The battle river, A Solo Journey in my Kayak.

 

This trip had been rolling around in my mind after briefly kayak fishing a small portion of the battle river in 2018.   Countless hours spent daydreaming and planning resulted in me picking a day, through not fault of my own, that had the worst weather and conditions imaginable, to start a journey.   Days off were booked and I was committed regardless of weather. “A good scout is always prepared.”

It is a beautiful river

Now I would classify this trip as intermediate, although the battle is a slow gentle flowing river, mainly because there was lots of wood and beaver damns to avoid and maneuver around. The trip started after a rather long a haul down an access path to just south of the dam by the Forestburg Reservoir. The launch (a 2km were walk) and take out (a very steep hill located by a bridge) left a lot to be desired.

The trip!

I arrived at the “launch area”, I use that term briefly as it was more of a cattle path. Just in time for the skies to open up and I had the pleasure of experiencing the worst storm of the season. So much for getting any paddling in that evening. I pitched my one-man tent on the rivers edge in a torrential downpour, and one step at a time, dried myself, my tent and changed into warm cloths to ride out the evening and the storm.

 A little damp in the Tent

 That glow would be the lightning

This storm was of epic proportions and lasted well into the night, I was comfy in my tent, once I was dry.  Waking up to a beautiful day the next morning I loaded up my Jackson Bite and started down the river, admiring the beautiful valley as the steam and moisture was burned off by the morning sun. 

Floating my life away!

Lots of wildlife were hanging around, hundreds of new ducklings were paddling about joining me as a floated and fished my way down river. The river itself meanders more then any other river I’ve paddled with lots of beautiful scenery, and wildlife that can be scene along this route. I made friends with a Canadian goose That honked along with me for about one km before it took off into the sky. 

Hey there buddy!

  I paddled the morning away, crossing no less then seven beaver dams. Thankfully, due to the rain the water was high enough to clear most of them with nothing that a little butt scooch on my seat couldn’t take care of. 

 

 Lunchtime, my favorite time

Found a small quaint little island to have a lazy lunch break on before I continued.  I probably put in 10 hours on the water on the first full day.  Stopping frequently breaks and to catch some decent walleye en route.  I passed the only other person I saw all weekend, I think I may have scared them when I floated past there campsite, as there’s very little action on this river.

 

Home Sweet Home for the night

The second day, I packed up camp, bid farewell to the island and headed back downstream towards my takeout.  The second day was rather uneventful, but beautiful.  Lots of deer and ducks and met a few local steers on route as well.   

ola monsieur river

I arrived at my takeout just shortly after a quick on the water lunch. I've  only ever have seen online maps of this take out before and was taken back by the amount of birds living under it, and secondly by the six-foot embankment and steep hill to the road, where my lovely partner Janis was coming to pick me up.   After tying up my boat and contacting Janis I went back for the steepest takeout I’ve used with 100plus pounds of fishing kayak and gear.  After of 45 minutes of bad language and sweating I got to the top and awaited my chariot home. 

 

Yupp i have to get up there...

I would do this again.  I wait until the water levels are higher to avoid the beaver dams.  There are lots of fallen logs to avoid on the trip, and some areas where beaver dams broke and the current was stronger, all was portagable  if need be.  This blog will now be the second piece of information online in regards to this trip, so there’s little more to go off of then online maps and a ten year old post I found on a message board.  Marks guide to paddling has a small section on the battle river, its further south then where I went.

That's a wrap 10/10 will do again!!

I will do this trip again in the future friends are always welcome to join 😊

 Photos and Written By :

Andrew W. 

Asst. Manager Aquabtics,