The Manigotagan is one of Manitoba's best whitewater rivers. Only a 2.5 hour drive from Winnipeg, it's an accessible way to get deep into the wilderness and experience true adventure. We're excited to be able to offer trips on the Manigotagan this year, so we decided to document our pre-season staff trip to show you how fun and special this river truly is. Thanks to Cam Roe for the pictures form this trip!
We started our trip at Long Lake, this is a slightly further route than we travel with guests, but we wanted to check it out, so our trip started with a day and a half of lake paddling. Long Lake is long and skinny, 15 km's straight north-west. Unfortunately, we had a strong headwind for the entire 15 km's. Even with a group of very strong paddlers, it still took us about 5-6 hours to make it across the lake. The second day we woke up early and skipped breakfast in order to cross our second lake before the wind picked up.
After our day and a half of lake paddling, we finally enter the Manigotagan. In a moment of rash over-confidence, we didn't consult our map, and accidentally took an alternate entrance to the river (no such thing as "the wrong way", only alternate routes). Before long we found ourselves in a swamp and had to turn around. Luckily spirits were still high, as you can tell in the photo above! After turning around, we checked the map, quickly noticed our "alternate entrance", and made our way back to the so-called "correct" route. After that, the rest of the trip was just gorgeous river views, tons of wildlife, great fishing, and fun whitewater sets!
Our second night on the River, we camped right above a super fun class two set, and spent all evening running the set over and over again, practicing our skills and working on getting the perfect shot.
Along the route, we passed by numerous historical artifacts, including "the alligator", the engine from a steam powered boat that used to take miners and mining equipment up to the gold mines in Bissett. We also passed by trapper's cabins that are still in use. One of the cabins, owned by former river steward Charles Simard, is often used by paddlers, and has a guest book to be signed by any trips that paddle past.
On our last night we set up camp on a small island in between the two chutes of old woman falls (not pictured). In the evening, Sam went down to try our luck at fishing. Pretty quickly, he had caught a bass, released it, cast again, and suddenly, another bass. The rest of the group quickly gathered their rods and came down to the river. For an hour and a half before the sun went down, we caught bass after bass. At times we would have 3 different bass on 3 different rods at the same time. In the time before the sun went down, we fought and caught dozens and dozens of fish. The group record was Tristan, who pulled in 22 fish in little over an hour. This river truly has world class fishing.
We ended our trip on a rainy day, and started the trip back to Winnipeg. Halfway home, we made a stop in Pine Falls at Sonny's Chicken House and Fine Chinese Cuisine, always a perfect end to a canoe trip!
Interested in paddling the Manigotagan? Twin River Travel offers fully outfitted Manigotagan canoe trips. Call us at 204-771-8714, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out our online trip page for more info!