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Detour through Quebec

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my father was indoctrinated to Canada by his father. They had a moose and fishing camp near Moffet, Quebec on Roger Lake. Looking at a map of the area now it appears to show drive in access to this lake but in the late 1960’s, early 1970’s the only access was to portage or fly in. There was a small lake that we would camp at that was a short portage from Roger Lake and as I recall the name of this lake was Deep Lake. 

Again, looking at a map now, there doesn’t appear to be a lake with that name so it could have been just a no name lake that we had given a moniker to. Anyway, this lake had a large sandy beach that was great for a campsite. Just off the beach, maybe 25-50 yards into the water was a huge dome of rock. This became a favorite swimming place, and we of course took advantage of that. I have a few memories of actually fishing. 

This would be the place where I would catch my first northern pike and walleye. I don’t recall ever catching anything very big but it got me ‘hooked’, so to speak. Facing out towards the water from the beach, the left shore was simply a large wall of rock descending straight down from the edge of the cliffs above. The top of the cliffs provided endless hours of entertainment for us kids, since there were a lot of perfectly sized rocks up there that we felt would be better off if they were actually in the water. Lots of big splashes were made. Luckily the only splashes were from the rocks and not from me or one of my brothers getting a little to close to the edge.

Between the beach and the cliffs was a medium sized waterfall flowing into the lake. This water was making it’s way from Roger lake and the portage trail to Roger lake wound along this small but turbulent river. I would guess that the trail was somewhere in the region of 1000 meters but it could have been less (it felt like more). Usually we would spend a couple of days at the moose camp on Roger but most of the time was spent on Deep lake.

For me, the best part of the trip was the portage in to Deep lake. It was a nearly full day pulling the canoes up a creek. The water rarely got more than mid calf deep. I would lose myself pretending I was Daniel Boone or some other frontier explorer and that I was the first to set eyes on this new territory. I thoroughly enjoyed that. About the halfway point up this creek there was a large waterfall. Straight down – my memories tell me that it was a vertical drop of 20 – 30 feet. Quite spectacular. At the bottom of the falls was a whirlpool and it looked deadly. 

Interestingly, there was a length of rope floating out from this whirlpool and I remember grabbing it and trying to pull it free. It was anchored firmly. We all took a turn pulling but we never found out what was at the other end of that rope. My imagination suggested a large chest of treasure, so that’s probably what it was.

Of course this waterfall had to be bypassed. There was a short trail on the right (going upstream) that served this purpose. Once all of the gear was transported around the hazard we continued on splashing our way up the creek.

Over the years we made several summer trips to this paradise and I wish I had pictures. Unfortunately, all of the photographs that I know of perished in a house fire over a decade ago. Sometimes it’s almost as good to just use your imagination though and this way I can make the pictures in my head represent what I remember, not actually how it might have been.

As a note – my Grandfather usually accompanied us on these trips. He was a great man and was truly in his element in these places. He has long since passed on but every time we are on a fishing trip there are numerous stories of him that are told and retold between us so in a sense he lives on.

Thanks for reading.


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