Spring Planning, Into the Woodland Caribou Park

The Woodland Caribou Park is a provincial park in Ontario. It is accessible only by limited fly-in points or by water routes. Visitors to the park number in the low hundreds annually, mostly through outfitters on a few of the larger lakes. Covering an area of over 450,000 hectares, and with over 2000 km of maintained canoe routes, clearly I need to check this place out.

woodland caribou park

Woodland Caribou Park is a huge area

Woodland Caribou Park

As anyone who follows me knows, I absolutely love the Canadian Shield. It’s my favorite type of terrain to play in across all of Canada.  The Woodland Caribou Park lies right in the heart of the shield, and like other areas, boasts hundreds (if not thousands) of lakes. Since the park receives so few visitors each year, there is very little fishing pressure. This means that every lake you come across has a thriving and healthy population of fish to catch. How could I possibly resist?

It calls to me…

In doing my research on this park, I discovered a surprising fact. Nearly every lake in the park seems to be filled predominantly with lake trout! Manitoba, at least southern Manitoba, doesn’t have a great many trout lakes. The ones that are reasonably close to me are generally stocked ponds with rainbow, brown, and brook trout. Having the ability to catch lake trout deep in the backwoods without needing to fly or drive hours on end is what ultimately convinced me to plan this trip.

So many opportunities for adventure

Conveniently, one of the few water access points from the Manitoba side of the park is via Wallace Lake. Of course, I’ve visited Wallace Lake many times since my parents have a cabin there. I usually don’t have great luck at Wallace, but I figure if I only use it as a launch and return point, the lake can’t screw me over too badly.

 

Got the Where, now Who and When?

So my destination is set, now the hard questions. Who do I go with, and when do we go? Looking ahead at my work schedule, and the relevant fishing seasons for the Woodland Caribou Park area, I decided on the last 2 weeks of June. This will be my first time into the park, and I want it to be epic. With fishing and exploration as the priority, I knew I would need to set an appropriate amount of time to make this trip, and so I decided I would go big and do a full 12-14 days. If that doesn’t scratch my adventure itch, then nothing will!

It’s a wide area to explore

Anyone who has traveled more than a few days at a time knows that having a good traveling partner is essential. Spending too long together with no breaks can strain even the best of friendships. Being a full 2-week commitment, extremely remote, and likely physically demanding, my list of people to ask was pretty short. Luckily, my friend Collin agreed to go with me. Collin has been out on a few adventures with me, including a backwoods trip up the Rabbit River, so I know he can handle it.

Collin has plenty of outdoor experience

5 Months till Go Time

Now that I’ve decided on the Woodland Caribou Park, when I’m going, and who I’m going with, it’s time to plan. A full 5 months may seem like a long time to prepare, but that time flies by quickly. I’ll need to put together a list of gear, plan out meals, set an exact route for my GPS, collect all the relevant maps, etc. It all ends up being a fair bit of work.

Since I travel the backwoods often, I should have most of the gear I need. One big challenge will be planning out meals, since this will be by far the longest expedition I’ve gone on. Choice of fishing tackle to bring along is another consideration. Lake trout are not something I’ve fished for a lot, and I’m not entirely sure yet which lures will be worth taking with me or not.

I suspect I will take a lot of spoons

All in all, it will be a lot of work getting ready for it. Once we hit June though, this adventure should be well worth the wait and the work. Expect to see a couple posts between now and then detailing my progress as I fine tune my plans.

 

 

3 Comments

  • Mad Fisher February 2, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    I look forward to hearing all about this trip man!! If you are going to do some video and photo stuff, you may want to look into picking up a foldable USB type solar charger. Very lightweight, compact and you can just let it sit out somewhere in the canoe all day to charge things up to document the adventure!

    • AdamZax February 21, 2018 at 12:25 pm

      I actually just ordered a solar charger after I wrote this post because I do plan on doing lots of video and pictures!

  • 5 Tips for Back Country Fishing | True North Wilds June 18, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    […] have their perks, among them low angling pressure and healthy fish populations. Indeed, if you plan it out properly, it can sometimes feel like […]

Leave a Comment