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Trip Report – Slave Lake – June 11, 2020

Slave Lake Walleye

The missus and I were finally able to sneak away from work long enough to spend an extended weekend camping at Lesser Slave Lake. Since COVID-19 hit our little province, life has been quite different for everyone, us included. Although we were fortunate enough to keep working I don’t think we have ever been busier. My wife has been working from home and this trip is the first time she’s been able to leave the house for an extended period of time since mid-February. You could say we needed a break.

Once our camper was packed we headed north to Hilliard’s Bay Provincial Park. Hilliard’s Bay is quickly becoming one of my favorite camping destinations. The sites are spacious and, in the older loops, well treed. You have your choice of powered sites or non powered as well. I always opt for the powered sites because I can run the A/C when its hot as well as a dehumidifier in the camper. The only downside, if you want to call it that, is the cell reception is lousy. It really forces you to unplug.

The campsites are well treed.

Last year, after a particularly wet and snowy camping trip, I purchased a small dehumidifier to help remove some of the moisture in the camper. What a difference that makes! With two adults and three (often wet) dogs, the amount of condensation is unreal. Now that we have a dehumidifier the trailer no longer feels damp and stuffy every morning.

With the wet spring we’ve been having the water level was higher than I’ve ever seen it. What is normally a wide and long sandy beach at the Hilliard’s boat launch was just water and washed up reeds.

What is normally a big sandy beach is all underwater.

Thanks again to the moisture, the mosquitoes and no-see-ums were also the worst I’ve seen. Filleting my fish at the station proved to be an exercise in self control as my legs and arms were eaten alive while cleaning my walleye for supper. 

Honestly, I didn’t spend a lot of time fishing. I managed to get out a couple times when the weather was near perfect and caught a fish to eat for supper. We spent most of our days eating, sleeping, playing games and walking the dogs. It was a great way to unplug and get away from the noise and the news. 

A young visitor to our camp.

On one of the first trips on the water, as we loaded everyone and the dogs into the boat, I looked down to discover my two piece spinning rod was now a three piece. Luckily, my Dad kept some electrical tape on the boat and I taped it back up and kept fishing. I managed to land a couple small pike and was surprised the rod worked pretty well. 

Slave Lake Northern Pike
I still landed a couple pike with that broken rod!
Always keep some tape on the boat!

In this time of what seems like endless bad news it was pretty amazing to get away for a few days. We are lucky. And, since every activity we planned this summer is cancelled, the wife and I are on a mission to explore other under-utilized camping gems throughout the province! If you have a recommendation for our next camping/paddling adventure, drop it in the comments!

Vacations can be tough work.

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