www.AlgonquinAdventures.com Tony Anderson's Opeongo/Big Crow/Crow River Trip - May 2-4, 2003 www.AlgonquinAdventures.com

Keep in mind that we had Norm the jinx with us, who had never caught an Algo trout. We made it to Huntsville in the rental by 9:15pm on Thursday with the cedar intact on top.

Headed to the fancy Dwight Village Motel to get organized and to get some shut-eye. It was nice to have everyone with a pack for a change. Thanks Tim Stacey and Kevin for getting Steve a pack.

Snelgrove laid out his gear and the mountain of food he bought. First thing noticed, no second stove, oops!! Trying to pack up the food, we pulled out the "Zip lock" bags. Second oops, fold over sandwich bags - real useful! Anyway, got packed up and hit the sack. Lucky me, 3 snorers in one room.

May 2

Awaking well-rested at 7am we packed up and went for a greasy-spoon breakfast. We arrived at Opeongo without any moose sightings. Then off we went for the coldest shuttle ride ever. It was about 3 degrees celsius in the morning.

The Proulx portage was a cake walk. However, the end was stacked up with weekend warriors with boat and motor. The first of which almost left without their Retriever. I almost inherited a nice dog.

We set out in search of the mighty trout. It was cool and we faced a nice head wind. Fished for 2 hours across Proulx with nothing to show for it. Getting hungry, we stopped on a site for salami, cheese and onion sandwiches. The sun was shining and we figured we better head out before the urge to nap overcame us. Ready to leave the unproductive lake for the creek, we quickly regretted this when we learned how long of a paddle the creek was.

Oh well, on to Little Crow, again without any luck. Hit the narrows between the Crows and go figure Stevie was on the board with a 12 inch brookie. Nice fish, but Steve definitely needs a pair of pliers, as the release was slow happening. Turned into one for the box. Right after the Trout Assassin evened the score with a speck, a bit bigger than Steve's.

Well it was approaching mid-afternoon and we felt it was time to get out of the wind and find a nice site. So we fished half-heartedly across Big Crow (very nice lake I might add) in search of the perfect site. Oh, forgot to mention (hope we have pictures) I believe Stevie was sterning up until this point.

Big Crow was pretty busy and the first available site, right on the beach by the Crow River, was "too steep" according to Norm and Steve over the two-way radios. Well, we suggested for them to at least check it out before moving on. Surprise, surprise! It was not too steep and had an awesome fire pit with bench seating and two real nice tent pads, one overlooking the river and another overlooking the beach and lake, not to mention about 100 feet of nice sandy beach. It was to be home for two nights. Had heard it was an often frequented moose spot so we were hopeful we'd get a visitor.

So we set up camp and got settled in. You know what this means, tents and hammock set up, refreshment and a late afternoon nap. Upon awakening we quickly got fajitas and the brookie going for dinner. Didn't want to cut into the evening fishing time too much. Well after a very satisfying cup of wine and dinner we brewed up coffee and tea and hit the canoes for the evening bite.

The night started off strong with Norm finally breaking his 31-year jinx by landing two nice brookies in about 10 minutes. Stevie managed another brookie and Tony kept pace with his second. Well it was getting dark and very chilly on a perfectly clear night. We headed back to the site to stoke up a roaring fire, more refreshment and a game of euchre. A couple of hours and some star gazing later it was time to hit the tents.

May 3

The night was frosty causing most of us to wake shortly after 6 am to frosty tents and even a thin layer of ice in spots. After a long day of head wind and slow fishing none of us were up for the big journey into Hogan. We also had not been able to visit the 320-year old virgin white pines so we made the call to fish Big Crow for the morning and head up the Crow River for the afternoon. Well after coffee/tea and cereal bars we hit flat water with the sun warming us up. The morning started off promising with Tony landing a 3 pound laker. It was decided that this fish would be lunch. The rest of the morning was pretty uneventful with nothing else being landed. So back for a cooked brekkie we went. On tap was eggs, bacon, more coffee/tea and English muffins with PB&J. Pretty tasty.

Well we packed up lunch and the fishing gear and headed up river in search of some moose, brook trout and the much anticipated giant pines. The Crow River is pretty picturesque with some real nice pools. Stevie managed to find and land one brook trout which we decided to keep. Just before the dam leading to the giant pines we spotted two deer laying down for a nap. Steve chased them with his camera to capture the moment.

It took awhile but eventually we found the trail to the pines. The day had warmed considerably and the hike in was longer than expected. The hike and search were well worth it as eventually we managed to find about 10 monstrous live pines and several more that had seen better days. Knowing we had lunch and refreshment waiting for us, the trip back was a lot quicker. Along the trail we saw many beech trees with bear claw marks all the way up to the top, searching for beech nuts we presumed.

Back at the dam/portage we broke out lunch - salami, cheese, crackers and buns .. deciding to keep the trout for supper, given the way the fishing was going. We were joined by a black lab who helped clean up some leftovers. Deciding that going further up river didn't hold the greatest fishing opportunities, we started back the way we had come. We weren't able to locate any additional trout, so once again it was time for the customary afternoon nap.

Waking at 5pm, we figured we better get some coals created in the fire so that we could do our steaks. Also needed to fillet the two trout. Dinner was amazing - 6 steaks, two trout, garlic bread, fried onions (which Steve conveniently forgot to mention we had until everyone but him was full) and rice. We quickly cleaned up and got coffee/tea and Bailey's ready for the evening bite.

Out on the water my partner Tim finally began to pull his weight hauling in his first trout. Then it was Tony's turn, hooking his fourth. Unfortunately, Tim was unwilling to help out, instead insisting he keep trolling. Sure enough, we had a double-header on the go. Unfortunately, Tony's fish got caught up on the end of the boat and was nicely released. Tim managed to boat his and we were tied 5 fish per boat.

The sun was down and the stars coming out so back to the site we went. The night was cooling off, so it was time for a well-stoked campfire to warm us up. Another game of cards and some refreshments and it was time to hit the hay.

May 4

The night was much warmer than the previous resulting in us sleeping in until 7 am making our proposed 7:30 am departure impossible to meet. So we ate breakfast and got packed up, ready to make the always dreaded return trip out of the park. Just before jumping in to the canoes we finally had our much anticipated visitors to our site. There were three moose just behind our site, by the river. I guess they were anxious for us to get off of their beach. We managed to get close enough to snap a few pictures and realize it was a bull and two calves. Where momma was is a bit of a mystery. These creatures were awesome to watch with the little ones very curious.

So off we went, trolling our way out. Big Crow did not produce anything further. Steve managed one more in the narrows. Tim thought he had the secret weapon worked out on Little Crow but after tossing it over the side of the canoe and watching it sink rather quickly, he realized he had not snapped it onto his line. Another sacrifice to the park. The creek produced 2 more deer and one more brookie for Tony bringing the grand total to 12 - 11 brookies and one laker - 4 for Tony, 4 for Steve and two each for Norm and Tim and 6 for each boat.

We barely made it over the Proulx portage in time for our shuttle. For a change it was a warm shuttle back. We loaded up the canoes and bought some chips and pop and headed home. No more moose spotted along 60. Grand total of 3 moose, 12 trout, 4 deer and a couple of turtles. Until next year,

Tony Anderson
AKA - Trout Assassin