Mike Borger's Dusey River Brook Trout Adventure:

Mike Borger, his son, Brad and Mike's uncle Horst fly in to Dusey Lake in the spring of 2012 and experience unbelievable Brook Trout fishing.

Below is the store along with videos and 43 photos of the river conditions and beautiful Dusey River Brook Trout.

Where To Go?

The winter months are a fun time for me. Beyond the obvious I relish the time spent researching, planning and booking the upcoming seasons trips.

The problem is after so many trips over the years I tend to become jaded. Hate to say it, but it's true. It takes something special to capture my imagination and spark my interest. Most of my adult life has been spent in search of large native brook trout. If I have a favourite fish this is the one.

In recent years walleye and pike have been at the forefront. Not that I'm complaining, I love fishing for them, but brookies they're not.

So with that in mind I began my search for a quality brook trout destination, with the large brawling rivers in northwestern Ontario being my focus. Joining me on this trip would be my young son as well as my dad and uncle, so price factored heavily into the equation as well. It simply couldn't be too expensive.

In the summer of 1989 I paddled the Dusey river, a large tributary of the Ogoki. Back then it was largely unknown. There were no portage trails, the location of rapids was mostly guesswork, and best of all it teemed with trout. By all accounts it remains exactly the same way today, an untouched jewel.

Many of my recollections of the river are hazy at best. In my younger days I took few notes and never even carried a camera. Still, the trout stood out in my minds eye: dark of back, blazing orange bellies, and dime sized speckles ringed with enormous blue halos. These were trout worth pursuing.

After a quick search it was determined that 7 Lakes Wilderness Camps based in Nakina operated an outpost camp on Dusey lake. Oddly enough I had no memory of Dusey lake at all, but digging in and researching it, the location looked promising.

It's a 6km long widening of the Dusey river and seemed to be smack dab in the middle of the best trout water.

Best of all the lake was reported to be abounding with walleye and large pike, an unexpected bonus. The possibility of world class fishing for all three species was too much to resist and I quickly got on the phone to Brad Slagel, owner of 7 Lakes.

Brad is a true salt of the earth character and as I found out a die hard trout fisherman. After talking with him on the phone the trip sounded almost too good to be true, especially considering the price, and I quickly booked.

What I hadn't realized is Brad also has another camp on Dusey for himself. He maintains the second land use permit for two reasons. First to ensure that another outfitter doesn't encroach on his little piece of eden, and second to use as a base for himself when potential customers feel the need for a guide.

While I certainly don't require a guide, Brad suggested he may fly into the second camp for a couple of days while we were there to show me around.

How could I possibly say no to that? And so the stage was set...

Biblical Floods, High Water And Breaking The Ice

Flying into camp on Saturday June 2, there was a large group of young men waiting at the dock to fly out. They were a bit bedraggled as during their trip they had faced some truly daunting conditions.

Rain of a biblical nature had raised the river several feet. This was followed by a cold front, snow, and then more rain. As one of the lads said as he boarded the plane, "we were half expecting a swarm of locusts to descend!"

They reported great fishing for walleye and pike, but were a bit more subdued regarding the brook trout. Apparantly the high water was making wading next to impossible, and much if not most of the trout water was buried under 6' of raging water.

Not exactly what we were hoping to hear, but still we'd have a fun time finding out for ourselves.

After unpacking we donned our waders and while I was readying our tackle my 5 year old Brendan began to fish off the mostly flooded dock.

His excited cries brought us all running, the young lad had broken the ice with a chunky pike! As it turned out it would be one of many he'd catch off the dock during our stay.

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

We all decided to head upstream on the Dusey. My dad and uncle in one boat, my son and I in another.

As we motored upstream the skies began to lift and with it our spirits soared.

The two old boys roared up the main stem making a beeline for Loten falls, a raging neckdown of whitewater that spilled into a large pool.

Enroute upstream I was distracted by a large unnamed tributary of the Dusey that veered off to the left. It looked interesting on the map, so I figured why not give it a shot? The water levels did make for easier than normal navigation. So with Brendan in tow we ventured into the unknown...

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

My dad and uncle both found success as well, each catching several speckled beauties.

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

As you can see we did quite well catching a number of beautifully coloured brookies, and after the initial high water scare the relief was palpable. Conditions may not be prime, but I knew we'd catch fish!

One of the trout was hooked deeply and injured so it was quickly dispatched. I did this with regret as Brad has implemented a no kill policy on the brook trout at camp. They're such a precious resource and so sensitive to overfishing, as caretaker of the resource it's incumbent on him to keep it vibrant and healthy.

