Refreshing Lake Cinconcine

Photo: Cox Family

Bill Cox holding his trophy catch

We were literally transported from the sweltering Sainte-Foy heat last Friday to beautiful Lake Cinconcine in the mountains of the Mauricie region.

Second oldest son Dennis invited my wife and me, our daughter Gail and our third son Andrew to his fishing camp at a private club on the lake.

Andrew picked us up in his AWD and we drove Route 40 to Ste. Anne-de-La-Pérade, Route 159 to St. Roch de Mékanék, Route 155 to the Rat River. Here we picked up Gail, who had driven there from Roberval, for the 45-minute drive on a dusty dirt road to the camp through lush green forest.


Bill’s sons Dennis, left and Andrew right.

We were greeted at the lakeside by the white colored camps, the hot sun, but with a comforting breeze, and a smiling Dennis with my daughter-in-law Michelle. It was Andrew's first visit to the lake and he was asking his brother question after question about the place. He was evidently very impressed.

After a hearty meal we sat around a camp fire and listened to the descriptions and the lore of the lake until late evening. It was not difficult to find sleep afterwards.

Lake Cinconcine was relatively unknown until recently when the media mentioned the water bombers taking on water from the lake to extinguish the raging forest fires.

The next morning my sons and I went out onto the lake to fish for trout. At the northern end of Lake Cinconcine, Dennis expertly entered the narrow pass to beautiful Lake Franquets of unsurpassed beauty. We fished a little here but they weren't biting, probably due to the heat wave also affecting this area of the province, so we mostly admired the scenery before returning to Lake Cinconcine.

We did some trolling in the deep waters of the lake and guess who caught a good-sized lake trout? It was the only one caught that morning.

The wind created by the speeding boat on our way back to camp was very refreshing from the noon-sun's rays on our backs.

The three women were preparing a sumptuous picnic lunch for our visit to the beautiful beach on the north shore of the lake. Claude Champagne, a friend of Dennis, would join us with his boat to cross the lake to the picnic site.

A mile of sandy beach with clear, cool water awaited us. Minutes after we pulled the boats up onto the beach we were swimming in some of the most refreshing water I have ever seen before. Our swimming was interspersed with a game of horseshoes, refreshments and partaking in the spread of picnic goodies.

Our return to camp at the end of the afternoon aboard the boats was refreshing and exhilarating as we bumped over the waves produced by each of the boats criss-crossing as we headed south.

We had a Happy Hour at camp with stories and laughter by the shade-seeking guests before dinner. After our meal, prepared by Dennis the chef, we went back outside and sat around the camp fire again. Other members of the club who knew Dennis well came to join the gathering in the cool evening mountain air.

We have only the cool memory of the weekend to sooth us from the sweltering heat we found upon our return to Sainte-Foy. Don't dismay, Christmas is only five months away.