Nothing beats good outdoor family traditions and for my two sons Tyler and Izaak our first Fathers Day weekend trip began way back when they were in kindergarten. We haven’t missed a year since and for more than a decade now my brothers Marcel and Paul and their sons Josh and Cody plus a couple close friends Mitch Backx and Chris Mikkelsen and their sons ... have all enjoyed a camping, canoeing, kayaking and fishing trip together on this weekend.
In 2015, we decided to paddle into one of the many remote campsites in Killarney Provincial Park just south of Sudbury Ontario. Izaak and I made a trip to the same bass-filled lake in 2014 during the first ever 3rd Saturday in June early bass season opener, and we had a ball. You can read all about that trip here . We enjoyed it so much that we were determined to bring the rest of the gang here the following year, when the 3rd Saturday would fall on Father’s Day weekend.
Tyler, (left) works and lives in the hustle and bustle of Toronto so these annual wilderness getaways are a stark contrast and wonderful respite from city life. Izaak meanwhile has maintained more rural roots and is an avid canoer and kayaker who was ready for this trip less than a day after he got back from a ten day canoe trip into the interior of Algonquin Park.
Although we had to portage our fishing gear into the hot bass lake ... those who know me understand that one rod is never enough! Therefore a good assortment of one piece spinning and baitcasting outfits were brought along and worth every ounce of weight and space they took up ...They are no bother at all really!
Beautiful rolling, granite topped hills that ‘almost look like snow’ surround much of the waterways in Killarney Provincial Park.
There aren’t many largemouth lakes this far north around Sudbury ... but Killarney does have a couple. Ideal habitat includes wonderful Lilly pad beds, stumps, fallen trees and even the occasional weedline. When fishing from a canoe in these wilderness lakes, its amazing how close you can sneak up to the structure you want to fish ... and still not spook the bass. This nice one fell for a wacky rigged Trigger X Flutter Worm that I tossed to the stump ahead of me about 10 feet away. The only reason we got that close is because we were pulled in there by another big bass who took the lightweight canoe for a ride while Josh tried to reel him in!
Here my nephew Josh holds an average smallmouth bass from the same Killarney largemouth lake. Smallies actually outnumber largemouth by a fair margin in these northern lakes so a mixed bag is a real treat!
Once again the Rapala Skitter Walk, salt water version in ghost white, was not only the most productive topwater lure but hottest lure overall during the trip. Early one morning when Josh and I went out, I caught 5 good largemouth on 5 consecutive casts with it!
This pot bellied fatty didn’t know when to stop and had the tail fin of a decent sized panfish down its gullet. Some of the bass we caught still had their tail fins worn out a bit, but none could be seen on nests.
Here Josh’s dad ... and my brother Marcel ... AKA Red, with a mid day tube jig smallmouth.
The occasional toothy critter lurks around weed patches and other shoreline structure in some Killarney lakes. Here Josh lands one he caught quite close to shore.
Josh with the biggest bass of our trip. This one came from a Storm Chug Bug and like all the rest of our fish was released in great shape for others to enjoy another day.
Sitting around the campfire: In photo, Izaak, his cousin Cody (son of Paul- Wil’s brother not in photo) Josh, Tyler and Andreas (son of Kris Mikkelsen (not in photo) and also not in photo was Mitch Backx
The view from our campsite was definitely worth the paddle in and one reason we’re anxious for a return visit. Of course there are many other outstanding places to explore in this wonderful province and only time will tell where we end up for our annual All Boyz Fathers Day Weekend trip in 2016.