Our friend Kurt is turning 50 this year. To celebrate, he started planning last winter for a solo fly in Quetico adventure. With advice from Andy and a lot of careful planning he mapped out a route from Mack Lake over through Kawnipi and out through Cache Bay. Tuscarora took care of all the flight arrangements and permitting so when Kurt arrived, he was all set and raring to go for his long awaited trip.
The flight was scheduled for 6AM with a 5AM tow out to meet the plane, which feels like an early start to most, but not to Kurt. I’m still not sure who was more excited for the pickup, Kurt or our tow boat driver Caleb. Neither of them reported getting much sleep the night before as they excitedly ran through the details in their minds.
Sunrise on a glass smooth Saganaga Lake is a beautiful thing! Kurt and Caleb were both in good spirits by the time they met up with the pilot, Brian. Kurt’s little solo canoe was lashed onto the plane’s pontoon and the gear loaded. Caleb stuck around to watch the float plane take off, which is where our pictures end, but not the adventure.
After a short flight from Saganaga to Mack Lake, Kurt was soon paddling and picking up walleyes right away on the north end of the lake. Kurt then made his way north into Mack Creek past an old trappers shack. The spring rains and the beavers have kept the water levels sufficient to paddle north along the Wawiag River. The Wawiag River is an adventure in itself as it winds through alder brush and cedar groves often haunted by moose.
Making his way towards Kawnipi, Kurt passed through Kawa Bay where evidence of an old Indian village complete with pictographs can still be found. Kawinip Lake, renowned for its history and fisheries, is a great place to explore and fish. One could spend weeks fishing the numerous bays and never visit the same place twice!
From Kawnipi, Kurt headed south into the Falls Chain to try his luck fishing for lake trout on McEwen Lake. The waterfalls from Kawnipi Lake south down the Kawnipi River to Cache Bay are some of the Quetico’s most impressive. During wet springs, high water levels keep the water falls roaring, which can make navigating around portages a bit tricky. Review your maps and ask advice when attempting this beautiful stretch of water.
After landing trout on McEwen, Kurt rejoined the Falls Chain south of Koko Falls and continued south to Cache Bay and Saganaga where Caleb met him for a tow ride home. It was fun to facilitate Kurt’s 50th birthday Quetico solo adventure. There are other stories along the way that we will leave for Kurt to share with those who ask him…..Happy birthday Kurt! See you again soon!
(If you are interested in learning more about fly in trips to Quetico park and how Tuscarora can facilitate, please ask! We would love to discuss the details and help you plan your next adventure.)
Update – A few pictures from Kurt!
Happy birthday Kurt!