Guides' Report                                       2002

Periodic observations by outfitters and camps during the canoeing season

 

GUIDES' REPORT INDEX

 

 2002    2001

September 5    Alex Mathias

Last night all the campsites on Obabika Lake were filled. It was like July around here. 

Water levels are still up over previous summers at this time.

I have to say I've seen more groups from southern outfitters this season, than from local outfitters. I haven't seen this before.

There are more cormorants this year than last. You can tell the cormorants because they fly in a line low over the water.

Report by Alex Mathias on Obabika Lake

August 31    Temagami Outfitting

Wawiagama River water level is very low now. Almost a mud-drag competition. 

Other water is now getting to normal late August levels, so small creeks and streams that are normally paddled have become sloppy portages. Plan ahead and take topos!

Report by Ted Krofchak of Temagami Outfitting

August  16    Camp Keewaydin

We've seen a big expansion of ATVs in the Chiniguchi area. The Josephine portage has become an ATV road and we saw a couple of ATVs actually ford the Sturgeon River above Upper Goose Falls. 

There has been plenty of water in the Sturgeon River, enough to run almost everything.

The Wolf Lake area was so busy, particularly with the road open, that one section had to wait an hour to portage into Dewdney Lake. This was unheard of in the past. We've also seen lots of motorboats on Matagamasi Lake.

The water on the Wanapitei River was high enough around the beginning of August that everything could be run. One trip down the river saw no one, from Meteor Lake to Lake Wanapitei.

There were no bear run-ins this season. Probably because there has been a great blueberry crop, with plenty still out there.

The camp cleaned up ten campsites on northern Lake Temagami. Generally, campsites were found, throughout the season, to be in good order over previous summers. This could be attributable to less canoe traffic earlier in the summer, more public awareness and our sense that people are getting off the more popular routes. It appears Ottertooth has played a big role.

Report by Dave Bourdelais

Camp Keewaydin is a canoe camp on Lake Temagami

August  15    Camp Wabun

Our season is now over and the campers have left for home. 

There are ATVs are Upper Goose Falls, Wolf Lake, and Halleck Lake in the Chiniguchi area. They were actually camping, not just passing through on the old logging roads.

McConnell Bay on Chiniguchi Lake and Matagamasi Lake were crowded, partly because the Wolf Lake road is open. 

Mosquitoes are still out.

We saw no dirty campsites this summer. Each section at Wabun cleaned up a campsite and posted it.

Report by Dave Thompson

Camp Wabun is a canoe camp on Lake Temagami

August 6    Temagami Outfitting

Today is cool and sunny. There is very little crowding this summer. We are directing people to less-used routes, so these are getting more traffic and the popular routes are getting less. Our customers are coming back telling us they are seeing less crowding on the popular routes.

The Obabika River between Obabika Lake and Wawiagama River used to be a six-hour, single-day trip. There are now in excess of 12 liftovers of deadfalls and floaters, making it a 12-hour trip. Obviously you can't make it in a day, but you can camp at the falls at Nasmith Creek. Still a great trip, just a little longer.

Report by Ted Krofchak of Temagami Outfitting 

August 6    Temagami Canoe Company

We went through the lakes between Sharp Rock and Bob Lake, sometimes called the Canton Lakes. Saw nobody. It was refreshing. The portages are quite passable, but there are some blowdowns. 

On the portages in and out of Stiles Lake we saw cat tracks, five inches long, probably a large lynx. 

There were a couple of canoe parties on Bob Lake who were traveling via Chee-skon-abikong Lake. A helicopter came through, flew around, and landed on the proposed route of the logging road. Disturbing.

Report by John Kilbridge of Temagami Canoe Company

July 19    Alex Mathias

There are more cormorants this year on the lake (they arrived five or six years ago) and the bald eagles fly by once in awhile. We'll see more of them later in the season. The blackflies are gone and the mosquitoes continue to dwindle. 

We have noticed canoe traffic has been down this year.

Mary Carol and I are getting many more visitors this year, all canoeists. We had 200 by July 1 when we lost count. They are hearing about us on Ottertooth. 

Report by Alex Mathias on Obabika Lake

July 16    Camp Wanapitei

There have been several bears spotted along the Red Squirrel Road, on Red Squirrel Lake, and on the trail to the beach from the road at Sandy Inlet. There have been no problems, just sightings. 

Report by Robin Mitz of Camp Wanapitei

July 12    Temagami Outfitting

Water levels on the Lady Evelyn River continue to impress all of us. Late spring levels are still flowing.

Bugs have peaked and now some hot dry weather should take care of the majority. 

Crowds are still non existent!

Report by Ted Krofchak of Temagami Outfitting 

July 3    Camp Wanapitei

We just had an adult trip come back from the Temagami River. The water is so high and very, very powerful that we are urging caution in running it.

We had rain today and yes, it is hot. 

