View topic - Rice River to Kapeemechekamak Lake

Canadian Canoe Routes

Rice River to Kapeemechekamak Lake
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Author:  pappookaroo [ April 25th, 2017, 2:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Rice River to Kapeemechekamak Lake


I'm booking our annual canoe trip and have decided on this route. I attempted it ten years ago in the fall but failed to make it to the lake due to low water levels. I have heard the water is much higher in the spring. Can anyone answer the of the following questions?

- Should I be concerned about water levels?
- Can we make it to Kapeemechekamak in one long day? (We are experienced trippers)
- Are the portages well marked? (with ribbon in the trees)
- Will our vehicles be at high risk leaving them unattended for 4 days?

This or any other information about this route would be invaluable. Thanks for sharing.


Author:  Mihun09 [ April 26th, 2017, 6:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rice River to Kapeemechekamak Lake

Spring levels are usually very good even though this year again we had snow pack melt before the ice went out, but it should be good still.

Not sure about getting all that way in, we as yet have not gotten in that far so if you get in can you map the portion of river from Shallow lake on up?

Portages are fairly easy to find, but we know the river well. There should be a trip report I did showing where all the portages are but there really isn't any tape on the trees. We did clear dead fall last spring so they should still be pretty clear.

I always worry about leaving my vehicle at the road but we have been in there for a week and had no issues.


Author:  Mihun09 [ April 26th, 2017, 6:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rice River to Kapeemechekamak Lake ... 14&t=40090

Author:  pappookaroo [ April 26th, 2017, 10:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rice River to Kapeemechekamak Lake

Thanks Mihun,

I actually read your posts a couple times now. It's pretty much the only information on this route.

Thanks for your maps and detailed descriptions. I will be using them.
From what it looks like on Google Maps, there isn't any great obstacles once we get through Shallow Lake. I am betting on a dozen or more beaver dams to hop over but no big portages. At least until the big one before the Kapee.

Shallow Lake is about the halfway point. What are your thoughts on us making it to Kapee Lake in one day. (Plan to be on the water by 6:00 am.)


Author:  pappookaroo [ April 26th, 2017, 10:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rice River to Kapeemechekamak Lake

I guess a better question would be, what is the fasted you have made it in to Shallow Lake?

Author:  Paddle Power [ April 26th, 2017, 10:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rice River to Kapeemechekamak Lake

The route to Shallow Lake is well travelled and usually easy to follow and in good condition.

Beyond Shallow Lake--we are be looking forward to hearing your report.

Author:  mobax [ April 27th, 2017, 8:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rice River to Kapeemechekamak Lake


The only stretch of Rice River you may have a problem with is immediately after its ingress to Shallow Lake (that is, as you leave Shallow Lake). There is a kilometer-long section there where low water levels might be an impediment. (Caveat: my memory is vague after the many years having done this trip but we did navigate this section in early season without real problem). I think you could complete the Shallow Lake section into Kapeemechekamak Lake easily in one day.

The balance of the water-borne part of trip is relatively straightforward, and last winter I did not note a single beaver dam the rest of the river. though you might find your paddle bottoming out occasionally. The portage take-out many years ago was on river left some several hundred meters before a steep falls/rapid. When I was there this winter and last by snowmobile, I could not find this trail. If water levels are low this year, I'm not certain what the balance of river travel will be like before the portage.

When passing the last point on river left before the falls/rapid, you will note a bridge traversing the fast-water gorge. The newer portage takeout I use is on river left in a small bay immediately after the falls/rapids, the portage beginning up a steep bank at coordinates 51° 17.780’N 96° 11.169’W. The portage continues overland, winding through the rock for approximately 700 meters until egress point in base of large bay on Kapeemechekamak Lake (locally known as Boundary Lake) at 51° 17.483’N 96° 10.991’W. (Note that these coordinates are taken from Google Earth and may not perfectly match topo map coordinates). If you peruse Google Earth you can readily ascertain portions of the portage.

If you arrive at the lake in mid-to-late June, the best fishing (and I do mean the best!) is found at a long, narrow creek inlet channel on the lake’s east side almost opposite the portage end, at coordinates 51° 17.276’ N 96° 10.378’W. Fish the entire inlet section. If we have an early warm season, the fish will have moved to the lake body proper and fishing gets tough.

There is a beach at the south end of the lake, though I recall it was a bit muddy. Another beach at the north end of the lake is much nicer, though there is a cottage there, infrequently utilized. Lake water is very cold early season since some depths are over 30 meters.

