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 Post subject: Finlay river
PostPosted: January 10th, 2008, 3:47 pm 
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Joined: May 7th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 137
Location: Thunder Bay
Hey all...looking for any info you have on paddling the Finlay River from its headwaters down to Williston Lake.
It is a remote, wild and rough river...big canyons, waterfalls etc....long portages no doubt will be abundant but that is not an issue having done portages in the past that were a little on the long side...Methye Portage for one...51 km portage from Kemano to Tahtsa Lake for another.

if it comes together, the Finlay may be part of my next expedition. Down the Finlay to Williston. On to Hudsons Hope...down the Peace river...the Slave River and then the Maxckenzie.

Alternate launch location is Summit Lake north of Prince George and down the Crooked river and the Pack which I did in 2004.

Any help appreciated!

cheers...Joe O'

 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 13th, 2008, 1:55 am 

Joined: October 2nd, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1155
Location: seattle, Washington USA
Hi Joe,

Samuel Black's journals may be of some help. As well, Patterson went up the Finlay before the dam went in. Hank Hays in Portland has done some research on it, and we've talked about it, but never done it. Laurel Archer has not done it, but she did the Omineca a few years back and can tell you about the area.

Several things you ought to know. The best part of the Finlay in now under water. The part that remains has several long portages, one around a sizable canyon, akin to the Turnagain, or so. There is a lot of logging activity in the area, so I don't know if you end up seeing clearcuts. However, up the Finlay, is the Firesteel. It flows through the eastern part of the Spatsizi and is supposed to be spectacular. I've seen photos and it does look beautiful. The Firesteel is also reputed to have some heavy water, perhaps in the 4 or 5 range.

Send me a private email and I can give you Hank's contact.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 13th, 2008, 8:57 am 

Joined: February 8th, 2006, 5:17 pm
Posts: 211
I'm not personally familiar with the Finlay River but many years ago I read Black's Journal. It is an excellent read. Here are the details

It is a 1955 publication of the Hudson's Bay Record Society , volume XVIII, printed in London

It has a superb and lengthy (about 85 pages) introduction by R. M. Patterson. The full title of the HBRS volume is ---

"A Journal of a Voyage from Rocky Mountain Portage in Peace River to the Sources of Finlay Branch and North Wetst Ward in Summer 1824"
by Samuel Black. (edited by E.E. Rich)

You may be able to find a copy in the antiquarian book trade or a in library. I believe most copies of the original publication were by subscription to members (and libraries).

 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 18th, 2008, 1:21 pm 

Joined: August 20th, 2007, 10:46 pm
Posts: 78
Location: Smithers
Some friends paddled it this last summer in kayaks, including a first decent of an upper tributary river (I think the Firesteel). Sounded really fun but involved a fair bit of read and run whitewater including one giant unrunable rapid that was not mentioned in the historical material and surprised them last minute. :o

Everyone was based out of Smithers. Send me a private message and I will pass on a phone number.



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