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Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through May 29, 2009 * Trip Report < Previous Next >

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Post Number: 7
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, October 8, 2008 - 12:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hi Everybody,

Well what was to be an early autumn solo river/fishing trip, turned into a tandem flatwater trip after a friend from work, who is also an avid angler, expressed an interest in making his first canoe trip. We tossed around a few destinations briefly including Killarney & APP, but in the end we settled on Hapís Route #10 in Temagami. Iíve done this route twice before, and consistently canít understand why in the 3 times Iíve done it, I donít see more folks on this route. I guess itís because most folks consider anything east of 11 to be off the radar, and thatís just fine with me.

Sept 25th.

We arrived in the area very early on Thurs Sept. 25th, at about 3am to be exact, after getting a late start from here in K-W. We turned off 11 on Rabbit Lake Rd, and soon saw signs indicating that Goulard Lumber was replacing the culverts in several areas along the road. Besides these areas where the road was a little chewed up from the construction, and a spot where there was about 24Ē of water on the road, the road was actually in pretty decent shape.

We found the site beside the road at the Glasford Lake bridge had a couple of trailers on it from the construction crew, but the site closer to the Lake was unoccupied so we parked the car there and quickly threw the tent up and slept for what was left of the night.

The next morning, shortly after 7am, we were awoken by the lovely sound of heavy equipment. Naturally this wasnít really the way we wanted to start off our trip, as we had originally planned to sleep in, and get a late start on the 25th however we soon decided that after only getting about 3-1/2 hours of sleep the night before, that we would spend a lazy day fishing around Glasford Lake. Unfortunately the fishing was less than ideal, but the weather was fantastic with sun & a daytime high at around 20C. All in all it was a beautiful day to laze around and wash some lures. Below are some pics from our 1st day on Glasford Lake. 28fd892_b.jpg b963c8d_b.jpg 0fb1b7c_b.jpg

Sept 26th

We woke at about 8am, again to the sound of heavy machinery, and decided that it would be a good time to get out of the area and start on our overnight trip. We ate a good breakfast, broke camp, and headed out. The entire route is just shy of 40km in length, and goes from Glasford L, through Maxam, Burwash & Ross Lakes into Rabbit Lake, then north over rabbit Lake dam into the Matabitchuan R. and into 4Bass Lake, then east into Cooper Lake, and then south on McDonald Creek and back into Glasford Lake. The paddle from Glasford Lake to our campsite just south of the rabbit Lake dam was fairly uneventful, aside from the stunning fall colours, beautiful weather(another clear, calm day with a high around 20C) However we did see several ducks, mergansers, etc. 3 beavers, and we made the campsite in good time by 4:30pm. We washed some more lures, however Tim did catch a nice sized smallmouth. And luckily shortly after dinner we were blessed with a damn good siting of a good sized adolescent bull moose. Below are some pics of the day starting with pics of Tim & I(Timís the guy with the glasses), then shots of Maxam Lake, Burwash L, Ross L, Rabbit Lake and a necessary loon, the campsite, and the moose. Tim was actually fishing about 100 yards away from where the big guy started crashing through the bush, which made him jump a bit. The pics are below. 9a0a1c7_b.jpg f48135b_b.jpg 80be1aa_b.jpg 29f5e58_b.jpg ecc6b26_b.jpg 54065cb_b.jpg 5342cdb_b.jpg 4c24558_b.jpg b51ec5a_b.jpg 102a341_b.jpg 20902ac_b.jpg 5946ed8_b.jpg

