Having driven by Lake Herridge Lodge as many as fifty times while headed elsewhere to fish, a back-lakes fishing package offered there had always intrigued me. So now, in retirement years, I made my way north to Temagami and Lake Herridge.
Lake Herridge Lodge & Resort is a modern drive-to fishing / hunting / ATV & winter trails / cottage camp on Hwy. # 11 North, just south of the town of Temagami. Lake Herridge itself boasts good fishing for walleyes, northern pike, lake trout, and smallmouth bass, but the draw for anglers is the chain of five remote wilderness lakes, each accessible by short portages. These remote lakes have no cottages or road access, and portages range from one to seven minutes walking time. Anglers carry only their personal fishing gear and maybe lunch, while the lodge’s boats, motors, fuel, and safety gear await at trail’s end.
Whichever fishing package is chosen, it includes a fully guided fishing trip on the first day to help anglers get started catching fish, navigating the lakes, and becoming familiar with camp equipment. That guided day also includes a guide-prepared shore lunch made with the morning’s catch. Apart from shore lunch fish, catch & release is strongly encouraged.
Guided by lodge owner, Dan Walton, that first day took us to Wasaksina Lake (W, NP, SMB). With three first-timers along, the focus was on shore lunch as much as the trail, scenery, lakes, or even the fishing itself !
Wasaksina Lake is the furthest lake out in a string of three back lakes that lodge guests regularly fish – and the most popular. Getting there is a bit arduous and involves two portages, boating across two small lakes, and along a creek – switching boats and gear two times. Most guests, even “repeaters”, do it regularly simply because the fishing can be very good. Dan not only guides new guests to Wasaksina, but almost daily prepares a delicious shore lunch there with just-caught fish – as he did for us (and any others making the trek back in to Wasaksina).
With day-long rain forecast, trekking to even the nearest remote lake took all the resolve we could muster, and rain it did. Sheathed in rain gear, we made our way to Iceland Lake (W, NP, SM bass) – an easy 7-minute portage off Lake Herridge.
Already docked at Iceland Lake, the lodge’s near-new boats – deep & wide 14-foot Naden & MirroCraft with reliable, easy-start Yamaha 8 HP motors – were stable, roomy, comfortable, and ideal the day’s fishing.
Smallmouth bass were on the bite come mid-morning, and one small bay in particular yielded a number of aerial bass in the 12 to 18-inch range. When the bass fishing quieted, we relocated to a small flat off the mouth of Herridge Creek where we were kept busy with small to medium-sized pike and a some nice walleyes (up to 22″).
Given the miserable weather, it was a great day’s fishing. Later, back at the lodge, we shared hearty, homemade meals with Dan & Cindy Walton, owners of the lodge. Lake Herridge Lodge is a friendly cottage camp particularly suited for summer cottagers and adventuresome anglers.