbit-Snake Island lakes instead.
Thanks
 Link to this message

ed
Moderator

Post Number: 214
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Monday, July 4, 2005 - 8:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

tsm:
I've been through there in the reverse direction in Spring 2004. You should be able to go from Scarecrow to Smoothwater in one day, but you wil likely need to take the portage from Scarecrow North to Mihell as the water will be pretty low.
The best site on Smoothwater is the beach site near the creek entrance from Marina Lake.

From Smoothwater to Sunnywater is also about a day.The sites on Whitepine and Whirligig are old Nastawgan sites that may not get a lot of use. I did not check the Whitepine site out as it is down the lake and the lake is posted as a Fish Preserve.
The Sunnywater site is fairly small, but should accomodate a couple of tents. Hopefully you will have nice weather there and be able to enjoy looking at the crystal clear water.

 Link to this message

john_v
Member

Post Number: 30
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Monday, July 4, 2005 - 8:48 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I've been through Whitepine and walked over to Whirligig for a look. Fishing is allowed in Whitepine.... because there are no Aurora Trout in it. It does have Speckled and Lakers too, I believe. But I found the fishing tough. If you call the MNR an ask the right questions, you can speak to the Conservation Officer that works on the Aurora project and he will tell you that they lost the trout in Whitpine a few years back. There is a dock on Whitepine where they fly into and the portage to Whirligig goes from there, about 300-400m. Whirligig has a cabin at the end of the portage that the MNR uses to research the Trout. Signs are posted that fishing is not allowed and with endangered species, you don't want to disobey that. They are beautiful lakes and you will enjoy seeing them.
 Link to this message

tsm
Member

Post Number: 35
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Monday, July 4, 2005 - 4:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks Ed and John for the info! Looks like Whitepine is indeed CLOSED to fishing according to the regs http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/mnr/pubs/fishing/fishRegs /2005/Map_D_fr2005.pdf
Looks like we may have enough time in our schedule to perhaps take in the hike up to the lake on the west side of Smoothwater too!
 Link to this message

john_v
Member

Post Number: 31
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Monday, July 4, 2005 - 4:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Wow. That's news to me. The C.O. told me that I could fish for speckles in Whitepine about three years ago. I guess he and I both needed to check up on the regs. Sorry if I mislead.
 Link to this message

john_v
Member

Post Number: 32
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Monday, July 4, 2005 - 4:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Or I suppose the regs could have changed since then. Makes me wonder if they have re-stocked Whitepine with Auroras. I'll be looking into this....
 Link to this message

tsm
Member

Post Number: 36
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Monday, July 4, 2005 - 10:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

John
From the info I’ve found, it would appear that Auroras are indeed doing well in both Whirligig AND Whitepine Lakes.
There is a White Pine Lake (note the spelling difference) in McLeod Township just north of Stull Lake that is closed to all fishing as well. I don’t know if it is or was ever stocked with Auroras though. It’s not a new regulation for this year, since the text isn’t in red, but perhaps it was open 3 years ago and the CO confused the 2 lakes. Perhaps I’ll contact Chuck McCrudden to learn more about these lakes.
Anyhoo……..how are the campsites on these lakes? Is it worth camping here in your opinion?
WE certainly won’t fish on these lakes, but we will wet a line in some other lakes! How’s the fishing in Smoothwater, or Marina Lakes? How ‘bout the lake just west of Smoothwater….I’m assuming it holds Specks since it drains into a Lake Trout lake…ever fished it? Scarecrow has pike in it, which we don’t fish for, but maybe we’ll try our luck in McCulloch Lake on the way up to Smoothwater.
 Link to this message

doug_2
Member

Post Number: 23
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Monday, July 4, 2005 - 11:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

McCulloch has some big pike!
 Link to this message

ed
Moderator

Post Number: 216
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Tuesday, July 5, 2005 - 9:45 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Can't help you with any of those fishing questions guys. I do carry a rod, but I hardly ever use it in Temagami.This Spring I started on May 4th and the Pickerel season didn't open until May 21st, so I should have left my rod at home.
I suspect that Whitepine has only been posted for a couple of years as the signs looked pretty new in 2004.
Have a good trip TSM. Enjoy the hike up to Isphatina.I think the Rangers cleared up the trail last summer, so it should be in good shape. The island site on Scarecrow is a bit rough for 2 tents so you may want to camp at the trailhead where the old Ranger cabin used to be located. I think there may be more tent space in there.

Ed.
 Link to this message

tsm
Member

Post Number: 37
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Tuesday, July 5, 2005 - 4:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Ed
Thanks for the heads up regarding the island site. It was the site I had hoped to get, but I had read somewhere else also about it being more suited as a lunch stop than a campsite. If all goes to plan, we'll be arriving on a Thursday, so hopefully we'll have a choice of either sites on Scarecrow. If by chance both sites are taken, I suppose we'll do the hike, and head up towards McCulloch, or down towards Woods lake for our first night. How are the sites at these 2 lakes.
Doug_2......are there not Lakers in McCulloch also?
 Link to this message

doug_2
Member

Post Number: 24
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, July 5, 2005 - 8:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I'm not sure about the lake trout TSM; possibly...

I have camped at the site on the far south end of McCulloch. I think (as I recall) it is a good site ....but maybe not great for deep water swimmimg.....
Seems to me a shallow beach there...with some reeds. Nice site though on a cool day...

