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Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through October 17, 2011 * Solo Trip - Solace - Sturgeon River < Previous Next >

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mycocanoer
Member

Post Number: 9
Registered: 07-2008
Posted on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - 6:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I am planning a 14 day solo trip out to the west side of the Temagami region in a couple weeks and would like some input on the water levels, portage conditions and noteworthy comments along my route. I have canoed the Sturgeon River 3 years ago from Smoothwater to Wawiashkashi Lake and on to Red Cedar lake by way of Cross Lake. I completed that trip in 9 days. I am not new to challenging solo trips. Last year I completed a 22 day 331 km trip around the Temagami east side that included 52 lakes with 28 km in portages. However, I have never been in Solace park or Florence and Pinetorch. Is it a somewhat well travelled section. Or am I to plan on spending time looking for the portages? My route is planned as follows:

Temagami Access Put-in
1st night: North End Obabika Lake
2nd night: Hortense Lake
3rd Night: Pinetorch Lake
4th Night: Florence Lake
5th Night: Bluesucker Lake
6th Night: Solace Lake
7th Night: Sturgeon River at Kettle Falls
8th Night: Sturgeon River at Pilgram Creek
9th Night: Sturgeon River at Obabika River
10th Night: Wawiagama Lake or Obabika Lake
11th Night: Grey Owl Lake
12th Day Take out Temagami access

The route measures at 195 km with 64 Portages at 28000m total. I carry two main packs and one canoe for 3 trip portages. I also have 2 days built in for rest days or shortening some travel days.

Also, I would like to know how the fishing for brook trout is in the solace park area and what lakes should I focus on? What type of fish are in Pinetorch, Hortense and Florence Lakes?Thank you for your advice.
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irishfield
Member

Post Number: 326
Registered: 11-2004


Posted on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - 8:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Florence was at one time a dead acid rain lake and the lake trout are trying to make a come back. It is CLOSED to fishing for same 365 days a year. You may find some Brookies in Duff Lake to the North of Florence.
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irishfield
Member

Post Number: 327
Registered: 11-2004


Posted on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - 8:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Just did some searching.. the MNR stocked 7000 Lake Trout yearlings in Florence last year. They show no other fish species present, so I wouldn't try fishing it for fear of prosecution.

Blue Sucker is supposed to have Lakers and Brookies in it.

Solace - Lakers, Brookies and yellow Perch.



(Message edited by irishfield on July 26, 2011)
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 108
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - 10:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

hortense to pinetorch to florence (i assume via ames creek) will be a marathon especially if nasmith and ames creeks are low. the portage from nasmith creek up to the first lake on top of the ridge is notoriously difficult, only 1700 yards as i recall but mostly straight uphill with many long steep sections. this might be the spot for one of your built-in extra days.
also i would advise you to go from florence to benner as the campsite and swimming are much nicer than anything on bluesucker.
a final tip: the campsite at the bottom of selkirk lake, on the narrows, is a classic temagami site which i'm sure goes back hundreds of years. even if you don't camp there you should check it out- also great swimming.
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fireman
Member

Post Number: 168
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - 10:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I would say that you are being a bit optimistic with the leg between Solace and Kettle Falls. The last time I was there, the portages were a bit tricky and overgrown, that may have changed but you still have a lot to do. The portages on the Sturgeon are clear and obvious but they add up and it is a tough bit of work, particularly alone. Hortense has a couple of nice campsites, as does Pinetorch. South of Kettle Falls, I think you will make much faster time than you think. We would get to Lower Goose Falls coming from the Gorge, which is not too far down river from Kettle Falls. Florence to BlueSucker is a very short day. I am going through there in September, across Solace up into Florence then north to Smoothwater and back down the Sturgeon to the Chiniguchi system and out at LakeLand Lodge. Ten days, but six people, two young bucks to carry the heavy stuff. anyway, good luck, it is a great route. hope your crossing of Lake Temagami is not cursed with strong southerly winds.
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mycocanoer
Member

Post Number: 10
Registered: 07-2008
Posted on Friday, July 29, 2011 - 2:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I knew that the Solace to Kettle was an optimistic one. But, I really wanted to stay at Kettle falls again. I was there 3 years ago and found it spectacular. And the fishing was quite incredible. So, I wanted to try to spend a full day there if I could. But, I am unsure of how long it will take me through hortense, pintorch, florence and Solace, given the amount and length of portages. I am not shy to long, hard, overgrown portages and actually enjoy them, knowing that i can forage for wild edibles and mushrooms on the way.

Thanks for the heads-up on the selkirk campsite. I am looking forward to seeing it and I very well may stay there. My route is only a rough guide, as I tend to change campsites once I have seen them, especially when I have never been in an area before. I have been looking forward to paddling this area for quite some time now. Ever since I worked as a tripping counsellor for Camp Wabun in the mid-eighties. I love the remoteness of the area and the likely fact I will not run into anyone till I reach the Sturgeon River.

