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Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through January 7, 2011 * Wakimika to Florence < Previous Next >

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Post Number: 7
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Sunday, August 1, 2010 - 11:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hi folks - we're planning a trip for the last week of August. We're considering a loop that includes Wakimika to Florence via Pinetorch and Bluesucker (Ames Creek a no brainer to avoid?). How are this year's low water levels affecting conditions on the creek/river portions of this route? Specifically Nasmith Creek from Dorothy to Chapin; Mudchannel Lk/Yorkston River; unnamed creek from Bluesucker to Florence.
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Post Number: 1
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Monday, August 2, 2010 - 2:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

did this in 94 and florence-wakimika via ames ck in 99.
an all-time classic canoe route;
don't sweat the low water levels.
hope you can afford to take your time- if time is an issue ames ck is much faster & easier but less interesting.
you will be doing one of the most difficult portages in the district (the 1600 from nasmith creek to hap wilson's "unnamed lake #13")- hope it is cleared, bring an axe or a good saw.
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Post Number: 105
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Monday, August 2, 2010 - 8:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

It is a classic route. Going east to west does make that 1,600 a daunting task, but I did it with a 90 lb. Royalex Dumoine...and a lot of muscle cramps. That was four years ago.
Last year, I did it in the other direction and Ames Creek was tough, mud sucking tough. The water was very low last September and water levels were generally up. Having said that, the route through Mud Channel and across to Pine Torch in 2006 suffered from mud sucking conditions, as well. I think the point here prepared to be swearing at the Gods while jamming your paddle into sulphurous goo and having your friends ask you, "What the hell were you thinking??"
But that is the true joy of canoe tripping, anyway.
As for Naismith into Dorothy, there are a lot of places where you need to get out of the boat, but it is not too, too bad. Naismith further downstream is strewn with sweepers and blocked in many places requiring the boats to be emptied and slid over large tree trunks. It is exhausting but kind of fun. And very, very beautiful. But if you head east into Wakimika, I think the only trick is finding the portages. They were not marked when I went through a few years ago, but probably are now. After Dorothy, the campsites are few. Leaving Florence for PineTorch is the big question...which way. Hard to call. If anyone has been down Ames Creek this year, find them and ask, but based on last year, I would probably go the other way.
the portage into Florence from Blue Sucker is not a problem. It will benefit from low water levels, as it suffers from very wet boggy areas where you have to negotiate sleepers laid down for the portage. One misstep and you are up to your crotch in much, with a canoe or pack pulling you sideways. Very familiar to all, I am sure.
Having given you all of the pitfalls along the way, I consider this route to be the quintessential Temagami route. The air is different. It is understated for most, but it is very magical. And, the approach to Florence from Blue Sucker is stunning. Due to its height, the hills around Florence Lake can be seen from miles away and arriving at the lake itself, well, for one thing, the water changes colour as if you step across a threshhold and it is one of the prettiest lakes I have ever encountered.
Sorry to go on so, but it is close to my heart.
good Luck.
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Post Number: 2
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Monday, August 2, 2010 - 9:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

after reading the last post it sounds like you won't save any time on ames creek!
so i would agree, go the other way.
poster's other comments are accurate and well said!
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Post Number: 261
Registered: 02-2004

Posted on Tuesday, August 3, 2010 - 1:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I would stay away from Ames and Naismith Creeks.
Too far a distance to descend in far too low water

I would also caution the Mud Channel of Yorston River as an obstacle to reach Talking Falls and a means to your goal of exiting at Chiniguchi via Yorston Lk - Pilgrim Sturgeon Crossover. I was stuck in the mud here back in late May!!

Water Surveys of Canada reports Sturgeon River flows as equalling the historic low.

I understand that Wakimika River has enough water to paddle.

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