My mind is drawn north, far north, four places in particular. The first lake has no name, how perfect. I've felt the pull of no name lakes for many years and this one is no great quest like the lake described in Beyond Thought and the Treetops. I'm far too old for a journey calling for a mile and a half bushwhack. The trek I have in mind is no more than a three mile paddle and two miles of stream and portage. The lake is perhaps two hundred acres but has a few islands. Beyond that it is a mystery. The fishing may be great and also may be nonexistent. And at the moment is no more than a passing thought but a lake that's a complete unknown sure is appealing.
To the east of Grass River Provincial Park lies a widening in the river known as Tramping Lake. Better than ten miles long and rarely more than three-quarters of a mile wide, she's known as prime walleye water. In any given year a fair number of Manitoba's largest come from its waters. The upside of this lake for an old codger like me is that it requires no portaging. That's also the downside. Anybody with a boat and motor can access the entire shoreline but all those big walleyes sure are appealing.
In the middle of the park sits an access to the Grass River. Down the river, past two sets of rapids are a pair of designated wilderness campsites. The fast water presents enough of a problem to keep the big fishing boats away. She's not much of a paddle and the portages are short. Easy enough considering the wonderful fishing I've been told lies in the river and pair of lakes spreading north. For sure it's a doable trip to water I've yet to fish. Even at age seventy new water holds its appeal. I've already returned to the two lakes I like best. Good enough. Truth is I want to see a little more of the northern greenery while I can still get in and out of a canoe.
From the same access Allan and I could paddle west and north for five miles where two miles of stream and portages lead to a thousand acre lake known for its walleye fishing. If I'd had a bucket list a few years back Barb Lake would've been near the top. Back in 2002 Bob with the black lab said it was 'fish a cast' water. Of course he's a noted guide and could've said the same for many a lake. High water on the stream would give us three wet portages of around a hundred, twenty rods per. Low water and she'd be a two mile carry.