Cochrane Air Services
Cochrane Air Services
Cochrane, Ontario, Canada
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Cochrane Air Services
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

10 reviews
Very good

Bill C
Renfrew, Canada7 contributions
Sep. 2020
Due to Covid our June trip was postponed until September. Members included my Dad (80) my son (12) and me (47). Communication was fair, at best, as we had a date mix up but, in the end, we sorted it out. I blame Covid on this as I am sure this year was extremely confusing for all the staff involved. I chose this outfitter as my dad did a trip a number of years back with the same company and he enjoyed himself with excellent fishing, fantastic staff and zero complaints with accommodations. Our flight in / out was uneventful as was our stay at the cabin and fishing was decent for the fall (June would be better). The motors looked a little beat up but they ran like tops. I am not one who wants to be taken by the hand and /or pampered on my trips throughout the year. I spend many nights in a tent so a cabin in the woods to me is not roughing it. I do have certain expectations, though, when I spend a fairly large sum of money ($2500). For example, I expect the door to the cabin will close but it didn't, I expect the fridge will keep my food cold but, again, it didn't and BTW I do have knowledge of propane appliances, I expect the boats to hold out the lake water for the most part and not have rotten, or completely missing, transoms but they didn't and I expect that the operators will not dump fuel into the lakes and/or surrounding environment. The fuel barrel at Echo Lake is located approximately 10' from the shore. Signs of ongoing fuel spills are visible and upon our return to shore for lunch in our leaking boats to our cabin with the door that wouldn't close along with the fridge that doesn't work I witnessed fuel pouring out of the vent cap of the barrel running into the lake. I know I don't have to explain what happened here but I will. The fuel barrel was "topped off" upon our arrival and, as the temperature rose, the fuel expanded beyond the barrels capacity and poured onto the ground and into the lake. I did remedy this situation in our case, but I am curious as to how many times this has happened over the years. My overall opinion of this outfitter is, "meh", at best. Unless this outfitter starts to perform necessary maintenance inside and outside of cabins along with repairs / replacement of boats etc my money will be going elsewhere when I plan my next fishing trip. See pictures
Written December 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rod Abel
Guelph, Canada6 contributions
Aug. 2020 • Family
Our third annual (now multi generational) fishing trip couldn’t have been better! With only a very slight delay due to cloud cover getting out, we were on the lake by lunch time. Ranging from Age 33 to 83 we had an absolute blast! The fishing was amazing!!! Monster walleye and pike. Breathtaking views including unbelievable stars at night capped off another fantastic week!!! Be sure to plan well. Good drinking water, meal prep and organization are the keys to success. I would recommend this adventure to any outdoor and or fishing lover. Favourite meal, pickerel Fish tacos with coleslaw and Saracha mayo! ***** trip this year!!! Just keeps getting better!
Written September 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

3 contributions
Aug. 2019
Our group has been flying out of Cochrane since the early 1980s, many years before the current outfitter took over. We were going there when there were no propane lights or barbecues. Back then if you wanted to barbecue a steak, you started a fire and brought up your own grill. The fishing has always been, and to this day unbelievable. We’ve fished Lake Nettogami Island and Peninsula, Edgar Lake, Yesterday lake, Bounce Lake, Brailey, Mikwam etc.
We noticed a big change in the operation when the ownership changed hands to the current owners. The personal touch was gone. It is now strictly business. On our last two trips, motors were not working properly to the point where we ended up with 3 people per boat. Last year we decided that after more than 35 years it was time to change venues. And it was the best move we ever made. We found a fly-in outfitter in the Chapleau area that put Cochrane Air Services to shame. We had hot and cold running water, indoor shower and toilet, potable drinking water, fish cleaning hut with hydro and running water. Wide screen satellite TV. Compared to Cochrane Air, this is a luxury resort. Cochrane Air has forgotten that Customer service and satisfaction are the key to a success business. At this rate they should be out of business within the next 10 years.
Written July 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

1 contribution
Sep. 2019
First off I need to say the staff at Cochrane Air Services are great- John the pilot and Cory the manager are pleasant and easy going. However the rest of my trip wasn’t as pleasant…

I will start off by saying, for many years previously, I go on a weeklong camping trip in the fall, sometimes solo, sometimes with friends. I usually go relatively far north to Lake Superior Provincial Park, Nagagamisis Provincial Park and Thunder Bay areas etc. but this year I decided to "treat" myself to an outpost cabin, which I booked with Cochrane Air Services.

