Today, Kenauk Nature's 16 five-star chalets, most situated on their own private lakes, offer anglers a veritable smorgasbord of stillwater angling options, from trolling for pike to dry fly fishing for brookies. Whatever your fancy, the property's guide staff, headed by John Huff, will ensure your stay and angling experience will be one to cherish. And while the secluded setting and privacy is undoubtedly one of the main draws, it's hardly the only draw: the property also hosts a sporting clays course, off-road driving with the Land Rover Experience Driving School, guided nature walks and canoeing – including the chance for moose and bear sightings, and nearby is a Stanley Thompson designed golf course.
Wake up to the sound of loons out on the water. Take the nip out of the air with a crackling fire in the fireplace. Brew a cup of strong coffee. Walk out to the dock in the early morning mist, and cast a No. 18 Parachute Adams to rising 'bows. There is no single definition of heaven, but surely this is one.
From ice-out in late April to mid November.
Quebec fishing licenses are sold at the entrance gate to Fairmont Kenauk and all chalets have bed linens, towels, well equipped kitchens and barbeques, boats, canoes and kayaks.
Lakes and streams on a private property of 65,000 acres located on the edge of the Laurentian Mountains, half way between Ottawa and Montreal.
Spring temperatures average 45-65 F with occasional rainfall. Summer is warmer (70 to 80 F) and drier. Fall is very colorful as the leaves change and temperatures cool to spring time averages and rainfall increases. Light snowfalls normally begin in mid November with lakes freezing in early December. Ice out occurs in mid to late April, which marks the beginning of the trout fishing season.
A typical group of 2-4 fishermen enjoy 3-5 nights in a 5-star chalet located on its own private rainbow trout lake. During their stay they will visit a nearby brook trout lake that is reserved exclusively for their group for the day and perhaps fish a bass lake as well. Some groups will also shoot a round of sporting clays or play 18 holes in the nearby Stanley Thompson designed golf course.
A sporting clays course, canoeing, kayaking, 25 miles of hiking trails, 60 miles of gravel roads for mountain biking and Land Rover North America operates a Driving School on site.
Located at our sister property, Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello, is an 18 hole Stanley Thompson designed golf course, indoor and outdoor tennis, swimming pools, spa, horseback riding and quad rental center. An animal park, Park Omega, is also located 4 miles from Kenauk Nature.
Located within Kenauk Nature are 16 Chalets, 7 of which are located on their own private lake, ranging in size from 1-7 bedrooms and accommodating 2-20 people. Most groups in chalets prepare their own meals in the well-equipped kitchens. Having prepared catered meals delivered to your chalet or a private chef from Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello cook supper are also options. Guests who prefer it may also drive to Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello, a resort hotel located 6 miles away, for excellent dining.
The rainbow, brook and lake trout season begins at ice-out in the third or fourth week of April. Rainbow and brook trout ends in mid November at the end of the deer hunting season. The lake trout season ends in mid September.
Pike season starts in mid May and ends in mid November.
Bass season begins in mid June (smallmouth and largemouth) and ends in mid November.
Food, clothing and fishing gear (unless you prefer to rent gear).
Q. How large is the property?
A. Kenauk Nature is 65,000 acres with one gated access. It contains about 60 lakes, of which 25 are accessible for fishing.
Q. How remote are the chalets?
A. The 16 chalets vary from 5 to 12 miles from the entrance gate and all are very secluded. Seven chalets are located on their own private lakes, 2 are located along rivers and 7 are either on Papineau Lake, the largest lake on the property (with 3600 acres of water) or Mills Lake.
Q. Is there electricity and telephones at the chalets?
A. All of the chalets are located off the electrical grid. Power for the well pumps and refrigerators is supplied by solar panels. The cooking, heating and lighting is powered by propane. There are no telephones or televisions at the chalets.
Q. Do cell phones work here?
A. Most guests use a retreat at Kenauk Nature as an opportunity to detach from the office. In fact, many guests comment that they hope there will never be cell phone coverage in the area. However, cell towers continue to be built and there is now very limited cell phone coverage at some of the lakes and chalets near the outer boundaries of the property and at some of the higher elevations.
Q. What happens if there is an emergency?
A. This is a very large property, with very limited cell phone coverage. In an emergency, there are telephones at the marina on the largest lake, at the picnic site in the center of the property and at the entrance gate to Kenauk Nature. There is a private radio network on the property, with radios in each chalet. Frequently the best option is to drive out to the entrance gate. There are several medical clinics and hospitals within a 1 hour drive and reliable ambulance services in the area.
Q. What is the best time to go?
A. The end of April and early May, right after ice out, can be a great time for brook trout and rainbows as they are hungry after the winter and eager to feed. The lake trout are also in the shallows and feeding near the surface in early spring. As the water warms through May and June the trout fishing remains good with a wide variety of hatches occurring. By the end of June the trout retreat to deeper waters and it is time to switch to sinking lines and bead head flies, or begin targeting bass. Early September brings cooler nights and from mid-September to mid-October the trout are back on the surface, the leaves are spectacular and the temperatures ideal for fishing. For many guests, this is the best time of the year.
Q. Can we keep fish?
A. Several lakes and all the streams and rivers are managed with a catch and release policy. For trout, Surprise (brooks) and Twins (rainbows) are fly only, catch and release lakes. Maholey, Whitefish and Fabre lakes have been managed as “catch and release” lakes for decades, and all contain large populations of bass. Keeping some fish for supper is permitted at the remaining lakes, including the lakes with chalets.
Q. Are there a lot of biting flies?
A. From May 10-25 is the black fly season – it is earlier and shorter than many locations in Quebec due to the southern latitude and relatively low altitude (500 feet above sea level) of Kenauk Nature. Although there are some mosquitoes on summer evenings, these are not a significant issue – more so are the deer flies that can be aggressive some days in July in areas away from the water. The winters are cold so ticks are not a problem.
Q. Will my children have fun?
A. Due to its size and long history as a wilderness retreat, Kenauk Nature has all the feel of a remote location but it is actually easy to access from either the Ottawa or Montreal airports less than 1 ½ hours away. Combining this easy access with comfortable chalets and a wide variety of activities makes Kenauk Nature an ideal location to take young children or grandchildren on a fishing trip. In fact, the property has been a fishing destination since 1930 and many elderly guests bring their grandchildren to the same chalets that their grandfathers first brought them fishing many decades ago.