Sept 27th

We woke pretty early, at around 6am, and quickly started my stick stove going for tea, we ate some oatmeal, broke camp, and were back on the water shortly after 8am. The portage around Rabbit Lake dam is clearly marked on the left, and itís a quick 400M portage on well worn trails. I immediately noticed that all 3 sluices on the dam were open, which didnít surprise me considering how high the water is up there. The Matabitchuan R. definitely had more character this year compared to yearís past, and I noticed this most at Rabbit Chute, there was a lot of water going through there compared to years past. We quickly portaged it on r. left., despite the stupid sign the lodge owner put up stating that the portage is on r. right. I looked pretty hard for that portage two years ago, and didnít find it. From rabbit Chute itís not far to where we ran the first C1, and then two more C1+ís, however the last set of rapids was a very definite C2, and we decided to portage it as I had a fully loaded flatwater tripper( a UC 16í) and an inexperienced bow paddler. This was a very different river compared to the last two years, and swifts that I had to drag in places were now a lot of fun! In fact the last set of rapids just before 4Bass L. actually now has a nice little 2-1/2í ledge at the end of it. The entrance to 4Bass L is just as spectacular as I remember, and even more so with the fall colours. The gorge walls are really quite high, a good 60í-70í in places. 4Bass was calm(the weather was carbon copy of the last 2 days), and we quickly paddled up the south arm and headed east toward Cooper L. We did see some fisherman on the island at where the south & east arms of 4Bass meet, and we confirmed that that it wasnít just us that were experiencing slow fishing. We soon made it to the portage into Cooper and soon noticed that this portage hasnít seen any maintenance in a while(in both my previous trips the water levels in the creek from Cooper into 4Bass were shallow enough that I bypassed the portage altogether and lined the canoe most of the way until the falls immediately below Cooper L. from there itís a quick lift over on the rocks r. right, however with the higher water, lining/wading wasnít much of an option) Cooper is definitely another pretty lake, and from the portage itís a quick paddle to the 800m portage into McDonald Creek. We doubled it and were in McDonald Creek by 2:30pm, and back at our campsite on Glasford L. by 3:30pm. Below are some pics from the 27th. 7c6d243_b.jpg c14ae60_b.jpg c3e1ff0_b.jpg df39444_b.jpg 8437b39_b.jpg 1418276_b.jpg 49fa442_b.jpg 3ab2223_b.jpg 3e6ddb3_b.jpg d2d5e84_b.jpg

Sept 28th

We woke by about 7:30am, to pretty heavy rain, and we quickly checked the forecast on CBC radio to find out that it wasnít likely to clear until around 3pm, so we reluctantly decided to pack up and head out. If the fishing was better we likely would have stuck around, but we still had a great little get away, and I was able to introduce a friend to tripping as well.

All things said, the drive to Temagami is always worth it, and Temagami always seems to deliver in terms of spectacular scenery & wildlife. Truly a great way to finish the season.

Take care all,


p.s. We collected some garbage at the site on Glasford, but simply didn't have enough room in the car to take it out. we bagged it and left it near the road.

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Post Number: 976
Registered: 02-2004

Posted on Wednesday, October 8, 2008 - 11:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Great shots. Four Bass is spectacular at the south end.

Not sure why you couldn't find the portage on river right at Rabbit Chute. Even if you can't find the trail, it is so open that it is easy to get through. There is even a campsite there.

I did this trip in mid-July last year and saw no one.

Thanks for posting.

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Post Number: 8
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, October 8, 2008 - 9:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hi Brian,

I must be losing it as I couldn't find a thing two years ago, although it wouldn't have been the 1st time I've blundered past an obvious portage.

I also thought that I should post this picture that i took on Rabbit Lake Rd, near the bridge from Burwash/Ross Lakes. I'm assuming it was Goulard that posted this sign, and sprayed. Do local by laws allow for posting/spraying the same day?


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Post Number: 5
Registered: 07-2008
Posted on Saturday, October 11, 2008 - 3:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I did this route in August as a solo trip. Actually, it was part of a much larger trip. And the Matabituan River is spectacular. I have logged thousands of miles in the Temagami area and this rivals the best. I also found the loop a fairly easy paddle for beginners or anyone that wants to make a long weekend out of it. A more adventurous group can complete it in 2 days.

This year I have dedicated myself to exploring the east side of highway 11 and found it to be quite worthy of paddling, and with reduced canoeing traffic. Next year I would like to try to cut a portage from Maxam Lake to Salvation Lake to create a new canoe route loop from Wicksted Lake dam. I tried this year, but water levels were just too high.
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Post Number: 148
Registered: 03-2004

Posted on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - 10:44 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Cooper Lake is gorgeous, explore around and check out the old logging camp converted to fishing camp in the southeast corner. The camp looks like something out of the Klondike, twisted rotting boardwalks, old buildings at crazy angles hopefully some are still standing.
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Post Number: 1
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - 9:46 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

The old cabins on Cooper have been gone for some time and replaced with a large cottage.
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Post Number: 149
Registered: 03-2004

Posted on Thursday, October 16, 2008 - 8:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Too bad but I'm not surprised. Still a nice lake to poke around on.
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Post Number: 9
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Sunday, October 19, 2008 - 2:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

One thing I forgot to metnion is that I lost a Shakespeare rod/reel combo at the base of the last set of rapids on the Matabitchuan before 4bass. it's likely on the rocks r.left at the end of the port. I got it on special at Lebarons for not alot of $$, but if anyone happens to be down that way....



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