Author:  Mihun09 [ April 28th, 2017, 8:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rice River to Kapeemechekamak Lake

A friend of mine at work knows much about that lake since his father built the cabin on the north beach although they sold it when he was no longer able to fly.

We've tried on several occasions to get in that far but the one year we had plenty of water we had no time.

Good luck and have fun, take lots of pictures. We have found the pickerel fishing in shallow lake to be about the best we have found in our adventures, the stretch of outlet of the river to get back to the road, about 200 yards long being the most productive with the ability to catch pickerel in the 20-25" range repeatedly. We have never kept anything that size since they generally fall into the slot limit in the area, but there are plenty of smaller fish for consumption. The narrows between the first portion of the lake and the middle where the river carries on upstream is also good.
We primarily use yellow jig heads and yellow twister tails.


Author:  mobax [ April 28th, 2017, 9:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rice River to Kapeemechekamak Lake

Mihun09 wrote:
A friend of mine at work knows much about that lake since his father built the cabin on the north beach although they sold it when he was no longer able to fly.


There are two structures at the lake north end, the westerly one used to belong to an outfitter a couple of decades ago and the other privately owned. Which building are you referring to? Can you divulge the name of your co-worker? (Rumak?)

Author:  pappookaroo [ April 28th, 2017, 12:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rice River to Kapeemechekamak Lake

Thanks for the details Mobax.

We'll be on a mission to reach the lake on day one. It looks like about 30-35 kms from the road to Kapee lake. That distance is similar to the Tulabi - Snowshoe route, which we have done many times in a long day. Worst case, we camp along the river east of Shallow.

I've been to Kapee many times (float plane) and even canoed a couple kms down the river from Kapee. We hopped about 4 beaver damns in that 2 km, hence, my beaver damn comment.

The inlet will be great to keep us out of the wind while papping some walleyes. I'm not too concerned about the fishing, there are plenty of spots on that lake no matter the season. (Fingers crossed for some calm days.)

Our base camp location is still an unknown. Most likely find a granite beach on the west side of the lake.

I'll be sure to take some pictures and share my experience. Thanks for all the info.


Author:  Neil Fitzpatrick [ April 29th, 2017, 11:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rice River to Kapeemechekamak Lake

FYI, the stretch downstream of the road is also quite nice. A campsite right away and lots of good camping in the island on Lake Winnipeg. If you have the time to extend your trip...

Author:  segosih [ May 1st, 2017, 9:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rice River to Kapeemechekamak Lake

Hmmmmm. We generally get to shallow lake in one day. All the way to Kapee in one day?? I would not bank on that. Of course I will be 60 next year so I am not as speedy as I used to be.
I was out by Pine Falls last weekend and there was beaucoup water...should be good for a while yet.
Neil, we have been down to Lake Wpg on the Rice and it is a nice trip. If a person had time they could explore the little archipelago at the mouth.
So many trips, so little time.


Author:  pappookaroo [ June 1st, 2017, 1:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rice River to Kapeemechekamak Lake

Well, after fighting some harsh conditions last weekend, we made it.

Times: put in at 0600 hours, reached our base camp at 1600 hours. 3 x 20 minute stops to eat and rehydrate.
Distance: 28 km
Portages: 9 -11 (a couple could be pulled through or even power paddled through) Some takes outs and put ins were a little precarious. "slippery when wet"
Water levels: decent until east of Shallow. Some low stretches (<1 foot for a couple kms) I imagine in a couple more weeks this route will be impassable.
Current: running pretty good and not an issue until the lower water sections east of Shallow. A combination of the inability to use full strokes and the current running fairly fast against us, it was very slow going.
Fishing: hard to catch lots of fish when you are hunkered down under tarps for 16 hours but we did manage to catch plenty more than we could eat.
Weather: overcast, rain, wind, rain, overcast, wind, 5-18C
Wildlife: 3 moose, walleye, pike, swans, geese, bald eagles and 1000s of birds. Saw bear tracks and wolf scat at a couple portages.
Bugs: very few, lots of wood ticks
Overall: it's not easy for my opinion to be non-bias after spending a weekend fighting the harsh elements. This is not an easy route, its much harder than the Bird River - Snowshoe route. I would not recommend trying to conquer the Rice to Kapee in one day. It was a great experience and had a lot of fun.
PS. Thanks for the maps and all the info.

Author:  crowmaster [ June 1st, 2017, 6:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rice River to Kapeemechekamak Lake

Nice write-up, thanks for posting. That trip is on my radar. Did you leave your car at the highway bridge?

Author:  pappookaroo [ June 2nd, 2017, 11:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rice River to Kapeemechekamak Lake

There are pretty much no other options unless you get dropped off.

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