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Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through August 23, 2007 * Whitefish River to Night Hawk Lake < Previous Next >

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kavu88
Member

Post Number: 1
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - 2:16 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Does anyone know anything about the Whitefish River, i.e. is it populated, whitewater conditions, normal water levels, etc. I personally never heard of it till I was looking at some 250,000's the other day and noticed it, but I figure others probably have.

It flows northward, starting to the west of Lake Mettagami, and flows up to Night Hawk lake just south of the town of Hoyle, which is just west of Timmins. I already searched online, including on the CCR website, but to no avail.
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sundown
Member

Post Number: 28
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - 9:11 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Kavu

Trying to help you out here, but I need a bit more information, just to make sure we're on
the same page. I think maybe you've got some
typos.

If it starts west of Lake Mattagami it has to
flow INTO the Mattagami River which flows thru
downtown Timmins. If you stay on The Mattagami
and head north you can double back north of
Kidd Creek Mine and head southeast into Nighthawk, Just NORTH of Hoyle.

But, Nighthawk Lake is EAST of Timmins, not
WEST?

I think I may know where you're speaking of,
though. Are you talking about starting In
Either Montrose, or Midlothian Townships?

There is a river, just north of Mount Sinclair
Lake (Montrose) which actually flows South,
but HEADS north, until it crosses the "Height
of land", and then slowly reverses direction to
be Northerly flowing. It does eventually end
up in the south bay of nighthawk Lake. But, that
is EAST of Mattagami, and though the mouth is
south of Hoyle (sort of), I'll need the other
clarifications to advise more.

I believe the proper name may be Whitefish, but
the locals (including me years ago) called it a
different name... and I've been wracking my brain
and can't come up with it. If you call MNR Timmins, at the district office on Riverside
drive, they can clear it up. Walter Chequis or
Aldo Tarini, perhaps? There is an old Minesite
property right near the mouth of the one i'm
referring to.

As I said, I know it by a different name, but I
can tell you it is the WEST branch of an easier
and more traditional route. The EAST branch is
accesible from the north apex of the Montreal
River, north of Matachewan. This is the traditional fur trade route (and, i believe, the Pierre Trudeau Montreal to hudson Bay route of
1944). I've not done it, but have it on my
"dream routes", given I now live in Montreal.

Note: from the North End of Montreal River
you are paddling upstream for quite a distance
before you cross the height-of-land just south
of Matheson. Accordingly, the waterways narrow
the further north you go, and then there is
quite a bit of lengthy portaging from lake to
lake to re-establish a put-in on equally
narrow initial waterway. As you continue north
it broadens as you approach Nighthawk.

So, rule of thumb... some areas of hunting and
pecking for water, little elevation thru most
of it, and the blessing is zero population.
I personally wouldnt think the WEST branch is
really viable at all (from Montrose).

If your goal is put-in south of height of land,
and end up in Hoyle, crossing the height-of-land,
there is the route i described above (from the
montreal river), or an easier route from
Shining Tree into Mattagami system, following
the Mattagami thru and the north of Timmins
and double back to Southeast past Kidd creek to
Hoyle.

Hope this is of Value, but like i said, i'll
need the clarifications to say much more.

Sundown
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kavu88
Member

Post Number: 2
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2007 - 1:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Sundown, thanks for the advice. You were totally correct, as I meant to say east instead of west. If have a chance, check out these two maps and let me know if we are on the same page http://www.maptown.com/canadiantopographical/42a.h tml and http://www.maptown.com/canadiantopographical/41p.h tml

The river starts on the bottom right of 42-A-3, goes south hocking around 41-P-14, and then heads back north onto 42-A-2 and 42-A-7, and is labeled the Whitefish, though im guessing there might be another name. As I said, i've never heard of anyone doing the route before, so im wondering if it's at all accessable from either the west montreal or mettagami. Though from the sound of it, you might have already mentioned it. Thanks for all the help.
-Kavu
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sundown
Member

Post Number: 34
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2007 - 3:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Kavu

Yes... ok... same page now.

It IS accessible from the West Montreal, and yes,
the best put-in IS Matachewan, and head to North
end (apex) of West Montreal, and the East Branch
of what you know as the Whitefish. (Bigtime East
Branch... ie... cannot suggest West Branch unless
you're really into slogging, from what I saw last time I was thru)

That being said, depending on your arrival time
in Matachewan, it's an hours drive from Matachewan west, across Mistinikon Lake, plus 12
kilometress to a north bush road Which connects to Timmins, and you will cross the "Whitefish" about 20 kms from that turnoff, and you could
make your own judgement there. I personally have not travelled that road in ten years, and she
was not friendly even then... lost an oilpan. Maybe call Matachewan
or Christies and inquire of conditions?

Even the East Branch, I've not heard of much
canoe traffic there, recently, and if it was me, I'd be packing a chainsaw, and be preparing to set my jaw, if you catch my drift.

Personally, I'd travel, book in at Christies
Camp, or Camp Matachewan, get a fresh start and
head to the apex (ie NNE on w. Montreal) and cut & portage into the East Branch of Whitefish River and carry on.

If memory serve me correctly, you're looking at
1.5-2.0 kms on the portage from the Montreal to
your river.

It is a Classic Adventure. I commend your choice.
Massively historical Furtrade route. There are Indian pictographs on the East Side of the apex as you paddle through. That route was used millenia ago, for many millenia.

Whitewater, no.

The route you described to me (and maps)it seems, contemplate a put-in on the West Branch, head south, swoop to the East, then tend Northerly(eventually passing the East Branch Junction) and continuing on to Nighthawk. I am not going to suggest it isn't doable... and if it is doable, you WOULD avoid the lengthy portage, but you must know you are in "Height-of-Land" area...
all "creeks" around the height-of-land narrow
as you approach the Height-of-land, then widen
once you cross it. Once you hit the junction of
the two branches, Bobs-yer-Uncle... you've got
water to play in. Until you reach it, you may
be wishing for more.


As Ed advised me Natural Resources are no longer
maintaining portages (generally) in this area. Myself, I would not count on the portages being
done... I'd bring a saw. And, I'd offer odds you
will have the water to yourself. Meaning: go in
there only if you're certain you and your crew
can get out, given any eventuality. Not much
chance anyone else will stumble by, ok?

Just remembered... I know it as the "White Clay"
river (local distinction) if you call Matatch, have that name ready.

Pull the 1:50,000's or 1:20,000's and have at her!!! And, if you do, let us all know.

Anything else you need, let me know.

Sundown

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