An old fireplace (left), found on the Sakami on day 25, that was designed for fire irons. The reindeer moss indicates it was there for decades. "It was one of the few traces of man," said Alex, "we saw during the 20 plus days we spent on the Sakami."

The 1972 trip led by Heb Evans and Dan Carpenter Jr. was the most remote trip taken by Keewaydin to that date. They had to paddle north from Lake Mistassini to get here. Many portions of that trip were likely never traveled before by non-natives. They did more of the river in 1974. Section B this year is the only other Keewaydin section to travel the Sakami, and the only Keewaydin section to descend from the headwaters. 

The 1972 and 1974 travel on the Sakami was largely below the area traveled this year. Those trips joined the river well down from the headwaters. This summer, Section B got off the river onto the Pontois, just below where the earlier trips entered the Sakami.

"On the last couple of days of the Sakami," said Alex, "we did see a Cree-style hunting camp that appears to be active during hunting seasons. The portages directly before and after it were traveled."

Photos: Alex Perkins 



Brandon (left) with a 42-inch pike he caught on the Rivičre De Pontois. Troy (below) on the Pontois. 


Brandon's Pike

The previous day, I was dropped off to fish by Tom and Mike as they went to fish elsewhere. I caught a very, very large pike, but when I later went to retrieve the fish, I found he had gotten away – stringer and all. So now all I had was a big “fish” story of the large one that got away, a story that met with some skepticism in camp.

The next day was a rest day before the end of the trip, at the Bridge on Rivičre de Pontois, and a welcome warm, nice day at that. I wanted to fish the rapids just downriver, but Wells wanted to fish there, so I located another spot. 

On the first cast, using a Mepps, a large, very large, fish hit my lure. As soon as he broke water, I realized I had another large pike on the line. Every time I got close to landing him, he took one look at me and ran away. Finally, after 35 minutes or so, I landed him. He was 42 inches long – large for a pike even in these waters (photo above left).

This time, I made sure he would not escape as the fish the day before had done – I made very sure. I caught a few more smaller fish, released them, and returned to camp with the giant pike. That evening, we all had a walloper full of pike chowder – enough for everyone. And for certain, I didn’t have to worry any longer about telling the story of the big fish that got away.

— Brandon 

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