Has anyone been down the Southwest Miramichi lately? A group of about 6 of us are heading down during the long weekend and unless we get some rain soon it's starting to look like the water will be too low for our loaded canoes.
We usually go the last weekend of May or 1st weekend of June. The guage reading is typically hovering around 1.0. We've never had any big issue with water levels. There may be 2 or 3 small, short sections that you bottom out on but it was more a nuissance than any real problem.
This year we plan on 2 nights, Sat. June 1st - Mon. the 3rd. For the 1st time in years we may actually have a good number of ppl going (at least 6). Always up for another canoe or 2, if anyone wwould like to tag along let me know. Water level too low, we'll run the St.Croix.
We have run it every year for the past 18 years and as you all know it's hell on both extremes of the guage
2.3-2.7 is my favorite range on the Blackville guage. Over 3.2 we've done it in our younger years but I wouldn't go now. I'm not that adventurous anymore. Total wus actually.
At 1.5 there's always a line you can find that will take you through. Beer frustrates that option. Last year was 1.5 and we were fine.
A few years back I remember hauling out after a 1.1m weekend. Derek and I can still feel the conviction we had about that cursed river. Never ever never again ever ever would we ever go anywhere near that cursed river below 1.3m. Never.
Looks like we're in for the minimum but no question we're going. I love the kids but I could use a few days away now more than ever.
So I'd say you can do it if you really want to. Excessive consumption will be our downfall by design.
It was a great trip. It was a little cool with some rain but no flies. Two of the lads we were with went in at Louie Rapids and the Narrows. By the time they caught up to us at McKiels they were near hypothermic. We got them to push on to Rangers camp and stayed put for two great days. The camp had brand new mattresses and a shed full of dry wood. We had a great stay. The only negative was a new crew should up the morning we were packing up and seemed they would have stayed there regardless if we left or not.
We stayed our third night at the campsite on river left just before Clearwater. By far one of the best sites on the river. Ill never stay at Clearwater again. We always run into a rowdy bunch at Clearwater that always want to pick fights. Our lads are all pretty capable but we dont hit the river to deal with meatheads.
As far as low water, you just had to pick your lines more carefully. We didnt spare any gear or food and made out fine. As long as you keep your bow down stream you were able to keep from being tipped by a sneaky rock. The canoe that tipped twice had a green bowman and everytime his paddle touched the water he put the boat crossways to the line intended. After the second swim he was told by his partner he would be killed by plastic fork to the throat should his paddle touch the water. Lol.
Louie rapids were tricky and Little Louie had its ledge nicely exposed. You had to hit it river left or run straight dead center of the ledge and ride it through. The Narrows in my opinion are the trickiest part of the run regardless of water level.
I would have no second thoughts of running at this level again. We actually hope to go again over the summer. Once a year is not enough enjoyment of this fantastic river.