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Need some mccaskill advice

March 24 2011 at 9:23 AM
  (Login GregTheFisherman)

hey guys/ lady's.
I'm from edmonton coming out to algonquin to fish either mccaskill lake and its smaller lakes around it or north river and little north river. we usually do a trip to butt lake every year but were tossing it up this year. I have a few questions regarding getting into mccaskill?

1. how is the cart trail into mccaskill lake?
2. is it do able to enter the lake via the river/ creek?
3. how long is the total portage in walking the cart trail?
4. is anyone firmiliar with the canoe rental places around their? if so do the drop off at the lake, or rent cannoe caddies?
5. Heres the big one I know fishing is a secretive thing but if you had pick a destination either mccaskill, shrew, or north river lake which would it be?

Thanks guys I appreciate any advice you can give me as im coming a long way and dont really wanna be skunked or stranded lol.

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(Login normhead)
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Re: Need some mccaskill advice

March 24 2011, 9:52 AM 

Just a brief answer since I haven't been to Mckaskill, but you can also get into McKaskill through Shirley and Ryan from drop point 17. I've been to Shrew coming in from Shirley but didn't fish.

The local outfitter would be Algonquin Bound (http://www.algonquinbound.com/Services.html ) they might be a better source of informatin than me on this. I know they will deliver a canoe to the Access Point 17 and would guess they'd take one to 18 if you were determined to start from there. They also do shuttles, I've seen carts for sale there, not sure if they rent them. I'm guessing trying to go in on those low maintenace trails might be a bit of an advnture.


(Login GregTheFisherman)

Re: Need some mccaskill advice

March 24 2011, 10:17 AM 

thanks norm, all the help i can get is greatly appreciated

Rory MacKay
(Login algonquinarchaeologist)
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on logging road

March 24 2011, 10:26 AM 

The cart trail to McKaskill is along the logging road, heading south from the Bonnechere River at a gate and a bridge. Access to the gate is along the road which is an extension of Turner's Road and the road past Basin Depot. I believe the portage is in excess of 5 kilometres. It is hilly and winding and gravelly. I would think it would be a long dry walk, but people going in to the cabin do it all the time.

I have paddled some of the river above the hydroline, but not all the way to McKaskill Lake. The river there is fairly narrow in places. When I went through about 1980, coming down from Redpole Lake while doing historical site research, there were no portages where portages were much needed. That may still apply, as that section of the river, down to Basin Depot is, I believe, no longer considered a canoe route. It might be tough going.

I don't think there is a local outfitter at Round Lake. There is one on the road in to Achray, I believe, and the one mentioned at Madawaska.

Rory MacKay
author of Algonquin, and Spirits of the Little Bonnechere

(Login EGB)
AA Forum Group

Re: Need some mccaskill advice

March 24 2011, 10:41 AM 

I did the cart trail about 10 years ago. They say its 8kms, it's more like 10kms and feels like 20. I would definitely fish for specs in Shrew.


(Login MarkScarlett)
AA Forum Group

Re: Need some mccaskill advice

March 24 2011, 10:47 AM 


My brother and I have travelled the Bonnechere from McKaskill to Turner's Camp and we had a blast doing it. However, I would not advise trying to travel up it, unless you are a glutton for punishment and have several days to burn in the process. As Rory notes, there are no portages, so you will do a lot of bushwacking around falls and rapids (although you might be able to walk some of them).

This link will take you to photos from that trip in May 1991. The first five shots were on the river above the hydro line.


Mark S.

http://www.ABRweb.ca .. Algonquin Backcountry Recreationalists - Caring for Algonquin's Backcountry


(Login algonquinarchaeologist)
AA Forum Group

historical distance

March 24 2011, 11:09 AM 

I believe that the distance is indeed 8 km. That used to be five miles, which is why I mis-spoke. Now five miles from my younger days seems much longer, with or without a cart.

Rory MacKay
(Removal or disturbance of cultural heritage features or artifacts is strictly against the Parks Act and the Heritage Act.
Information regarding historic sites or artifacts discovered should be reported to the Park Superintendent. Archaeology in the Park can only be done under license and with permission.)


(Login Mudd66)

Have been twice

March 27 2011, 7:30 PM 

Hi Greg. I carted into McKaskill in spring of 2008 and 2009. The trail is a logging road and then hydro road. We figured in really it was 12km. Wear running shoes not hiking shoes - as road is in great shape and your feet wont get as sore. I sounds like a long hike but when you cart with 2 guys you can be to the lake in 2.5 hours - 3 if you break a lot. There are a few hills but no killers. It is an "adventure" and as long as you treat it like that you'll have fun.

The lake itself is a beaut! The first year we had great success with specs but the second year was not great at all - but a high pressure front rolled through so that could have been the problem. Others claim it it fished by natives in the winter (they come in the hydro road - illegally) and that is why the fishing isn't as good as it use to be. We had no luck with Lakers which are also supposed to be in there.

Fish with spinners casting into shore or trolling close o shore - there is fallen trees around the shoreline of the entire lake and that's where they hide.

A few other buddies stayed at the cabin in 2009 but they said it was not that good at all - pretty "rustic".

Anyway have fun - even if you don't catch much its an adventure and a great lake. I often portage to many lakes but a buddy wanted to go here because his dad always used to go. It was fun making our own cart and trying something new!

Tight lines!

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