I've spent much of my adult life in pursuit of brook trout, either paddling and portaging into back lakes, exploring rivers in the far north by canoe, or oftentimes flying into small outpost camps.
The north shore of Superior, specifically the area centered around Wawa and White River has been a favoured destination. It’s rugged country with high rolling hills and sparkling natural trout lakes that rarely get fished. My dad and uncle started taking me on trips to this region as a really young boy and they instilled a real love for it in me.
I’ve flown into numerous trout lakes in that area over the years, in fact most of them. The notable exception being Air Dale’s Missing Lake outpost camp. Missing Lake is a small spring fed gem close to the southern boundary of Pukaskwa National Park. It’s staggeringly beautiful, as pretty a landscape as any you’ll see in Ontario and a trip there is worth it for that reason alone.
I just returned last week from a trip to Missing Lake. I had the chance to fish it for a few days with my young son Brendan which made things even more special.
It was only a 4 day trip and for the first time ever we were stuck at the airbase in Wawa for almost two full days because of weather. We were supposed to fly in early Wed morning and ultimately flew in at 6pm on Thursday. Frustrating, but what can you do?
We spent many hours on the beach in Wawa waiting for the weather to clear. Brendan did enjoy it though. He made me buy him a native head dress and he played for hours on the beach with it. (I was attacked numerous times HAHA!)
When we finally made it in we had just enough time to unpack, settle in, light a fire and cook some dinner before settling in for the night. Fishing would have to wait for the next day.
There was still tons of snow in the bush and even some mushy ice on the lake in a couple of back bays. We were there not long after ice out and water temps hovered between 41 and 43 degrees. That made for VERY tough fishing! Missing is a deep lake with one basin reaching over 80’. It hadn’t turned over yet and the vast majority of the fish were still deep and simply not feeding.
In 11/2 days of fishing we managed to eke out 6 quality fish which personally I thought was a miracle. There are some dandies in the lake though, at one point a huge fish easily in the 5lb class rushed in at my sons lure then turned at the last second. I saw it as clear as day.
We marked a ton of fish down deep in 30 plus feet of water adjacent to various structure. There’s no doubt in my mind that this lake would fish much differently a bit later in the spring or perhaps in September. For that reason alone I’ll be going back!
I put together a short video of our trip, hope you guys enjoy!
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All in all even though we were set back by the weather and tough conditions, anytime I can spend time with my boy, just the two of us, that makes the trip a huge success. We had a blast and there’s no doubt we’ll be back again.