Report by Robin Mitz of Camp Wanapitei

June 25    Temagami Outfitting

The Red Squirrel Road is still reported to be in very rough shape, especially after the Red Squirrel Lake access point, though passable.

We had customers, an elderly couple, who camped at the Red Squirrel Lake access point and were visited by a bear at 2 a.m. on Saturday night. The bear overturned their canoe and climbed on the hood of their car and left a few scratches. It didn't seem overly aggressive, but has definitely gotten used to people and their garbage at that spot. 

Report by Ted Krofchak of Temagami Outfitting 

June 24    Temagami Outfitting

The blackflies and mosquitoes are out so be prepared, though they are past their peak. Temperatures have leapt into the high 20s (C) this past week.

Customers are expressing concern over the crowds, but there have been none so far. There should be no concerns over crowds until the middle of July, except possibly on Lake Temagami.

Report by Ted Krofchak of Temagami Outfitting 

June 8    Temagami Outfitting & Eskakwa Wilderness Adventures

The old portage route between Obabika and Obabika Inlet (Lake Temagami) is now open (380- and 70-metre portages as opposed to the well-known 940 metre) a good choice for those approaching from Wawiagama and Obabika south.

Report by Hap Wilson of Eskakwa Wilderness Adventures and Ted Krofchak of Temagami Outfitting 

June 7    Eskakwa Wilderness Adventures

Solace/Pilgrim Route: new route

This route is definitely an early season option to the Yorston run (downstream).  Ted Krofchak and I just cleared it for easier portaging and wading through shallow rapids.  There are many technical CI's and some CII's to contend with. 

Excellent wildlife viewing (we saw four moose and one heron rookery) and beautiful scenics, including a magnificent mini-canyon and eight-metre falls, with ample places to camp between Solace Lake and the Sturgeon River.  

Recommended for intermediate to advanced paddlers (longest carry is only 200 metres, but there are several shallow rapids that will require wading as the water levels drop).  The Sturgeon has suffered much bank undercutting from a heavy spring meltwater so you can expect a lot of sweepers below Upper Goose Falls. There is only one, minor log jam on the lower Obabika, 75 metres below the Wawiagama "river" entrance [see June 6 photo].  

The Pilgrim River will be added to my book update and it needs to be added to the Solace Waterway Park System. Thanks Ted from Temagami Outfitting Co. for your help (and the Epsom-salt bath and scotch when we got out!)

Report by Hap Wilson 

Eskakwa Wilderness Adventures is an expedition leader on the Lady Evelyn River  

June 6    Temagami Outfitting

Just came off a three-day trip down Pilgrim Creek and the Sturgeon, and up the Obabika. Not one canoe or boat in sight until Lake Temagami.

On the Obabika River,  just before Wawiagama River we came across a minor lift-over.

Obabika River and Wawiagama River water levels were excellent. Wawiagama was passable with considerable deadfalls making it a very interesting paddle. Having a small bush saw would be an asset as season progresses. South Wawiagama campsite in good shape.

Report by Ted Krofchak 

Temagami Outfitting is an outfitter in the village of Temagami   

Obabika River jam

Photo: Obabika River jam

Click for enlargement

June 1    Temagami Outfitting

Water levels are still on the high side and temperatures are definitely on the rise. 

With the new temps come some of our friends, the blackflies. Hopefully after a little blueberry pollination they will move on. So far bugs are not any worse than any other year.

We had a Katimavik crew come and help us clean up campsites and portages on the Operation Cleanup Weekend.

Report by Ted Krofchak 

Temagami Outfitting is an outfitter in the village of Temagami   

May 19    Smoothwater Outfitters

We've had some snow flurries and it's been cold and wet all week. No leaves in sight. It appears the trees are in stasis. 

But the good thing is there are no bugs at all.

Report by Francis Boyes 

Smoothwater Outfitters  is located north of the town of Temagami on Highway 11 

 

 

May 11    Temagami Outfitting

Hail, rain and good water levels.

Had a number of trips hanging out at the espresso bar waiting for weather to clear, and we are not officially open yet! A group came back after trying to get to Gamble Lake. Gamble Lake Road is washed out completely at Gooseneck Lake. Apparently, a culvert has been flushed out on both sides, making crossing impossible even for a Toyota 4x4. 

I am listening to hail tap on our southern windows, I think it says welcome to May in Temagami....

Report by Ted Krofchak 

Temagami Outfitting is an outfitter in the village of Temagami   

May 10    Smoothwater Outfitters

We've had four trips go out already, with more to go shortly. Our clients haven't seen any other canoeists.

Red Squirrel Road is rough with wash-overs, but is passable with care. A bad washout is found just after Red Squirrel Lake, making Ferguson Bay accessible only with a 4x4.

Weather has been mostly cool, windy and rainy. As I write this, it has just begun to snow heavily despite a strong south wind - lovely.... 

Report by Francis Boyes 

Smoothwater Outfitters  is located north of the town of Temagami on Highway 11 

 

GUIDES' REPORT INDEX

 

 2002    2001

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