"Phil's Hole" is the first hole on the Ottawa River at the top of McCoys. At high
water, the hole is not present, only a large surf wave. At lower water levels, a large
hole is formed with a tongue a little left of centre. You need a lot of skill and a lot of
luck to play on the right side of the tongue at low water levels.
There are two overlapping holes at the top of
McCoys, Sattler's on the river left and Phil's on river right. There are three common
approaches to navigating this hole. First, is to pull into the first eddy above Phil's on
river right, then "thread the needle" across behind Sattler's. Second, pull into
the eddy just above Phil's on river right and do the "hairy (?) ferry" across
the top of Phil's and peel off the end. Third, WALK. . . Everyone who has paddled the
Ottawa has heard stories of paddlers who have been really trashed in Phil's at low water.
And they're all probably true.