Wabakimi Canoe Trip- From Flindt Landing To Collins Via The Flindt,: Days 1 & 2 – Flindt River

Previous Post:  Wabakimi Canoe Trip – From Flindt landing To Collins – Intro, Logistics, Maps

Day One: Flindt Landing To Flet Lake

distance: 25 km. 

Flindt Landing and the CN rail tracks cross Heathcote Lake about three kilometers from its south end.   Its 16 kilometers length makes it the main wider section of the Flindt River system.  The Flindt’s actual headwaters is Vanessa Lake,  another thirty-five kilometers further south of Heathcote.  [See here for an overview map.] We would spend the first three days paddling down the Flindt River system to where it merges with the Ogoki River below Tew Lake.

We started a bit late on our first day out, still tired from that 27-hour train ride!  Nice sunny weather and no wind made for a gentle introduction.  Within three hours we were 16.5 km. downriver.  We would stop for a leisurely lunch on the far side of P01. Including the short carry, we spent an hour and a half there, enjoying the shade and very fact that we were finally in trip mode.

Flindt P01, P02, P03

We portage when we have to, run or line & run when we can, always making sure to check things out beforehand.  Sometimes the carry is actually more efficient than an attempt at lining the canoe down a difficult stretch of river.

P02 was one of those we lined and ran without difficulty.  P03 was a quick carry and we were back to cruising speed.

our canoe waits while we scout some rapids on the first day out.

my brother Max double-bagging it on the portage trail

Flindt – P04, 05, and Day 1 CS

P04 was a portage that took us about a half-hour; we lined and ran through P05 in about ten minutes.  Then it was time to look for a campsite, given that it was already 6:20. (We had moved the hour hand back by one when we entered the Central Time zone somewhere near Collins on the train in.)  We found our spot in the small bay on the west side of Flet Lake indicated above; we were done for the day.

Late-ish start and late-ish finish to Day 1 but it felt great to be back in Wabakimi!

rockin’ reflections in the mid-afternoon

the east side of Flet Lake at 8:00 p.m. from our campsite

Day Two: Flet Lake To NE Corner of Big Island on the Flindt River

distance: 26 km. 

we got to share our portage trail with this local.

P06 RR 110m – a 35-minute hauling job

We did a bit of this during the trip- here is Step one! The new L.L. Beans boots passed the test as we lined our canoe.

It is great when there is somewhere to walk on the side of the river!

Almost through – although I need to pay more attention to my rope!

This morning we lined through P07 in ten minutes and did the same with the next set of rapids. When we came to the rapids indicated by P09 we did a carry.  P1o we paddled right through.


a portage trail that had that Lord of the Rings look about it

We did waste some time this day! When we got to the south end of Big Island, we took the left-hand turn and paddled up for about forty minutes. Not having a complete map view of the island,  we thought we had paddled into a long narrow bay! Back we went to the bottom of what we only later realized was an island.  Back home in Toronto my wife just happened to be monitoring our progress at this time and having a WTF moment as she tried to figure out what was going on!

our Wanderer 4 tent in the background and our Woods Pack replacement, the Hooligan, in the foreground

We paddled down the right-hand side of Big Island to a decent campsite just above a set of rapids. It was 6 p.m.

our front yard at the end of Day Two on the Flindt River

Next Post: Days 3 and 4 – Down The Flindt and Ogoki Rivers Into Wabakimi Lake

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3 Responses to Wabakimi Canoe Trip- From Flindt Landing To Collins Via The Flindt,: Days 1 & 2 – Flindt River

  1. lloydwalton says:

    I have only been there in the winter, filming herds of caribou. Any sign of them?

    • true_north says:

      Lloyd, sad to say those woodland caribou are no longer there. I think that locals have hunted them out. My brother and I have spent at least 75 days paddling the Wabakimi area over the past decade and have never seen a caribou. Even moose and bear are pretty scarce.

      Last time there we did paddle into a massive gathering of maybe 150 pelicans in Wabinosh Bay on the west side of Lake Nipigon. Click here for a pic!

      The caribou situation reminds me of the situation in the Chapleau Crown Game Preserve. We spent 10 days there in June of 2017; I even got cans of bear spray for the first time ever, expecting some close encounters. Well, we saw one moose and two bears in ten days – and they were not close! A study of the actual situation in the Game Preserve – still being logged and sprayed – by a Quebec team paints a worrisome picture. See her youtube video here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLNLb8WGVXg

Your comments and questions are always appreciated, as are any suggestions on how to make this post more useful to future travellers. Just drop me a line or two!

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