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PostPosted: August 24th, 2009, 1:54 am 
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Hi folks,
I'm fishing for a few ideas for an upcoming trip, my annual "guys trip" which we do every September Long Weekend. We are a group of 4 guys with moderate whitewater experience. We don't travel light (big understatement) so frequent or long portages are not ideal for this group. We tend to base-camp rather than pack up and move each day. Fish is great, as is whitewater to play in. We have a total of 4 days plus an evening. We will leave the city (Saskatoon) after work and hope to be paddling the next morning from which time we have 4 full days (returning home on the 4th day). Our typical trip is to paddle up to Corner Rapids or Barker Lake on the Churchill River and camp there for 3-4 nights, fishing and playing in the area. Other trips we've done have been up to Hayman Lake, Robertson & Twin Falls (once from Missinipe, once from Stanley), and Nistowiak Falls.

I have an idea to do something a bit different this year. If the Montreal is still running good, we'll incorporate that into the start of our trip. Thursday night we'd drive to the bridge over the Montreal on highway 2 and camp in the vicinity. Then, on Friday morning we'll run the stretch of river to the highway 165 bridge (figure 4-5 hours with a lunch break). After we do our shuttle, we continue north to a destination for the rest of our weekend and back home on Monday. It's where to go after a run on the Montreal (if it's still high enough) that I'm not sure of.

Of course, we can go back to Barker Lake, Corner Rapids, or Hayman Lake, but we've been there, done that. Other thoughts that have crossed my mind would be to:
  • (1) Head in on the East side of the #2 highway from Lynx Lake, picking out a route in there that is much less arduous than the 19 portage Lynx Lake Route. (I've done that one, and won't be jumping at the bit to repeat it.)
  • (2) Another idea would be to park at MacKay Lake, a little farther down the road, and paddle in to Barttlett Lake and see what we can find for fish.
  • (3) Third, we could head up to McLennan Lake and do a trip through the lakes there (route #31)
  • (4) Head further down road #165 past the Montreal River bridge towards something in the Besnard Lake area. Not sure what is there that is suitable for the canoeist.

So any suggestions? Anybody know where some good canoe-fishing destinations in the area might be?

Thanks in advance,
Bryan

Edited to correct typos.

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PostPosted: August 24th, 2009, 12:08 pm 
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Hi Pawistik –

First I will admit I know nothing about fishing.

When I was in Missinipe last year, Ric Driedeger mentioned to me that it was possible to access the Painter Creek system, starting just across the road from the Dickens Lake Recreation Area. The route goes through Esmay and Benjamin Lakes and then down Painter Creek, draining into the north side of Hayman Lake.

I haven’t been through there myself, but it might be a way to add something new to your trip – I don’t think it would be more than 20 km down to Hayman, so it should fit in your schedule. With high water this year, small streams shouldn’t be a big concern even in September. You should of course check with Ric for more detailed access and route information if this piques your interest.

Route #31 is fairly well used and well “cottaged” – I think there are a number of possible loops on that side of the road that would be a little more “remote” and meet your schedule, although they may not meet your portaging criteria. Send me a PM if you want to discuss possibilities.

Certainly there are a couple of ways to access the Churchill from Besnard, but given the time you have I think you would be limited to a fairly quick “in and out” trip in that area.

Regards,

jmc


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PostPosted: August 24th, 2009, 12:15 pm 
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Thanks jmc. I've been through the McLennan area (the aforementioned route 31), but I'm the only one of the four. It's a nice area, should offer some fish, and is not overly arduous. The reason we haven't gone there before is the extra 45 minutes of driving, plus the lack of whitewater. If we get our moving-water fun in on the Montreal, then a more flatwater oriented trip will make for some nice balance perhaps.

I've wondered about Painter Creek before on the maps. I'll have another look at that option.

Cheers,
Bryan

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PostPosted: August 26th, 2009, 8:03 pm 
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Guess you've already been to see Nistowiak Falls.

Sorry if you've already done this one, but how about a near-loop trip fom MacKay Lake, up to Nipew Lake and down to Missinipe?
You could check out the passage to Clark Falls on the way.
It looks like a hair-shirter by my standards, which are very low.

The MacKay-Nipew part, in reverse, is described here
Route description: ... , Nipew Lake, portage to Kavanagh Lake (rather than paddle south through Holman Lake), Bassett Lake, Thornton Lake, Upton Bay, MacKay Lake, Heyer Bay, MacKay Lake Provincial Recreation Site and Hwy 102.
http://www.tpcs.gov.sk.ca/canoe37
http://www.tpcs.gov.sk.ca/canoe37locatormap
http://www.tpcs.gov.sk.ca/canoe37areamap

and in the other direction here (thanks to ice-breaker!)
http://www.longsworld.net/CanoeTrips/McKay99/index.html

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PostPosted: August 27th, 2009, 1:34 am 
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Allan Jacobs wrote:
Sorry if you've already done this one, but how about a near-loop trip fom MacKay Lake, up to Nipew Lake and down to Missinipe?
You could check out the passage to Clark Falls on the way.
It looks like a hair-shirter by my standards, which are very low.


I haven't a clue what a "hair-shirter" is, but that route has been considered by me and ruled out based on a 2 km portage. No way I'm taking this group over a 2 km portage.

Had a "meeting" over a couple of beer with the other three fellows tonight and while looking at maps we discussed all of these options and more. In the end, we decided to head north and see if the Montreal is still running high enough and run that on Friday, then Friday afternoon/evening continue north to Missinipe and paddle east on Otter Lake to Robertson Falls, Twin Falls &/or North Falls. Doubt if we'd cover the whole distance on Friday evening, but we should be able to get a couple km under our belt, weather depending, before we make camp and finish the short trek Saturday. That gives us Saturday & Sunday to explore the area (the aforementioned falls, another couple of channels, Rattler Creek & Rattler Bay, etc.) and play at the base of Robertson Falls before we paddle back to Missinipe on Monday & drive home.

That's the loose idea anyway.

Cheers,
Bryan

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