I recall quite a few years ago camping with 2 tents and 4 people on the small island in Scarecrow. (It is on the small side but its can by an interesting location if you use mainland for bathroom stuff). We climbed to the fire tower and encountered a really bad storm on the way down (mid summer) with hail over an inch in diameter (some of the hailstones). When we got back to the island...one well staked Eureka tent had blown away into the lake (we found it). The other one was torn up a bit. That area can be amazing in summer thunderstorms....Saw another bad one there..same place.... another time....
ALso had a tornaodo on the beach at Smoothwater Lake one year....I know it sounds like I'm exaggerating ..butreally, I'm not... The tornado swath is still there today at Smoothwater..it runs all the way over to Maple Mt. We were lucky with that one. It hit about 200 meters from our tents and we were not aware it had happened til the next day although we knew it had been one amazing thunderstorm...! Summer thunderstorms seem from my experinece to be more dramatic in that part of the park...Maybe it is the ridges that focus them there..not sure...but seems that way to me.. I've seen a few funnel clouds in Temagami...haven;t actually seem one touch the ground there although we were camped right beside where that big one at Smoothwater....but it was just after dusk and we were holed up in the tents...waiting out the storm...
 Link to this message

tsm
Member

Post Number: 38
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Tuesday, July 5, 2005 - 8:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

doug_2
Interesting story! We've encountered some rather nasty weather on some of our trips to Temagami also.....although nothing quite that bad. Never been in that part of the park before, the furthest west we've been was Florence Lake.
The Temagami Area Fishing map does not list McCulloch on the chart, however it does have the lake trout symbol on the lake itself. It could be inaccurate or out of date however. It DOES sound more like a pike lake the way you describe it. Ever been to that unnamed lake west of Smoothwater?
 Link to this message

doug_2
Member

Post Number: 25
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, July 5, 2005 - 9:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Yes I have been there....you can portage in. It's not far.
Nice lake too as I recall will big hill on one side and some old cabin ruins...(but this is some time ago). Not sure if there is a campsite or not but if you are camped at Smoothwater its and easy sidetrip to do..
 Link to this message

tsm
Member

Post Number: 39
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Tuesday, July 5, 2005 - 9:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Wow
That was fast doug_2.
Did you fish the lake at all?
 Link to this message

doug_2
Member

Post Number: 26
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, July 5, 2005 - 9:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

No I did didn't fish that lake. Smoothwater used to be border line acid stressed which affected fishing there although it did have some lake trout....(and bass) It may have recovered more now...not sure...
Scarecrow and McCulloch seemed be be fairly good fishing but big pike seemed to be the fish...
South of Scarecrow.....going towards the Sturgeon...the fishing for bas sand pickerel really picks up i think...
 Link to this message

john_v
Member

Post Number: 33
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Wednesday, July 6, 2005 - 4:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

There were no "no fishing" signs on Whitepine when I was there last. The restrictions must be new. I did not know there were pike in McCulloch. I sure hope they don't get any further up that chain of lakes. If they could get into Whitemud that would devastate the brooke trout in the LE River.
 Link to this message

doug_2
Member

Post Number: 27
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, July 8, 2005 - 2:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

There are pike in Scarecrow L too as I recall and also some bass. Pike have likely been in Mihell for ages so I guess they can;t make their way from Whitemud on down the river. On that note though, the upper lady EV River from around its source in The Beauty Lake area to around Gamble lake has a LOT of perch. Far less perch further downstream of Gamble where it seems the speckled trout so far have been able to keep them in check. These "perch" are introduced by fishermen as bait fish in the headwaters.. I think the perch likely "are" a threat to the Specked population in the river....I don;t know how much they have spread down stream but it appears that the Spec poplulations downstream are still thriving...
 Link to this message

pyork
Member

Post Number: 2
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Friday, July 8, 2005 - 5:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I did this last year. Flying in would be nice, but if one is canoeing, be forwarned that there is one portage of nearly 4,000 metres at the eastern part of that chain of lakes. It is very boggy there - bring rubber boots, or somehow waterproof your boots at the ankle as you will sink into the muck in a few spots. Near the Aurora lakes the portages are steep, requiring the dexterity of a mountain goat. The lakes themselves are clear and calm and exceptionally beautiful and worth the portages. The following is from my journal.

I arrived at Sunnywater Lake as it was getting dark. Compelled to get to a decent campsite before dark I kept moving, though the sun was fast setting. I finally made it to the edge of the water and found a nice place to pitch a tent. The lake was calm and quiet, the water perfectly still. I put my hand in. The ripples went out in a circular pattern and travelled over the still water in an ever-widening arc, ten feet, twenty, fifty feet and beyond. To my amazement the ripple seemed almost to expand to the opposite shore, dissapearing in the dark beyond the eye's vision. Even in the dusk the water was amazingly clear: I could see the details of rocks twenty feet under water, as though they were within hand's reach. Everything was perfectly quiet. The trees that lined the lake stood like ancient sentinels. They were dark and magnificent, and seemed very ancient. The sun had receded behind the treeline, leaving the sky a deep dark blue, which slowly turned into a vast black expanse, illumined by a nearly full moon and stars. Lit by the heavens (reflected in the water), the entire lake was visible. And then the sky started to dance: the great jagged streaks of blurry light (aurora borealis) flickering and shifting against the darkness, so huge as to fill half the night sky. The silence was broken by a lonely cry of a loon. I felt that the day's effort in getting here was well worth it.

Forums | Last Day | Last Week | Search | User List | Help/Rules Home