As for Lake Temagami. I wish I never had to paddle it. I do not enjoy the boat traffic or the views of all of the cottages. it reminds me of being in Muskoka. Sure, it is beautiful. But, i prefer the rugged remoteness of the bush and lack of human footprint.

Any recommendations on other campsites in the area would be a welcomed thought. Thanks
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 112
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Monday, August 1, 2011 - 1:48 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

since you are a) solo and don't require much camping space, and b) looking for solitude, i would recommend the following sites:
1. the one on the small lake before hortense
2. the one on the lake (i believe it is referred to as chapin lake on the ottertooth map) at the top of that 1700 portage from nasmith creek
3. the southerly site on ames creek where it widens into a small "lake"
4. for florence lake (given your route) the one on the tiny peninsula right at the bottom end of the big part of the lake
5. the one between 2 portages just before the long one out to bluesucker. never camped there but always thought it was a great secluded spot.
also benner and selkirk as mentioned above.
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mycocanoer
Member

Post Number: 11
Registered: 07-2008
Posted on Thursday, August 4, 2011 - 1:40 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks very much for the suggestions. I will definitely keep an eye out for them.

I will be starting my trip next Saturday, so hopefully the water levels in the Sturgeon River are of decent levels. I want to get some good photos of Kettle falls this time.
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 1063
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Thursday, August 4, 2011 - 4:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hortense to Pinetorch is a stretch, so you may be off schedule early in your trip.But you should look at ottertooth to see the crossover route through Lewbert, which may save you a bit of time.
http://www.ottertooth.com/Temagami/Maps/heartland0 1.htm
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browaan
Member

Post Number: 1
Registered: 08-2011
Posted on Monday, August 8, 2011 - 9:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

My wife and I have been all through Solace and down the sturgeon, and through Wawiagama and such several times during the past 5 years. Actually we've done your entire route...just not all at once. We're young, and single portage trippers, but we did Pilgram to Twin falls in a day. We also dod Paul to Kettle in half a day in August once. I aggree you must stay at kettle falls. It's actually a faster area than you may think. Although a little different from you, we did Seagram to Benner in a day, and that was through mud channell, which I think is worse than Ames. Anyway, let me know if you have any other questions.
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browaan
Member

Post Number: 2
Registered: 08-2011
Posted on Monday, August 8, 2011 - 9:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

one more thing. Upstream on the Obabika is a bear!
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mycocanoer
Member

Post Number: 12
Registered: 07-2008
Posted on Tuesday, August 9, 2011 - 5:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I think I will be changing my put-in at Wawiagama Lake instead. After some research, I found the access roads to this is not at all difficult and would allow me to avoid the dreaded Lake Temagami travel. I would still continue up Obabika (I have never seen spirit rock before) and continue my same route. Or possibly put in at Linger Lake. This would allow me to avoid the Obabika River upstream entirely by traveling through Yorston Lake. However I would miss Spirit rock. Doing this would allow me to spend more time fishing these little lakes and to hike all of the vistas in the areas. Any comments to either of these putins?
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mycocanoer
Member

Post Number: 13
Registered: 07-2008
Posted on Tuesday, August 9, 2011 - 6:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

BTW How is the Lower Yorston river to travel both up or down this time of year? What about Nasmith Creek either up or down from Obabika river to Dorothy Lake too? Thanks
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mycocanoer
Member

Post Number: 14
Registered: 07-2008
Posted on Tuesday, August 9, 2011 - 7:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Oops. Sorry Guys. I meant the put in at twinkle lake, not linger lake.
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 116
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Tuesday, August 9, 2011 - 9:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

nasmith creek is a shallow mainly gravel/small boulder-bottom creek with a fair bit of wading and walking the canoe over shallow spots in summer, but easily navigable except perhaps in extreme low water conditions.
the lower yorston is quite a different proposition, filled with obstacles which have to be tracked up or down, lifted/dragged over, portaged around and generally persevered through. having said this i would also add that is well worth the effort for its solitude, scenery and many challenges including the probability of having to improvise campsites.
for a solo canoist it would pose additional difficulties and risks! i think upstream would be especially tricky as there are small falls, etc. that must be dragged up, which is a lot easier and less dangerous with two people. there is more than enough flow in narrow parts of the yorston to wrap a canoe around a rock if it gets stuck in a bad place...
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gunney
Member

Post Number: 16
Registered: 08-2008


Posted on Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - 9:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I'm curious to know what your itinerary looks like now. Will you put-in at Twinkle Lake? Are you still planning on Florence via Pinetorch or are you going to head to Bluesucker via Seagram?

Also, At the end of the portage from Pilgram Lake one can see an old trapline on the western shore of Maggie Lake. The trapline is NOT the portage to Bill Lake. It is located futher to the north. I do remember the carry into Bill Lake as being steep and rugged.

I look forward to your trip report and pix. Have a great time!

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