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> West Montreal River
Michael Kerwin
Posted: Aug 10, 2018 - 01:39 pm


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My absence from the forum can be, at least in part, explained by the fact that I only recently returned from a ten day, 120 kilometre trip along the West Montreal River. It is a route that I had done last August and, as I become increasingly indolent in old age, decided to repeat again this summer rather than searching out new waters to paddle and fish. Accompanied by two good friends and their dog, we retraced my route of last summer -- now knowing where camp sites and portages were located. The old MNR route description is woefully inaccurate in many respects but even a newer, commercially available map of the area, although a significant improvement, is not entirely accurate either.

Our put-in was at Wapus Creek, about 16 kilometres west of Gowganda, and travelling clockwise, we followed a series of lakes north -- really just areas where the West Montreal River widens -- then turned south heading past Matachewan, and finally upstream into another series of linear lakes that led us to our take-out at Edith Lake in Gowganda.

The area is quite scenic: stands of jack pine, rapids and waterfalls, and a variety of terrain ranging from deep lakes surrounded by high, rugged hills to slower moving shallow water filled with reeds, pads, and stumps. Also of interest are the remnants of mining and logging from the early 20th century; the site of an old Hudson Bay trading post, Fort Matachewan; and older pictographs. Despite quite easy logistics and relatively easy access, the route is not well-travelled and many portages and campsites showed little use. There are, however, many camps on two of the lakes notably Mistinikon Lake and Matchewan Lake.

While primarily a canoe trip, I did manage to get in some fishing and, for the most part, smallmouth bass and pike were more than willing to cooperate. While walleye are abundant in these waters, they proved to be more elusive but then, I am, at heart, a bass fisherman. All in all, it was a very pleasant trip with just the right balance of back country travel and angling.

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Michael Kerwin
Posted: Aug 10, 2018 - 01:42 pm


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Wading through swifts south of The Forks near Matachewan.

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Michael Kerwin
Posted: Aug 10, 2018 - 01:43 pm


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Smoke from the fires in Temagami cast a thick haze on one of our travel days.

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Michael Kerwin
Posted: Aug 10, 2018 - 01:44 pm


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View looking south toward Red Pine Narrows.

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Michael Kerwin
Posted: Aug 10, 2018 - 01:46 pm


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Tommy Lake looking south.

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Michael Kerwin
Posted: Aug 10, 2018 - 01:47 pm


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And, yes, there were fish -- a typical two pounder.

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Michael Kerwin
Posted: Aug 10, 2018 - 01:49 pm


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And more ... .

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fishmagnet
Posted: Aug 10, 2018 - 02:26 pm


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Awesome report and thanks for the pics.

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Fossy47
Posted: Aug 10, 2018 - 02:40 pm


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Loved the read. Great Post.

Thx.

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Ice
Posted: Aug 10, 2018 - 04:02 pm


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Great pictures looking so good.

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Fishin fan
Posted: Aug 10, 2018 - 04:05 pm


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Looks like a great adventure! Thanks for sharing.

Dave

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Mr Meat
Posted: Aug 10, 2018 - 08:16 pm


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Great pics and story

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ahalls
Posted: Aug 11, 2018 - 10:19 am


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Your usual excellent report!

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Knuguy
Posted: Aug 11, 2018 - 06:26 pm


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QUOTE (ahalls @ Aug 11, 2018 - 11:19 am)
Your usual excellent report!

YUP---almost as good as some of yours!!

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sparky302
Posted: Aug 12, 2018 - 08:18 pm


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Wow thats a nice trip you took

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