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5/11/2023 2:17 pm  #1

Ice Out Spring trip to Bonnechere

I was fortunate this year to get into the park shortly after ice out and shortly before the blackflies awoke.  I did a 3 day, 2 night trip to Bonnechere to do some fishing and shot some photography.  

Photos -

Day 1 - Smoke Access to Bonnechere

On the water by 7:45, with calm winds and a light rain.  Was able to make good time to the Smoke/Ragged portage.  Due to all the rain the portage was quite the stream.  The first 50 meters or so were very wet.  There was a tree down over the portage at the Smoke end, but it had been cleared by the time I came out on Saturday.

Ragged was a quick paddle, no wind, rain was letting up a little bit and I didn't see a soul on the lake.  Water levels are very high, so I had no problem navigating right up to the portage.  At the start of the Ragged/Porcupine portage I took my first cast into the riffles at the bottom of the stream.  First cast, first brookie of the trip.   Good luck in my books.  

Big Porcupine was also deserted, I was the only one on the lake.  I paddled around the penninsula to the south end of the lake and across to the Porcupine/Bonnechere portage with not even a ripple on the lake.  The portage is in good shape, with one tree down at the Bonnechere end, lying parallel to the portage and can be navigated around.

It was now 11:45 and I was the only one on Bonnechere.  Took advantage and tracked straight to the peninsula site and set up camp for the weekend.  Rain had mostly let up by this point and it was nice and calm for the remainder of the afternoon.

Day 2 - Bonnechere and a couple of short trips.

Woke up to overcast skies and had a lazy morning having breakfast and gathering some firewood.  There was one other party who were on the lake last night.  

After getting things squared away, I paddled up to Cradle Lake to check it out and cast a few lures.  Got a laker and decided to head back to camp for lunch.  

After lunch, I paddled up the creek to Head Lake.  The creek has a couple of beaver dams and a large tree down over it that you can carry over.  The lake itself is nice.  Not as impressive as Bonnechere or Big Porcupine, but there are some lakers and brookies in there and I caught one of each.

That night the sky cleared beautifully, and after dinner, I set up to take some astro photography.  Unfortunately there was a full moon, so not very good to capture the stars.  I did however get treated to a quick glimpse of the northern lights just to the west.  First time I had seen them in many years and first time in Algonquin.

Day 3 - Bonnechere to Smoke

Another calm morning with not a cloud in the sky.  I was not happy to leave, but it was a great day to travel.  I decided to get going early and take my time heading back to the access, doing some fishing and photography along the way.  This time I took the portage from Lower Porc. to Upper Porc.  With no leaves on the trees, this was a beautiful walk!  Such a pretty portage.  

Saw 3 parties heading in on my way back to the access point and only a few folks camped on any of the lakes.  It was very quiet the whole trip.  

Overall, it was great to get out again.  Discovered some muscles that hadn't been used in a few months, but overall I felt great.  The weather was good, save for a little rain day 1, water levels were high and the portages and sites that I saw were in good shape.  Looking forward to getting out again before long.


Last edited by Guyute (5/11/2023 2:23 pm)


5/11/2023 3:18 pm  #2

Re: Ice Out Spring trip to Bonnechere

Nice! Good trip report. I also think you're a madman for posting your trout lakes on this site and reddit but to each and their own. Would need to torture me like Gollum when he squealed 'SHIRE BAGGINS' to get my honey holes. 


5/11/2023 3:18 pm  #3

Re: Ice Out Spring trip to Bonnechere

Thanks for sharing!  Sounds like a great trip, and always nice when the fish are cooperative!


8/16/2023 2:10 pm  #4

Re: Ice Out Spring trip to Bonnechere

Beautiful pics!

What'd you shoot with and what was your technique for the great astro shot with the star trails? Been trying to get into astrophotography a bit but still struggling.


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