The outpost location at Twopeak was truly beautiful, serene and really isolated, which is exactly what I was looking for, however there were many deficiencies. Some of which in my opinion, were life threatening:

• Propane leak in the cabin - There was a noticeable smell of propane in the cabin- which I initially believed was normal to have some residual propane smell as the fridge, stove and lights were all propane powered. I opened some windows, which stayed open the entire week, but it did not seem to help. After a couple of days I developed significant nausea, rapid heartbeat (so strong my heart was literally moving my entire body as it was beating with each beat), my cuticles of my fingers and thumbs turned deep purple (due to lack of oxygen). By the 3rd and 4th days I found myself having a hard time breathing, nervousness/anxiety, fatigued and confused - especially with the hard heart beating and purple cuticles. At the same time the weather outside was raining most of the time, so I was inside the cabin more than I wanted to be, which only made my symptoms worse (although the mornings after sleeping were definitely the worst!). At the time I did not know what was causing the issues, but when I got home and researched propane poisoning, the symptoms I was experiencing matched up.

• No boat oars or life jacket - When the pilot dropped me off and I saw the boat, I asked him where the oars and life jacket was, and he said there were only paddles and that they forgot to bring the life jacket for me (which Cory confirmed would be provided for me - as I had requested- twice) and was told to use the seat cushions in place of the life jacket. As I was alone, I did not feel safe out on the lake without a life jacket and also oars to get home in the event the engine died or other issues etc. This resulted in me not spending much time fishing and also not traveling very far from the cabin especially on the windy days.

• Mice in the cabin - The cabin had a lot of them. Although I kept all my food in the fridge and my garbage in a sealed barrel they were all over the cabin. Especially at night when sleeping I could hear them scurrying around me and gnawing on various parts of the cabin- all night long, which didn’t make for a good sleep. I know mice are fact of the wilderness and beyond the control to keep them out – but they could’ve put down some poison blocks in the cabin to control the population? I don’t know…

• Leeches in the water - I know they cannot control this and they are a fact in some lakes, but they could’ve mentioned to me that this lake has them - as that would’ve influenced me choosing this location. When I went for a swim I saw them everywhere (I mean everywhere!) and the tiny babies. There were so many I noticed them as they were actually climbing out of the water along the edge of the beach when I went for walks. I had intended to swim most days but did not as much.

• Firewood and Axe - For the money spent, I think it would’ve been nice to have a supply of dry firewood at the cabin prepared as a basic service (especially as it is needed for heating the cabin). The cut wood pile (wet) was about 100 feet in the woods which I had to drag back to the cabin on my tarp and then try to chop with the dull axe. The axe was very very dull, so every other chop the axe would get stuck in the log, which I would then need to pull out without breaking the handle. I ended up using the splitter to get through the rest of the logs.

The main issues for me were really the propane leak and the not having a life jacket or oars for the boat.

The other items I just wanted to mention for those who may be considering choosing to go to Twopeak lake. I should also mention that I didn’t even catch one fish - lol. I had a few bites but apparently all the fish were in “a hole” at the south end of the lake… all the weed beds, drop offs and other areas I spent hours fishing were without any luck. I have spent over 40 years fishing all over the place and couldn’t believe I didn’t catch anything.

When the pilot reached me for flying out on my last day, I mentioned to him the smell of propane in the cabin which he said he would look into repairing the next day – as of today I believe the issues has been resolved – as have been told other groups have since been to Twopeak and back, without issue.

I mentioned my concerns above to Cochrane Air Service’s manager Cory, who finally offered a partial refund which I accepted, but I will not be using Cochrane Air Service ever again due to the above mentioned issues.

