Researching and locating under-utilized wilderness trout lakes to call your own, is your first step to success. One trick I use for finding lessor known ‘honey holes’ is by following small tributaries from known trout lakes. Oftentimes small kettle-lakes are connected a short distance away by one small meandering stream. Some lakes you find will be empty while others literally teeming with resident populations of spunky specs. I have located wilderness trout lakes that never get fished by anyone but me each year. Join me, as we search for secret wilderness brook trout lakes.

Finding wilderness lakes & dealing with hazards

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Begin exploring these waters which are not connected by trails or roads and eventually you will hit upon a winner. Each year, I spend days doing ‘recon’ for new water and may only hit on a winner small percentage of the time. Constant exploring and walking the woods is the key to success by increasing your chances.

What if you locate a backwoods lake on the map with the potential for good trout, are there any concerns? With black bears emerging from hibernation and on the prowl for food, bear encounters are more frequent during spring; posing an hazard for any anglers heading ‘off the grid’.  Aerosol deterrents like bear spray should be carried at all times while travelling to, and from, your new out-of-the-way lake.

Also make sure to announce your presence by breaking brush, walking loudly and traveling in groups.  During portages, assign the first person in your group on the trail as the bear spray holder. A black bear encounter is a rare but dangerous hazard of backwoods fishing, and you should be prepared.

Staying connected

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Since the most remote wilderness lakes tend to be the most productive, being totally secluded does bring with it other inherent dangers. When I travel to my favourite backwoods lake, a good topographic map and handheld GPS is always at the ready. Getting lost in God’s country is not enjoyable, nor is it safe and should be avoided at all costs.

Bring along two-way radios, cell phones and even a satellite phone depending on how remote you plan on being, and for how long.  The most successful wilderness trout anglers are the ones who take precautions to bring along the best navigational and communication equipment.

Keep it under your hat!

Always hit the water a couple of hours earlier than the competition in the morning. It allows you to get into position undetected and being surreptitious when approaching your remote wilderness lake is crucial.

My favourite backwoods lake has no trails into it, and I have done my utmost to keep it that way. Never park your vehicle or leave any tracks near the access point to any secluded lake.  Half the battle in fishing these wilderness trout lakes is locating them; the other half is keeping the news from spreading. One of my secluded wilderness trout lakes is so productive; I have gone to great lengths to keep it a secret. The best way to keep a backwoods lake a secret is, first off, not telling anyone about it. Nothing spreads like wildfire as much as news of a productive trout lake, so always keep it in under your hat!

Surreptitious approach

When portaging to my ‘Lac Perdu’ each spring, I usually don’t even take the same route twice as not to leave any suspicious tracks or signs for other anglers. Off-the-beaten path portages often include such activities as jumping beaver dams, wading up small feeder streams and sliding the canoe through a ‘backdoor’ marshland entrance to the lake. It may sound like an extraneous amount of effort just to go fishing, but if you wish to experience the ultimate in untapped resources, it is well worth the effort!

Specialized Trout equipment

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Before tackling the wilds of our North American backwoods, there is equipment you will require. A canoe, such as the Sportspal, constructed of lightweight aluminium is the first requirement. You also need proper footwear such as high waterproof boots or hip waders, for dealing with those wet inundated areas around many northern trout lakes. As far as trout tackle goes, keep it light and simple with a telescopic landing net and nothing more than you can carry on your back. I always tie my fishing rod and net inside the canoe for backwoods travel, and keep my tackle basic with a few assorted spoons, extra monofilament, bug spray, worms, a light snack and some drinking water.

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Wilderness Team approach

Being totally prepared to tackle a hidden lake, which could potentially hold many years of great fishing in your future- all the right equipment is of utmost importance. As an angler you should be prepared mentally to face some treacherous conditions. It is always better to approach remote wildness lakes as a team – one person to walk ahead as a ‘spotter’ with the map and/or GPS unit, and the second to carry the canoe. The spotter is also in charge of identifying the best direction to walk as the canoe carrier has limited visibility.

Final Word on trout!

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When carried out properly from start to finish, fishing wilderness trout may soon become a way of life. My passion to find fresh new trout water has led me through some of the roughest and most scenic wilderness our country has to offer. It has also led me to some truly world class trout lakes; many of which had never seen an angling pressure. With some research and persistence you too many discover your own private wildness trout lake.

Want to learn more about trout fishing during springtime. Check out this great feature