Still, I refuse to waste a fish, especially one so delicious, so back to camp it came.

From that point on though it was barbless hooks only.

For a first day on new water it was a smashing success! The mood back at camp was good and we were all pumped about what lay in store for us...

Big Water And Big Brookies

The next morning we were all up early, eager to get back on the water.

Brad Slagel had indeed flown in to fish with me. While my dad, uncle and son all headed off together upstream, we headed down the lake to the outlet with Brad at the helm.

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

The year before Brad hat cut a 500m long trail around the outlet rapids, caching a boat at the end and opening up many more miles of prime trout water.

None of the lads in the previous group had fished it as we found out upon arrival at the trailhead. The 9.9 motor and tank of gas were still right where Brad had left them earlier in the spring at the start of the trail.

While mulling over this unexpected surprise I scanned the head of the rapids a couple of hundred yards downstream.

From my vantage point it seemed as though there may be some good water accessible by wading on the opposite side.

Of course that would entail parking the boat safely upstream from the violent water and crashing down through dense brush with no trail...

When I suggested this to Brad he stated that he'd never fished the opposite side on foot before and was all for it!

At that point I knew we'd get along just fine.

After a sketchy landing as close to the whitewater as we dared we hopped out of the boat and bulled our way through the bush downstream.

The views of the river as we fished our way downstream were breathtaking!

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

We had both brought fly rods but quickly realized they were more or less useless. With zero room for backcasts and monster casts required it wasn't worth the effort.

We turned to spinning rods and hardware and it didn't take long before we were into trout. What really amazed me was the heavy water many of the trout were holding in. I'm talking stuff that was literally torrential. With the water being so high it made reading the water and finding the seams a bit more difficult, but still, they existed and the trout were there!

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

I shot this short clip of Brad as he both caught then lost brook trout on consecutive casts. The second one was of course a dandy.

The rest of the day was remarkable. Suffice it to say we never did get around to carrying the motor to the end of the portage.

The numbers of brook trout were staggering, and considering the utterly horrid conditions I was amazed.

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

Heading back to camp in the late afternoon towering cumulus clouds rose in the distance and a brief shower could be seen pelting down. We zipped up our jackets expecting we'd get hit, then suddenly it dissipated.

Moments later we were greeted with this sight. If you believe in omens it was a good one.

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

Back at camp it seemed the lads had done well too, with everyone including Brendan catching lots of fish.

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

A truly memorable day all around!

On The Trail For Trout

The next day dawned clear and cloudless, utter perfection. Up early with coffee in hand I was greeted with a most spectacular sight.

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

This was my last day with Brad as he had to fly out and attend to some business. We planned to make the best of it of course, heading back down to the outlet rapids and carrying the motor across the trail to access the water far downstream.

With my second cup of coffee in hand and not a ripple on the lake, the drive to the outlet was a small slice of heaven.

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

The river from the trail side was pretty tempting as well and we stopped in several spots enroute to wet a line. How could we not?

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

Arriving at the end of the trail we readied the boat and were about to push off when I suggested we fish a bit wading along the shore. It was flooded grass and quite deep, but it looked doable to me.

Brad as usual agreed with my assessment (did I mention I really like Brad?), so fish on foot we did.

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

Finally after catching 30 or so trout we hopped in the boat and proceeded to travel about 8km's downstream.

Most of the prime spots were, according to Brad, deep underwater. The trout were spread out everywhere, not concentrated in obvious spots like normal.

Still we caught stupid numbers of fish on this day. Almost every riffle, current break and seam held hungry brook trout, without a doubt one of my most memorable days ever.

The only downside to the day, not long in I dropped my camera in the water destroying it. Without having a back up on hand most of this great day will live on in memory only, a true shame.

Still....we did manage to capture some of the action.

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

Wading With The Old Man And The Kid

The balance of the week was spent with my son and we had a blast, catching fish almost at will.

The one thing he was just dying to do though was wade the river. I'd been avoiding it for obvious reasons, but one evening after dinner I took my uncle and son to the outlet rapids to fish on foot.

In the golden light of early evening my uncle waded in and worked a favoured pool.

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

My little guy managed two, one he held up himself:

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

The other was too big and dad had to hold it up for him. Nice fish kid!

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

I got into a few myself and my uncle managed to capture this short clip.

The quality is very poor, but still...

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

More Brookies With The Kid

My son and I also spent some time fishing in the boat downstream from Dusey lake.Each time we went it was amazing and the lad got quite good at taking pictures and filming!

Check this out:

The scenery and the fishing were equally "speck"tacular!

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

Brendan caught his fair share as well!

Brook Trout Fishing Speckled Trout Angling

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