I had really been looking forward to this trip and obviously was really disappointed with the results. There are many other outfitters available online and I would personally not recommend Cochrane Air Services, if you are thinking of booking a trip to the north look somewhere else.
Written October 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Petawawa, Canada9 contributions
Jun. 2019 • Friends
This outfitter sucked compared to Leunenbergers out of Nakina ON. Boat engines didn't work had to tow boats, swap out engines fight with trying to start them. No running water or hot water in cabin. Very expensive. Leunenbergers is less money and nicer cabins and amenities. Fishing was great mind you but a poor layout had to portage 8 minutes everyday through muskeg and mosquitoes to get to fish
Written June 30, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Bret A
Honeoye Falls, NY46 contributions
Jul. 2017 • Solo
I have been a 20 year customer with trips to Haultain, Nettogami, Mikwam, Edgar and Snare. A few years ago the management changed hands and there is a significant improvement in their customer service. The experience is just as advertised. Visitors should do their homework as to the best lakes as some are mistaken to think the best lakes are the most expensive,
Written December 21, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Andrew B.
Collingwood, Canada144 contributions
Sep. 2017 • Friends
Flew into Yesterday Lake 87 km north of Cochrane. CAS is owned by Moose Cree First Nation and boast about being "North America's Largest Tourist Outfitter" only because they have bought up over 45 camps after competitors retired but they need to step up their game if they want return customers. Rustic old cabin, hadn't been properly cleaned, that was left up to the prior group of travelers which was not checked by pilots or anyone prior to us coming in which is I suppose is normal for remote northern fly in outpost. Mouse nests & mouse dirt/urine in the cupboards and mattresses was a problem. Kitchen grease on windows and walls was another. No firewood was available so we scavenged driftwood from around the lake. A camp chainsaw would have solved that in a hurry as fallen trees were either rotten or too big for the axe but lots of standing dead trees could have been taken. The cabin was very basic and dirty, room for 12 people but only 6 chairs to sit around dinner table or bonfire. Overgrowth of bush and grass needs attention. There is no lake view unless you are on the dock, due to the overgrowth. This place is in poor shape, needs some work, it looks much better on their website. We had problems with 2 outboards motors that failed which also was never pre-checked. Fishing was average but no trophies caught, we have fished better lakes much closer to home without driving forever then flying 30 minutes further in. Staff were very friendly and I would consider returning but only to a newer cleaner camp on a different lake. Pilots should land, inspect the place then fly out before bringing in new group of guests and report repairs/cleaning etc without leaving that up to the departing group. It's all self-reporting for problems with little time for correction before the next group flys in. We didn't have proper cleaning supplies available to us other than a mop, bucket and dish soap. Bleach, Lysol wipes and multi-purpose cleaner would be beneficial, or drop someone off to clean when the group flys out, to start the cleaning/cutting/clearing process before the next crew arrives. The price was right but I expected more.
Written September 10, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tom m
Whiting, NJ9 contributions
Jun. 2016 • Family
I've used Air Cochrane twice,,,,very reasonable rates,,if your looking for very very rustic for cabins,,this is the place. Old style fishing cabins, they seem to be updating some lakes. Fished Snare lake the first time,,hardly caught any fish,,,but we did catch a 40 incher (pike) withing the first 10 minutes we were there. Fished another lake farther north,,caught lots of walleye,,,pike seemed to be non-exsistant. But very beautiful scenery,,saw northern lights at night, big cabin,,there are 2 on this lake but no one was in the other cabin. Nettagami was the lake I believe.
so if money is your issue, this is a great place,,,you fly in and almost all the lakes have only cabin on the lake.
Written February 28, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Bill R
Port Colborne, Canada232 contributions
Aug. 2016 • Friends
Many years ago, I fished at Cochrane Air's outposts and Kesagami Wilderness Lodge - both out of the Cochrane Air airbase on Lillabelle Lake. This year I asked them to put us into a small, shallow lake with great walleye fishing (and some pike). Several lake choices were considered but we ended up at a small outpost on what is primarily a site used for moose hunting. However, the fishing was great !

The small outpost slept four, but because there were only two of us, we had more than enough room. It was basic, of course, with bunks, propane appliances - fridge/freezer, countertop 3-burner "stove" (no oven), lights, and the iconic outhouse / WC. All very functional.

The walleye fishing produced plenty of fish in the 18 - 22" range, but "eaters" smaller than that were few in number. Not a bad problem ! While many small pike were caught while fishing walleyes, 34" and 40" northerns were caught.

A family of otters used the lake and weren't shy about being nearby and, as one might expect, loons and beaver were commonly seen & heard on the lake.

The dock staff & pilot were professional, friendly & efficient - loading & unloading the plane, checking the camp equipment, boats, motors, weight allowances, ...

We'll be fishing with Cochrane Air again.
Written August 30, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Alan J
North Bay, Canada24 contributions
Sep. 2015 • Family
Server top notch, they put you on the fish, money well spent here, could not have asked for a better time
Written August 6, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.