That said, if you want to mix kayak fishing with some R & R with easy access to kayak-friendly water, things become a bit more challenging. Many lodges are located on larger power boat-friendly lakes and while you can definitely take on big water in a kayak, I prefer a more intimate setting. Welcome to Laurentian Lodge, waterside accommodations, and front door access to three beautiful Northern Ontario lakes.
Located 40 km west of Elliot Lake along Highway 639, Laurentian Lodge is an impressive sight. From the massive log main lodge to the manicured grounds worthy of weddings, the variety of cottages lining the shore, to the constant soundtrack of rushing water provided by the cascading waterfalls between the lakes, it has definite curb appeal. The cottages are a perfect option for families or larger groups, but what sparked my accommodations interest at Laurentian Lodge is the availability of motel-style rooms with lake views and decks that are so close to the water you can practically fish from your deck chair. A perfect option for the two of us.
With breakfast out of the way, we get down to the business of why we are here, load up the kayaks, and push off into the glass-calm water of Mikel Lake. There are three lakes accessible from Laurentian Lodge, each with its own take on fish species available. Mikel is a smaller size and perfect for kayak fishing. Your options here are Brook Trout, a chance for some Smallmouth Bass, and the occasional Pike. We can see a few Brooks in the clear water below the falls, but we have bigger fish on our minds and push on. Visually, the lake is fishing perfection: reeds line one side, while the other is a forest of fallen and submerged trees. We toss spoons and poppers amongst the sticks, resulting in a few small bass.
We hear the roar of the falls before we see it, the sign says to keep to the right and we obey. Lake number two is officially called Wilkie, but the locals refer to it as Pike Lake. Judging by the photos that we were shown to back up the lake’s nickname, there are some big fish in there. Access to Wilkie Lake is protected by a rushing waterfall and a portage that rewards our sweat equity with a backcountry lake all to ourselves.
Back in the kayaks, a few casts into the deep water at the base of the falls and it’s fish on. Not a monster, but nice pike. Does it get any better than this: a fish on the line in a postcard-like setting of a backcountry lake in the company of just the people you choose to bring with you, in this case, my son?
We cruise the shoreline, tossing spoons into the weeds for a couple more small pike and poppers around sunken trees produce some nice bass. The big one did not materialize, but the action was sufficient to keep us smiling and to seal the deal on an awesome day. We plopped ourselves down at the table back in the lodge just before the kitchen closes, a quick swim, and a nightcap on the deck... yeah, it doesn’t get any better than this.
Flack Lake is the largest of the three lakes and the one that provides the amazing view from our room as well as the daily swim routine. Spring-fed, deep, and crystal clear, just paddling over its surface and gazing into its depths is an unforgettable experience. With depths reaching 400 feet and cool clear water, Flack Lake is renowned for its Lake Trout but over the last decade, the Smallmouth Bass population has been on the rise.
With limited time at our disposal, we head out to check what we can see and hopefully catch. What fun, even from the sitting position sightseeing was a blast. Watch the fish emerge from the shadows and follow the lure, not interested in the spoon; no problem, toss the popper and bam, big splash but not necessarily a hookup. We manage a few smaller bass into the boat, and see but unfortunately miss a few good-sized ones. It feels like we have some unfinished business on Flack Lake, which is a good thing and a reason to come back.
On the map, Algoma looks like a kayak fishing paradise, and it absolutely is. When it comes to accommodations, access, and quality of fishing, Laurentian Lodge might just be the perfect spot for a kayak fishing vacation.
Notes From The Road
- Be sure to arrive with plenty of gas in the car, particularly if you are planning to explore. The nearest gas station is back in Elliot Lake, 80 km in the other direction.
- There are no cooking facilities in the motel rooms, so be sure to check your plan with the kitchen in the lodge, especially if you plan to stay out late.
- The portage between Mikel and Wilkie can be challenging. Bring some sturdy footwear and a kayak buggy if solo.
- The pike here like shiny things. On this early July visit, all pike and a couple of bass went for the Johnson Silver Minnow weedless spoon with a white grub trailer. All other bass were on top water poppers.