French River Canoe Trip - French River Provincial Park - Loon Island Outdoors

French River Delta

French River Provincial Park

June 13 - 16, 2009

French River Provincial Park - Loon Island Outdoors

Canoe Trip Reports

French River Delta

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Photo Gallery


Day 2 - The Elbow to Dalles Rapids

Upstream from Dalles Rapids on the French RiverWell, we slept in pretty late today. The nice weather last night had kept us up enjoying the campfire until quite late. As it was, by the time we'd had breakfast it was getting on towards afternoon already. Our rough plan for the day had originally been to head down the Main Outlet past Dalles Rapids and out towards Georgian Bay. If we had gotten started in the morning, then we could have made a loop going down the Main Outlet and then coming back up through Bass Lake. Dalles Rapids, French River Provincial Park

By the time we actually got going, doing the loop was sounding a bit too ambitious. However, we still figured we needed to at least do some paddling, so we set out towards Dalles Rapids doing some fishing as we went along. Needless to say, fishing in the early afternoon isn't exactly the most productive time and we didn't catch anything worth mentioning.

It might have taken us an hour to get to the rapids, but that was only because we drifted most of the way. Now up to this point, I had never felt a noticeable current but as we go closer to the rapids you could feel the current starting to take hold. When we actually got to the rapids, I was surprised at how big they were. While I didn't see any obvious obstructions in the rapid, there were some very big standing waves. Now I should note that the water was pretty high when we started this trip and it probably dropped at Portage Sign, French River Provincial Parkleast 6" at our campsite over the 4 days, so this rapid could be a lot tamer by the end of summer but in the middle of June it looked like it was worth portaging. Well, at least it would have been worth portaging the gear even if you wanted to run the boats down afterwards.

The portage itself starts from a bit of a bay on river left and since it is only 180m long there's really no excuse to skip it. The trail was marked with yellow diamond shaped 'canoe head' portage signs and was well worn. Since the portage trail cuts across a point between a couple of bays on the river, it might even be Portage around Dalles Rapidsshorter than the rapids are. The trail itself was pretty well worn and easy to follow.

Continuing with the theme of the laziest day trip ever, we spent some time soaking up the sun and watching the river flow. We gave a bit of thought to portaging the canoe and kayaks across and exploring a bit further but it was already 4pm so we decided not too. On the plus side though, we continued our good luck with wildlife encounters and I got a great picture of a beaver hanging out in the pool below the rapids. Beaver (Castor canadensis), French River Provincial Park

Having reached the limit of our explorations for the day we headed back towards camp. Of course I fished on the way back too but despite the fact that it was getting on towards evening the fish still weren't cooperating. Not to worry, as the saying goes the worst day fishing is still better than the best day in the office.

Walleye (aka Pickerel) on the French RiverAfter supper Mike and I headed back out, with both of us still determined to catch at least one walleye so that we could claim that this was a succesful fishing trip in addition to a great canoe/kayak trip. Around about 9pm I finally managed to hook The Elbow, French River Provincial Parkmy first ever walleye! It wasn't a trophy, in fact it actually came in under the slot limit which was good news since that made it eligible for an evening snack.




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