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Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through October 17, 2011 * Matagamasi to Sturgeon < Previous Next >

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Post Number: 7
Registered: 03-2011

Posted on Thursday, July 21, 2011 - 1:10 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Just finished 9-day trip from Matagamasi to Chiniguchi, Dougherty, Stouffer, down the Sturgeon to Kelly crossover and to Kukagami through Carafel creek. The Sturgeon, especially between Upper and Lower Goose falls, and Carafel creek were the highpoints and the campsite on the last portage along Carafel to Kukagami is a gem. I saw 1 fox, 2 fishermen and 4 canoe parties, 3 of them on the Sturgeon - trips ran by kids camps. All portages are easily found with Ottertooth maps - great thanks to Brian and everyone else involved in this project. Few notes. Out of two beaver dams shown between Kelly and Gamagowong I found the one closer to Kelly, but there is no signs of the other dam, in the narrows. The only portage presenting potential problem is Kelly's - it's marked with a ribbon not visible from the river and easy to miss after hours of paddling and endless turns the river takes. It took me 10 hours from Upper Goose falls, with all picture taking on the upper part and breaks to fight boredom and fatigue after Lower Goose falls. Following 400m portage trail to Kelly was pretty obvious.
Before the trip I was told that water levels were unusually high for July and indeed I didn't have to wade any rapids, except for 2 where the current was too strong to risk running it solo in a glass boat. The part between Lower Goose falls and Kelly's portage presents, according to Hap Wilson book, two easily run C-1 raps - I found both of them being in C-2 category having strong current and standing waves 3-4 feet high, one of them with a potential canoe-breaker: a small well-hidden rock at the bottom of the wave train. Also my copy of HW book shows Lower Goose falls portage and campsite on river left, which is probably a misprint - both are on river right.

Turtle attack (this gal was nesting on my water bottle)

Rapids below Upper Goose falls. Because of low hanging branches that can be seen on river right, I chose the river left route

Waterslides. Last leg of Carafel creek crossover before Kukagami

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Post Number: 334
Registered: 02-2004

Posted on Thursday, July 21, 2011 - 11:04 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

wow, good water for July.
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Post Number: 167
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Thursday, July 21, 2011 - 4:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

congratulations. the Lower Sturgeon is a strange beast. The tedium can get to you. On the other hand, with the right amount of alcohol, the right partner and the right frame of mind, I have found it to be quite an essential experience.
We were chased by a bear for twenty minutes at one point. Never more than 25 metres away, following our progress out of curiosity mostly, but very cool. I particularly like the bends where you realize, too late obviously, that you could have dragged your boat 20 feet and saved 500 feet of paddling.
It can get into a man's head.
I noticed same lack of BD's you did. that was 2009.
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Post Number: 8
Registered: 03-2011

Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 - 11:52 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Yes, the thought about taking a shortcut by land crossed my mind. You are right, it's all in the attitude. And looking back - it wasn't that bad at all, although I doubt I will do this stretch again any time soon. This was one moment on the trip when I really appreciated having a gps with me. It was my first trip to Temagami and I fell in love with the place. But next time I'll bring sheen guards for portages.

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